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• kind but firm •

More than anything else, this year I learned about boundaries. And not in the easiest ways. I started 2018 with the realization that something was very wrong in my body. I had developed what doctors vaguely called “CVS” that caused me to wake up mid-panic attack multiple times a week that would progress until I became physically ill. And, as many of you know, I tried everything: new diet, new sleep routine, (several) new doctors, etc. But it wasn’t until I started looking into the way my energy was being drained and stretched and neglected that I noticed a pretty obvious connection. I loved this beautiful little apartment, but realized the noise and city living was throwing my nervous system out of whack. I realized that I had attached myself to several relationships that were deeply degenerative to my energy and spirit, and had developed the same unhealthy relationship to overworking that took my parents away from us when we were young. So I started saying no a lot more, and realized how much guilt and shame I had built into that action. I started practicing asking for what I needed (thank you therapy) and practicing feeling into my body regularly to begin to even know what that was. I started working with the simple mantra “kind but firm” (thank you Audra Carmine), whispering it to myself, writing it on everything, saying it out loud when I needed to. And finally, after almost a year and a half since that first episode, I think things have finally started to shift. I still get sick, but it’s much more rare, and almost always connected to some clear way in which I’ve violated my own boundaries. And, in a world that values so much what we have and what we produce, especially this time of year, I want this to be a reminder to all of us to do what we need to nurture and support ourselves in our own healing, and to reach out and ask for help when it’s too much on your own. You are loved. You are valuable. I believe in you. • kind but firm • • kind but firm • • kind but firm •

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