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๐‘พ๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’…๐’ ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’๐’†๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘ ๐’‚๐’˜๐’‚๐’š ๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’Ž ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’”๐’†๐’‚๐’”๐’๐’?

Last week it was lovely to witness Simone Biles publicly modeling to all of us prioritizing her mental health over Olympic glory. ๐‘บ๐’‰๐’† ๐’„๐’‰๐’๐’”๐’† ๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’”๐’‰๐’† ๐’„๐’‰๐’๐’”๐’† ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’•.

Simone chose to listen to what her mental, emotional, and physical well-being was telling her. She chose to let go of expectations and the role others had determined she would fill. ๐‘บ๐’‰๐’† ๐’†๐’Ž๐’ƒ๐’“๐’‚๐’„๐’†๐’… ๐’Š๐’Ž๐’‘๐’†๐’“๐’‡๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’„๐’‰๐’๐’”๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’—๐’–๐’๐’๐’†๐’“๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’๐’†.

I am not sure what your journey with rest and self care has been, but I know for a long time I didnโ€™t value either of those things. I tended to push myself to the point of breaking. I wore myself out mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I felt as though I needed to be stronger, to pull myself up by my bootstraps and keep going. No matter what the cost.

Taking a break meant that I wasnโ€™t living up to the expectations placed upon me. Mostly the expectations I placed upon myself. This created a vicious cycle of wanting to escape from the life I had created. I was often burnt out and overwhelmed. I felt as though if Iโ€™d take a break that Iโ€™d loose part of my identity.

๐‘ป๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’Š๐’” ๐’‚ ๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’š ๐’„๐’‰๐’‚๐’๐’๐’†๐’๐’ˆ๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‘๐’๐’‚๐’„๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’†๐’™๐’‘๐’†๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’„๐’†.

Yet somehow, I feel that many of us experience this tension. This lie that pushing through and pressing on somehow makes us stronger. When all it ever seems to do is make us sick, wear us down, and build resentment and bitterness inside of us. The message weโ€™re meant to be super heroes can be so damaging.

When I learned of Simoneโ€™s decision, I thought of all the conversations Iโ€™ve had with friends over the years in which one of us was encouraging the other to take a break and the otherโ€™s reply was, โ€œI canโ€™t.โ€ Whether running a business, taking care of family, pushing to excel in school, or various other responsibilities โ€”the answer was always the same. ๐‘พ๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐‘ฐโ€™๐’Ž ๐’…๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’Ž๐’๐’“๐’† ๐’Š๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’“๐’•๐’‚๐’๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’ ๐’Ž๐’š๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡.

For many years now Iโ€™ve been trying to pause, re-frame and reprogram this type of thinking. To say yes to taking care of my physical, mental and emotional health. To say no to doing โ€œeverything.โ€ To make rest a part of my routine. ๐’€๐’†๐’• ๐‘ฐโ€™๐’Ž ๐’”๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’๐’Š๐’†๐’—๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Ž๐’š ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’•๐’‰ ๐’Š๐’”๐’โ€™๐’• ๐’…๐’†๐’‘๐’†๐’๐’…๐’†๐’๐’• ๐’๐’ ๐’˜๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐‘ฐ ๐’…๐’ ๐’๐’“ ๐’˜๐’‰๐’๐’…๐’†๐’‘๐’†๐’๐’…๐’” ๐’๐’ ๐’Ž๐’†.

Itโ€™s so hard to walk away from our work. It often feels impossible to say, โ€œNoโ€ to people we care about because we donโ€™t want to let them down. We feel as though we will lose our standing if we take a break. But Iโ€™m learning the truth is we will lose our whole selves if we donโ€™t pay attention to our own well-being. That is why, dear one, starting today, ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’Ž๐’๐’๐’•๐’‰ ๐‘ฐโ€™๐’Ž ๐’ˆ๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’๐’‡๐’‡๐’๐’Š๐’๐’†.

For the past few months now, something inside me has been telling me a I need a break from social media. So to align with what I encourage you to do in your lifeโ€”to rest, to prioritize self care routinesโ€”and to be true to myself, Iโ€™ve been planning to go quiet. My kiddos are growing so quickly and are only off for summer break for a few more weeks. ๐‘ฐ ๐’˜๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘ ๐’‚๐’˜๐’‚๐’š ๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’Ž ๐’Ž๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’”๐’๐’„๐’Š๐’‚๐’ ๐’Ž๐’†๐’…๐’Š๐’‚ ๐’•๐’ ๐’“๐’†๐’๐’‚๐’™ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’“๐’†๐’‡๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’‰ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’Ž๐’๐’“๐’†๐’‘๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’†๐’๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’Ž๐’š ๐’‡๐’‚๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’š ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‡๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’…๐’”.

Iโ€™ll be back in September, but in the meantime, Iโ€™ll leave you with this question:

๐‘พ๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’…๐’ ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’๐’†๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘ ๐’‚๐’˜๐’‚๐’š ๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’Ž ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’”๐’†๐’‚๐’”๐’๐’?

Grace and Peace,

~Lea, xo

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