Leaning Into my Queen Through the Discomfort
Prior to taking my Reiki 1 and 2 placements in December, I asked trusted friends and family for their honest feedback on my biggest weaknesses and opportunities for growth. The feedback was consistent: let go of control, trust those around me, trust the process, and trust the journey. I reflected where this was showing up in my life and had a solid plan for how I could do better. I put it out to the universe that I would let go of control.
A few weeks later, I found myself standing in my kitchen talking with a friend about a really shitty experience I had with family over Christmas. I explained the way family reacted to our food restrictions and she slowly and carefully started responding, “Well in my experience with my daughter, I have found that the less control I have over her, the better we communicate. Maybe you could give the boys more freedom in that way.” I immediately felt myself get super warm and defensive, knowing my physiological response to her words meant in some way, she was right.
Later that month I was cruising the beautiful streets of St. Petersburg, FL, prepping for a BIRTHFIT Professional Seminar with one of my faves, Brittany Anderson. As we caught up, we talked through this entire situation, including my physiological response to the advice my friend offered. This conversation kept coming up since we eat and live so differently from several local family and friends. I told her I have a literal image of what happens in my children’s bodies when they consume dairy or gluten. If you have seen Brittany’s RBF, you can image the response I got: I could easily tell she thought my reaction wasn’t normal.
The truth was, it had become much more than control around gluten and dairy but also around sugar, food dye…. the list went on. As I reflected on this, it ALL came back to control. I decided I’d actually step into the vulnerability of working through this in real time as an example in front of the entire seminar the next day.
As I stood in front of the group, I worked through Byron Katie’s Four Questions to investigate a reality that I was struggling with every day.
The story: My children will become ill and eventually suffer from chronic disease if they are exposed to dairy or gluten.
The Four Questions are as follows:
Q: Is this true?
A: Hell yes it is true. I’ve taken so many damn nutrition classes, read all the books, the research, listened to the podcasts, experienced my own health issues as well as the kids’. I’ve wiped the diarrhea, cleaned the vomit, and dealt with no short of 2,347 tantrums after them being exposed.
Q: Can you absolutely know that it is true?
Q: Is there a peaceful reason to keep this belief?
A: Absolutely not.
Q: Who would you be and how would you live without this belief?
A: This hit my heart, hard. I would be able to relax at meal time. My family wouldn’t feel like they are walking on eggshells with every ingredient they use. I would be a more peaceful human, mom, and wife.
Turn the story around: Maybe, if I let go of my control around our children’s food, our children would have the opportunity to cultivate an effective relationship with food long term. Maybe, they would be even healthier!
The deeper rooted story: Control provides short-term protection.
I felt a little lighter, a little freer and definitely thankful to have some strong women in my life to call me out when I need it, all while supporting me, judgement free.
I thought about how I would share this with Kyle, my husband. Sharing out loud would call for an accountability I didn’t know if I was ready for. As soon as I felt that discomfort and fear, I knew I had to do it.
Over the next few weeks I was handed opportunities on a silver platter bringing awareness to areas of my life I was holding on to control. It came up in my research of CBD (a story for another day), my business, my relationship with myself, my kids, and Kyle. Afterall, how I show up anywhere is how I show up everywhere.
I found that protection was at the deepest roots of my control. I was using control to protect myself, protect my heart, and protect my children. It was so much safer to just take it all on, however, it was also exhausting, depleting, and a weight I need not carry.
My word for this year is ‘embody’: to express and give tangible, visible form to myself. I am leaning into embodiment of me, without the control or the protection that isn’t even real to begin with. I invite you to do the same. It’s not easy letting go and certainly isn’t comfortable, so here’s to owning my Queen through the discomfort.
Erica Boland, DCBIRTHFIT Professional Seminar Director BIRTHFIT Wisconsin RD @birthfitwisconsin @emomdc