My Self Care Ticking Time Bomb

by Carol Hess on April 20, 2011

Self care time bombI have a ticking time bomb when it comes to my self care, and I never know when that sucker is going to go off. 

I’ll be doing just fine – making healthy food choices, exercising on a regular basis, getting the sleep I need, starting each day with my morning meditation, finding a nice balance between work and play. 

And then, BOOM!  The bomb goes off. 

And it all goes to hell in a hand basket.  Double cheeseburgers are winning out over organic salads.  I’m oversleeping because I stayed up late the night before.  My butt is sore from sitting, not exercising.  As for my motivation and the goals and dreams I have for myself, they’ve been blown to smithereens. 

I ask myself what the hell happened.   Actually, I’ve been asking myself that question for the last several weeks. 

I was doing so well.  I had lost 40 pounds.  I was beginning to (dare I say it?) enjoy myself when I exercised.  Most nights I was managing to make it to bed before midnight and stay there for seven hours (a major achievement for a lousy sleeper like me).  

I was even starting to lean into this thing called taking time off.  And I was so excited about my new Star Polisher blog that was going to help me really nail this self care thing once and for allSelf Care Time Bomb

And then BOOM! 

That damned time bomb went off.  And it all came to a screeching halt.  Well, almost all.  (Got to watch that all or nothing thinking.)  A few good habits remained, but many of them went right out the proverbial window.  

Why, why, why? 

I have done this over and over and over.  I’ve lost and regained weight more times than I care to count.  If I had a nickel for every time I’ve written in my journal, “Tomorrow I start my new self care regime, and I just know I’ll do it this time,” I’d be a very rich woman. 

I’ve finally figured out where the ticking time bomb is located.  It’s up there between my ears.  It’s in my mind.  It’s a belief — something I’ve told myself literally my whole life.  And when I choose to believe it, then that’s when the self care-sabotaging, dream-killing bomb explodes. 

Now this should come as no surprise to me since I’m a coach.  I know how important it is to examine your thoughts and beliefs.  And I thought I had done all that with regard to self care.  Heck, I spent years in therapy.  And lots of time navel gazing.  To say nothing of the forest of trees I killed processing what was going on between my ears by writing it out on paper. 

But I missed one teeny, tiny little thing in all my knocking around the dusty corners of the attic in my head I laughingly call my mind.  Actually, it turned out not to be little at all.  It turned out to be HUGE in its implications.  I had overlooked it because (1) it was hiding in the dark corner called my unconscious and (2) it was very, very old.  It was born five days after I was.  

The first night I came home from the hospital, my mother fed me, changed me, and put me down for the night.  She and my father were having their nightly cocktail hour when I started to fuss.  (Back then nursing mothers drank and smoked.)

Mom got up to check and make sure I was all right – no wet diaper, no diaper pin sticking in me.  (Back then diapers were made of cloth and had to be pinned to keep them on the baby – to say nothing of having to wash the nasty little things.  No wonder the mothers smoked and drank.) 

When she discovered nothing was “wrong” with me, my mother put me back down.  I continued to fuss and, when no one came, scream.  Mom turned to my father and said, “That child needs to learn she doesn’t run this house.” 

And learn it I did after two nights of screaming.  I signed a contract right then and there.  The contract read, “I, Carol Hess, hereby declare I’m not going to get what I want in this life.” 

I was five days old when I signed that contract.  

This unconscious contract explained so much.  It explained why, when my self care coach (yes, I have a self care coach – in fact I have two) asked me to visualize a scene that represented me achieving my self care goals, I couldn’t.  Oh, I’m a writer so I wrote down something.  But I didn’t really see it, feel it, believe it.  

When I read the visualization out loud to my coach, I could hardly bear to give voice to what I wanted so desperately, knowing I wouldn’t get it.  Well, one thing led to another, and my coach helped me locate that unconscious contract, put words to it, and then declare it null and void. 

One ticking time bomb defused.  

I’m sure there are other mini time bombs ticking away up there in the attic of my mind, but this one felt like the mother of all bombs to defuse. 

Speaking of which, I feel the need to do a little defusing of this blog post.  Me climbing onto the shrink’s couch isn’t really what Star Polisher is all about.  Nor is it about portraying my mother as a Mommy Dearest when she was just doing the best she knew how to do at the time.

But one thing Star Polisher is most definitely about is helping others who struggle with the same crap I struggle with.  I hope my story about discovering the unconscious contract that was holding me back will help you discover the unconscious contracts that may be holding you back.

 When your ticking time bomb goes off and blows your dreams to hell once again, get yourself a great coach.  (I can recommend a couple.)  Then go up there in the dusty attic of your mind with all the nasty spider webs and mouse droppings and start looking for your bombs.  And when you find them (because you will), then you and your bomb squad defuse those suckers immediately.

Because, you know what?  I deserve to get what I want in this life and SO DO YOU!

Have you discovered any unconscious contracts that were holding you back?  What did you do about them?  What happened as a result?

by Carol Hess

4 comments

Categories Self Care

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Monica Dennis April 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Self-sabotage! Good to know I’m not the only one guilty of it. So funny how I can get sooo close to something and then bam! Set myself back. But I started forgiving myself for that. Just reminding myself that I have a bad habit of doing that so when I do it – and I can recognize instantly when I am about to – I tell myself to knock it off and that moment, or the next day, is a fresh start. Why do I do this? I learned years ago that fear of success is a very real fear. For me, I think that comes into play but equally, like you said, the fear of not being able to pull off whatever I’m trying to pull off. Sometimes you have to be your own encourager. So I fuss with myself until I get back into a right state of mind. It’s a process. 😉

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avatar Carol Hess April 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Yes, that’s absolutely what this blog post is about — self sabotage. In fact, Monica, I almost titled it The Self Care Saboteur, but I couldn’t find a visual I liked for that title. Besides, I figured the word bomb would get people’s attention!

We do indeed all do the self sabotage thing. But becoming aware of what we’re doing is a great step to neutralize the sabotage — a great way to pull the plug (so to speak) on that ticking time bomb. And, yes, forgive ourselves — also a process and not an event.

Thanks for your feedback, Monica. Always great to read your perspective. :)

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avatar Rebecca April 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Working as a kinesiologist, an energy therapy, I spend a lot of time clearing patterns that are set up in the first two years of a clients life. It’s fascinating what comes up for people, these patterns are picked up by a tiny baby and can play out for the rest of their life. I can’t tell you how many people are so used to living these patterns that they assume that everyone ‘sees’ the world the same way that they do.
These patterns are set up in your energy bodies and will stay there until addressed – so absolutely well done to you!! That really is an amazing breakthrough!!

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avatar Carol Hess April 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Thanks, Rebecca, for your viewpoint as an energy therapist — very interesting. Identifying those filters that keep us from living life fully can be a challenge. Luckily there are great bodyworkers, energy workers such as yourself, and coaches (among others) to help us.

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