Two weeks ago, my back went out and I found myself in constant pain and discomfort and on the floor alternating between laying on ice or a heating pad. AGAIN. Funny enough, one week after launching my business full time in August 2013 (yes, one year ago almost exactly), my back went out in a severely painful way. I was literally on the floor most of the month of August and struggling to manage the most basic of tasks, so my business was put on hold until Sept. It was the perfect storm made up of my fear of going out on my own meeting the Universe’s desire to see me STOP pushing so hard for a little while after 13+ years of doing nothing but pushing. It wasn’t fun; instead, it was agony, frustration, and feeling utterly betrayed by my body. But in truth, what it really was, was an amazing situation that began to teach me how to ask for help because I simply had no other choice.

Nest on the floor

Legs up an ottoman aka the respite-providing nest on the floor.

This time around, I’m grateful to say the situation isn’t quite so acute (not quite past it yet.) That being said, it’s not comfy, either. I had to slow down again, re-make friends with my nest on the floor, accept that the progress I’d made rebuilding strength was taking a hit, and acknowledge I had to start looking at what my body was trying to tell me. Instinctively, I knew I couldn’t accept that my back going out (in my sleep, mind you!) was merely a coincidence. First, it was the one year anniversary of launching my business and I had been doing a lot of contemplating about how that was going (and judging myself harshly) and second, I was beginning to reach out and re-seek a spiritual community after having an integral part of my spiritual practice ripped away … I was no longer willing to lie to myself that the disconnection I’d experienced over the last couple years was ok. So, I concluded that although there are physiological issues that need attending to (chiropractic, massage, and PT visits help with that), there’s clearly an energetic/emotional/spiritual element that was trying so very hard to tell me … something.

In the past, I’ve prided myself on the fact that I would often get “intuitive flashes” of what I needed to do, hear, or accept. This time? Yikes. I just couldn’t get it. I felt almost as if my subconscious had willfully put on blinders in order to NOT look at whatever it was that was throwing my first and second chakras into a painful tailspin (literally! My tailbone wouldn’t stay put, LOL!) And because I’d recently been in this position and I’ve learned a little bit about asking for help in this first year of business, I knew that’s exactly what I needed … what I still need.

Muladhara or root chakra

Muladhara Chakra (Root Chakra) Mantra I need to visit a LOT: I am safe. I trust more; I fear less. I am balanced, connected, and grounded.

My partner was right on the front lines, thankfully. He reminded me to stop and let him help. Seeking some clarity and understanding, I pulled out my much-neglected tarot cards. (Great tool for glimpsing and understanding our subconscious motivations.) BUT, I only understood some of it, so I went with my gut and asked a dear friend within my spiritual circle for help understanding the message. A couple days later, when I found myself losing my shit one late afternoon, unable to stop weeping because of frustration, pain, and complete overwhelm over everything on my plate, another loving friend offered an ear, a shoulder, and some insightful advice—be compassionate with myself and ask for help. On her advice, rather than “toughing it out” as I would have in the past, I let my mentor know the situation and she provided a nurturing way for me to still participate in her two-day business mastermind while providing space and the means to still care for my back. Because I allowed others to help me in large and small ways, and I let go of my self-reliant resisting, I rapidly got the message over, and over, and over again from different sources in slightly different ways.

In hindsight, it seems simplistic. But personal growth and development never feels that way. I had created a maelstrom of unrealistic expectations and married them to my fears and feelings of inadequacy, wrapped it up in a bow of low self-worth, and stuffed it all down deep so I wouldn’t have to look at any of it. The problem with that however, is that stuff never stays buried. And believe me, you launch a business and you will meet your crap … in Technicolor. I was so busy protecting that ridiculous package, I couldn’t hear or see anything good, nor could I hear praise. If I let in any of the compliments commending my work, skills, talent, or know-how—in all arenas, physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual—I shut it down and kept on going. But then I was shut down. In that moment, I knew there was nothing to be done but surrender.

What it all comes down to is that I matter and I have much to offer my business, personal, and spiritual communities. What I think, say, and do matters. WE ALL MATTER. I wrote recently about working with a self-compassion meditation and this latest drama tells me that particular meditation is something I need to hold close and work with for quite some time to come. When I let my defensive stance drop, when I let go of fear of rejection and dismissal and instead remember my own divine roots connecting myself to Spirit, it allows me to start listening to what others are saying to me … and it’s revelatory. Unless I want to start calling everyone I respect and love a liar, I’m going to have to start receiving what they’re offering: love, compassion, respect, empathy, understanding, support, and help. It’s no less than what I try to offer others (as much as this learning spirit in human form can), so why do I question when others want to offer the same? Life is challenging, exciting, and full of painful ups and downs. But it offers us gifts large and small if we are open to receiving them. And when we’re not sure we can do that, we must remember to ask for help because truly we can get by with a little help from our friends.

6 Responses to “With a Little Help From Our Friends”

  • This is beautiful. We all need these reminders from time to time. I know I do. My favorite part? “a maelstrom of unrealistic expectations married them to my fears and feelings of inadequacy”. You don’t say!
    Glad you’re better.
    And glad to read you, as always.

  • Deb Goeschel says:

    Thanks, Marina!

  • Oh Deb,
    I’m so glad you’ve started up your blog again and I can totally relate! Thank you for sharing, for being vulnerable, and asking for what you need!

    Take Care,

  • Deb Goeschel says:

    Thanks, Eunice. These past couple weeks have truly been expanding and eye opening!

  • Mike Oliver says:

    Deb, I have to start by saying that you are ANYTHING but inadequate. I would say strong, resourceful, and independent. But with most of us, that independence causes problems sometimes. It makes it difficult to ask for help when we need it most. And ALL of us need help at some point in time. It’s just a matter of recognizing when we needed help and with what.

    I’m just wrapping up 23 years at this job, and my earlier years in this career could have gone much easier had I not been so headstrong and proud: quite simply, because of my own pride and strong independent streak (I say this in the humblest of ways, recognizing that it was not a good character trait all the time) I failed to recognize when I needed help the most. I even turned down help when it was offered due to my own pride. And I suffered at various times as a result.

    I think the points you make in your post are relevant to most, if not all, of us. It’s just a matter of us accepting that we need help sometimes (which is tough for a culture of people who have been raised to take care of themselves and not rely on anyone else). I really think that personal strength is not measured in how much you can get done on your own. I think true personal strength comes from being comfortable in your own skin and accepting that there will be times you will have to rely on others to push the ball forward or to overcome an obstacle. And the art of this is to put their input and energy to work in the right manner to achieve your goal. And don’t forget that thanking someone is as important as asking for help. I think heartfelt thanks is the second worst character flaw we experience in our lives–and it follows right after the difficulty of asking for help.

    For my part: My wife, daughters, brothers, and Dad are my support network, without a doubt. And my faith keeps me centered when things are turbulent.

    Fantastic post, Deb! Keep doing what you’re doing and make sure you enjoy it. Stay positive and continue to learn (remember, the bad lessons sometimes have as much to teach as the good ones, and frequently it is tough to recognize the good lessons). You’re going to do fantastic! Sorry I rambled a bit. But this got me thinking about my own lessons learned over the past 23 years. Really good post.


  • Deb Goeschel says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful and kind comments, Mike.I’m glad my post was thought provoking for you,too. Strong independent streaks can be their own problem at times,for sure! I’m just glad that I’m figuring out that asking for help isn’t a character flaw! 🙂 Because yup,we really all do need help in our lives.

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