Wiggling Roots


I kept distracting myself from writing about this topic. I know my patterns. I see them. I’m on to myself. So, when I noticed it happening last week I knew it was time to pay attention. I knew this subject was something I needed to stay with, and something I wanted to write about.

I am a life coach. I love what I do. Nothing lights me up like witnessing the “aha” moments and transformations that my clients experience. With that said, being a life coach does not mean that I have all my shit together. Not at all. In fact, I am continuously working on myself. I coach myself daily, and I get coached regularly by some of the best in the business. That’s part of being a coach, and it just so happens to be one of the core values of the Martha Beck Life Coach Training Program – “live it to give it”.

I’ve shared before that breast cancer completely changed my life. I have talked about my workaholic tendencies prior to my cancer diagnosis. What I haven’t talked much about are my beliefs around working hard, being successful, and getting sick. I haven’t talked about them, because I didn’t fully recognize them….until now.

For a while now, I believed it was my workaholicism that helped contribute to my cancer diagnosis. I worked long hours, traveled regularly, and was stressed out most the time. I was successful in my career. I worked my ass off. In my mind being successful has meant that you have to work hard. And now, working hard means getting sick. So….my big, bad belief is that I’ll have to work hard to be successful, and that will make me sick again. Oh, what a tangled web we can weave!

This belief continues to fuel my story, that working hard caused my cancer. I’ve been stuck in this spiral, giving cancer an incredible amount of power, all the while draining it from myself. It’s fascinating to see how the mind can do this.

What if my cancer diagnosis had nothing to do with my work habits? What if cancer happened just because it did? What if I stopped believing there has to be a reason to explain why I was diagnosed? What if I detached from my story? I wonder what it would look like if I stopped analyzing it, and if I stopped giving it power.

The truth is, I’ll never know why I got cancer. The doctors can’t answer that question. Nobody can. I’ve been beating myself up for the last 3 years thinking I drove myself to sickness. Somewhere deep inside I attached to the belief that working hard will make me sick again, and that I have to work hard to be successful. I can see how these beliefs impact me in my business today. I hold myself back. I distract myself. It’s a form of protection, and I can see how it keeps me stuck. Wow.

So, what now? What will I do with this information? For the moment, I’m just going to let it marinate, and give it some space. I’ll be kind, and gentle with myself as I explore this new awareness. I’ll show myself compassion as new developments unfold, and I’ll continue to get coached. Sometimes, many times, the best thing to do is just notice.

When I talk to my clients about beliefs I sometimes describe them as big roots, like the roots of a tree. Some are big, and buried deep. Some have been around for a really long time. When we find them, we just want to wiggle them to help create some space for change. So, this is me.....wiggling my roots.

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