The Brave Team

The Brave Team

“What if pain - like love - is just a place brave people visit?” 

Glennon Doyle Melton, Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life

On Sunday, I was feeling significantly anxious (mind you, I only blog when I am anxious as anxiety is my greatest inspiration...weird, I accept that).

This anxiety was tear-jerking, there's no sleep in my future-type anxiety. 

So there I am up at 3 am. My mind likes to believe that 3am is a very appropriate time to worry about everything that probably, most likely will not go wrong, but feels like it will.

As I am up at an ungodly hour, I decide to meditate. I light a candle and press play on my latest, favorite meditation on new beginnings. 

While I meditate, I get this strong urge to email "my people" to be brave with me. I knew there were a couple of upcoming events in my life that had me questioning my own bravery and strength. So I thought it'd be very powerful, if I built my own Brave Team. To know in those moments, I would not be alone. 

Yes folks, a Brave Team.

I asked my Brave Team to not physically join me at these upcoming events, but to mentally be with me. This can be taking some deep breaths with me or just simply feeling brave. 

Everyone I emailed asking to join in on my Brave Team got back to me. Everyone.

Not one person said it was stupid. No one balked at me or called me crazy. (That's a win in itself!)

Everyone replied with how SUPER JAZZED they were to be brave with me. 

Then I sent an obnoxious calendar invite to ensure that the Brave Team does not forget our upcoming brave events. 

My anxiety had me believing that I would be all alone in these upcoming events. That I, Tessa Zimmerman, would have to bear an unspeakable amount of weight and it would be this uphill emotional battle to show up with grace. 

Now with these upcoming events, I feel excited to show up because I know I am not walking this earth alone. My Brave Team is walking, breathing, and smiling with me as I show up.

It takes courage to show up to the scary, maybe even painful moments with love and grace. So I metaphorically built my own damn army to keep me accountable and supported in a being a brave person.

Anxiety Tip #88: Build A Brave Team. 

P.S. Sometimes members of the Brave Team show up wearing matching t-shirts with the phrase "I Am An ASSET To Tessa"...and we are still friends. We may not be able to all look in the same direction when taking a picture, but we can always be brave together. 

 

The Damn Yoga Mat

The Damn Yoga Mat

I feel overwhelmed. I feel pissed off that sleep has not been easy to come by for me as of late. I feel like crying in a corner by how much work there is "to do."

I am usually pretty fantastic (if I do say so myself) at letting all that shit go on the yoga mat. I step on and it's my cue to mind and body to go inward, let go, soften, and take some really big deep breaths.

Today was not one of those days. I am pretty sure I was an angry yogi today. 

Why?

The damn hot yoga towel mat. 

THE YOGA MAT PISSED ME OFF. 

Now this may seem very silly and I admit, it is. But my hot yoga towel mat doesn't always cooperate. In fact, it likes to move as I move and usually I am pretty good at moving with my mat and readjusting. 

But not today. 

Today I felt as if the damn hot yoga towel mat might send me over the edge. 

We all have those moments where the littlest thing becomes the biggest thing. It can be the struggle to finding the parking space before a big meeting. It can be that the coworking space coffeemaker is broken. It can be that one professor HAD to assign an additional reading requirement. Whatever it may be, it's that one thing that overfills the cup. 

But it's never about these littlest things. Small potatoes, people. These are small potatoes. 

How do we get to the place to see that these are small potatoes?

Maybe it's not about getting there. It's about being here— feeling that anger, sleep deprivation or whatever it is. Not trying to change it, but being here.

Today I stepped on the yoga mat with expectation that yoga would make me feel better. That sweating all the shit out in an 100 degree room would "make" my life "better." Really I was attracted to put myself through more stress.

I do feel better (I love any opportunity to sweat), but I also recognize that I didn't actually allow myself to feel. Today I kept going onto the next thing and then the next thing, so it was the yoga mat that reminded me that I hadn't t taken the time to check in with me.

So I am over here feeling. It's not comfortable. I am feeling scared. I am feeling overwhelmed. But I am feeling and because I am taking this time to sensitize, I believe I will move through these feelings with grace and ease.

Just over here feeling (and forgiving my poor yoga mat). 

 

P.S. If you haven't picked up a copy of my debut book, I Am Tessa, and you want to get a toolbox of anxiety coping mechanisms, I suggest you head on over to Amazon :)

 

 

How I Continue To Ditch Anxiety

How I Continue To Ditch Anxiety

I'm not going to lie, I still live with anxiety.

Those mental worries lately have me face-planting into dark chocolate all while I throw spinach or kale into every dish I cook and hook myself up to an IV of kombucha (or as I prefer to call it 'buch.). I've been reconnecting to my breath as tears shed. But mostly I find myself on my knees wondering, "why the hell did this anxious gal choose to be an entrepreneur and publish a book?" 

When I wrote, I Am Tessa, I eloquently word-vomited my entire life's story of growing up with anxiety. But now I find myself as a young adult trying to figure this out and want to scream aloud #adultingishard. Something I am continually amazed by is that my 19 year old self figured it out: life is only hard if we choose to see it as such. Focus on the messy thoughts and messy life happens. *pats self on back*

Yet I find it very easy to return to messy thoughts, to dive into gluten-free paleo cookies (because that must mean they are healthy, correct?), or to flight my fears by doing as many push-ups or burpees till my body gives out. What I've realized is that I, myself, and I believe many others do to get so caught in the day-to-day that we forget to see the magic around us. We forget to take time to do the little things or we do them without much thought. 

When I do experience anxiety, it's because I have gotten lost in past mistakes or am worrying about futures ones. So it's the little acts of health, friendship, and love that ground myself down and continue to ditch that pesky fight or flight response. 

These tips are what I've found to be of help lately: 

1) Hydrate

Simple and sweet. There are little things we forget about throughout the day that actually sends our bodies into the stress response like not enough water. I'm also currently obsessed with the 'buch (kombucha). That's right folks this green juice gal has gone rogue on fermented tea—all hail good gut health, which brings me to my next point...

2) Take Care Of Your Gut

There's a reason our gut called our second brain and we have those "gut feelings". Some foods that keep me healthy and happy: sauerkraut (put it on avocado toast, I dare you), bone broth, eat yo' veggies and fruits, and did I mention grab a glass of 'buch?  P.S. you can even make it yourself! 

3) Move With Ease

Let go of the phrase "no pain, no gain". Tension-based movement also tells our bodies to engage the stress response. Soften. Focus on your breath. Move how it feels good for you. Trust me, it's a lot more fun to wiggle your way through yoga than just hold a pose. 

4) Be Mindful Of The Magic 

As I poured all my worries onto my dearest mentor the other day, Kate, she responded with, "But Tessa, look at all that you've manifested!" It took me a moment, but as I thought it over and realized that there are so many small moments of magic that I overlook (and I know I am not the only one). The small magic moments can simply be a friend I've been thinking about then they text me spontaneously. Or for me, it's the number 88. Shows up everywhere, maybe it's because I am aware of it, but I like to believe it's my magic reminder that I am right where I am supposed to be.

There is so much life happening as a child, as a teen, as an adult, but isn't that beautiful? Scared and excited share a fine line. Which side of the line will you choose? This gal is choosing excited with a little help from the tools above, sweating it out in yoga, and calling upon friends and mentors for emotional boosts.

Join me?

Grab your copy of I Am Tessa on Amazon!