All my life I was taught hard work was above everything. I loved to be busy! I thought my level of busyness was a direct representation of how successful I currently was and would be in life. Time to myself was a myth.
My father got sick when I was very young. He was the hardest working man I will ever meet.
My mom would beg my dad to go to the hospital. This one particular time when I was eight, he passed out in the shower, “recovered” and continued to get ready for work. His response to my Mom’s pleas: “I’ll go to the emergency room when I get off work this afternoon”.
Eight years old and through my early twenties I thought this was normal.
You don’t take sick days.
You don’t take care of yourself before you go to work, even if you should be in the hospital.
One terrible day in November 2012 I received a phone call that I wish I could forget. My father died at work. At his desk. Fifty years old. Close to early retirement with six months’ worth of sick days banked that he refused to use.
As if this sudden and tragic loss wasn’t painful enough, my husband was deployed overseas with his Marine unit, and I worried for his safety.
I was dealing with depression, anxiety, and chronic insomnia. My emotional, spiritual, and physical being became so overtaken that sometimes I didn’t even get out of bed to brush my teeth.
I know deep pain.
I’m familiar with darkness.
I also know profound healing.
It’s through the darkness we see light.
Why am I sharing this with you on the internet?
Because we don’t talk about it.
Because we talk about cute outfits, workouts, vacations & cupcakes.
But sometimes it’s necessary to be honest about what’s really going on.
The good news is it can change!
When you decide to change.
Some people would rather cling to suffering than take a risk on what’s possible.
I was one of those people.
I went far too long clinging to suffering without asking for help.
Recovery, next steps, and asking for help look different for everyone. Here’s what worked for me:
I got clear on my values. How do I want to feel? Who do I want to be? Where do I want to go?
One day at a time I committed to manifesting the life I wanted. I gave myself space to mess up, grow, stumble, crush it, and trust the journey.
Now I use meditation, reiki, movement, time with friends, good food, Indica Dreams CBD, laughter, and time to relax to stay in alignment with my values – my true self.
This year has been particularly difficult for all! Even as a fitness instructor I gained the COVID 19 pounds. I turned to food for comfort and lost track of my commitments to myself. I’ve learned that no matter how long you’ve been on a wellness journey, it’s never too late to start again – one step, one grateful breath, one smile, and one day at a time.
I hope that my message inspires you to let go of what is no longer serving you and make a decision for a change!
Love & Light,
Chelsea Zen’s Bio
Chelsea Zen is the regional manager of Pure Barre DC, a life and wellness coach, and reiki master. She grew up in Kentucky where she began dancing at the age of three. Following her passion for dance, she performed professionally with Cincinnati Ballet, Coney Island, Exhale Dance Tribe, and as Princess Belle at Walt Disney World. After earning her BFA she continued her career in dance, fitness, and wellness with experience in pilates, barre, and kickboxing. Chelsea is on a mission to help women find balance by setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care. In her downtime, you can find her relaxing with her husband and two rescue dogs while on the hunt for decadent desserts!