It is said that If you put a frog in boiling water, it will jump out.
But if you put that same frog in warm water and slowly heat it to boiling, the frog won’t notice the danger and it will boil to death.

For years I have had to get up multiple times at night to pee.
I got used to it.

And yet…

I couldn’t understand why I felt so tired all the time.
Naps in the afternoon became a requirement just so I could function when the kids got home from school.
I started to feel bad about myself for being so tired and grumpy most days.

I didn’t put it together that I was so fricking tired because I wasn’t sleeping. Well I was sleeping a little because I’d quickly fall back alseep after getting up. But there was no REM sleep!
And then it started to get even worse. I’d get up five, six, seven, even eight or nine times a night!

So…

I stopped drinking caffeine. It didn’t’ help.
I stopped liquids after six pm. Still no change.
I went to see an acupuncturist. Fixed my tennis elbow but no change for the bladder.

I started to google my condition and found out it’s called Nocturia — and I have a pretty severe case.

Scientists say the parable is not accurate. They say the frog WILL jump out once the water starts to boil even if it’s been sitting in warm water for awhile.

Once I found out the condition is called Nocturia I googled it. I found out that prescription drugs don’t really work plus the side effects suck.

I stumbled upon a page that said people were having success drinking grapefruit juice before bed. So I tried it. It helped! But my bladder eventually got full from juice before bed.

That’s when I realized that — duh —I have grapefruit essential oil. So I tried it under my tongue and on my feet along with some cypress oil on my tummy (which I read also helps) and…

BOOM!!!!

I slept through the night for the first time in YEARS!!!

No side effects.
No doctors.
No co-pay.

O.M.G.

I had NO. IDEA. HOW. MUCH. I was relying on caffeine to get me through the day. Now I’m off it (although I still drink decaf) because I don’t like the highs and lows.

And now that I actually know what it feels like to be rested, I had no idea HOW. TIRED. I ACTUALLY. WAS. No wonder I was so cranky! No wonder I was having trouble getting stuff done, no wonder I had to nap!

I’m psyched to find out what I’ll do now that I am finally, for the first time ever, rested!

YAY!

If you think this is an essential oil commercial, it is. You should be using them. If you have issues with sleep or you just want to start with something natural before taking prescription drugs, email me STAT.

But the main point is this:

Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re putting up with less.

I didn’t.

Take a look around you.

What are you tolerating in your life? Are you a frog sitting in hot water until it gets so hot you jump out (or boil to death)?

Sometimes we are so used to living by a lower standard that we don’t even know we’re doing it. I was so used to getting up at night that I NEVER realized I was living in a chronic sleep deprived state.

How about you?

It could have to do with your health. Or it could be your job. Or maybe its the relationships you put up with. Or maybe it’s that broken cabinet you’re tired of looking at every day.

You might be so used to putting up with crappiness that you just keep living with it.

Get out of the pot before it boils .

A whole new reality awaits you when you do.

{ 4 comments }

 
It all started in grade school. I couldn’t figure it out. Why did all the other girls get so giddy over slumber parties?
 
I hated them.
 
Most of the time I would go anyway and pretend to be having fun until I couldn’t stand it any longer. Then I would either retreat to a quiet corner and try to disappear into my sleeping bag with the pillow over my head or I would call my parents to pick me up. Except for that one time when I actually had a panic attack in my friend’s bathroom. While the rest of the little girls were eavesdropping outside the bathroom door, her mom asked me if I was on any kind of medication…
 
Nope. Just a nine year old introvert pretending to be extroverted.
 
But I desperately wanted people to like me so I kept pretending to be like the rest of the world. Once I got a little older alcohol made things easier.
 
Years later I realized something HUGE:
 
At the root of my drinking problem was the conviction that I needed to be different, that I needed to be EXTROVERTED.
 
No problem. A couple drinks in and POOF I was the gregarious, funny, entertaining, attractive girl I had always wanted to be. Miraculously I wanted to be around all the people — by the end of the night I was breakdancing on stage, climbing the rotating Cadillac in the middle of Hard Rock Cafe or stage diving at the Third Eye Blind concert.
 
What makes things harder for all parties is that I pass as extroverted. I am confident, even a bit of a loud mouth some might say. I know how to hold sufficiently pleasant conversations with strangers when I want to. I don’t mind public speaking as long as I don’t have to socialize afterwards and thanks to a lifetime of approval seeking I know the right things to say and do in most common social situations.
 
This frustrates my extroverted friends and family who believe I should want to participate in their book groups or go to their parties or celebrate at the thought of another family reunion.
 
But it is silly for me to expect them to get it. They actually get energized by groups of people talking about price fares to Costa Rico or the last time they had dental work or whether or not, while driving, they turn into the most immediate lane. How can I expect them to understand that I’m not a snob or a hater of humankind or a sociopath? That I do love people but just in smaller doses surrounded by relative quiet where I can engage them in deep, intimate conversations against their will?
 
Once an extroverted family member was innocently trying to make conversation with me and asked if I enjoy to going to concerts. I decided to be honest:
 
“Not really. They’re too loud, too crowded and they go on too late.”
 
She took one look at me, let out an exasperated sigh, raised her eyebrows and walked away.
 
Awkward.
 
Perhaps I am not alone? Perhaps there are others out there like me who prefer garden work over garden parties, who actually prefer shopping alone or would rather read a mediocre book than see and be seen?
 
Since I stopped drinking four years ago, I’ve learned a lot of things about how to be me in an extroverted world.
 
For what it is worth, here is an open letter to other — is anybody out there???? introverts— like me:
 
There is nothing wrong with you. So stop trying to be different. It’s okay to be quiet, to prefer quiet, to go out of your way for quiet. Stop forcing yourself to endure too much stimulus if you don’t have to.
 
If you’re like me and you have loud children, be patient with yourself. It’s hard. You may be tempted to get through it with a good buzz on. The more you do that mama, the less coping skills you learn to help you get through your life like the emotionally mature adult you want to be.
 
You can do hard things. You can do overwhelm, anxiety, fear, embarrassment, shame and anger. These are feelings and even though they hurt, they’re not trying to hurt you, they are trying to get your attention — to teach you things about yourself.
 
If you keep using alcohol or other drugs to be someone else, you will forget who you are (if you haven’t already). When you stop using booze or other drugs it will be hard at first because you will have to face a truth: You are not who you *think* you should be.
 
Say goodbye to the person you think you should be and look in the mirror. Say hello to yourself.
 
Accept it. Start now. Give yourself permission to be you. If you have forgotten who you are, don’t worry. You can get to know yourself now because you aren’t trying to escape yourself.
 
Eventually you will understand that accepting yourself is what real freedom feels like.
 
You will disappoint people. Some of your “friends” may even complain about how boring you have become. These may not be true friends.
 
Say no. If you don’t want to go, don’t. Be willing to disappoint them. When you say yes to them because you don’t want to let them down, you are trying to control their emotional response to you. This comes from a place of fear. It has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you. You can’t control other people’s emotions anyway.
 
The cultural wisdom that you have to show up for your friends of family is bullshit if you can’t show up for yourself first. If they get mad at you, don’t get mad back. After all you have, up to this point, taught them what to expect from you and how to treat you by how you respond and what you have been willing to tolerate.
 
Things will change. Your relationship will stabilize. New ones will come that blow the old ones away.
 
Be patient. Extroverted people don’t often get it. You might try to explain to them. Some will actually understand. Let yourself be pleasantly surprised by these people.
 
You are who you are and how you are for a very important reason. Make peace with it and trust that it will reveal itself to you.
 
xoxo
-a

{ 16 comments }

14,000 Things

May 12, 2017

Yesterday Ron’s sister would have been forty years old. She was killed in a car accident when she was 21. I happened to be talking to a friend yesterday who has brain cancer. The meds are hard on her. “But you know what,” she said to me, “I am so happy to be alive. I […]

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When the doer cannot do

April 14, 2017

It’s Thursday. I have had the flu all week. And today I learned I have a bladder infection too. Bonus! I cancelled a tennis match, a podcast interview, three tennis lessons (two for me and one for my kids), missed an entire week of jiujitsu because I couldn’t drive the kids, skipped the Facebook Live […]

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God, Source, Spirit, The Angels, The Muses…

April 6, 2017

I am driving down Broadway Boulevard. It is Summer 2008. The twins are about six months old. Looking through the rearview window, I see them strapped into their car seats. As usual, Anthony is not happy. He is doing that thing he does before an all out crying fit. Alice is looking at me. Her […]

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Show Me A Successful Entrepreneur

March 10, 2017

Show me a successful entrepreneur in the service industry and I’ll show you a person who loves themselves enough, loves the work enough to let themselves fail. Somebody who is willing to get out there despite the possibility of bad hair, typos, toilet paper on the shoe, awkward exchanges (Them: Nice to meet you. You: […]

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How to be a Winner

March 2, 2017

Last week I beat a really good tennis player. In straight sets. 6-2, 6-2. If you don’t know tennis, I pretty much kicked her butt. “Wow, my back was really bothering me today.” This is all she had to say after the match. I lost to her a few months ago so I’m pretty sure […]

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Be here, now

February 24, 2017

A few nights ago, my husband said something mildly stupid that hurt my feelings. I am as soft-bellied as they come. I get my feelings hurt with an astonishing frequency. It is one of the many downsides of having a moon in Scorpio. Anyway…We were in bed, my back turned against him. I was convinced […]

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Stop Expecting Them to “Get” It: Why Some Partnerships Fail

February 9, 2017

“What’s on the agenda this weekend?” My husband asks. I open up my planner. “Battle of the books in the early afternoon Saturday, then Jazmina’s Quinciniera in the eve. Then Sunday is Janina’s birthday party at the pool.” “I’m not going to that,” He says. “But…” I answer. “I work all week and I don’t […]

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How to Think When You’re Overwhelmed

February 2, 2017

  I figured out the main theme of my book. This is the theme that informs everything. It’s the big “So What?” of the book. I was talking to my friend about it the other day. She asked me if I knew the theme when I started writing. “I haven’t wanted to start my book,” […]

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Saint Ron: Why the Truth Hurts (If You Let It)

January 27, 2017

“You should be canonized for putting up with her all these years.” This was a comment made about me to my husband. The same person I blocked to escape his poisonous text messages found a way to get to me through my husband. I won’t lie. When I heard that he said this about me […]

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5 Survival Tips When You #$%^& Up

January 20, 2017

I was recently invited to play on a bad-ass women’s tennis team. Wanting to make a good impression, I volunteered right away to practice doubles with a group of women. Got a babysitter and everything. On the night of practice, I got to the tennis club ten minutes early. Nobody there… “Strange,” I thought as […]

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Setting Boundaries with Setting Boundaries

January 12, 2017

For a long time my dream was to create a successful six figure, and then multiple six figure, coaching practice. After achieving the $200,000 a year mark I considered going for $500,000 a year. I created the business plan, I had the team in place, but I never made it. “Being an entrepreneur is the most lucrative […]

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We March

November 1, 2016

She is in a dark room, there is music on the other side of the door, and voices. She is crying and afraid. She doesn’t like being in here in the dark, alone. But no one hears her crying. Then the door opens and a man looks in. She can see the outline of his […]

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The Adult Brain of a Bullied Kid

October 6, 2016

We were on a bus, heading into Portland for a field trip. It was going to be a great day. We were going to try sushi for the first time and see China town. I was in seventh grade. Sitting on the bus, the girl next to me was leaning up against the window talking across […]

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35 Excuses Keeping You From Being Happy

July 27, 2016

No excuses. Just happy. My mom used to call me a “malcontent.” I hated it when she called me that. But now I see that she was right. I always had a reason why I couldn’t be happy. Here are a few excuses I used to make that kept me from being happy. Chances are […]

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You are five.

February 25, 2015

Who were you when you were five? When I was five… I loved flowers — I vividly remember the plants from my childhood – the sunflowers in my backyard, the rose bushes by the patio, the filbert orchards and the Oregon grapes with berries you couldn’t really eat. I loved to swim – that feeling […]

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Are You an Amazing Coach?

April 12, 2017

But so far you haven’t been able to figure out how to make a business out of it? Thank you to all of those who participated in the contest. Congratulations to Alicia J! Win a Scholarship to “Monetize Your Magic” (a $997 Value) The “Do it Yourself” version of my hands on, courage building success […]

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Thank you

February 17, 2017

Today I just want to thank for listening. Over the years I have spilled a lot of beans. It all started seven years ago when I told you I slapped my husband in the face with a sponge. Then, I told you another unflattering truth: I slept with my husband the day I met him. […]

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