“I wish I could take all the thoughts out of you, rearrange them to be more beneficial and then give them back as your greatest gift. The crap you think about yourself and about other people – that inner chatter that is always in mean girl mode – it’s ruining everything and I wish I could take it out and throw it away.” 

When I said this the first time, it was to a new patient. And I meant it. 

Day after day, I speak to incredible people, mostly women. Each of them has a story to tell, with it’s highs, with it’s lows – it seems like the whole world is constantly on a see-saw. My closest friends are on serious spiritual journeys themselves and their stories are much the same. Riding waves of happiness until a nasty crash brings them to shore and calls for them to paddle out, yet again, and wait for the next ride in. 

And you know what? We all catch every wave we can. We go for the ride. 

On the spiritual journey, you learn that all growth comes with some growing pains. 

But before you get there – you often just see pain. My work intersects your spiritual journey with your health because that is the context that I see it in most often. When it is time for you to take a left, but you’ve failed to listen to Sally (the name you gave your GPS – that British accent is so weird…) and you went straight. And then your body started letting you know. 

You wake up still tired. Your energy falls after you complete your ‘duties’ and you don’t have any left to think about your real dreams and desires. Pain creeps in. It starts in one place and you suck it up and move through it and soon enough that one problem has turned into three. You gain weight. You know you aren’t eating as well as you could, but who has the focus, time, and energy to do all that??!?! Your eyes are dry from looking at all the wrong things and those hormonal headaches are just getting worse. 

Your body is calling you to ride the next wave.

Somewhere along the way, you stopped. You stayed on shore, where you felt safe and grounded. You feel tugs, pulls, and inklings. But they are scary and different and require change. So you stay, feet sinking further and further into the wet sand of the shoreline until you’re in so deep you can’t move. 

Then, you reach out for help. You come see me for the first time. I remind you of what is possible. I see you as a whole person with hopes, dreams, and desires. I know that the way you are thinking is slowing down your progress and your body. And it kills me. 

It kills me because I have learned over the years that we have to start at digging you out. You want to just to paddle out again, jump in and get moving. But. You’ve got to start digging until you can wiggle your toes. Then, you need to be reminded how to swim and how to respect the water, the waves, and the other surfers. You must relearn all the skills that are innate to you. After that, you can paddle out – and you are so happy to be doing the work. You wait awhile, you’re sure to not jump on anyone else’s wave… and then yours comes along. 

You ride it. You ride the wave with your hair blowing back and a solid stance that makes you feel like you are flying. But oh, no! Here’s the shore again. What are you going to do? 

Every single time that you reach the shore line, you have an option. You can stand on the safe ground until you are sunken again or you can woman up, grab your board and set out for your next wave. 

This, ladies, is the ride of your life. 

It’s not meant to stop or get old or get boring. It’s meant to constantly bring you home, each wave being a lesson that brings you closer to yourself, your heart, your truth. Sometimes it feels as free as a joy ride and sometimes you end up under the water after a major crash feeling like you’re being thrown about in a washing machine. But you keep going out to catch the next wave until you can put down your board, walk away from the beach, and know that you, in yourself, are home. 

Your satisfaction and sense of contentedness never had anything to do with the waves, the crashes or the shore. Your joy is inherent and belongs to you. Your pleasure lives inside of you. Your lovability is God given. You are whole. You are love. You are loved. And you can rearrange those thoughts to create a life that heals.

If you’re stuck in the sand, staring out at the water and are ready to make a move, go check out all the ways that we can work together. Let’s do this. Let’s get back in the water.



Originally published at www.caitdonovan.com


  • Caitlin Donovan

    Burnout Expert

    Caitlin Donovan is one of New York City’s leading burnout experts, host of “Fried – The Burnout Podcast,” and author of the book The Bouncebackability Factor. Her master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine enables Caitlin to combine Eastern wisdom with her natural practicality. After treating more than 25,000 patients, Caitlin added 1:1 coaching, corporate workshops, and keynotes for companies such as PTC and Lululemon – all with a focus on burnout. She has been featured on podcasts and online magazines such as “Elephant Journal,” “Thrive Global,” “Addicted 2 Success,” and “Your Story. Your Health.” as well as quoted in Oprah Magazine. Caitlin and her husband spent 12 years living in Europe, but now make their home in New Jersey. When Caitlin is not speaking or coaching on burnout, you can find her with her husband and their white fluffy dog hiking around NJ and NY. caitdonovan.com friedtheburnoutpodcast.com