Growing up, my dad would always say, “we may not have much money, but we have our health.” As a young child, this meant very little to me, but now more than ever, more of us can connect with this statement.

In this article, I will share with you what prompted me to take action on leading a healthier lifestyle, and how you too can find what I call your E-Motion, in order to do the same.

In order to bring about any long-lasting behaviour change, we need to connect with the desire on a deeper level and find enough energy to not only start it, but to keep it going.  For some it may be a desire to fit into a certain dress or earn a particular income, for others it may be a desire to see their kids grow up and have children of their own.  Whatever it is, once you find it and connect with it, it can truly take you on a journey of desired change more powerfully than any diet or self-help book you read.

It is our natural human nature to learn and grow most from the pains we experience, but when those pains are short lived and become long forgotten, it is all too easy to return back to our previous life – our comfort zone, or not so comfortable as the case may be.

For me, my pains were working so hard that I couldn’t hear myself think!  I’d wake up in the morning and immediately be bombarded:

  • Trying to get my kids up ready for school and myself dressed and ready at the same time
  • Not a minute of peace once I got to work, with endless e-mails and messages piling up demanding to be answered
  • A non-existent lunch break as I just ploughed through and survived on tea – my then 10th cup to keep the caffeine levels topped up
  • Rush home to deal with the kids, their homework, and more phone pinging, but now the WhatsApp groups of all the school mums reminding us what our kids needed to bring in the next day
  • Missed calls from friends I didn’t have time to speak to
  • Longing to be able to just luxuriate in a bath, but instead a return to the laptop for a few more hours of work to catch up
  • Unhealthy snacking as cooking dinner was too much of a chore, or nibbling on the leftovers from childrens’ meals
  • Poor quality sleep with a the need for a night-time blend to compensate for all the preceding caffeine
  • Start all over again the next day – the same way!

I may have had an incredibly successful business and career, and prided myself on being organized and a good loving mother, but where was the balance?  Where was the time for me?  Where was the fun?  Where was the being in the moment long enough to actually celebrate a win rather than say ‘Great!” and swiftly move onto the next challenge?

Unsurprisingly, I eventually fell ill.  Chronic fatigue of a kind set in.

  • Where I had been incredibly fit, I found myself puffed out and needing to lie down on the floor to get my heart rate down after just climbing up one flight of stairs!  
  • My brain felt foggy – I couldn’t focus so well, and certainly couldn’t cope with the amount of daily stress I had been able to before.  
  • My threshold was lowered for sure.  I felt exhausted, became intolerant, impatient, felt sorry for myself, frustrated, and truly desperate for change.  
  • I couldn’t turn to my friends for fear they would simply say “I told you so!”, and so many of those friends I hadn’t spoken to in an age because work had taken over.
  • I pushed to continue through work because my team were relying on me, or so I assumed! and I needed to maintain the income as I was now fending for myself and my kids, with my marriage having been sacrificed in the process.

What was the point of success and money if I didn’t have my health and couldn’t enjoy it? What I realised was time with my children and family, time for myself with opportunities for growth, and time for fun was so much more important, and my ability to participate in it was now severely compromised.

Like I said at the start of this article, we learn from pain!

What was my E-Motion?  What was it that led me to change my life?

It wasn’t the pain.  Yes, that led me to recognize I needed to change, but pains are soon forgotten when they ease, so I needed a driving factor to keep me motivated, and not only make the initial changes, but ensure I changed myself, once and for all.

Reading self-help books and considering about how they may apply to me helped me to some extent, but it wasn’t personalized enough for me to identify where I was going wrong.  

Dangling a carrot or two may have helped to instigate the change, but it didn’t keep me going because there were only so many virtual pats on the back I could give myself, so I had to find what my E-motion was – my energetic motion to change and keep me going in that direction.

How To Find Your E-Motion

The simple answer is to dig deep.  When we first ask ourselves why we may choose to do something, our head will often provide us with the answer.  It’s not surprising that thoughts generated from our ego are there to protect us, and so we use reason and logic to convince ourselves to or not to do something.

By going deeper, we take ourselves out of our heads and into our hearts.  If we can truly engage in a deep heart-centered motivating factor, then there is no room for logic to talk us out of it.

person in cave Rana Al-Falaki article
Keep digging until you can’t go any deeper and connect with it

The Challenge

Think of your E-Motion as being the motivating factor that:

  • Is going to get you out of bed on a cold rainy day and go outside to walk the dog
  •  Is going to push you to end of a work-out when your body is screaming in pain and you absolutely detest press-ups
  • Is going to make you overcome your fear and actually voice your opinion of something
  • Is going to inspire you to stand on a stage and present beautifully despite having what you thought was a phobia of public speaking

Or in my case, it was something that led me to re-prioritise and create balance in my life.  

Balance where I was still a successful career woman and leader, but also

  • an engaged and fun mother
  • an attentive and supportive friend
  • an understanding and understood partner
  • a participator of healthy living
  • an adventurer  
  • an experiencer of new things
  • a legacy leaver
  • a finder of time for everything I wanted

So back to the wonderful wisdom of my father: “Our health is the source of our wealth.”  Our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health allow us to do and be anything we want.  True we abuse it at times, but it needn’t be irreversible damage.  You can discover your E-motion through a targeted exercise in Women Who Want More, or feel free to contact me for a free session so I can help you identify it.