Back in ye olden days, you know what used to irritate me?
Women jogging down the street.
Every time I saw a woman bouncing along in her sneakers—or a woman power walking, doing jumping jacks, or hustling to the gym in her sports bra, I would internally groan.
Ugh. Those women in their dumb yoga pants. So annoying. I will never be one of *those* women.
I invented stories about these women. I told myself they were vain, shallow, and stupid. Gym bunnies. Bimbos. Idiots.
Going to the gym is so frivolous! I’d tell myself, arrogantly. I have much more important things on my mind! Like raising my kids! Politics! Women’s rights!
Not coincidentally, this was during a time in my life when I consistently neglected my body. I was sedentary. Rarely moved. Ate fast-food drive-through meals because I didn’t have enough energy to cook. I would snack mindlessly (cheese, potato chips, wine) in front of the T.V. to numb out after a long day. I felt stressed and exhausted all the time.
Because I wasn’t giving my own body very much love and attention, I resented women who did.
Kinda messed up, right?
This happens all the time. When we feel intense, uncomfortable emotions—irritation, annoyance, bitterness, jealousy—these emotions always arise for a reason.
That reason? Often, to teach us something important.
To call attention to a part of your life you’ve been neglecting for awhile.
To shine a spotlight onto something you crave. But it’s hard to admit that you want it. Because if you admit it, then you might have to do something about it. You might have to take action. You might have to change your life. And that can be really scary.
What irritates you?
Do you resent women who workout daily? Women who earn a lot of money? Women who wear bright colors, big jewelry, tight pants, or tiny bikinis? Women who speak up and voice their opinions unapologetically? Women who live, work, or raise their kids in an unconventional way?
What triggers a feeling of holier-than-thou arrogance in you?
When are those moments when you think to yourself, “Ugh. She’s an idiot. I’m so much better/smarter/more evolved than her.”
Pay attention to those moments.
The very thing that aggravates you might be the very thing you crave most.
This can be hard to admit. But when you finally do, it’s liberating—and your life changes in miraculous ways.
PS. A lot has changed in the last 13 years. I’ve realized that exercise isn’t a dumb chore—it’s a celebration of what my amazing body can do. I went from being irritated when I saw women taking care of their bodies, to creating my BARE Life Coach Certification program where I train coaches to help women do just that (and so much more). A new training is starting this month. Deets to apply for your spot here.
PPS. If you feel irritated by this email, then maybe, just maybe, it’s the message you really needed to hear today. Just sayin’.