The cough started just below my throat, at the top of my chest, late in the day. It hurt. By night, my throat started to ache and swell. By the next morning, my throat was inflamed and very painful. The third day I knew I was sick. The thing is, I get this almost annually. The timing of this, however, clued me in that something was amiss.
Sure, it is winter and illness abounds, but I had not been exposed. Further, no one around me was becoming ill, so I was obviously not contagious. As I thought about my week and what had happened, I fast forwarded to the week ahead and it dawned on me- I was having an upper limit problem.
We have a happiness quotient in us and when we get close to the edge, we manufacture something to level us out. Some part of us is afraid of what will happen if we feel good, shine brightly, grow abundantly for an extended period of time.
I had submitted one of my most authentically written articles to Elephant Journal and they accepted it. I thought it would be a couple of weeks before it was published, however, it was published within a few days. I was proud and ecstatic. Then I started seeing the reviews and shares. What I had written resonates with readers. The number of views grew in the tens of thousands.
Meanwhile, I was preparing for my first paid speech. Though I had been booked for a couple of months, the irony had not yet occurred to me. Both of my parents works at hospitals while I was growing up. I watched theirs and their counterparts unhealthy lifestyles. In many ways, it drove me to do what I do as an adult. I wanted to help people live optimally, which includes taking accountability for lifestyle choices. My speech would be at a local hospital on the topic of self-care.
I remember the day I got sick, the number of views on the article peaked 50,000. I knew I was no longer a secret. Something big was about to break for me and the piece of me that has hid behind the excuses and limitations in order to stay safe was not impressed.
I was also slated to teach an asana and a mediation practice to my cohorts in my advanced teacher training. I wasn’t worried about this. I am confident in my skills as a teacher. I was actually excited to be able to share my style with my cohorts. However, after three days of a nasty cough and sore throat, I had laryngitis. By that point, I recognized I was in an upper limit issue. I let my teacher know and assured her I would be showing up and asked for mercy on my vocal presentation.
I had to show up, to give my best class that I could no matter how I felt. For my own good, I needed to break through this upper limit, otherwise I was going to repeat it over and over. I did well, though I knew it was not 100%. The next day, one of my cohorts gave me a big hug and said, “I can’t quit thinking about your class last night! It was so rich and complex in all the layers of what you offered. I felt so nourished.” It might be one of the best compliments I have received.
I showed up fully for my speech, too. I stepped into my zone of genius which is helping people be whole. I had a blast.
Breaking through upper limit problems require you to show up and keep showing up fully, no matter how scary or challenging it may be. First, you have to know how your upper limit problems manifest. Commons ones include:
- getting sick
- hiding significant feelings
- breaking agreements
- not speaking significant truths to the relevant people, rather speaking it to everyone else deflecting compliments.
When you become aware of hitting your upper limit, pivot. Be willing to look at the real issue. What could I do to expand my capacity for success, acceptance, love, and abundance? Draw on previous experiences of how it felt to be in your zone of genius and really shine. Notice how that memory feels within your body and allow that feeling to expand. Ask yourself what steps you could take immediately to allow the positive energy to flow through your whole being again? Commit to taking inspired action and show up fully.
My pivot was giving myself permission to be supported. I drank in the feedback from my teaching and speech, which was all very positive. I allowed myself to be taken care of instead of being the one taking care of others. I slowed down significantly and listened to what my body needed to heal. I not only mentally and emotionally shifted, I physically shifted. I made a conscious decision that this would be the last year for this annual illness. I want to see how much more greatness there is waiting on the other side of my limitations.
While I recognize that old habits can sometimes be hard to break, with this one, I am choosing for whatever replaces it to arrive with ease and joy. It is, after all, a choice I have the power to make. I know that the inspired action necessary s to keep showing up fully, each and ever moment. The choice itself is quite simple and I know grace will gift me with exactly what I need to continue to open up into my greatness.
How does YOUR upper limit problem show up and how will you take inspired action to show up fully? Leave a comment below.