CI078: Self-Care Impostor

CI078: Self-Care Impostor

It’s amazing to me how very hard we are on ourselves whenever healing is involved. Whether one has had a hysterectomy, a fibroid removed, given birth, or “just” had a broken bone set, we expect expediency… capitalism demands it… And consumerism has co-opted self-care to mean things like manicures, cupcake breaks, and long weekends.

~Lisa Widder


Before I was a podcaster, I was a yoga teacher, and then a Thai Bodywork practitioner, and then a meditation teacher.

I owned a yoga studio for 5 years,

I led a yoga teacher training.

I lead musical mantra sessions, I blend essential oils, I practice tarot.

In fact MANY episodes of The Creative Impostor are about self-care — whether it’s me spouting off ideas and droplets of wisdom and practices or my guests sharing insights into different ways they take care of their creative selves and/or their clients…

I confess I feel like I was wrong about self-care.

I had never REALLY put it to the test.

Read on for more…

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’ll be sharing some specific insight into my own creative process and this will be leading up to a live storytelling event I’m part of in Chicago July 10th, called Pour One Out.

Article Continued

I mean sure, I had my appendix out several years ago,  I went to India and changed my diet and yoga practice after consulting with an Ayurvedic doctor, I dug myself out what was probably pretty mild depression after closing my yoga business, but I did not know the parameters or import of self-care til now.

And here I am. 13 weeks post surgery. 23 weeks post stage 0 pre-cancer in my breast and I am SO TIRED OF TALKING ABOUT THIS and thinking about this but I am IN IT. Deep. 

Recovery does not happen in a 4-6 week window.

It is a long slow painful slog through the murk of my psyche, the breakdown and piecing back together of my body and well — who knows what else lies ahead b/c I can’t yet see the way out.

I want to share this email from a friend, colleague and community member… Lisa says,

“It’s amazing to me how very hard we are on ourselves whenever healing is involved. Whether one has had a hysterectomy, a fibroid removed, given birth, or “just” had a broken bone set, we expect expediency. I think capitalism demands it, has always demanded it. And consumerism has co-opted self-care to mean things like manicures, cupcake breaks, and long weekends. All of those are important (I love cupcake breaks!) but the heavy lifting is the stuff that you’re doing – the therapy, the massages, the PT. And, oh boy, does that stuff take time before the cumulative effects become apparent!” 

If you follow me on Instagram or you’re in The Creative Impostor FB group you may know some of what I’ve been going through — like just the surface.

I’m doing physical therapy 4x per week for my arm and shoulder which I can’t extend above my head and hurts constantly since surgery. I’m seeing a massage therapist weekly for the same — and overall energetic rebalancing. I’ve received Reiki from friends. I just started working with a psychotherapist using this cool technique I stumbled upon called brainspotting.  And it’s all good and helpful but this self-care thing is becoming like a full-time job and I don’t always have the faith that I will ultimately be as good as I was before (let alone better.)

I find myself thinking of what has been lost, what has been taken away.

Like sure I have the new boob made out of my belly fat and in everyday settings you probably wouldn’t even notice anything different through my clothes. But it FEELS different (in fact I can’t really feel it at all – so it’ like this thing just stuck on my body that sometimes feels like it doesn’t belong.)

Really bizarre side note, go listen to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts Flash Forward with Rose Evelth. It’s called BODIES: Switcheroo — it’s about a potential future in which we have the ability to swap bodies with someone else (I know intense) and one of the things they touch on is how recipients of organ transplants often have a bizarre relationship to the newly transplanted organ.

Anyway it made me think of how I feel about the new breast EVEN THOUGH it came from my own body. It’s like my brain knows that’s not a breast and so it shouldn’t be there.


I find myself wanting to sleep ALL THE TIME. And then not feeling well rested when I do, but definitely falling behind in my work b/c of it (clients — close your ears!) This leads to me pushing myself to stay up until 2 or 3am to meet deadlines, because I was too foggy headed during the day or because I was in 3 back-to-back therapy appointments and then exhausted afterward. 

And I KNOW That consistent sleep is like the #1 most important thing I should be prioritizing. 

But like… I also have to work. Don’t I?!

And then back to this thing I began exploring in therapy of feeling like things are being taken away… I also just had a major double whammy disappointment professionally.

This year I applied to a program being offered by Google Podcasts and PRX (public radio exchange) — it was our second time applying for funding and mentorship — along with students from my high school mentoring program and podcast Power Your Story — we have a big vision for where we’d like to take that show as a resource for young people in the disability community and we can’t do it within our current budget and format constraints. INCREDIBLY we made it to the finals — From over 2000 applications, they selected 24 teams to interview (including us) and then they selected 6 slots.

Believe me when I tell you that this is THE ONLY THING I have cared about in my career since the surgery (current clients close your ears again)…. And we just found out we didn’t get it.

And then a week later my whole existing Power Your Story program which was supposed to pick up again in July just got shut down. Completely. For frustrating reasons (lack of admin support, data entry problems, issues with recruiting and logistics, my own failure to push things through, budget constraints…I don’t even really know.) And I don’t know whether we’ll be back in the fall. Or maybe it’s just done.

I felt the wind knocked out of me and then kicked when I was down. 

I know some will say and have said that this is a blessing in disguise because I need the time and space to heal — to take care of me.

And I am practicing letting go — shifting my focus from what is gone to what will come because where there is a vacuum...

But alas…

I feel frustrated by my body’s apparent resistance to resetting itself and moving on.

I want to trust my intuition more, to take care of my body better, to listen to the messages I’m getting but they’re so fuzzy.

I want to be patient – (do I?) but I also just want my life back!

And I certainly don’t want my creative work, my career, my business to fall apart in the meantime.

Not long ago I received this awesome voice message from another friend, colleague and community member, Jennie, which I’ve included in the episode.

I’m sharing that (and Lisa’s email) with you because

  1. whether you realize it or not, you are part of such an awesome community in The Creative Impostor with really smart, creative, giving people
  2. I need to hear these things over and over and over — that I’m not alone in this, that other people get it, and there’s a way through
  3. Because feedback on teh work I’m doing, on the show, on our guests is SO IMPORTANT! Sometimes when I get busy with client work, I let my own shows and content slide to the back burner and it’s easy to feel like it really doesn’t matter whether I pick them back up again — or even when I am creating, I’m not totally sure where this is all landing. But messages like Jennie’s helps me to know I’m on the right track and keep me going.

Here are some ways I’d love to connect

  1. Send me an email and let me know what you have created from your own trauma or health journey. So no like formal survey or anything. Just email me. You can write it or record a voice memo on your phone and attach it to the email.
  2. Join my Facebook Community where we create social support for content creators with inspiring prompts, opportunities for you to share your work, talk about money and more.

My favorite hashtags #thecreativeimpostor #creativewomen

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