Do you use Google Photos? The app will sometimes send out “this time last year” or “on this day 3 years ago” pictures. I usually love these little reminders from the past, especially because they feature my kids. Who doesn’t love a cute pic of their chubby cheeked baby! This week Google sent a photo of me holding my two kids while I was in the hospital about to give birth to my third. Wow, life was so different! I was in the thick of it, I was in the season of small children. I stared at it for several minutes and the memories of how overwhelmed I felt every day came rushing back.
Early motherhood can give you every emotion under the sun. I remember beating myself up a lot. It usually revolved around what I thought I was supposed to be doing…making perfect healthy meals for my kids, getting my pre-baby body back, staying social and connected to my friends, and being a good wife. Blah blah blah. Looking at that old photo from the past reminded me how far I’ve come and how much more grace I give myself. It highlighted how much I love my new mantra “Mbrace the Season”.
Throughout all my seasons, exercise or physical activity has been a constant, but the purpose changed. Younger seasons involved playing sports with friends, my 20s season involved working
out solely for appearance reasons, my 30’s season for my mental health. Enter my new season, my Mbrace season.
Yes, it’s Mbrace because of Mbrace Studio, but there are several other reasons. I’m finally learning in this season to give myself heaping amounts of grace. Now in my 40s I’m learning about the boundaries I need in place to protect my mental health. Fitness in this season of life is huge right now for me because Diana and I are building Mbrace Studio, but fitness is also my passion and love language. I love how working out together can build friendships and lift people out of their darkest times. Right now, in this season, my fitness goals are all about building more strength and endurance. I also fell in love with running again and find such joy running with my dog, Bella. The Andrea of past seasons would’ve pressed the guilt button for a missed workout, but in this new season I’m choosing rest rather than overwork.
I’m also struggling this season to balance it all. I’m falling short in a lot of aspects, but then I pile on the grace. No matter what is going on in my life I wake up early to journal and pray. I try to give my all to my family, Mbrace and my friends. I’m questioning a lot, but with every question…grace.
We all go through different season in our lives. Seasons where it’s all about you. Seasons of new beginnings or endings. Seasons where the focus is all on family. Seasons of huge changes.
The Mbrace the Season mantra could pertain to so many things other than exercise. It could mean friendships, commitments, goals. There are certain seasons where it’s easy to give your all to friends and a social life, but now things have changed because you’ve enrolled in that MBA program or had a baby.
You may have had a season where the PTA or volunteer group had all your attention and free time, but now you are sacrificing yourself too much to help others and are becoming resentful.
You could be working towards a goal with your head down bound and determined, but now work is requiring you to travel on a sporadic schedule.
Yes, I am always talking to you about being consistent because it is the key to creating a wellness habit BUT I’m talking to you as a friend, not just a trainer. You need to Mbrace the season you are in and realize you can’t go back to an old season. You have to accept and adjust. You have to give yourself grace. You have to know you are enough even if this season looks different than previous ones.
What things can you do to make this season work? Can you Mbrace where you’re at and start to make some positive changes that serve you? Every season of life is important and full of ups and downs.
I’ve learned that in each season you need to look for the helpers. The people, places and things that lift you up. My goal for Mbrace Studio is to be a helper for people. Whether online or in-person, Diana and I want to be that person or place that helps you Mbrace and enjoy your current season.
The next time you look back at old photos, take a moment to recall with intention the moments of the past remembering that was then and this is now. Mbrace Your Season and always give yourself grace. During easy seasons mbrace the good. Cherish it. Enjoy it fully and be thankful. In hard seasons, mbrace what matters most and believe that you can endure.