Ep #125: Breaking the Chronic Fatigue Cycle with Sharon Wirant

More Than Mindset with Kim Guillory | Breaking the Chronic Fatigue Cycle with Sharon Wirant

More Than Mindset with Kim Guillory | Breaking the Chronic Fatigue Cycle with Sharon Wirant

So many people are stuck in a fatigue cycle as a result of putting up with things that aren’t in alignment for them. And my guest this week knew this reality all too well. However, she realized she had to do something, and after doing the work herself, she’s here to share her secrets for breaking the chronic fatigue cycle.

I’m bringing you a conversation with one of my Self Healing Masters, Sharon Wirant. Sharon is an integrative coach, outside-the-box thinker, and leader in her unique, quiet and thoughtful way. Inspired by her own recovery story, Sharon helps others break their chronic fatigue cycle using life and health coaching, habit change, and perseverance.

Tune in this week as Sharon Wirant discusses her story, the healing journey she embarked upon after deciding it was time to break the chronic fatigue cycle, and the breakthroughs that she’s had along the way. This was an eye-opening conversation, and if you’re stuck in chronic fatigue, then this episode is essential listening.

Join me in Self Healing Masters, a program to heal your health, wealth, and relationships. Enrollment gets you lifetime access to my integrated healing approach so you can finally live your life’s purpose and help others. I can’t wait to see you there!

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • The events that occurred in Sharon’s life that led her to find coaching.
  • Where the fatigue cycle comes from and how it depletes our mental and physical resources.
  • The stories that kept Sharon pushing to the point of falling apart.
  • What so many people are socially conditioned to think is the answer to the chronic fatigue cycle.
  • How coaching helped Sharon support her body and calm her nervous system so that her body could do its job.
  • The breakthroughs that Sharon experienced that were able to guide her in writing her book.
  • Sharon’s advice for anyone embarking on their own healing journey.

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Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to More Than Mindset, the only podcast that bridges the gap between spirituality and success. Go beyond the mind with clarity and confidence coach Kim Guillory and learn how to integrate your passion to serve with your skills and experience to create a business you love. Let’s get started.

Kim: Hello hello, and welcome back to the show. My guest today is Sharon Wirant. I want to introduce you to her and really talk about what she has going on because it’s super fun. Something new and exciting and right up my alley, what I love to talk about.

Sharon is one of my clients. She is a Self Healing Master and she is, well, this week publishing a book. So we want to talk about that but first of all I want to introduce you to Sharon and let her tell a little bit about herself and her mission.

So, Sharon, you want to take it away?

Sharon: Yeah. Thanks, Kim, for having me on. This is just so, so very exciting. I’m Sharon Wirant and a little bit about me is I discovered coaching through just a myriad of little events that happened throughout my lifetime. I got to the point where, literally I was at the bottom of the barrel energetically, was questioning my purpose, what I was currently doing at the time.

And then I discovered how I could get myself out of this fatigue cycle that I was currently in. Because throughout my lifetime I was pretty much told, “Just suck it up. Just keep going. it’s just a figment of your imagination.” When in reality, by pushing and continuing to keep going I just made myself even more vulnerable. So over a course of many years, through different events, between digestive issues to then finally succumbing to mold toxicity illness I had to do something.

So I was miserable. I was miserable mentally, health-wise. And I discovered how to get myself out of that zone. And I just really wanted to share my message in hopes that someone else who is feeling the same way, that they just have to keep pushing. They’re hearing that you have to push, but yet they don’t want to push because their body is screaming at them. That they can stop and there is help on the way and that it’s multifaceted.

Because we sometimes think that we just need a magic pill. We go to the doctor and we want medication. Sometimes the medication doesn’t work. We have to look at different areas in our life, put those back in balance and then your energy comes back up because you’re not spending energy on things that are depleting you. And that in turn allows your body to heal. The body is designed to heal itself.

Kim: The body is designed to heal itself. Amen.

Sharon: Yeah.

Kim: How long did it take you to realize that?

Sharon: Well, since I was 16, 17 years old, really. I thought I was doing all the things that I was supposed to do and I was ignoring what my body was actually telling me.

Kim: What was the threat, Sharon, that was- Because I hear this story a lot also, and it was my story too. This is how I see it, the mind says, “Do this.” And the body is like, “Hell no.” It’s like this disconnection, right?

Sharon: Yes.

Kim: So whenever you were in that, what were you telling yourself that was opposed? What was the story that kept you pushing until you were at the brink of falling apart?

Sharon: Mainly I couldn’t disappoint somebody.

Kim: Yeah, there it is.

Sharon: I can’t disappoint, you know, whether it’s my parents, or a mentor, or even a friend, a family member, my spouse. It was that I didn’t want to disappoint anybody for changing tracks or not completing something.

Kim: Because that’s kind of like saying no?

Sharon: Yes.

Kim: Or I’m just going to go ahead and stop and change my mind and this is really not what I’m interested in. That displeasure, or what you thought was going to displease someone else. It always comes back to the dang people pleasing.

Sharon: It does, it really does. That and achievement. So I was always looking to do more, to be more so that then I could be seen and heard and create my life that way. And it was not working.

Kim: So this started when you were 16, 17 years old. You didn’t want to disappoint so you kept pushing, you kept doing. Whether it was a mentor or your parents or your friends, you just continued to do things that you didn’t like, or didn’t want to do, or didn’t feel called to do. You’re answering the invitation with a yes instead of a no, I should say.

And at what point was your body just dead stop, I’ve had enough, we’re not doing this anymore? Could you kind of share that story?

Sharon: Yeah, so I was actually in a yoga class. I had decided to start taking yoga and doing some self-care in between all this travel I was doing for work. What I was doing in my career, basically it was crisis oriented so you had to go when you had to go.

And so in between times I was trying to take care of myself. And so I started going to these yoga classes, but yet a part of my mind was still questioning. I kind of wanted to leave and do something new but I was afraid to step out of that mold. And I was just in this whole space of conflict.

And so I’m in yoga and there were times when the only thing I could do was stay in child pose. My body just didn’t want to move, and fortunately the yoga instructors just said do what you need to do. And then there was one day I was feeling great and the instructor was having us work around resistance with the poses.

And I remember going into downward dog and she said to ask yourself, “What are you resisting?” And I just heard, literally, someone next to me with a bullhorn, “Stop!”  And that’s what caught my attention. And so that’s when I decided that I really needed to do something and shift my life and figure out that new thing that I needed or wanted to do.

Kim: So, in the stop moment, I want to hear the rest of the story. Tell me, you’re in down dog, you’re hearing stop, what did you do?

Sharon: I stayed there. I just stayed there and then I came down and I went to into child pose and I went, “Yeah, I need to stop.” So I agreed with myself and then, you know, my sister is a confidant for me and so I decided on a date that I was actually going to resign from my job and start something new.

And then I kept saying, “No, I can’t do that.” A lot of factors played in, some of it was just the excitement of the work, you’re a part of something very important. And again, I didn’t want to disappoint a lot of people. Disappointment.

Kim: We get so caught up in not disappointing someone else and we cannot see that we’re disappointing ourself.

Sharon: Yeah.

Kim: So I’ve been in this long enough to know that one moment of awareness is not where it stops.

Sharon: No.

Kim: You want to share? By the way, I love telling the story of this because there is someone listening who has not told their story and who doesn’t have permission to tell the story.

And whenever we tell our story, it validates their experience and it gives them liberation, and freedom, and understanding. So they’re not by themselves in the shadow and the shame of, “There’s something wrong with me. I can’t be what everyone else is or I can’t do what everyone else does.”

And so that’s why I really like telling the parts of the story that really were the hardest for us to- It’s that darn wall of resistance, right?

Sharon: Yes. You run into it and you’re like, “Oh no, I can’t. I just can’t.” When you can, you can break through that.

Kim: But those internal and external rules, which ones were stronger for you? The rules you set up about not disappointing people or the external rules about someone else using emotional manipulation or disappointment, or was it anything personal on the outside?

Sharon: I think for me it was both. And then through the coaching work, now at this time during that yoga session where I heard the stop, I was already doing some coaching work. So I had already started working on not really listening to the people out there. So this was the stage where I was really starting to listen to what I wanted.

Kim: How long did it actually take for you to abide by that permission? I feel like I’m filling in the blanks, but it’s so real, it’s so hard when you truly start owning your own life, owning your own time, your own desires. There’s nothing more painful than ripping off that mask, that identity of illusion that we’ve been playing the part to be accepted all this time.

So I’m going to ask you a lot of personal questions on this part.

Sharon: It took me actually a long time and that was the piece that just started the rip. And then I had gone away to Sweden with a friend of mine and I remember I slept so much on that trip. Thank God she didn’t want to really do a lot of sightseeing.

It was November, it was cold, and we stayed at this lovely mill house that had its own wood burning sauna. You know, all the spa treatments, a hot tub outside and a plunge pool. I did not do the plunge pool, even though now I probably would because I understand the health benefits, but I didn’t at the time. But I slept so much.

And thank God for her because she is quite blunt, something I love about her. And she’s like, “Why are you doing this to yourself?” And so by the end of our trip, I had decided when I was going to actually resign and leave and start this new part of me.

I remember giving notice, and it literally just felt, “Oh my gosh.” But then once I did all that pressure was released. And then I started getting sicker, which is quite fascinating.

But I had let that part go. And then that’s when we discovered, actually a year later, that I had been exposed to mold. Toxic mold and that was contributing to, obviously my fatigue, and some other health aspects. And so I started treatment.

But I was already doing all this coaching stuff and learning how to process emotions. And that made the process so much easier. And I think quicker, because I was able to support my body and calm my nervous system. So then my body could do its job.

Kim: Yeah, I love that you’re saying this because there’s so many levels, layers, aspects, stages to this work. The first thing is the awareness. You came to the awareness when you opened yourself up to the coaching. And then you heard the awareness, the consciousness in the yoga pose.

I had the same experience on the other side of this wall. But it wasn’t until after I had already been exposed. And I think that’s a part in the transformation world, that benefit from understanding is you hear it a lot of times before it actually settles in because it’s first intellectual.

Sharon: Yes.

Kim: Then you received it emotionally and viscerally.

Sharon: Yes.

Kim: So the process to actually falling apart, or the process of unhealthy, getting to the point of unhealthy is way longer than people give credit. It takes a lot of conditioning to get to that point. And then we think, “Oh, I’m going to just get rid of this in six weeks. Or I’m going to go get a peel or I’m going to start yoga and it’s going to all be over and at the end of this month.”

So tell me, how old were you when you were at the awareness? Like, “This is not working for me and I don’t even own my life.”

Sharon: I was 50.

Kim: 50. And by the time you made the decision, “Okay, I’m out. I’m changing this.” How old were you?

Sharon: So my awareness then was about maybe 47. And then at 50 is when I started making those big, big changes.

Kim: And how old are you now?

Sharon: 54.

Kim: Okay, I want to say that to say that this takes time. Because just the awareness itself, I mean, we’ve got to go through a lot. I think of like ice cream with this hard chocolate on the outside, we’ve got to chisel through that first, that illusion, that pretending to be the mask that we wear to please other people so that we belong. It’s such bullshit. And then making that decision, like you said, I got sicker.

The nervous system is like, “What the heck?” And freaking out and it’s like we don’t even realize or give credit to the fact that we’ve got to bring all of that on board. And then the nervous system has to acclimate to this new way of being.

Sharon: Exactly.

Kim: But we’re not being taught this. You figured it out, I figured it out. Lots of us are starting to figure it out, but it’s not something taught in mainstream. If I wouldn’t have become a yoga teacher, a meditation teacher, massage therapist, you know, and really doing the mind body work I think I would still be stuck in the same hole I was in because I’m in the same environment.

Sharon: Exactly.

Kim: Okay, so at 50 you’re like wide awake. But it takes a few years to actually step into it. And now at 54, you’ve gotten the book out, how long do you feel like you’ve been out of that fog, I’ll say?

Sharon: Probably a good two, three years. Well, actually, my biggest breakthrough was less than a year ago. Where that next layer that I needed to release was let go. And that’s when words really flowed for my book.

Whereas before I was attacking it from my academic self and what I thought people wanted to hear. When the purpose of me writing this book was to help people in general, but also to practice letting my own voice come out and be heard in my way, not someone else’s way. Because in the academic world, you write a paper but you have to write it for that person for that professor.

Kim: Yeah, well even in the coaching world, right, when we first start learning some of the tools and you’re supposed to do it this way. Or like as a yoga teacher, these are the poses, this is what you call them, this is what you do. And that’s all intellectual, it’s all like head stuff that we just consume, consume, and then we try to say it our way. But it’s the embodiment. It’s the embodiment of the work.

So from when you first heard about you can self-heal to the point to where you actually believed it. How long would you say that took?

Sharon: Oh, okay. So that-

Kim: Because we’re all saying it, right? So there are people out there who are like, “Well, I want to know if it will work for me.”

Sharon: Yeah, it took me actually quite some time.

Kim: Me too.

Sharon: It probably took me a good five years. Between four and five years probably. And then the last few years have been really, really applying and really kind of questioning and trying new things.

Kim: I’m trying to think back to when I first heard it and read it, it was probably some Pema Chodron’s books, like way back in the day and Louise Hay’s work from, I don’t know, 20 years ago. And it’s like I understood it, intellectually I understood it and I believed it. And I had all the evidence.

So I had journals and I had the parts of my body that had been removed, you know, because I had 15 surgeries. And I was able to put the pieces like, “Oh, that came from that, this was the emotional root cause.” And I put it all together. But I ended up still having two more big issues come up even after. And I was like, I was teaching this stuff. I was training people in it. I was all in, I couldn’t believe it came up again.

So did you have some surprises like that? Like you were in the awareness but yet it kept showing up in a different disguise?

Sharon: Oh yes. Oh yes. Yeah, it does, it shows up when it’s ready to be released, when it’s ready to be looked at. There are things that like, even just recently, because I am a people pleaser, people then, I think, my brain says, take advantage. And so I spend a lot of time wasting my energy fighting that. Fighting that “Oh my gosh, they’re taking advantage of me. They just want me to do something because they want something from me” kind of thought process.

And when I let that go and practice putting my boundaries out, it works. And I feel really good. And the other person is not left wondering, “What the heck’s going on with Sharon?”

Kim: Yeah, and do you think that comes from asking yourself if that’s really what you want to do and if it’s serving you?

Sharon: Yes.

Kim: It sounds so selfish, right?

Sharon: It does.

Kim: And, I mean, I get lots of emails, and backlash, and private messages about coaching is so not Christian and it’s against the being, and all this stuff. And I’m just like it’s just a different interpretation of saying something. Like that’s not what I’m saying.

I did a video once on joy and it says, “If you put Jesus, and then others, and then yourself last, then you will have joy.” And I was like, “That’s where this shit comes from.”

Sharon: Yes.

Kim: It’s like actually, that’s not at all the embodied gospel.

Sharon: Exactly. Because when you start taking care of yourself, you’re actually filling your cup. So I love to describe it because I love tea.

So I love to drink a very hot cup of tea and I love it all the way to the brim. But I also love it when it pours out into the saucer. So that’s the way I want to view my energy. I want to view my energy overflowing the cup in the saucer. And then for all the people, I can use that energy to show my love, to show my support, and to help, and to please while maintaining my own cup of tea up to the brim.

Kim: Yeah, I saw it as instead of it being linear it was like a triangle and you’re able to move it. But also that I could put Jesus first, “Jesus” right? Because if I put the embodied gospel, the actual teachings first, then it does flow.

But it’s that perception of like Jesus in the box, God in the church. That there’s these certain rules that apply. Like people used to tell me like, “Oh my God, you have so much grace, you’re going straight to heaven.” Because I have stepchildren. I’m like, “That doesn’t even make sense.”

But it was about the doing. If you do this, then you will get that. And that’s such a big part of why so many people are sick. Because they’re trying to please God through the perception of the material world. And you can’t, it’s impossible. It’s impossible to follow that dogma, to follow those rules, and be healthy.

Sharon: Yes, and that’s exactly how I was living my life. I was trying to fit myself into a box. I was very good, which I talk about in my book, about these different behavioral habits we have.

So one of the habits is a chameleon, you blend in. And that was something that I would do. I would blend in to fit in because I didn’t want to be criticized, I didn’t want to be bullied. I wanted to be a part of the group. So I would do things or be a certain way that’s just against my nature. And that’s energetically depleting.

Kim: Yeah, one of my big awarenesses was realizing that, because I didn’t give myself permission to claim my own time. Like I was on anyone else’s schedule and if there was anything left I didn’t even know what to do with that time. Because I was like, “Well someone tell me what to do, someone.
Someone fill this.”

And then I realized one day that if we don’t take accountability for our own time, if we don’t take personal responsibility for our own needs being met, which is what’s being called selfish, then someone else will. I guarantee you someone else will. There will be a neighbor calling, there’ll be something else to do for someone else because Sharon is available.

And that is the message that we put out to the world. Kim is available. Sharon is available. Like, “Hey guys, we get all our worth and value from you. Please come and validate me. Please come and let me belong. I don’t care what it is.” I call it like whoring myself out. And that was the big download that I got. I was like, “Uh!” Almost like being stumped by the wrath of God warning me what I was doing. And it’s like dying to serve.

Sharon: Yes.

Kim: Like I am dying to myself in order to contribute and serve my way to heaven.

Sharon: Yes, one of my most toxic thoughts was I have to be available.
And that meant, because I was already working in a crisis-oriented career, that meant that I wouldn’t turn my phone off. And I would literally work 24/7/365. Worked holidays, all of it.

I remember my father took the entire family to Washington, DC for Christmas. And the first thing I did, I ran in and set up my laptop and started dealing with emails and questions from people at an outside worksite.

I missed out on a lot of family stuff. I missed my grandmother’s 90th birthday because I put work ahead of that celebration. And that celebration was on a day that we were told we were required to be at work. Which then ultimately, that event got canceled. So I could have gone, but it was canceled that morning.

But yeah, it’s putting your priorities in order and really understanding what those priorities are and why you want them the way they are.

Kim: Yeah, and the same way if you don’t claim your time someone else will. And if you don’t claim your health, it will be given away.

Sharon: Absolutely.

Kim: And so it does end in physical manifestations or materialization in illness and disease, chronic anything. Especially undiagnosed stuff I find is a telltale sign right away. It’s like, “No, no, no, that’s not the body’s normal state. There’s actually something going on.”

We know the telltale signs, we hear them, but we can’t hear them.

Sharon: Yes.

Kim: Because that’ll mean I’m selfish. That’ll mean I’m not helpful. That’ll mean I’m whatever the rule is right? I should feel guilty about that. And I think that’s so fascinating that we, still in today’s time are still stuck in that.

I still catch myself. Do you still catch yourself doing things, people pleasing? Being careful not to disappoint someone?

Sharon: Yes.

Kim: Just by habit, and then the nervous system is still like, kind of when I say no, it’s like buzz.

Sharon: Yes, and that’s what I feel. I kind of feel like my heart rate goes up, I feel like a light sense of urgency when I start doing that. And that is now cuing me, you need to step back and think about this before you agree.

Kim: Nice.

Sharon:  I’m finally learning to finally drop into my body rather than- I was
always in my head between imagining things, creating stories in my head, analyzing, intellectualizing. And then finally learning to drop into my body. I’m now kind of learning, still learning the language, but I’m figuring it out.

Kim: I want to talk a little bit about what you were doing prior to coaching. Because you were in the puppy world, I’ll say. But there’s so much trauma in that world. And I know that’s one of the stories that I hear. I have another client that-

Let’s just talk a little bit about that. How did you find yourself in there? And do you think that that’s aligned with this personality type? Because that’s what I’ve witnessed, the savior or the wounded healer.

Sharon: Yeah. So before I jump into that, because everything that I’ve done led me to what I was previously doing. So as a way for me to get out of a very unhealthy marriage I started massaging horses and dogs. It was, at the time, my way of healing without going to vet school, because at that point, it wasn’t possible at that point.

So that’s what started me. And then I said, “I really like this.” And then I went into human massage therapy. So I was massaging humans, I was massaging horses, and dogs, the occasional cat. And then I decided I wanted to go to college.

And so I thought I was going to college to do maybe some orthopedic or physical rehab for animals. But I found myself in love with behavior. So I did all the behavior things neuroscience. I just I loved learning and behavior, brain and behavior, that was all up my alley, psychology stuff.

And so I overworked and did a double science degree. So neuroscience and biological science, all in a very short period of time. But because of the behavior experience, and my hobby is doing dog agility, which is where I teach my dogs to navigate through an obstacle course and I run with them. I love the sport.

I started using what I was learning with dog training and dealing with animal behavior problems. I started working at my local shelter, went up the ladder to upper management, and then I was invited to help at a puppy mill raid. So I did behavior evaluations, and I helped create some behavior plans for dogs that were most fearful. And then I was invited to work as a contractor and go out and help at temporary shelters.

So I worked in the animal welfare industry for about 20 years. And my last position was front line, in the trenches type of work. And we would be called out to remove animals from hoarding situations, puppy mill situations. But mostly in my tenure we did a lot of dog fighting raids.

So we were with law enforcement. I mean just what you’d see on TV. The SWAT women and men. Oh my gosh, they are freaking impressive, and intimidating. I’m telling you I would not want those people knocking on my door at six.

But we would go in and we would remove these dogs off the chain. They’ve been neglected, abused, they would have wounds. And we would remove them. My role played in the forensic behavior department, we would do forensic behavioral documentation on scene. Then when we got to the temporary shelter we would do behavior evaluations that would be used as evidence in court.

In my role I developed a shelter behavior program that I rotated into at least once a month. So in between going out to help with these animal rescues, in not pleasant conditions the majority of the time, it was you had to go. It’s crisis oriented. When you go you just go, it’s the nature of the business.

But there was very much law enforcement military type of energy. We wore the military outfit going in and we witnessed animal trauma. We witnessed a lot of people trauma, seeing these animals in the state that they were when we brought them to the temporary shelters. And then when it came time to euthanize.

So with fighting raids a lot of the animals are too dangerous to adopt out. And so the trauma from the caregivers. We had people that would come in, they’re temporary employees that did the kennel cleaning and they would get attached to the dogs. We would have responders become attached to the dogs. We’re humans, that’s what we do, we want connection. And for a lot of people in the animal welfare industry, they’re more connected to the animal than people.

And so with big mass euthanasias you can feel the energy. And my role, I always tried to be the conduit. But the pace, I think just the pace and just being knee deep all the time in that trauma had an effect. I don’t want to say that it didn’t have an effect on me. Because now I don’t like it when people put up anything related to animal abuse pictures on social media or even on television.

Kim: I can’t watch any of the war movie. I’m super sensitive to all of that stuff.

Sharon: Yeah.

Kim: My system does not tolerate it at all. And the first time I heard about the intensity of this, and I feel like we’re on a whole other topic, but we’re going to come back to the book. I don’t know, we were just attracting all these kittens for a while, and then it was puppies. And so I was like always giving them away.

And my client, Bridget, who you haven’t met yet, y’all are eventually going to meet. It’s usually her that I would call. And when we were calling EPAR, which is the local rescue, about these puppies that my son found under his house she says, “Please take it off of Facebook.” She’s like, “We’re going to come and get them and we’re going to send them away.”

There’s something here in the south where they just don’t have the respect for the animals. So they hurry up and get them out and fly them away. Which I was like, “What?” Yeah, they’ll feed them to the pits. So never put free, or never put puppies on social media because they’ll come to get them so that they can train their pit bulls. And I’m like, “What?” I’d never heard of that.

Sharon: That’s a myth.

Kim: That’s a myth?

Sharon: It is a myth that they train them. I’m sure there’s some backyard dog fighters, but the more organized fighters don’t.

Kim: I wonder if that’s something that’s going on here though.

Sharon: But what is going on, I remember we did a rescue, I want to say it was- I can’t remember, it was Arkansas or Alabama. And we had over 160, 200 animals and we were doing an adoptathon. And talking with the community members they didn’t even know about spay and neuter. Because the organization that I worked with, they were educating them and they wanted to come down and do some spay neuter clinics. So somehow the education is not there.

Kim: It’s not there yet. Yeah, that’s what Bridget was telling me.

Sharon: It’s not in the more rural areas, because the spay neuter will help. But what’s happening is that a lot of the stray dogs, and even now cats, they’re bringing them up to the northeast because the spay neuter programs in the northeast have worked so well that we don’t have puppies.

Kim: That’s what EPAR told me about coming to get them, that’s why they were going to send them out. So is it underdeveloped? The awareness is underdeveloped?

Sharon:  Yes, I would say that the understanding is underdeveloped. But then you have a lot of cultural stuff, you’ve got to leave them intact. And I think education will really help.

Kim: All in due time. We’re at 28% suicide rate here, so it’s like, again, education all in due time

Sharon: Education, absolutely.

Kim: 30% disconnected youth, and anyway, this is getting too heavy.

Sharon: I know.

Kim: Sorry. Should we delete all of this? No, we’re actually live. But I wanted to bring it up because I was curious about when someone is like at the hospital or in animal cruelty world and that kind of stuff, is how it physically shows up in the body for us.

And so I was kind of curious if that played a part for you. Just carrying that extra burden and really being on call 24/7, and giving so much of yourself, and how that affected your health. Because that’s basically what so many parents do, right? It’s like a give, and give, and give, and give and then guilt. And I don’t have permission to be responsible for myself or to take care of myself, and I don’t have extra time. And it’s like kind of that whole story.

Sharon: Yeah, it’s like this sense of urgency all the time, it is. I felt like I was wired all the time. I had to do, do, do, and do. And sleep wasn’t coming to me. I would sleep in like hour, hour and a half chunks of time. Now I sleep through the night, which was a weird feeling when it started happening more consistently.

But my feet hurt so badly. I thought it was because I was standing on concrete but they would wake me up at like 3am and searing hot, hot, hot, hot. And then I would get up out of bed, because at the time it was like I always had to get up out of bed and go to the bathroom. And walking on the floor was, oh my gosh, I felt literally like I was 110. Back pain, lower right back pain, headaches, that fatigue, digestive issues, all of it.

Kim: Yeah, I can see the metaphysics of all this stuff. It’s so interesting, the feet are like not knowing where to go from here, not being able to step forward. And the back is just not feeling supported and safe. And the pressure of not knowing what to do is like combust in the head. It’s like not being able to digest the life that I am experiencing. You know, it’s like so many people have gut health from that.

I know you love this, but that’s like the piece that I love to put together. And that came accidentally. I was actually in church one day, and I started seeing and I was like, “God, don’t give me this if I can’t do anything with it.” Because it seemed like so much of this was being resisted against. You know, that’s crazy, it doesn’t make sense. Or you don’t know, you’re not a doctor. You can’t prove that.

But whenever we mention it, people are like instantly, “Yep, that makes total sense. You know, I can’t see that. I can’t hear that. I can’t say that.” And it shows up in the physical body. It’s as if it’s all connected.

You know, the evidence of that I had a hard time proving sometimes. It was as if I were crazy. And I’m like, “I am not crazy. We are, we are a unit. We are a system. This all works together.”

And so I love that you wrote this book, which is called Tired Yet Wired: Breaking Chronic Fatigue Cycle. That’s the book, right?

Sharon: Yeah.

Kim: So what led you to that? I know the experience is what led you to the book, but the actual awakening of. Like I was so tired, yet I was so wired and I didn’t think I could do anything about it. And then I discovered… What did you discover?

Sharon: Well, I discovered that, you know, the first piece I put into place, obviously was self-care in the very beginning. I’d always been kind of a self-care nut anyway, because doing massage therapy and being in that world. But the parts that I was missing with myself care was really the mindset.

And that was my next piece, looking at mindset. But then even just changing my mindset and really being conscious and creating intentional thinking things just weren’t moving forward. And then I started doing more, I call it heart work. That is looking more into the emotional end of things. And that’s when I started getting involved with therapeutic coaching and practicing different modalities to process my emotions.

And then I was like, “Oh my gosh, it’s all of this stuff. It’s not compartmentalized.” And it’s like our world wants to compartmentalize everything and not look at things as a system.

Kim: You can change your thoughts, but it doesn’t change your beliefs and your belief system.

Sharon: No, and one of the things I love that Alex Howard says, these are his words, “You can’t think your way into healing and you have to feel to heal.” And those ring so true. Just when I said that I got the little shivers up my body. What I call my truth tremor, because it’s true.

And that digging into my heart, peeling away the layers, and allowing the real me to come out has created this sense of peace and calm. And no matter what people say of what I’m doing now or even about my book, it’s not going to touch me the way it would have even just a few years ago.

Kim: Yeah, that’s the difference between owning it and disapproving of it. But it’s so conditioned, it’s really tricky. You don’t really know that you’re in the mess because it’s just the way it’s been, right? We’re just like, “It’s just how I am.” But it’s actually just who you’ve been taught to be more than it’s who I am.

Because the conditioning is so strong, the generational patterning, the religious dogma, society’s conditioning, the homogenization, putting everybody in a box, putting a label. All of that stuff is so hard to break through because it’s everywhere. There’s so much evidence of it. There’s so much proof of it that you felt like an oddball. Did you feel like an oddball whenever you were changing and breaking? Did you feel the grief?

Sharon: Yeah, well actually I’ve always felt very different and very odd since I was a kid. And now I feel like I’m not that odd kid. I’m not that different.

Kim: Exactly, exactly. I believe in bio individuality.

Sharon: Exactly.

Kim: And I think it’s sinful that everyone tries to be a brown M&M instead of a box of Skittles. It’s like taste the rainbow, we’re here to experience life.

Sharon: Yeah.

Kim: So have you noticed that since you’ve come to that awareness that you have attracted more people with this understanding?

Sharon: Yes. Yeah, I find that really fascinating.

Kim: Because our connection, we met a few years ago, but we met right away in the same world and we’ve run into each other several times. And it’s like the conversation just picks up and it’s always been interesting. And I want to say that this was the door that was opened the very first time we met. I know I’m kind of a walking billboard for it. So it’s kind of hard for me not to talk about it, even though it’s not always being believed. So I’m just curious if your entire environment has been that way?

Sharon: Yeah, I usually run into people and then when the time is right it’s like then we really connect. I mean, one of my closest friends, we knew each other, we know we met somewhere way in the past. Because when we met we’re like, “We know each other.”

And it was the same way even with my current husband. We met at a dog agility trial. Well, we were friends first. But actually, the two of us, we believe we met each other somewhere in Georgetown, DC. Because when I was in my teens I lived outside of Washington, DC and he was at Georgetown University. And don’t tell my parents this, but when I was 16, and 17, we used to go into DC because the drinking age was 18. And we would go and have a great time on Friday nights.

And we swear that we met each other at that point. But then we married separate people. And then we met again at a dog agility trial, established a friendship and then started dating.

Kim: Love that.

Sharon: Yeah.

Kim: But dating the real you, he wouldn’t have dated the real you back then?

Sharon: I don’t think so. No, not as a teenager, he wouldn’t have dated me.

Kim: Yeah, that’s so interesting. So what would you tell someone who is struggling with chronic fatigue? And we tend to just kind of put it all in a bubble, but it is not just chronic fatigue. It is adrenal fatigue and Hashimoto’s, and fibromyalgia. But it’s the chronic pain and the undiagnosed conditions that I see are most frustrating, because they don’t have the awareness of the understanding. And it’s just like a band aid world that we live in.

So what would you tell that person? They are just like maybe kind of starting to believe that they could self-heal.

Sharon: I would encourage them to just take little steps toward watching what thoughts that they’re having, their self-talk. Where they’re finding that they’re stuck or feeling resistance. Kind of start questioning that.
And then also to drop down and learn how to get back into your body.

Because a lot of people who have these illnesses, they live from the chin up. You don’t feel anything down in your body. So there are different types of modalities to start and learn how to get into your body, whether that’s yoga, Qigong, or Pilates, or something like that. Start that little step. Start paying attention to what’s going on in here.

Kim: I think yoga was the entry point for me. I heard you say that yoga was kind of important for you. I’m in the south, and it was kind of not popular here. But I had tried everything else And I was in such a bind. I was having so much trouble with my feet again. Burning, hot, plantar fasciitis, couldn’t walk, couldn’t exercise.

And so my doctor took me, put me on bed rest, not bed rest but off of weight-bearing activity. And I was like, “I’m going to die. I will be depressed. What do I do? What do I do?” I left his office; I went downtown and bought a bicycle. Actually put it in the back of my car, came home, started riding a bike. But I just knew I couldn’t stop moving.

But that’s what brought me to yoga. I had to find something that was not weight bearing that I could be able to do. And so I agree with you there, it’s like finding access inside of the body.

And they say meditation, but whenever you’re scattered and all over the place, it’s like meditating is painful. It’s like you don’t even know what you’re doing or how to do it. Because we’re taught that meditation is like going out into the Himalayan Mountains, being alone, and not thinking.

That’s not true. Your mind is never going to not think. And so I think if they were being taught a better way to meditate or a more natural way, you know, but that’s not happening. So I agree with you with movement.

Sharon: Yeah, in my book I talk about getting still. That was my first step. I had tried meditation, but it’s like the thoughts were just like ding, ding, ding, ding all over. And I just couldn’t settle in. And so I learned about stillness and being still.

And I started that practice because in the beginning I had to leave my eyes open. And I just tried to breathe and feel the breath going in and out and watching nature outside. That was my first step into meditation. Now it’s easier. But I had to calm my brain first.

Kim: We’ll just use these next few minutes for you to kind of talk about the book and what they would be getting out of it, from it. And anything that you wanted to share with the audience.

Sharon: Yeah, well the first part of the book is my story. And I create a timeline, because if you look back, you’re going to see some patterns of what I call challenging life moments. Some people call them trauma, little t traumas. But I didn’t want to use the trauma word because that seems to be flying around quite a bit these days.

They are life challenging moments, which is divorce, a breakup you didn’t want to have, loss of a loved one, those types of things. So I create that timeline in my story and then how I started to break out of it and started to feel better.

And then part two, I go into the more specifics because the science me wanted to lay a foundation. So we look at the factors that affect optimal health. And that’s obviously, our physical body, our environmental exposure. We don’t often talk about that. So yeah, that is about the digitalness, the cell phones and computers and the Internet. But it’s also your social circles and the environment that you live and work in.

And then there’s the emotional piece. And there’s your mindset. All those pieces come together. And then I talk about a little bit further down into the cellular level and all that’s going on in these four factors of us is actually I’ll say, irritating our mitochondria in ourselves.

And so the mitochondria is where our energy comes from. It’s our power source in every cell. It’s a little organelle, microscopic. And I review work by Robert Naviaux because I think it’s very important work for us to consider. And it shows that, in my mind, that we need to look at health from a big holistic point of view.

It’s not one thing. It’s the chemicals in our environment. It’s what we’re thinking. It’s how we’re not feeling that’s affecting all sorts of different diseases and syndromes, and autism and all sorts of things.

And then in part three I actually break down how to take care of yourself. It’s short and sweet. The garden of you, treat yourself like you are a garden. How you nourish yourself and how you treat yourself so that you can thrive and feel wonderful.

So I go through a little bit about food, a lot about mindset and different activities that you can do to start working on your mindset and becoming aware of what’s going on up in your brain. Same with emotions. How to start befriending your emotions. And then putting it together becoming a self-advocate for yourself. And that includes little self-love exercises.

And we think self-love is kind of hokey pokey, but it’s really about starting to like yourself, and like those quirks that you have, and who you are and what your gifts are.

And then taking all those things and creating what I call a self-tending basket. So that tending basket is perfect reminder that when you start to feel that you’re losing energy or things are starting to get somewhat out of control, you go to your basket where there’s different reminders and things to help you to recenter yourself and take care of yourself.

I hope you never need yourself tending care basket, but it’s there for the times that you need it. I mean, even though I occasionally need- It’s like a first aid kit.

Kim: Yeah.

Sharon: And then what’s the gift of having this? Coming to yourself, learning more about yourself, and what is still possible for you.

Kim: Yeah, it takes a lot of courage to love or even like yourself.

Sharon: Yeah.

Kim: Which sounds counterintuitive. It’s so crazy when I say it, but some of the stuff that I see in here about the selfishness, it’s deep.

Sharon: Yeah, very deep.

Kim: I mean it’s generational, societal deep. And it’s like, well, whose life is it? And who else is going to be responsible? The government? Your partner? Society? Who’s going to do it if you don’t do it? It is one of the most courageous acts I’ve ever stepped into.

And part of that responsibility is the acceptance. And it took a long time for me to be able to see what an insult it must have been not to love and accept myself.

Sharon: Yes.

Kim: Like how dare we critique the very essence that God created?

Sharon: Yes, it’s like it’s self-abuse.

Kim: It is. But I mean I wasn’t able to see when I was in it, because I was so conditioned to be the people pleaser, and the giver, and the one who had to show up and had to do everything. And I had no or self-worth and value at all except for what I was doing for other people.

Sharon: Exactly. Yes, I fit that mold as well. That’s why I kept going for all the different degrees and doing all those hard things. I mean I can do hard things.

Kim: You do love learning and exploring.

Sharon: Yeah.

Kim: I want to thank you for coming on, for sharing. Tell them where they can find your book, where they can find you. And then we’ll also link it in the show notes.

Sharon: All right, so you can purchase Tired Yet Wired from amazon.com. You can do the Kindle version, or the paperback, or both so you have it with you all the time. And you can also find me at www.sharonwirant.com, I’ll spell my last name I’ll spell my whole name. Sharon, S-H-A-RO-N, Wirant, W-I, as in indigo, R-A-N, as in Nancy, T.com. And you can also find me on Facebook.

Kim: Yep, right to social media. And she’s in the More Than Mindset Group, or we’re in [inaudible] too. So you guys can find her if you’re already there. And the book is just coming out now so it’s the perfect opportunity.

Sharon: Yes, coming out now, perfect.

Kim: Yeah, is there anything else you wanted to add that I didn’t ask you?

Sharon: No, I just want to thank you for the invitation to share this work. And so that I think with my voice, as you mentioned earlier, someone who might be struggling, that I can help them. This is a way that I can help because I’m one of those people who are very compassionate and love to help. And it’s my way of contributing to this world.

Kim: I love that you said that because it’s helping in a healthy way compared to helping in an unhealthy way. That’s the only difference. We still get to be helpers, but I do believe there’s a part of us that’s afraid that if we stop the people pleasing, if we stop the over giving and overdoing that we won’t be able to. But the opposite is true, you get to serve at such a deeper, more meaningful level.

Sharon: Right, yeah.

Kim: It’s so much healthier.

Sharon: Yes.

Kim:  And we’re not expecting something back.

Sharon: Exactly.

Kim: All right, I’m going to go ahead and stop this. You can find Sharon’s information in the show notes below. And reach out to her and check out the book. Get it on Amazon. And that’s it for this week.

Thanks for listening to this episode of More Than Mindset.

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