By: Ageless Grace Trainer and Educator Margaret (Marghi) McClearn, Tallahassee FL

Have you ever had the feeling that it’s not enough to just know that we can do whatever we set our minds to? It’s almost like we feel like we have to do it all, or we’re less than.

I have seen this in so many people, and I have certainly been guilty of this myself. We define our self-worth by the length of our to-do list and the number of items we’re able to check off each day. It’s as though we feel our worth is somehow tied to our productivity. At the end of the day, we may find ourselves feeling “productive,” yet unfulfilled and exhausted.

I know, in my family, “How are you doing?” meant “What did you do today? Did you accomplish great things?” This meant: “What tangible and visible things did you accomplish?”

While my parents did not mean any harm from this, it was an eye-opening realization for me to understand how those words translated and resonated within my body.

“How are you?” did not translate to “What emotions are you feeling today?”

Every now and then I just say, “I’m practicing being human” even if I just say that to myself.

I am writing this one week after hand/thumb surgery for osteoarthritis, and asking for help has been very necessary! For three days, I needed help with everything. After that I began attempting more things. I’ve had to allow myself to leave something undone, or maybe be satisfied when I can do something, but that voice in my head reminds me it is not just quite “up to my standards”.

My biggest blessing came when I decided no more prescription pain medication and got back into my morning stretches, ball exercises and “Ageless Grace” practice. What a joy to get out the music, put it on shuffle and move my body.

It’s amazing how much of an improvement I felt! My brain and body were much more ready to start the day.

For now, I am savoring what I CAN do, and asking for assistance with some of the small things we take for granted—things like chopping vegetables for my salad, washing my own hair, and even trimming a fingernail.

As I continue to heal, I want to remember to slow down and take my time with the tasks that I can do. Instead of mindlessly plowing through these tasks, I intend to really notice what muscles it takes to do the tasks and ask, “Is this task something I need to be doing right now?”

For me, there is no reward in pushing it, because there is nothing more important to me than honoring my body and respecting the healing process. My goal is to get back into the game and assist others though music and movement!

When we stop asking for help, we put our own health and sanity at risk.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I agree, and I would take it one step further. It takes a village to run a business. It takes a village to raise a family. It takes a village to be human. We need each other to survive and thrive. 

There is no shame in asking for help, or in allowing yourself to receive it. Let’s give ourselves permission to ask for help and give ourselves permission to accept it with open arms. We don’t have to do this alone. In fact, we weren’t meant to.