Photo by Minta Photography

I sat at the table next to the other assistant instructor in the conference room of the hotel. It is our designated spot for the duration of the seminar. We were nearly the end of the weekend and beginning to pack up. “Do you know where the tape is?” asks the instructor. 

 “Yes!” I blurt out and begin to get up to get it for her.   “Yes, it’s in the box on the other side of the table.” I hear from the other assistant. 

Her words stop me in my tracks. I feel the awareness set. I move into observer of my life mode. A place I am learning to have compassion in rather than replaying the story over and over in my head for days or even weeks adding in thoughts like, “How come you keep doing this? When are you going to get it?” and immediately trying to fix it. 

It was in that stop that I was freed.  The pattern had been interrupted and I made the conscious choice to do something different this time. I didn’t get up and get the tape for her. 

I didn’t overly help. Use my precious life energy in a way that wasn’t serving either of us. 

Photo by Tina Negus

The fatigue of overextending myself and my energy is getting in the way of me living the life I know is possible for me. It may even contribute to some of my health concerns. I have a hunch it’s connected, I’ll know more as the shifts continue and my health and fatigue improve.  It’s the little ways I pour from my cup. These little moments throughout the days, weeks, months that add up. Leaving me to feel drained, tired, resentful, and uninspired. 

In that moment, I was freed. Freed from feeling responsible for others.  Feeling like I had to do it all. It’s my responsibility to take care of everyone else. And not this time. I caught myself and I made a change. A change that was long overdue. A change that helped me feel lighter, empowered and energized.  The change gave me the confidence that I can and will do it again. It was there inside me, the power and awareness to free myself. 

I saw there was another way to do it. There is another way to help people and it can be easier than the way did it before. 

This is what freeing myself looks like to me. 

Freeing myself from unhealthy care-taking is a thread in my life’s path. Woven back through generations and generations of women in my family. I see it in my mother, the oldest of eight children and her stories of how she helped care for them. And I see it in my daughter as she helps her friends through life’s challenges.

Can you relate? I’m curious how many others have this thread too? 

Photo by Robyn Nola

Here are some tools to build the awareness that will help you free yourself:

Commit that you want to shift a pattern or habit

Once we commit, something sort of magical happens. The idea moves into our consciousness much like when your friend tells you that they bought a new whatever model new car then you start seeing that same model of car everywhere. That is what happens. You begin to move into the awareness and from there you have the opportunity to make a choice.

Quiet your mind 

A quiet mind can help you gain awareness of your thoughts, patterns and beliefs. Some ways to quiet your mind include mediation, walking in the woods, sitting by the ocean or a river, bird watching or focusing on your breath.  

Bodywork therapies

It is true that our mind, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions are all connected within our body. This information is stored in our body through a system called fascia. John Barnes Myofascial Release is a hands-on mind-body therapy that can help to relieve pain and tension and also helps allow for us to increase our awareness. 

Can you relate? What awareness-building tools do you practice that have helped you free yourself? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Jessica Kaloutas, LMT, is an expert Myofascial Release therapist and teacher for those suffering from chronic pain, acute injury and trauma. It’s her calling to facilitate the body’s natural ability to heal. She’s known for blending the ancient wisdom of Myofascial Release with empathy and compassion to offer powerful, mind/body education and treatment, resulting in personal empowerment, long-lasting pain relief and an amazing, joyful life! She is the creator of the Pain-Free and Joyful Life Program. Schedule your free Pain- free and Joyful Life Discovery Call to learn tips and strategies on fully healing by emailing her at