Posts tagged Taking Care of You
I love meeting people and hearing their stories – and the cool thing is, people seem to know it, and often tell me the coolest stuff within minutes of meeting me. A couple of weeks ago, I met a mom and she started pouring out her heart in the first five minutes after we met.
And she said the most amazing thing – something I’d written in my “marketing” for the Women’s Wellness Circles that I do (I never think of it as marketing – it’s more like inviting people to a party and looking for the ones the party is perfect for). I felt like she’d read what I wrote.
Here’s what she said:
“It’s like, I’ve done the work thing, I’ve done the wife thing, I’ve done the mom thing – now who the hell am I?“
I wrote something pretty close to that 6 years ago, because I could feel that story around me in the moms I was sharing with every day. No one ever said it quite like that, but I could feel it – and over years in our precious Circles, it has been amazing to feel the ripples of that conversation through our group and out into the families and the world beyond the Circle.
In our last Friday night Circle, we asked a key question, and I want to offer this question to you right now.
Here’s the question: “What can I do, right now, to feel fully alive?”
This question was shared with me recently by a wise woman I know, and I’ve checked in with this question, over and over, since. And guess what? Asking this question, then acting on the answer, in the moment, puts me in touch with me. When I feel fully alive, I know who I am, I know what I want, and I have access to that deep place in myself that shows me the path that is really and truly mine. I am happier, and wiser, and more peaceful.
When we asked this question in our group, I noticed that there were some consistent trends in the immediate responses. Very often, feeling fully alive meant moving, stretching, relaxing the body. Often it meant connecting with nature, being outside. Sometimes it meant making a sound, singing along, dancing, expressing something, creating a sensual moment. Often it meant taking a deep, deep breath.
Then someone said, “I’d have to really plan ahead to feel fully alive.” We all laughed, and this has been ringing in my head ever since.
The thing that struck me was that we don’t feel fully alive when we’re in our heads – thinking, planning, organizing, judging what’s right or wrong around us, or within us. We feel fully alive when we’re aware of being in our bodies – right now – and – we are ALWAYS in our bodies, so we ALWAYS have access to feeling fully alive. Even just giving attention to our body for one second, right now, will bring life force to the surface. Moving into the body frees the mind to release and relax and be creative – to feel who you are.
Years ago (back when I had time to really plan ahead to feel fully alive), I attended a 5-day meditation workshop where I experienced a profound moment of connection – in a flash I could hold in my awareness, all at once, the thoughts of my mind, the feelings of my body, and the deep knowing of my heart. It was amazing. I felt expansive and light. And I noticed it and remembered it because so often in life we are in our heads – our minds, so far from our bodies, and without access to our heart or intuition or spirit or whatever that other part of self is – the part that our body awareness connects us to.
So that’s it – my gift to you today is this question. Who you are is right here, right now, in every moment, living to be breathed and felt and known. Enjoy her! Enjoy him! Eventually, if you practice this enough, you may find, like I have, that it happens more and more automatically, that you can hold your whole experience in your awareness – while your children are climbing on your head, melting down, or making you late, while your house is in utter disarray and while you make it through another day without a moment to THINK.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s not the moments to THINK that matter.
If you wanna practice feeling fully alive, connecting to you, being who you are….read on!
The Y.E.S! Weekend Retreat for Mothers invites mothers in all stages of the journey to return to themselves, to rediscover this internal knowing – the compass that guides them and the strength that carries them.
Join my dear friend and wise woman, Michelle Haywood of Womankind Doula, and I for a soulful and nurturing weekend ofYen, Energy and Spirit to ignite all things powerful and beautiful in your journey as mother and in your heart as a woman.
Together we will uncover a vision for your life filled with passion, purpose and self love.
Meet a diverse circle of mothers like you who want to take this time to reconnect with their heartfelt desires, their intuition and their joy.
I’d love to have YOU there!
Register before October 6th to receive a Luscious Take-Home Treat Bundle, designed to nurture body, mind and spirit!
Here’s the link again!
So, what happens in a “Wellness Circle”, anyway?
The Wellness Circle is a safe place to really feel into the hard questions, a supportive environment for you to relax, explore, and wonder aloud.
Our big question is, “Who am I, now that I’m a mom?” and, as you can imagine, the conversation and exploration ranges far and wide.
We start each Circle with a check-in, hearing from you about whatever is important for you in your experience of the moment or the month or this time in your life. We invite you to share anything you need to share to feel like you are completely there, fully present in the Circle. This is a special time to be witnessed as you reflect and breathe and release and be real.
Each Circle, I will follow my heart and your feedback to choose a topic that will shine light on some aspect of Motherhood that has triggered, inspired, connected, or opened hearts of moms I have worked with in the past. After the check-in, I bring forward the topic and facilitate an activity or a conversation. The Circle concludes with an opportunity to look into your experience of the activity or conversation, and synthesize a “take-away” from the Circle.
The Friday Evening Wellness Circle runs once a month, starting Friday, February 28th, 7-9 pm, and will recharge, inspire, encourage, and nurture you, from the inside out. I’m so, so thrilled to bring this Circle to life in its new home in the nurturing community space at Dr. for Moms.
I’d love to share in your mothering journey!
The Friday evening circle has limited space, so check in now to reserve your place.
Here are three ways to just get it happening, even when it feels impossible.
1) Start really, really, really small.
I remember the very first Wellness Circle I facilitated, several years ago. I was co-facilitating with two moms of teens who had worked with Wellness Circles before, and they were leading a conversation about self-care. One of them gave the example of taking a bath with a book and a glass of wine, surrounded by candles.
I looked around the room and observed that the women in the room, many of whom had very small children, had all glazed over. The candlelit bath felt HUGE to them – totally unobtainable, and as the single mom of a small child myself, I could definitely relate. I mentioned what I was feeling, and that I often was unable to find the time to even wash my face, and set as my personal goal, “Splash water in the general direction of my face once a day.”
There was an absolute wave of relief in the room. NOW this was within reach, and moms were adding stuff to the list like, “Brush teeth,” and “Get dressed before 3 pm.” We were laughing pretty loud at how completely unhygienic we were as a group, and we were starting really, really, really small, and it felt good.
And here’s the really cool part. I committed to splashing water in the general direction of my face once a day. And there were some days that that was all I could do. BUT I took those moments in, I reveled in them, I honoured myself in that small way, and it warmed me up. And, on other days, I suddenly discovered that having a specific, almost symbolic, plan for self-care opened up the time and space to actually wash my face. Pretty soon, I was washing my face most days, and finding other ways to take moments to care for myself.
2) Start big, and schedule it in.
I shared this story at a Circle this year and one mom said, “That story makes me feel so resentful. I feel like I’m always minimizing, cutting back, and making myself the last priority.” So here’s another possibility. START BIG. Commit whatever time, effort, money, and brain-space that is needed and make a plan to take care of you. Depending on your children’s ages and your family situation, it may be something that feels enormous, like a weekend away, it might be a weekly dance or yoga class, or a weekly (or daily?!) candlelit bath. You may need to take a stand. You may need to enlist your whole family’s support.
3) Remember that this is an experiment.
Most of us are no good at self-care. We don’t know what we need. We don’t know how to ask for support. We feel selfish and stiff and awkward taking a stand and that makes it all feel stressful and empty even if we do get to take time for ourselves. This is an experiment! You are learning something new, and it may take time and practice to figure out what you need, how to ask for support, and how to feel good about it all. You’ll be acting in the world and inside of you to make it all come together.
Don’t fall into the trap of getting stressed if it doesn’t work out perfectly the first time. Thank yourself wholeheartedly for cheerfully dealing with any issues, changes, or even a cancellation of the plans. You did the best you could. Stay committed to loving yourself! You deserve appreciation and gratitude and love, and sometimes things don’t work as we planned. If the first time doesn’t work out, recommit, start again, or try another way, just like you would if your child’s birthday party somehow got cancelled.
If you really want to get this self-care thing on track, check out this blog post about Why Self-Care is So Darn Hard and this one on The Key to Self-Care That Nobody Talks About. Then follow this link to find out all about Women’s Wellness Circles: Exploring Experiences and Expressions of Motherhood. I’d love to share your journey!
Please share about how you have experimented with self-care, big or small, below – what works, and what doesn’t!
Thank you for sharing<3.
Okay, so here’s the thing. We KNOW that if we don’t know how, or aren’t any good at taking care of ourselves, we get drained and resentful, AND we can’t teach others what we need, and so, the situation spirals.
The people that love you – including your children – will miraculously get way better at supporting you when you start to figure out what you need, and act on it, showing others that you are worthy of this kind of care. And, even if they don’t, YOU will have made a breakthrough. You will feel different when you ACT AS IF you are worthy of the kind of care you need to thrive. In fact, you may even begin to thrive!
So, that’s important – deciding that YOU are going to take responsibility for your own self-care, not expecting others to do it first.
Here’s how it works…
One mom who was participating in a Wellness Circle once said she would never hesitate to jump out of bed to get her husband a glass of water, but wouldn’t do the same for herself. I love this example, because I find that when I’m thinking about taking care of me, it really helps me to imagine myself as two different people, Me that needs care (the one lying in bed, thirsty), and Me that is capable of providing care (the one getting up to get the glass of water).
I will tell you that it took me a loooooong time to figure out that when I clean my house, the Me that doesn’t like cleaning my house can do it as a gift for the Me that loves a clean house. I’m still working on this, but I will also tell you that the yummy, appreciated, and grateful feeling I have TOWARDS MYSELF when I see my house clean doubles the pleasure. Now the Me that is capable of providing care is valued and appreciated for my effort by the Me that needs care, AND I’m experiencing the pleasure of my clean house. So, both Me’s feel loved. Cool, right?
This also works in the bathtub or shower. Take a minute to get out of your head, and into your body. Actually experience your own touch as you massage your foot or scrub your arms. Feel yourself as the One Who Gives and the One Who Receives. Feel this physically – getting into the hand that is massaging your foot, and then into the foot that is receiving the massage.
Can you feel how beautiful and healthy this other kind of spiral is? It’s all full of yummy gratitude and love – things that you need, and deserve.
Gratitude and love are your birthright.
In my next blog post, I will share some tips for getting started on self-care while still keeping all those other balls in the air, so that all the needed planning and time and money and lack of brain-space stop getting in the way of you taking care of you.
If you haven’t read my last blog post on getting past the blocks that stop you from self-care, go here.
If you want to take a giant leap towards taking better care of yourself, check out our Women’s Wellness Circles. I’d love to share some peace and ease with you.
And please comment below! I’d love to hear how YOU take care of YOU!
Okay, let’s just be honest about this. Self-care is Hard Work. Taking care of you takes planning, money, time, and brain-space – all things that most moms feel like they just don’t have enough of. Those are the same resources that you may feel are already stretched as you try to take care of everyone else.
And, you may feel like For Some Unknown Reason, you’re simply blocked from taking care of you. No matter how hard you try, it just doesn’t seem to stick. Everyone else just seems to be higher on your list, and you can feel yourself getting tired, resentful, and drained.
Sigh. So, what to do?
First, get past the guilt. We’ve all heard the obvious – that if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of others.
But let’s go deeper. Check in to see if you’re holding a belief that SOMEBODY ELSE is supposed to take care of you. (You may feel resentful because no one else is doing it the way you need.) Or you may be holding a belief that you don’t deserve to be taken care of. (You may feel that you’re unworthy of love and care.) Or, you may believe that mothers (or fathers) are supposed to show their love by draining themselves completely for their children. (Maybe that’s what your mother or father did.) If any of these sounds familiar, rings a bell, seems to hold some charge, or makes you reread the sentence, there’s a chance that you might be holding a belief that is blocking you from really nurturing yourself.
If you know that you’re holding one of these unhelpful common beliefs, or another one that you can identify, or if you are acting as if you are (usually means the belief is subconscious), first take time to really decide, consciously, if you really believe that.
If not, you’ve already taken the first step to releasing that belief – you’ve identified it. From now on, whenever you notice that you’re living from the unhelpful belief, instead of your consciously chosen belief, you can take a deep breath, repeat your consciously chosen belief in your mind, or out loud, and move forward. This very simple process can be incredibly powerful.
My next blog post will share a powerful key to self-care that I’ve never heard talked about before. Keep your eyes open!
Go HERE to find out more about Women’s Wellness Circles. I’d love to share in your journey of Experiences and Expressions of Motherhood.
Please share your experience with self-care below – we’d love to hear your insights!