Self Love: It’s an inside job.

My last blog, The Healing That Makes Self-love Possible, was all about healing the things within us that prevent us from truly deeply loving ourselves.  Now that we have taken a look at the healing that needs to happen before we are ready to look at what it means to love ourselves truly, deeply, fully.  Self-love is a practice and like any other practice it takes patience, compassion and intention.  There are many parts that go into this.  There taking care of ourselves and doing things for ourselves and the bigger part of showing up fully and authentically with all that you are.

It is so important to know that there is no part of you that is unacceptable.  Sometimes we have behaviors that are harmful to ourselves and others that we want to change.  Those things we do that we don’t like are actions that keep us from our true selves and our true desires.  Sometimes we may act out of fear, False Evidence Appearing Real, and we bring old stories or past experiences into the present where they are not based on reality.  Knowing that these actions or stories do not make us bad is important.  Knowing that you came into this world as pure love and you can return to that, is key to having compassion for yourself.

A simple place to start is to do things for yourself.  Take time every day to ask yourself what you want.  What can you do for yourself in this moment that will bring you peace?  What can you do that will help you feel comforted?  How can you make yourself a priority?  Taking these steps is a band aid for the real issue  AND these actions can be a catalyst that help you recognize where you can honor yourself more and this can show you that you deserve the self-love you are seeking.

Through doing things for yourself you will begin to experience self-love and you learn more about yourself and what you want in your life.  This will begin the process of discovering new things about yourself.  How do you react to doing things for yourself?  Do you enjoy alone time or social time?  Do you like luxury or a walk in the woods?  As you learn more about what you like and what you want to do for yourself you will be exposed to the prospect of asking for what you want and being who you want to be.  With all of this you will learn new ways to define who you are and possibly learn some things that you may want to change.

I believe we learn about who we are through reflections from our relationships.  The more you look at yourself, your actions and the motivations behind those actions the more you know about yourself and the more there is to love.  With knowing who you are in an authentic and full way you accept yourself in this new way.

I have been intentionally working on self-love for over 20 years.  There are so many ways I shine and know myself.  Frequently I learn new things about myself, sometimes this comes when I am shown that I still have work to do on something which I had previously thought I had healed.  There is a person in my family that I do not get along with, this person has always belittled me no matter what I do.  Usually when I am around this person I don’t offer up much information about my life or what I am up to.  I stay very superficial and try not to have an opinion.  This summer I realized this isn’t working for me.  Even though I offer no ammunition to be used against me, this person found something anyway.  Through not showing up as my full self I was giving myself the message that I was not acceptable and these parts of me were not worthy of being seen.  So what did I do?  I showed up fully!  I dared to dive deep, I shared all of me, I had opinions and through these actions I was practicing self-love.  I was showing myself the respect I deserved.  The most miraculous thing happened, this person accepted me.  It was amazing!  My entire life was spent with this dynamic and through my choice of showing up in my strength this person was no longer trying to tear me down.

I have finally realized what it means to really love myself. Hopefully a year from now I will know even more about loving myself and I will again say, I finally know what it means to really love myself.

UNAPOLOGETICALLY sunSHINEAUTHENTIC!!!!
Show up, be you, do what you want to do, be who you want to be, follow your own dreams!  This is how you practice self-love.

I am not going to tell you that this is a simple transformation.  If it was so simple this would not be an issue that millions of people seek help with.  Here are 3 simple tools:

  • Offer yourself compassion – if you find that you are judging yourself instead offer yourself compassion. (E.G. You tried really hard and now you know some things you didn’t know before. Next time you will do even better.)
  • Spend 30 minutes a day doing only what you want to do.
  • Every day come up with something about yourself that you love (or like if love is too much to ask in the beginning) and come up with three examples that support that thing.

All these things come together with the outcome of acknowledging yourself and respecting the divine person you are.  There is a purpose for you here.  You are meant to be here.  Not you as in just another person but YOU as an individual, YOU as an intentional being, you are divine with a purpose and you have a place here that is unique to you.  You are needed.  So be all of you, be real, let your light shine through the shadows, insecurities, doubt and fear.  Shine because the world needs your light.  The world needs you.

The Healing That Makes Self-Love Possible.

I have seen so many discussions lately about self-love and the difficulty with authentically feeling that love.  What I see people coming up against over and over is the inability to connect with the love that they want to offer themselves or receive from other people.

Before we can gain the effects of loving ourselves we have to do the healing around what is was that created the inability in the first place.  For me, I had a wound that caused me to feel unworthy and unlovable, what I found was until I did the work on that issue I was not able to receive love from anyone.  I continually thought that people who claimed to love me did not truly love me because however they loved me, I couldn’t feel it. When I finally did the healing work around my sense of unworthiness, I was able to see that all alon
g I had been surrounded by love that was waiting to be let in.

There are different “childhood wounds” that may create this difficulty with self-love.  As children, from the time we are born, we are constantly looking for love.  This can come in 947269_10201351208160579_62486174_nthe form of being held and fed as a baby, having attention paid to us, receiving love, affection and positive reflections from those around us.  When we don’t receive this we can become wounded.  Maybe we were abandoned or our parent(s) didn’t know how to show love.  Maybe we have physical illnesses that created a barrier from receiving what we needed or maybe our disposition just required more attention than another child.  Whatever the reason for the original wound, as adults it is our responsibility to heal it in order to create what we want in our lives.

There are many tools you can use to heal the inner child.

There is a technique where the “now” you and you the child write to each other.  You with your dominant hand and the inner child with the non-dominant hand write back and forth with apologies and openness allowing the inner child to ask for what it needs in order to feel whole.  The first time I did this I thought it was ridiculous.  I was happily surprised to see how strong the effects can be.

You can ask yourself what it is the inner child needs and find ways to make that happen.  If your child self needed to play more then play, blow some bubbles, get a stuffed animal, play with blocks.  If you needed more touch, touch yourself, caress your face, give yourself a hug.  Find someone that you trust that can help you do some of these things.

Offer validation and understanding to the younger you for things they did and things they felt.  It is amazing how strong the power of validation can be.  Just being heard can give a person the ability to conquer anything.

These are a few small things that you can do to begin the healing process.  There is so much information about healing the inner child everywhere you look.  Find something that works for you.  Seek counseling, life coaching, spiritual guidance.  The point of all of this is to heal yourself enough that you can begin the journey of self-love which is one of the most beautiful journeys there is.

No More Resolutions! Resolve to change your life!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

So, do you have a plan for this new year.  Are you looking for a new beginning?

This is the time of year when everyone is making resolutions to do something different.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way.  To make a real change in your life more needs to happen than just making a resolution.  Let’s talk about this.  Let’s figure out how to set you up for success.  Really the success is waiting right around the corner for you.  Whether you are interested in starting something new or stopping something old we are going to go through some tools to help you succeed with transforming your life.

Whatever it is you are embarking on it is important to understand how you got where you are and any underlying issues that have contributed to the manifestation of this particular issue.  Know that through healing what is injured within you, you can begin to make changes in the areas that are effected by that injury.

When I am quitting something or beginning something new tFeatured Image -- 126his is a process that I created that works really well for me.  I answered all these questions on paper and took pictures with my phone so that I always had the answers with me in case I needed to look at the answers to remind myself why I was doing this.

Why quit/Why start?  – Ask yourself why.  Why would embarking on this be a good idea.  How would following through with this help you reach your goals or live the life you want to live?

When I stop doing this thing or start doing this new thing, what will I have that I don’t have now? – What freedoms or joy will I gain?  I ask myself what I will gain in all areas of my life.  I want to really paint a big beautiful picture of the many wonderful things you will gain through making this change in your life.

What am I releasing that no longer serves me? – This is so important.  So often the thing that needs to be released is an old story or old trauma.  Sometimes this can be as simple as making the decision to release this “old” thing sometimes there is real work for healing that needs to be done.  Here you can start to name the things that you need to release in order to be successful in your endeavor.  If you are plagued by shaming self-talk then work on releasing shaming self-talk and start healing what has created that dynamic in your life in the first place.

What am I claiming – THIS IS THE BEST PART!  What are you claiming!?  What things are you inviting into your life that are being blocked by doing/not doing this particular thing.  There can be overlap between this list and the “What will I have?” list but this  list should definitely be longer and full of inspiring words that name what you are claiming.

What can I do or do instead? – If you are giving something up it is important to replace it with something else.  Look at the list of things you will gain from giving this thing up.  When you would usually partake in the thing you are giving up, instead do something that helps you progress towards the things that you are claiming.  Whether working on giving up something or beginning something new it is always important to set yourself up for success.  If you are deciding to quit eating sugar don’t go to a bakery.  If you want to start going to the gym daily be sure to schedule it and schedule it for a time when you will be able to go.  If you are not a morning person don’t commit to going to the gym early in the morning.  Ask yourself “what things can I do that will make it easier for me follow through with this decision?”

Affirmations – I create affirmations that speak to the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of the change I am making.  When I am having a difficult time with something it can be useful to use these affirmations in conjunction with tools that I am gaining through following through with all the above questions.

Is this easy?  Sometimes but frequently not.  Can you do it?  Yes!  This is more than a resolution.  This is you making a decision to change your life to create the reality that you want. You can make the decision anytime it does not take a new year.   Sometimes you may have a setback.  This is not a failure.  You can start again anytime you want.  Really, every day you have the opportunity to make a choice.  What are you choosing today?  What is your resolve?

 

Breathe: Inhale, Exhale

In this blog I frequently talk about tools and ideas to help people find a way to achieve a goal or shift a perspective.  Well, today I am writing a blog to myself.  I am hoping that as I go through this process I will find some answers for myself.  I have teenage sons. Often times I am on the ball and my home is a well-oiled machine where we have balance and harmony, fun and laughter.  Unfortunately, this is not one of those times.

About a month ago my 17 year-old decided he was an adult and no longer had to come home, tell me what he was doing or where he was going.  Some nights he would simply choose to stay out and not come home.  As time has gone on he is getting worse and more disrespectful.

This past week has been especially trying. He has chosen to not come home for the past 3 days and I have just now found out where he has been.  I have been sitting at home since Monday feeling frozen and unable to do anything but wait for resolution to come. I have been wondering what I can do in this place of uncertainty, unknowing and fear.  How can I support him, love him and still live my life, function and accomplish all the things I need to do?

Well, there are a few things I have come up with.  I want to share them thwith you because I believe that we, as humans, have a tendency to get stuck when things get hard.  We freeze, fight or fly and these options may not be useful.  What can we do that will be truly productive in getting the life we want and reaching our goals?  These are the steps have I found useful.

The most important thing I need to do is breathe.  No, seriously, just take a moment and breathe, nothing else.  I make an effort to do this without wondering what will happen, or what to do next.  I don’t multi task, I just intentionally breathe.  I take the time to be present in my body and still in my mind.  As I let myself breathe, I release the tension I am holding in my body and let go of the fear and attachment to outcome.

I ask myself what I need, have I eaten, showered, etc.   I make sure my basic needs are provided.  If there is nothing I need at that moment I go about my day.  The place I get stuck is in a feeling of “I don’t know what to do”.  I know the dishes need to be done, laundry washed and folded, appointments need to be made with clients, blogs written, the list goes on.  But I sit there stuck, what do I do?  So I have found it useful to make a list.  Today I need to….  There is no wondering what needs to be done it is written down in black and white.  I do what needs to be done one thing at a time.

Of course these are the things that I do after I have asked myself what I can do in this situation to change the current circumstances or help foster resolution that is beneficial on all levels.  In this particular case I can ask myself what my son needs, what is he missing, what is creating this behavior and how can we come to a better place where he is safe happy and feels loved and supported?

Lastly, I allow myself to be where I am and feel what I feel.  I started with writing about letting go and I end with acceptance.  I don’t try to deny any part of the process I am going through.  I allow whatever needs to come up.  I am present with myself.  And when I find these things difficult I return to my breath.

Inhale

Exhale

Choose Gratitude

As a life coach I am all about helping my clients transform their current life situations from what they are tolerating to what they are celebrating.  I mean really, don’t we all want to live a life that we celebrate fully and not just tolerate.

What if making the shift from tolerating to celebrating was as easy as gratitude?  Well, it is!

A lot of people talk about gratitude and being grateful for the good things and it can be hard to let this carry over to difficult things.  The deeper gifts of gratitude come when you can take a situation that can be seen as negative and find the gold within it.

When I was around fifteen years old my family discovered that one of my aunts had a disease that my grandmother also suffered from.  Up until that point my family was fragmented and some of my fathers’ siblings had gone off in separate directions.  When my aunt got sick my family come back together.  The thought process was, we need to support each other and find a way to make sure this illness doesn’t continue to affect our family.

When confronted with this terrible disease we all had a choice, stay separate and alone or come together. In choosing to come together our family grew closer and more loving with each other.  We started supporting and loving each other on more and deeper levels.  We shifted from despair over the disease, to gratitude for the love and support of family.

Tabundhe point of the story is to give an example that we can choose how we perceive things so that we are left feeling grateful instead of depressed or let down.  In this situation I have found the ability to be thankful for this disease that gave me my family an opportunity to support, be supported and know that I have a place to go home.

There are some things that you can’t change, like other people, but you can still be grateful for them anyway.   Sometimes my favorite things are the things that challenge me.  Yes it is great when things are easy and just flow but those things don’t help me grow.  My teenage twin sons on the other hand are neither easy nor simple.  It is HARD!  I am so grateful for the difficulty there.  I continually have the opportunity to dive deeper into my understanding and practice of compassion.  I get to improve my ability to let go and look at the bigger picture.  Whatever it is that I learn from parenting 17 year old twin boys, I find that I am growing and continually becoming a better person.  How could I not be grateful?

What thing in your life are you just tolerating?  What is the one thing in your life that you wish would change?  How can your perspective of this change so that it is transformed into a different situation?  What are you grateful for in this situation?  What have you learned?  How have you grown?  How are you better because of this?

If you can look at something and see what you get out of it before looking at what it may take away from you are on the road to living a life that you are celebrating.  So, I want to challenge you.  Can you look at every situation in your life and find 3 things to be grateful for in each instance?

Celebrate today for all that it is!  You are here, you get to…

 

Allowing and … allowing.

There is a pattern that I have seen a lot lately that relates to so many of our troubles today.  A pattern of not allowing others to be where and who they are.  I see so much fear and anger; so much judgement and confusion.  It seems that many people think that instead of allowing, the answer is to get rid of the people places and things that cause them any discomfort or challenge them to stretch and grow.

This realization started with watching a friend of mine “unfriend” people one at a time because they were questioning or disagreeing with her.  I thought it was interesting to watch her perspective and over reaction (my perspective) to someone asking something as simple as “Why are you doing that?”  I thought about how, if I practiced that in my life, I would quickly be alone with no one to challenge me and also no one to love me.

What if we practiced allowing?  What if we allowed someone to question us without taking offense?  What if we allowed someone to pray in their way, without being right or wrong?  WHAT IF we took our feelings of offense, hurt or fear and looked at how we could grow as individuals through the experience?

There are so many things that influence our reactions to any given situation.   Sometimes our own reaction isn’t understandable to even ourselves.  There have been times when I have wondered why I got so angry with my partner, my kids or a friend.  My reactions are never based 100% on what is going on at the moment.  There is always my pesky perception that gets in the way of seeing things in an unbiased way.

So how can I get out of my way so that my reactions are a reflection of reality instead of a reflection of my perspective?

I need to take ownership in the situation. What is my responsibility in this situation?  What is my part?  How did my actions contribute to things unfolding in this way?  It is so easy to talk about what someone else did while it can be so difficult to open up to vulnerability and allow myself and others to see where I have fallen short.  So I need to recognize where my actions have contributed to the situation and look at how my history/perspective has effected how I am seeing the situation.  There has been more than one occasion where my partner says something to me and because of old stories I interpret what he says in an offensive way that he did not intend.  And what do I do!?  I react as if I have been attacked!  HOW DARE HE!!!!!!!!  This does not happen as often as it used to.  We are both improving in our ability to not project onto each other, but old habits die hard.

So, what can I do to identify what is story and what is reality?

Here are the steps I take to identify what is mine, and where I can adjust in order to respond, not react, from a more centered reality:

I ask myself:

What is real here?  What are the actual words the person used, not necessarily the words I interpreted?

How am I feeling in this moment?

Does this situation remind me of something from my past?

When have I felt this way before?swansun

If, through asking myself these questions, I come to the conclusion that this was hurtful, based on the reality of what is happening at this time, then I will respond to the situation that is before me.

Maybe I can ask the other person:

Was it your intention to….?

Can you re-word what you said so that I can
understand better?

How can we make changes to move forward?

Sometimes one of the best things that can come out of this type of situation, is to find out that the entire problem is based on my own shortcomings.  Now I have the opportunity to:

Repair any harm I may have done.

Look at where I can still grow into a better person.

Elevate myself and people around me.

Learn something new that I can take into my coaching career to help others.

There are also times when I realize, “Wow, this is not my circus; those are not my monkeys”.  When I do find that the difficulty of the situation is not within me then I am presented with, yet again, another opportunity:

How can I be of service?

How can I take my offended ego out of the situation?

How can I come from a place of compassion?

Where might I be able to grow and help the other person grow also?

Taking my ego out of the situation is never easy, but it is a beautiful way to practice being in touch with my divinity and allowing others to be where they are and allowing myself to be where I am!

I guess what this all comes down to is look within, look without and offer compassion.

Sending you LOVE and JOY and ALLOWING!

Make time for hot Chocolate!

I tend to get myself in situations where I am going and going and going!  When I begin a project, class, organization or job I tend to go full force.  I move so fast and get so much accomplished that I frequently find myself in a situation where I suddenly find I am hitting my head against a wall, exhausted, burnt out and finally realizing that I have not bothered to listen to my spirit or body to know what I am needing at the moment.

STOP!!!!!!  I have recently began a new practice.  I stop.  Genius isn’t it?  This is not very difficult or complicated and I am not sure why it took so long to figure out but it did.  I stop, every day.  I ask myself what I need.  Sometimes I need to meditate, do yoga, chat with a friend, play a mindless game on my phone, journal, blog…whatever.  I listen to what I need and I do it for at least 30 minutes.  It is amazing how useful this can be for me.  A simple 30 minutes of not tasking.  The interesting thing is that when I take that time to do what I need to do I end up being more productive with my tasks and I don’t end up in the burn out zone.

hc

When I got married my aunt gave me a blessing of “Make time for hot chocolate”.  My husband and I have been pretty good at practicing that in our relationship and during my last burn ou
t I realized that I do not do the same for myself.  So I thought I would share this with you.  Make time for hot chocolate.

It can be difficult to make time for self-care.  There are so many things that are waiting to be done, laundry, dishes, paying bills, cleaning, cooking, shopping, kids homework, sleep, exercise, write an e-mail, social media, mow the lawn, return a call…..  IS THE LIST EVER DONE!!!!?????  Sometimes we get in the mindset that self-care has to be some big grandiose event.  It does not.  Light a candle, sit for 5 minutes and have a cup of tea, take a bubble bath, breath, write a gratitude list, go for a walk, wear a special article of clothing, make a special “alter” in your home, paint your nails, go to bed early, write a poem. All these things can be self-care.  The important thing isn’t what you are doing but the intention with which you do it.

Build in time in your life where you do things for you.  Follow your passions, feed your soul a little bit every day.  There will always be time for the tasks we “have to” do and we will always have to make time for the things we want to do.  Give yourself the gift of relaxation and enjoyment.  There is not time like the present.  Make time for hot chocolate!

The importance of looking at your shadows and learning to shine through them

In spiritual communities there is a lot of talk about “Love and Light”, “energy work” and being positive.  These are all extremely important things.  It is important for us, as individuals, to be able to see all the wonderful things in our lives and have a sense of gratitude.  It is important to be aware of our energy and find ways to have compassion for others and ourselves.  But what about the things that block us?  Some say that we need to only focus on the positive and when we give space to the things that block us or cause us pain we are, in a sense, counteracting any positive thoughts or feelings that we may be having.  Debbie Ford wrote a book about this called The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.  Like her, I happen to think that looking at the things that block us or the things that are “negative” can be a pathway to the light.

You know the saying about two sides to every coin, well for me a coin is light and shadow.  Carl Jung described the shadow self as being the part of self that we deny or cover up because it is in some way unacceptable to us.  Have you ever said “I will never be like…” and then you find yourself doing the same things you vowed to never do.  This is shadow.  The biggest example of this in my life was saying I would never be like one of my parents and then when I had children all was well for a while until it wasn’t. I have caught myself being like my parent more times than I would like to count.  Repeatedly I have found myself talking to my children in a manner that I am not proud of. Saying I would never be like that wasn’t enough, focusing on the light was not enough. I needed to take a look at the roots of my actions and words, where they came from and what I was trying to get from my behaviors.  I had to ask myself “what did that energy want?”

Through looking at the roots of my behaviors, which was looking into my shadow self, I was able to take that part of me, heal it, and continue to grow in a direction that was better for not only me but for my children too.  Because I was willing to look at my shadows I was able to become the mother my children deserved.  Looking at your shadow does not mean taking on guilt or shame.  It means acknowledging your actions and thoughts, asking what it is that the behavior wanted and working together with the “energy” of that to find a way to transform it into energy that would serve and support you instead of harm you and pull you down.

Shadow Work® is a tool created by Cliff Barry, based on Jungian psychology, which talks about shadow as the things that we have put into a bag to be hidden from society as a result of messages we receive about parts of us not being good enough or acceptable.  What if these same parts were the pieces that contained our light?  What if there was a gift to the world that we had within ourselves that we were told was wrong and we hid it away?  This is why it is so important to look in the bag and pull out those pieces, shine them up for the world to see.  I like to think of these pieces as parts of ourselves that we have had to cut off (deny), in order to fit into the box that we have been told we should be in.  Eventually we will come to a place where we want to get out of the box and live more fully.  How can we do that when we no longer have all our pieces?

We become a full functioning human being one step at a time!  We look at the pieces we have denied, one at a time.  When I was young I received the message that I was not worthy of support and I was all alone. So a piece of me that I cut off was “need” and I went through my life taking care of myself and not letting anyone support me in any way.  I got to the point where I didn’t know how to receive help or even ask for it in a way that was clear.  This perpetuated my story of being alone and not supported which left me with another story about not being worthy.  To figure out how to invite “need” back into my life I had to get VULNERABLE.  I had to put myself out there in a clear way of asking for support.  I had to open up to the possibility that I may be rejected and that some people would not be willing to be there for me.  I remember having a conversation with a friend where I told her that I needed her to be there for me and she reflected back to me that over the 15 years of our friend ship she had tried repeatedly to be there for me but I continually said I was fine and was not transparent with my needs, which left her no room to show up for me in the way I desperately wanted her to be there.  Again this was a way that I was not clear in order to perpetuate my story.  So, years later, here I am, being vulnerable and open in my life and receiving help and support when I am willing to reach out and ask for it.  Is it that simple?  Yes it is that simple!  Even though the healing process can be painful,  I am more of a complete human being now than I have ever been.

It is our light that we put in shadow, it is our life force and our humanity that suffers.  Through reclaiming all the pieces that we have denied they no longer seep out in destructive ways blocking us from the life that we have dreamed of living.  This is my work.  I am so grateful to have the ability to work with amazing people in order to help them reclaim their pieces so they can live more fully.  My business motto is “FIND INSPIRATION AND FULFILLMENT IN YOUR LIFE THROUGH: LOVING DEEPER, SHINING BRIGHTER AND CONNECTING MORE FULLY!” This is what happens when you reclaim all of your pieces even the pieces that you never knew were missing.

I invite you to fulfill your dreams, look in the bag, get out of the box, create the life you were born to have.  You are worth it and the world needs your light.  SHINE THROUGH YOUR SHADOWS!

“Do or Do Not. There is no try!” : Celebrating Failure in order to DO.

Celebrating failure

Wait…what?  Celebrate failure!?

YES!  Celebrate failure.  So often we look at things through such a limited lens we can’t see the treasure trove of gifts that are surrounding us.  There was a time when this limited lens was the only one I had and the thought of looking at things in a different way was foreign and not even in my realm of possibilities.  I was so goal oriented that if the goal was not met there was only one way to see it…. I FAILED!  I did not meet my goal etc.

Eventually I started to realize that through my failures I learned so much.  Frequently there was one or 2 things that would be at the top of the list about why I FAILED.  Something forgotten, something overlooked, rushing through something, not paying attention to details, undeveloped skills, insufficient commitment, the reasons why can go on and on.  Whatever the reason was, I started to recognize that I had the option to continue to work towards my goal and when I was able to recognize why I did not succeed I could change how I approached the situation to get different results.  When I was willing to look at why I failed and persevere, I learned so much about how to improve my performance and I learned so much about myself and how I approached things and how I could improve in all of those areas.

So yes.  CELEBRATE YOUR FAILURES!  When you fail ask yourself what you can do better, how can you improve, what do you need to change?  Look at the plethora of things that you have learned through the process.  Acknowledge what new skills you may have gained by getting up.  Take the chance and make an effort take the opportunity to practice perseverance and commitment to the task.  Don’t allow failure to be the final outcome.  When you make the commitment to yourself to achieve your goal and you continually strive for that goal there is nothing that can stop you!

Put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you.

It can be so difficult to remember to take care of yourself when you are a healer or caregiver, yet these are the times when you need to pay close attention to your own needs.  Every time you take a flight the flight attendants are sure to go over all the safety rules, one of which is to be sure to put your own oxygen mask on first.  Why is it that we, so often, forget that idea when we get back to our real lives.

For me the first thing I need to remember is there will never be enough time to complete all the tasks that I need to complete or help all the people that are looking for my help.  Logically I know that I will need to take care of myself so I can show up fully to help the people I love. Yet I repeatedly put my own needs on the back burner and choose giving to others before giving to myself. I have recently adopted a new practice of sitting with myself for 30 minutes every afternoon.  I sit down and ask my body what it wants at that time.  Meditation? Breathing? Writing? Walking? Yoga?  This gives me the time to center and ground.  I get to have this specific period of time to just …BE. oxygen mask

So I have developed tools for myself that help me stay centered and full but that
doesn’t necessarily answer how to keep good boundaries energetically when being with others.  There are a few things I do to be sure that I am now taking care of others to my own detriment.  I have written other blogs about taking care of yourself, like “Saying Yes to Your No”  and 2 about setting boundaries starting with “Doormats and Dictators”   Read those blogs for information there but in addition to the tools I talk about there I stay clear with myself and others by practicing other tools also.

I have come to know that another person’s behavior is not my responsibility.   For as long as I live I will have people in my life that make choices that I would not choose.  That is not my responsibility.  Allowing others to live their lives and knowing that there is nothing I need to do about it is liberating to my energy.  It is not my job to fix or heal anyone.  I have spent a lot of time participating in workshops and programs with the purpose of healing and no matter what the facilitator did or did not do I had to make the choice every time if I was going to participate in  my healing or walk away the same person I was before.  Likewise no matter what I say or do I can not help someone else heal that does not want to heal and I do not know better than any individual what they need for their healing.

The difference between supporting and saving can be tricky.  It can be almost second nature to give advice when someone shares a problem with you.  Sometimes we think it is loving to try to help them solve their problem.  Maybe what the person really needs is just to be heard?  Maybe the person needs to be asked “what would work for you to solve this problem?”  I believe that every individual knows exactly what they need to heal themselves or solve their own problems.  When we have the opportunity to find our own answers we not only find our answer but we are empowered with our ability to heal our lives.  Recently, I was talking with a client about supporting not saving and through our conversation I realized that saving had some degree of controlling where supporting was more about allowing.  When I allow someone to be on their own path their actions do not affect me as much.  With the support and allowing it is not about the value of my suggestion which allows my ego to stay out of the way.

The last thing I need to know when I am “helping” someone is my motivation.  If I am helping someone with the purpose of increasing my sense of self-worth, I am not able to keep myself out of their outcome.  If I am helping someone to make myself look better then I will perceive the results  they achieve as a reflection of myself so my investment in their outcome cannot help but be co-dependent and detrimental to both of us.

So, remember to take care of you.  Set up useful practices that help you show up for others in ways that are meaningful for you.  Don’t forget Put on your oxygen mask first.