Ninety percent of the world’s woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves.
–Sydney J. Harris
Many of us struggle to take care of ourselves the way we should. We know we should be sleeping on time, eating healthier foods, moving our bodies to name just a few fundamental aspects of self care. This is especially true for mothers as we usually put ourselves last on our own list of priorities.
It has taken me years of inner work to reach a stage where I am able to connect to how I am feeling in the present moment and how that feels for me inside my body. As a result, I am able to listen to what my body and my emotions are trying to tell me and take care of myself better. This has also helped me to show up for others both personally and professionally without feeling depleted or resentful.
As a mother, wife and daughter I am able to take care of my family the way I would want to, with love and care. As a friend, I am able to support, encourage and enjoy the time with my friends. Finally, as a Health Coach, blogger and podcaster, I have been able to show up for my clients and serve them the way I want to without feeling drained or burned out.
I have not been able to do this because I am a superwoman, because I have some extraordinary powers or I have unlimited time on my hands. I have the same number of hours as everyone else, similar struggles in a COVID era with two children at home and other worries that are a part of my everyday life.
The difference lies in the way I connect with and listen to my inner guidance system. In the end, our connection with our inner guidance and emotions is the most reliable and trustworthy indicator of how well we are actually doing in life.
The real problem
The problem is that many of us are not really connected to this part of ourselves and are thus unaware of our innate needs. At the same time, we have been conditioned by society and the world at large as women that showing emotions is a sign of weakness and that intellect is the only true barometer of success.
We are also not really taught to pay heed to our feelings, intuition, spirituality and use them as they truly are- an inner guidance system. Infact we are often taught just the opposite, to often dismiss them and pay attention only to the logical, rational parts of our mind. As a result, we disregard and neglect the messages that they are trying to give us.
But at what price?
We pay a heavy price for not acknowledging our needs for rest, nutrition, touch, nutrition by disconnecting with core parts of ourselves. We pay a price in terms of not being to figure out why we feel so tired, exhausted and maybe even deprived.
What do you feel deprived of?
Stop here to ask yourself what it is that you feel deprived of in your life…(preferably in your journal)
Time to yourself
In other words, in what ways are you starving yourself of a life that can be rich and fulfilling?
Living by design
The challenge is that many of us believe that life is happening to us and are constantly living in a reactive mode. Instead of setting clear intentions and taking inspired action to meet specific goals, they drift through life. In other words, they live by default.
Others find their purpose by actively pursuing their goals and dreams and live by design. However, this involved accepting all of life, the happy, good, fun and enjoyable experiences as well as the disappointing, unpleasant and sad ones.
Loving and accepting yourself
The unfortunate reality is that when we look at ourselves in the mirror, we often see flaws long before we see anything good. But the fact is that if we want to live life by design and transcend our self imposed limitations, we need to consciously and consistently affirm our sense of self worth and lovability. We need to unconditionally love ourselves, embrace our vulnerabilities and accept our imperfections.
We need to move from
“Am I fit enough, slim enough, tall enough?”
“I AM ENOUGH"
When you treat yourself with respect and even love, you will find that you have a sense of peace of being truly present to your own life. You will treat yourself the way you treat your children or any loved ones- with love, kindness and respect. Whether it is your child, family member or even a pet, let the way you care for them be a reflection of the kind of care that you need to give yourself.