Being a mum is hard work, any mother will tell you that. There are always errands to run and things to organise. Making time for yourself can feel like the last thing you have time for. The thing is if we continually put off our own needs we can become stressed and burnt out. We can become stuck in a hamster wheel of striving and doing and lose touch with our own needs and desires.
When I say that making time for yourself is important, I talk from experience. I used to live my life from the neck up. I was so out of touch with myself. My focus was on everyone and everything external. My mind jumped from task to task. Life centred around my overflowing to-do list and responsibilities. My focus was always on what everyone needed and what I had to accomplish.
I ignored the nagging voice from within telling me to slow down and to make a change. Self-care was put off in favour of the more “productive and sensible” daily tasks. I was being a selfless and exhausted martyr which understandably lead to depression.
Looking back, it feels like my body was forcing me to stop and listen by mentally shutting down. I had no choice but to stop and realise that I wasn’t happy. I was behaving like superwoman yet felt like I never measured up.
I worked with a life coach and a counsellor as part of my recovery. Both encouraged me to acknowledge how I felt and accept it. I had been denying my inner voice and ignoring my feelings for so long that it took considerable effort on my part to start listening to myself again. This process of relearning has been transformative. Today, I try to ensure my inner voice and intuition a have chance to be heard.
Learning how to listen to your body and intuition can be difficult if you are in the practice of ignoring them. We often ignore our needs in favour of what is expected of us or seems like the “right” thing to do. Re-learning how to listen to yourself is a process. As part of this process, you need to find ways to slow down your noisy and cluttered mind. By quietening and grounding myself, I could hear what my intuition and body was telling me.
I tried yoga and meditation and found that the movement of yoga really drew my focus inward. Quiet moments with a cup of tea and also proved to be a mindful and meditative activity for me. I struggle with traditional meditation and often find it hard to maintain my focus. After reading about mala beads on a yoga blog, I decided to give them a try. I really liked having the focus on the beads and mantra as they really help draw my focus inwards and slow the pace of my thoughts.
These days I like to consult that voice from within. Self-care, yoga and meditation are all ways that keep me in tune with my intuition and body. They keep the internal clutter in check so I can listen to when my body wants me to relax or when my intuition is telling me to be brave and take a wild step into the unknown.
As a busy mum, this process allows me to take care of myself. I do not put down time off repeatedly anymore. I listen to when my body is telling me that I need something.
Ignoring how I felt did not help me get more done, it did not make amazing things happen. That total disconnection from my mind and body actually made me ill. I am able to maintain a much better mental health now because I focus on having a good mind-body connection now.
My mind also feels calmer and clearer. There are not as many to do’s and responsibilities rushing through my mind. If stress builds up, I can notice it and take the time to slow things down. This means that I usually approach life in a calmly and rationally rather than being rushed and frazzled. I can see when I am behaving like I am superhuman and remind myself that I am just one person and I can only do so much.
What I also notice from this practice is that I am aware of when I need to drop tasks from the to-do list. I have a bad habit to try and do everything all at once. By taking time to slow my thoughts and to really listen to my own inner guidance. I can look at the things that aren’t really that important, the things I do for expectation’s sake or the tasks that aren’t that urgent. I can prioritise from a calm and clear headspace.
Learning to listen to my own inner guidance has been something I have had to learn. It takes practice and a lot of trial and error. Yoga and mala meditation has been such an integral part of this process. They have helped me draw my attention inward and slow my mind down. This slowing down has given me space to really work out what matters to me. It helps me work out how I want to show up in the world. The type of mum I want to be and importantly what I want and need from my life.
I have created a new offering and I am super excited about how it is going so far. If you haven’t already heard, The self-reflection challenge is made up of 30 light and encouraging videos. Best of all this challenge is free and self-paced and has no end date! This challenge will be ready whenever you want to catch up on videos, start it all over again or share it with someone.
How you see yourself
What self-care means to you
Self-love and compassion
What really matters to you, dreams goals and other magical stuff!
The challenge covers a wide range of topics to help you reflect in a fun, useful and maybe even a little challenging way.
Sharing what you are learning from each video is a great way of getting the most out of this challenge. Let others encourage you and also let others know what you think about their comments.
I will be answering each question along with you so you can get to know me a little too. I have to admit that I am feeling the fear and doing it anyway with this challenge but I believe who we are, deserves to be seen, showed off and celebrated. Our dreams and ideas are important!
Do you indulge yourself? Can you let yourself have what you want without guilt? How easy do you find it to say and do what you really want? I am talking about self Indulgence. According to dictionary.com, the meaning of indulgent is indulging one’s own desires, passions, whims, etc., especially without restraint.
the concept of indulgence often has a negative connotation. Self-indulgence is often associated with narcism and selfishness and being inconsiderate of others. It is often considered as a negative trait in a person rather than something to be admired. On the other hand, productivity, being organised, getting more done and striving is prized as the sign of a good worthwhile human. Someone with their life together, all organised. We all want to be more
On the other hand, productivity, being organised, getting more done and striving is prized as the sign of a good and valuable person. Someone with their life together, with their ducks in a row. the idea often leaves us wanting to be more.
It can be so easy to push and tell ourselves that our self-care, desires or passions are not as important as the “serious stuff”. Paying the bills, working, being productive and accomplishing always seem to be valued as great ways to spend time. Proudly announcing that we spent a day wrapped in our duvet just doesn’t scream success in our society.
I have the potential to be an expert in self-denial but I am working on letting my self-indulgent side out. When I feel pressured or busy, I find myself putting off pleasurable activities till later. I am even aware that it will do me harm in the long run. I hold productivity and achieving so dearly that everything else drops down the priority list. Maybe IIs it cos I like to be the martyr? maybe I am waiting for someone else to jump in take care of me. Do I want to be seen as superhuman? Or is it that I just put things off for later feeling it’s not important. It’s probably a combination of all of these things to varying degrees on different days.
The thing is I am not taking care of myself when I repeatedly put off and deny myself pleasure. When I deny any self-indulgence the first few times nothing really happens. I get on with things and sometimes I feel really good about how much I get done and how productive I feel. The next time I do it I do not even notice it and very soon I start to feel stiff and tired and lose my creativity and inspiration.
If I continue denying myself after this point, what I get is increased feelings of panic and desperation. I begin to feel hard put upon and then soon after I will blow up over things and I am not sure why. I have to force myself to get through my obligations and I just generally feel terrible. At this point, I stop and usually have a meltdown followed by a Netflix binge and a packet of biscuits. Then I let myself do what I need to do.
This all feels very bingy, it’s like I am on some sort of pleasure diet. You know when you are on some crazy faddy diet that cuts out a whole food group and you feel crappy. Well, I put myself on a pleasure diet I deny all forms of pleasure till I binge and then feel unproductive and guilty. I suspect this to be as unhealthy as its food equivalent. This doesn’t work, just like a diet, denial of any kind doesn’t work. Martha Beck explores this concept of how we can add more joy and practice being more self-indulgent in her book The Joy Diet. It’s really great reading if you want to go a little further than this article.
What can be done today, right now as we think about why we deny ourselves pleasure so easily and feel so terrible for it? The thing is that deep down we always know what we really need. We often hide it with layers and layers of social conditioning and expectations. This includes layers of beliefs and expectations that we have taken to our hearts. Ideas about being a woman, an employee, a business owner, friend, daughter, wife and a mother. What a good person does, what the right thing to do is and how we should look while we go about our daily lives. These expectations, ideas and beliefs can add guilt, pressure and stress if they are at total odds with reality.
You are worth more than that. What if we loved ourselves enough to know when to say stop we before we reach meltdown. Imagine if we valued ourselves enough to give ourselves what you need. What if we supported ourselves like we support others?
What is working for me right now is listening to the voice that I have so often neglected. The one that tells me when I am tired and tells me to go for a walk instead of writing one more email. It is saying yes to pleasure, what I really want and give myself a yes day rather than continually telling myself no to what I want.
Even simpler than that is to notice how you really feel. Notice when you are denying yourself, notice when you put things off that you enjoy. Notice when you tell yourself that what you want is not important. When you say you will have fun later, when is that? Do you do it later or just put joy off again? What is your pattern or habit? Keep a note of how often you are denying yourself pleasure. Keep a note of how you feel when you do this and how it feels after. When do you stop, do you ever? Do you want to be able to do this more? Do you ever feel guilty for taking time for yourself or do you enjoy it and treasure it when it finally comes.
Examine it like you would something important, study and note how you feel and treat yourself.
Taking time out inspires my work. I can write a blog post in half an hour rather than eight when I am replenished, excited and inspired. When I feel good, I can talk with passion and emotion on video. Being at my best means I am a better, more present coach. As a mum, I am a more patient and empathetic. I am a hell of a lot more fun, happier I am a better partner and friend.
There was a time in my life when most days would be spent running around, endlessly busy and stressed. I would criticise myself for not being better at what I was doing and give myself a hard time for not being more than I was.
I’d tell myself that I didn’t have the time for things that were enjoyable or relaxing. Even when I did slow down, I would worry about all the tasks I needed to get back to and worry about forgetting tasks from my schedule. Comparing myself with others left me feeling down, I wished to be more focused, more organised and able.
I am glad to say that I eventually found this level of self-torture unbearable. This meant taking on the difficult task of changing the way I treated myself. These days, I am proud to say that there are many days where I show myself kindness, compassion, and love.
For example, as I wrote this article, I paused and made time to listen and really soak up a song I like that was playing on the radio. Doing this without feeling guilty and unproductive has taken some practice. It is little everyday things that make a huge difference.
To be at my best and my happiest, I need to make myself a priority. Loving myself and treating myself with care doesn’t just benefit me. I am sure you can imagine that feeling exhausted and inadequate made me way less enjoyable to be around.
Loving yourself is a skill and that means it takes practice. It is so easy to make excuses for not taking care of ourselves. We live in a society that values productivity, being organised and achieving results. Becoming caught up in our schedules and to do lists isn’t difficult.
To add to the pressure, we push ourselves through with a mean and critical inner monologue. We compare ourselves to others and see everything that we are not rather than everything that we already are.
Self-love has been a journey and it is still one I am trying to figure out. These are some of the lessons I have learned along the way as I work on showing myself some love.
We often tell ourselves that we are too busy for time out, that we don’t have time for the things we enjoy. This is such a draining and depressing way to live. My life is far too precious to avoid fun, laughter, and joy. Taking care of yourself doesn’t need to take a long time, it can be as simple as listening to music or getting outside. Can you imagine how a day filled with lots of little things that make you smile feels?
There are of course times when I want to strive to get a task completed. There are things that are so important to me that I am prepared to push myself that bit further.
What I have learned is that we always have a choice. We can rush around trying to be superhuman or we can do things to the best of our abilities at a pace that feels good.
Ask yourself, is the rushing and stressing you do every day worth it? For me, it was not worth the effort or the results to go through life focusing on everything that needs to be done. As long as I have a rook over my head, my bills are paid, and my children are loved, everything else can wait a while.
Letting go of that pressure to do and be more has been an act of self-love. I would rather be happy than have an empty to do list. If I am truly honest, the empty to do list just isn’t going to happen. There will always be things that need to be done. It is better to make peace with that than to fight against it. Working harder or faster is an option, and not the only one available to me.
Feedback and critique have an important role in how we learn and develop. The critique that we give ourselves can often be far harsher than those around us. Our inner critic is that little voice that tells you that you need to get it together and be different in some way to how you already are. It tells you that you are lacking and are not capable. This voice is a strongly demotivating force that feeds our fear and undermines our confidence.
Ditching the inner critic sounds simple but it takes awareness and practice. When I tackle a challenge and remind myself that my best is good enough, it makes things easier. It feels much better and I do not need to force myself to keep going. Remembering that what I do is worthwhile whether or not it is perfect takes the tension and fear from my shoulders. It makes a difficult situation that little bit easier.
Creating a kinder inner voice for myself is the smallest yet most transformational act of self-love I can undertake. Being my own cheerleader in life rather than my own torturer helps me be the person I am rather than focusing on all that I think I am not.
I used to feel so guilty if I wasn’t doing something that I considered to be serious or worthwhile. Reading a book for pleasure, painting my toenails or simply taking a moment to do nothing were all things that I felt guilty for doing.
This is a cruel and deprived way to go through life. I do not want to deprive myself of the things that make me happy. I want to make as much time for joy as possible. Enjoying life and keeping fun as a priority is not self-indulgent.
As a mum too, I find it incredibly easy to put my children before me. My children will always be central in my focus but I don’t want to forget who I am and how I want my own life to play out. By being fulfilled myself, I am a better mum and a happier person. I want my children to see me going out and reaching for happiness and making the most of my life so hopefully, in turn, they will do the same for themselves.
When we do not think very much of ourselves it can be easy to believe that everyone else is doing better at life than we are. Comparing is easy, humans are social creatures. We want to fit in and not risk judgment or shame.
Nobody has a clue what they are doing in this life, we are all just fumbling around trying to make the most of our situation while trying to make it look like we know what we are doing. When I realised that I was no more flawed or different than anyone else it was a massive relief. The pressure that it released allowed me to work on accepting myself for who I am rather than wanting to be more.
We are all amazing, each and every person on our planet. If you are giving yourself a hard time, pushing yourself and criticising your actions then you are even more amazing. I know this because I know that you are getting through life while not showing yourself any love. That is immensely difficult and takes great strength. Can you imagine who you would be if you loved and accepted yourself and took care of yourself? Imagine the potential you would awaken if you loved yourself.
Pressure seems to be a part of modern life. There is the pressure to be successful in our relationships, careers and finances. There is the pressure to do the right thing and act the right way. Let’s not forget the pressure to look great while you are being successful. Much of our pressure comes from the society we live in. We receive messages about what is expected from the media, institutions and those around us but how much pressure do you pile onto yourself every day?
Have you ever noticed you telling yourself what you should and shouldn’t be doing? Maybe you told yourself that you should pull yourself together or shouldn’t let things get to you? These are the types of should or shouldn’t statements add pressure. They are a reflection of a judgement or a value we are placing on something. In my experience, the judgement is a critical one about how I should be more than I am. Do you feel the pressure like a hard lump in your throat that you struggle to swallow?
I often talk to clients who tell me who they should and shouldn’t be something other than they are. They should be stronger, braver, more grateful and work harder or faster. They shouldn’t care so much, let things get on top of them, take things to heart, or complain.
It can be pretty gut-wrenching when we first notice the pressure we put on ourselves. Most of us would never ask anyone else to be more than they are and pile on the pressure in the same way. Why do we do it to ourselves?
Should and shouldn’t statements are often based on values and ideals which on its own isn’t a bad thing. What is bad is the judgement that we attached to it. When we judge how we are doing things and use it as a method of self-criticism. We use the words should and shouldn’t to imply that we are not doing something we are supposed to be. It adds a layer of pressure, of guilt and
We add a layer of pressure, of guilt and potentially shame as we internalise these ideas and what it means about us. For example, when I am behind on my writing and I tell myself that I should have written more, I feel guilty and lacking in my work (guilt) I could go even further by telling myself I am a bad writer (shame).
Can you notice the next time you are using should and shouldn’t to criticise yourself?
Are you putting too much pressure on yourself?
Should and shouldn’t statements can but are a powerful weapon used by our inner critic can you imagine how life would feel if you could stop craving to be different than you are. If you could believe that you do not need to be fixed.
You should not be any different to how you are. What you do is enough what you are is always enough.
There are times when life feels uncertain, when you face challenges and you worry about how the future is going to look. Not knowing that things are going to work out can feel scary and overwhelming. We agonise over making decisions and wish someone would arrive with a crystal ball. We wish to be told that all our pain and worry are pointless because it is all going to be ok. Unfortunately, time travel isn’t an option so how do we help ourselves feel more grounded and secure in the face of uncertainty?
Here are 7 little things that I have found help me when the future looks scary and unknown.
Imagining how you want things to look once you get to the other side of this challenge can feel really reassuring. This helps you to focus on the reasons you are doing this horrible scary thing rather than running for the hills. Remembering your goal or solution can also help you keep a little perspective when you are in the trenches. This isn’t permanent, things are going to look brighter!
When things get really tough don’t be afraid to back off if you need some space. Forcing yourself to power through and relentlessly look for a solution feels awful and is most likely counterproductive.
You don’t have to continually feel the fear and do it anyway.
Back away, pause and regain your strength and then get back to it. You are allowed to choose the long way round or take a detour. Return to your problem when you feel a little less overwhelmed. Finding your next step can seem easier after you have had the chance to take a breather.
Talk to people who understand what you are facing. If you do not know anyone who has been through what you are dealing with then you can always find someone who you know will cheer you through it. We are not alone in our struggles, speaking out can be a great way to remind ourselves of this. Utilise family, friends and/or paid professionals if you need to get advice or to talk through what scares you. Let others support you.
Get an early night, eat good food, take breaks, and have a little fun where you can. Being scared and brave both use up a lot of energy so take care of yourself. Even superwoman needs her rest so make sure you do too. Think of the things that make you smile, it doesn’t have to be a spa day or a day in the hairsalon to be self-care!
Show yourself a little compassion, what you are doing is scary for a reason. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not the right thing to do but when things get scary we catastrophize and worry. Be gentle with yourself. You don’t need to have it all figured out or be perfect you just need to show up and do what you can.
Nothing is permanent, no situation whether it be a bad or good one. The journey you are on will quite probably take you longer and be more difficult than you imagined. Nevertheless, you will get past this uncertainty It is not a permanent journey either, these feelings will pass. Be prepared to change things up on this journey. Things may not go as expected and that is ok.
Self Belief can be difficult when we are in the midst of something that feels uncertain and scary. Focus on your own abilities and have faith that you are capable to see this through. Doing this makes it a lot harder to focus on the uncertainty. Believe in your determination to see this through. You have undoubtedly overcome obstacles before and you will be able to overcome any current ones too.
We cannot avoid change and challenges but we can look after ourselves as we face them. We can give ourselves the time and space we need to get through uncertainty. Remembering that we are not alone in our situation and that we always have an option about how to proceed can take some of the pressure off around an uncertain future.
If you are struggling with uncertainty you can create a Self-care plan for yourself with my free worksheet. It is part of my free resource library which has loads of great resources just like this one.
The 14-Day Refresh is an email Programme that explores what self-care means to you. This course has been designed so you can make time for yourself in a way that suits you. You cannot be behind or late. There are no deadlines or targets. You set the pace for yourself. This is an opportunity for you to make some time for yourself and feel good about it!
You will receive a daily email for 14-days, each one is filled with exercises, inspiration, encouragement and activities designed to help you reconnect with what inspires and replenishes you. The 14-Day refresh will help you create a “self-care armoury” of activities, tools and techniques to help you combat feelings of stress and overwhelm.
The 14-Day refresh will help you create a “self-care armoury” of activities, tools and techniques to help you combat feelings of stress and overwhelm.
This course is yours forever, keep the emails so you can take this course whenever you feel the need to refresh!
I wanted to create something flexible and accessible for everyone, whether you are super busy or on a tight budget. taking care of yourself is important no matter how your life looks right now.
I used to spend so much of my time taking care of everybody else in my life. The thing is that I believed I didn’t have time to look after myself. It seemed like replenishing my energy levels or treating myself to the things I enjoyed was frivolous and a waste of time. Whenever I took time out, I spent so much of that time feeling guilty about not being productive.
Taking my self-care seriously has made a massive difference in my daily life. It changed how I approach that never-ending to do list and how I feel every day. I wanted to create a self-care course so that you can save yourself from all the exhaustion, guilt and pressure and cut straight to having fun and feeling good!
The 14-Day refresh is great is you want to:
The total investment for the 14- Day refresh is $20. A PayPal invoice will be sent out upon sign up.
The first e-mail will be arriving into inboxes on 15th September 2017. Sign up now and save your space on this great course.
If you have any questions about this course please get in touch or have a look at my FAQ’s
Do you have fierce dreams or do you remember a time when you did? Have you ever felt limitless, like nothing was going to stand in your way?
I remember feeling this way after I left high school and was at university. My dreams were all about how I was going to change the world. By helping people, by working for charities and getting my PhD. I was going to travel and maybe even start my own charity supporting women affected by gender based violence.
There is no denying that I have been blessed, I have never gone hungry and I have always had a bed to sleep in. I have people who support me and I have love in my life. My bills have always gotten paid (eventually) so my question is that enough to be happy? Is that all we need? Once we have those things should we consider ourselves fulfilled? Because let’s face it, others have it worse don’t they?
Around 5 years ago I had an amazing house, two wonderful children, I didn’t need to work, we had a nice car and could afford a holiday once a year. we could eat out when we wanted and I could buy things without checking my bank balance first. I ran my own small business and my husband had 6 months of the year at home with us. My life was everything you would call conventional success but the one thing that was missing was that I was miserable
I told myself that I was lucky as there are so many people who were worse off than I was. That I couldn’t have it all and that I should just focus on being grateful rather kicking up a fuss. I got caught up in all the day to day responsibilities of ‘adulting’. It felt like stability and security were the most important things. It was time to ditch the dreams and get realistic about what was important. I didn’t need dreams of travel or having a career I loved because my life was safe. Boring but safe.
Have you ever looked at your life and realised you went in a different direction than you intended? It is a perfectly adequate life but it doesn’t really light you up? You are filling your days with the things you are supposed to be doing rather than the things that excite and inspire you.
If you find yourself off track then the way back to what you really want is to remove the layers of obligations, responsibilities and objects, whatever is in the way of your happiness and those fierce dreams. It is adding something that lights you up to your life. Say yes to your wild dreams and no to convention when it isn’t making you happy. Be who you are unapologetically and reach for what excites you.
Do not feel guilty, you are worthy of happiness and the life you dream of. Money and conventional success are great if it excites you. But if it doesn’t leave you inspired and enthusiastic about the future then ditch it. You are not ungrateful for wanting something different to what you have. You cannot make yourself happy in a situation that is not what you truly want.
Once your basic needs are met you do not lose the right to complain. A comfortable and stable life is not necessarily the ideal life for everyone. You cannot stop yourself from having wild and adventurous dreams because others are not as fortunate as you are. By all means, do your bit as a responsible citizen, help where you can, support others who need it.
It is fundamental in my opinion that everyone should have the right to be fed, clothed and sheltered. As is health care and education but here I am heading towards a political discussion that distracts from my point. The right to happiness is also important. The right to have dreams and unconventional desires. Dare to dream of an amazing life whether it be a home by the sea, an endless supply of books, or the opportunity to travel. Don’t let what makes you who you are be sidelined for anything. Our dreams make us unique and they are far too important to be given up on or forgotten.
Do you love yourself? Do you love every part of you, both the good and the bad? When you look into the mirror, how do you feel about who you see? Many of us feel an indifference or mild feelings of either like or dislike. Some of us have a hard time finding anything about themselves that they like.
The idea of self-love can feel uncomfortable. For some, the concept of self-love can feel akin to being selfish, conceited or self-absorbed. The media bombards us with images on how to change or improve who we are and how to hide our flaws. This makes it very difficult to accept or adore what we see in the mirror.
To get a little perspective, think of a person that you love or care deeply for. How do you feel about them? what feelings do you have when you think of this person? Do you feel the same way towards yourself?
If the answer is no then you could probably benefit from practising a little self-love. Below are some ways to begin exercising that self-love muscle. They allow you to explore how you feel about yourself and the truth that you are enough as you are.
21 Ways to Practice Self-Love
If this list feels overwhelming pick the easiest and most achievable one on this list and begin there. There is no rush and you can try as many or as little of these ideas as feels right for you. If you find it hard to even like yourself then take it slowly. Think of self-love and acceptance as training for a marathon rather than a sprint. Practice going a little further each time rather than sprinting to the finish straight away.
We are all worthy of love, every single one of us. You are not broken or inadequate. You are perfect just as you are. Think of how you feel about that person you love once more. Can you imagine how you would treat yourself and what you could achieve if you felt that level of love for yourself?
— Lynne McLean Brown (@lmblifecoaching) June 21, 2017
I talk about and promote self-care in my work because it was one of the first methods I used to recover from a very dark period. A time when I was depressed, anxious and had totally lost touch with any sense fun and freedom. I was so out of practice with showing myself love or kindness.
It was this experience that inspires my coaching business and writing today. I continue learning about myself and what works for me, I then share with you.
Every day, I learn a little more. There are parts of who I am that I love but I want more than that. True self-love is a process of learning to accept every inch of who you are. This means every lump and bump, every kind bone our bodies as well as every petty and needy bit too.
I have learned that self-care is an important part of the journey but it is not the only thing needed to feel happy relaxed and free. You have got to give yourself love and acceptance.
As the kid who was told she was nobody, on most of her schooling it has been difficult to let go of the idea that the people who bullied me were right. I hid away because ultimately, I felt flawed.
I hid away both the positive and negative parts to keep myself safe. This was very effective in such a traumatic situation. Like a hedgehog, I rolled up into a ball and kept my warm and soft centre tightly under wraps.
I used self-care as a first step to loosening up and to learn to let myself be valid and visible. As someone with needs worth considering. This involved making myself a priority without feeling guilty or bad. That was not easy, I can tell you!
In coach training, I was encouraged to focus on the gifts and skills that are uniquely mine. What have I to offer the world? This is an incredibly difficult thing to comprehend when you are used to hiding away. When you are so fearful of your brokenness being exposed to the world. I wanted so badly to not be ruined by my experiences as that bullied kid. I wanted it to mean something.
This is one of the main reasons that I became a coach and writer. I want to make every lesson learned and every ounce of pain worthwhile. It is important to me to create something that can give comfort and strength. I want to help people move past what is holding them back. No one is deeply flawed even if they believe it to be true. We are all enough and amazing just as we are.
Now that I am on the journey to explore those parts I have kept so hidden. I am finding there isn’t so much scary broken stuff as I thought. My broken bits are also just like everyone else’s. I’m not so unique in the bits I try to hide. It is a terrifying thing to put myself out there and risk judgement but wow how the payback is worth it! I’m paid in confidence and freedom, lessons and experiences. I am paid with a full life.
I am adding an additional focus to my business. I am not only going to tell you to look after yourself. Accepting and loving yourself is just as important. That when you are tired and overwhelmed and feel like life is just neverendingly difficult. Being able to love yourself, accept yourself as you are and show yourself kindness is just as important as taking care of yourself.
All that love you pour out to your friends, your family, partner and children. Can you imagine if you showed yourself the same love? It’s difficult, to begin with. It feels like the most unnatural thing in the world at first. You’d rather pull your teeth out with pliers. If you can gently but persistently learn to like something about yourself and nurture it and care for it. one day you may like it and then maybe even come to love it.
To love yourself is the greatest gift you can give yourself and to those around you. I started trying to love myself for my kid’s sake. I wanted them to love themselves and be lead by my example. Furthermore, it was really important to me to heal over my childhood. I also wanted to be more open and honest with those I care about. I don’t want to hide bits of myself away. It is important that I am fully present rather than focusing on hiding and keeping myself safe. I want more.
I want more. Taking care of myself wasn’t all that I needed to do. My next step has been towards learning to love myself. I deserve a full life not limited by the worry that I am not enough. I am good enough as I am, so are you.
Why are we as women not relaxed? Why are we always worrying what everyone else thinks and wants? Wouldn’t it be great if we could we focus comfortably on ourselves?
I want to love me and I want to see my daughter grow up as a woman who loves herself. I want her to learn that putting herself first isn’t selfish or narcissistic. Self-love is important because she is important. I don’t want her to be limited by fear of her flaws and fear of judgement. I want her to love every inch of herself even the imperfections. My hope is that she will love herself as I love her. We should love ourselves as much as those around us do.
If you do not love yourself of even like yourself right now this doesn’t mean that you are not worthy of love. You are capable of anything. You are loved and valued and enough and important. Even your anxiety, even your shyness. every fear you have is worthy of your love.
— Lynne McLean Brown (@lmblifecoaching) June 22, 2017