Post ID 684

Posted by on June 10, 2019

In my household, summers are always high energy, and this year is no exception. As we pack up and clean the whole house to move out for the summer months, prepare to spend two months travelling and camping, and finish up our commitments and activities for the school year, I’m doing my best to practice self-care.

I suspect some of you may be in a similar place, which is why this month I’m diving into the subject of Self-Care, to help us ‘manage the mayhem’ and ‘fuel up’ for the active months ahead.

What is Self-Care?

Self-Care means taking care of yourself (no kidding? ;). It includes the behaviours, actions and practices that you engage in to nourish your body, mind, heart and spirit.

For me, Self-Care is half of the Self-Love equation.

The other half is Self-Compassion which includes the feelings, emotions, thoughts and beliefs that you have, again in support of your whole best self. Self-Compassion is the inner state of being that directs Self-Care, the outward expression, resulting in Self-Love a.k.a. self-worth.

Self-Care + Self-Compassion = Self-Love

I begin here with Self-Care because it can be easily practiced, in small increments of time and with no cost. Over time, you can build your Self-Care practices, and start to address Self-Compassion too.

What do you need?

The first and simplest step to Self-Care is to identify and meet your needs. If you’re like many women I coach – and myself at times – I bet you rarely, if ever check in with yourself in this way.

So now’s the time. Let’s do this . . . Pause for a minute, and notice what comes to mind when you ask yourself: What do I really need? Considering your body, mind, heart and spirit, and noticing without judgement nor censoring, what answers come to mind?

Next, ask yourself: What could I do right now or today to meet that need? If your needs are great, another, less overwhelming way to approach this is to consider: What could I do to get 5% closer to meeting that need today?

Now get out there and try it! Small and consistent actions toward meeting your daily needs will build into a beautiful Self-Care practice over time, one kind step at a time.

Your self-care sister,

Nicole

P.S. Superior Sisterhood: The Self-Care Sessions continue through June. I’m interviewing various wellness professionals about their personal and professional experiences with Self-Care. Join us at: www.subscribepage.com/SuperiorSelf-Care

Posted in: Empowerment, Renewal, Spirit

Post ID 677

Posted by on May 8, 2019

A boundary is not that at which something stops, but that from which something begins.” Martin Heidegger

 

Last week I shared a new way to look at “balance” in your life, and today as a powerful follow-up I hope to shift your view on “boundaries”.

Boundaries are limits we put into place to help each other meet our needs.

When I first learned about boundaries, I didn’t really understand what they were, and that was a good hint that I needed them in my life. I also felt boundary work had to be hard and heavy, but have since learned otherwise. Here’s a visual I love to help you rethink boundary setting as a healthy, compassionate practice.

 

Your Sacred Space

Imagine you have a beautiful yard, like a magical garden where you feel wonderful and the surroundings are beautiful. It’s a healthy, vibrant and secure space where you feel at peace and at home. This outdoor oasis represents you, your healthy inner experience and your lush self-care practices.

Beyond this space is the outside world, in whatever form that may look like for you according to your unique situation. Perhaps its a similarly beautiful garden setting, a dirty and dangerous junkyard or someplace in between. It represents whatever or whoever is in your life that feels threatening to your well-being.

Between these spaces is your sacred fence. Perhaps it’s a flourishing living fence of well-kept hedges and floral vines, or maybe it’s a solid and strong cedar fence, that smells as beautiful as it looks. This fence represents your boundaries. Its simple purpose is to delineate between the two environments. It exists whether being viewed from the inside out, or the outside in.

The goal here is to tend to your sacred space rather than the surrounding environment – to focus on what you value and what you want to protect vs. who or what you want to keep out. View your fence as a means to better enjoy what you’ve cultivated within your own yard, rather than for avoiding difficulties. In doing so, you operate from a place of self-love, avoid reacting to or punishing others and convey your boundaries with compassion so they are more warmly understood, received and respected.

And don’t forget that fences have gates, for the opportunity to let others into your yard as circumstances allow.

 

Build Your Fence

Could you relate to your situation in this metaphor? Or are you still unsure if you need to set some boundaries? Chances are you do if you feel constricted, upset, anxious, angry, irritated or are complaining about something. So for example, you may need to set limits if you . . .

  • have had it with your never ending “to do” list;
  • procrastinate because you can’t handle the pressure;
  • can’t take another minute of your loved one’s passive-aggressive communication;
  • won’t put up with being treated poorly any longer;
  • are stressed and overwhelmed by all the little things to do at home and work; or
  • want to take better care of your needs and feel like your enough.

So in these situations, and others like them, how will you take care of your “oasis”? What are your fences AND what will you do if someone crosses them?

What situations will you say “yes” or “no” to, to meet your own specific needs, wants and joys?

AND

What will you “do” or “not do” if these boundaries are crossed, by yourself or others?

Naturally, you will also want to respect other people’s boundaries too. If you are on the receiving end of someone drawing a line, you’ll now understand that everyone’s boundary needs are different, boundaries aren’t necessarily personal or your fault, and the best response is “Thank you for telling me about your boundary and I’ll do my best to respect it.”

Ultimately, boundaries are about self-worth. By compassionately setting and upholding them for yourself, you are growing and nourishing your own self-worth. Yes please!

. . . . .

If you would love to talk to me about your boundary-related issues, you’ll want to claim my new introductory offer.

“Balance & Boundaries” is my new introductory 1:1 Coaching Intensive. If you’re ready to: Get clarity on your balance issues; develop solutions for your most pressing needs; cultivate boundaries to uphold your desires and leave with the confidence to move forward, this is for you!

Check out all the details here: Balance & Boundaries Intensive

To your sacred space!

Nicole

Post ID 597

Posted by on December 1, 2017

‘Tis the season when hustle and bustle meet peace, joy and light.

I see you there, about to (or maybe well on your way to) taking care of everyone and everything else this holiday season. So while you’re focused on that, I want you to know that I’m here to help you take care of your own personal wellness this holiday season and always.

Today I have 3 simple questions for you to ask yourself so that you start the holidays from a place of taking care of you while you’re taking care of Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, New Year’s or whatever other celebration is on your heart. In fact, use these 3 questions whenever you’re beginning something new.

To get to where you want to go, start with who you are. 

To enjoy a holiday of your dreams, begin by knowing who you truly are. Grounded in this wisdom about yourself, you can then make aligned choices and plans that matter the most to you and your loved ones and that feel the most fulfilling, fun and freeing.  Skip this step, and you may find yourself on autopilot, spending your time, money and energy on things that you think you could, should or ought to be doing, but instead they leave you feeling overwhelmed, underwhelmed or disheartened.

So here are those 3 questions that will help keep you rooted in who you are so you can plan for what you want  for a happier holiday . . .

1) How do you want to feel? Start with heart! Use all of your senses to ponder how you most desire to feel this holiday. Meet yourself exactly where you are. Whether you’re gearing up for a month of connection and celebration, or for one of solitude and just making it through, honour your emotions.

For example, I want to feel . . . a meaningful and fun connection with my loved ones and my “something greater”; present and aware of the moments of wonder; my compassion and light inspiring my children; accepting of inevitable holiday hurdles; like I’ve made a difference for others; and grateful for my many blessings. How about you? 

2) What are your values? Next, check in on the principles that matter most to you. Some of your values remain consistent through life, while others come and go. It’s a worthy practice to occasionally check in on what’s most important to you in your current season of life.

Not sure off-hand what your values are? Simply google “personal core values” for endless words. Which 3 are the most important to you in this season of life? 

3) How’s your energy level? Your body is a truthful barometer. It will tell you what’s best for you through your energy level. Ideally you want to maximize the perspectives, approaches and activities that make you feel energized and minimize those that make you feel drained.

Make two lists: Energizing to track which activities, people, scenarios, schedules, traditions, etc. leave you feeling the most at home, alive and light; and Draining to track which leave you feeling the most uncomfortable, depleted and heavy.  What common themes emerge from your Energizing list? From your Draining list? 

Answering these 3 questions to understand your desired feelings, values, and energizers is a wonderful way to put yourself, your wants and your needs at the heart of your plans – holiday and otherwise – and makes for a happier holiday for yourself and everyone around you.

And speaking of the others in your life, if you have a partner or a family you could make make this into a fun holiday activity where you each answer these questions and discover your holiday intentions together.

Either way, I’d love to hear what you discover!

Happy Holidays!
Nicole

p.s. While writing this message, I thought of a new idea for a holiday freebie to help you with your holiday planning. I’ll share it with you as soon as I can.

Posted in: Renewal
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