Post ID 688

Posted by on June 21, 2019

How’d you get on last week with identifying your self-care needs and putting them into practice?

If you did it, awesome! Keep it up. If you didn’t, no worries. Today’s email is for you.

As much as we may want – or love – to nurture our self-care needs, we often feel RESISTANCE which keeps us from moving ahead. Today, let’s sort out what’s really going on.

First, it helps to know what’s up with resistance. When you feel stuck, and can’t seem to move forward with something, it can mean one of two things: either what you’re engaged in (or want to be engaged in) isn’t truly meeting your needs or you’re involved in something that does meet your needs, but clashes with your internal beliefs or self-concepts.

Think of something you’re resisting regarding self-care, and ask yourself:  Would this truly meet my needs? If no, move on to something that would. If yes, keep reading . . .

The next consideration is to discover what is causing your resistance. Again, there are two possibilities: your blocks may come from outside of you or from within you.

Outside resistance includes the practical, legitimate, concrete reasons that you cannot move forward. If you’re facing this type of resistance, chances are that you already know the work-around and are simply waiting for certain pieces to ‘fall into place’ before you can get on with it. Or maybe you don’t know the specific ‘how tos’ to accomplish what you want, but you do know that you can reach out to someone who can help you strategize your way forward. As per Pareto’s 80/20 Principle, this may be the cause of your resistance about 20% of the time.

The other 80% of the time, you’re likely facing resistance from within yourself. This is the trickier of the two to navigate, because you’re often not even aware that you are the source of the obstacle – that your mindset is the true block. Which of these inner resistance thoughts can you relate to, as inspired by Hannah Braime’s book “From Coping to Thriving”?

Top 7 Reasons for Inner Self-Care Resistance

1) “I don’t have the time.” Yes, we all have a million things to do. Which of those things matter most to you? And how would you be better able to tend to the other things if you were energized, motivated and full up from self-care? Prioritizing what you value most can be tricky to master, but once you have there’s no going back. Also, on your journey to clearing more space for yourself in your day, remember that some of the most effective practices take only moments, like breathing, looking at a beautiful view and envisioning a happy memory.

2) “I can’t afford it.” If money barriers are lurking, this is surely a mindset issue, as we all rationally know that self-care doesn’t have to cost a dime. Since many people equate their financial worth with their personal worth, it follows that such people may only invest in their self-care, financially or otherwise, when they feel worthy. If this sounds like you, I want to tell you that you are worthy and you do deserve self-care.

3) “Self-care wasn’t a thing for me growing up.” As with many of our unconscious beliefs, we may have received overt or underlying messages about self-care from our parents and authority figures in our formative years. However well-intentioned your guardians were or were not, and whether they deemed self-care acceptable or unacceptable, you may still carry their outdated self-care beliefs which need refreshing as they are no longer serving you.

4) “Society frowns upon it.” Additionally, we’re taught so much by our community, culture, religion, media and society, and not all of what we learn through this societal conditioning serves our highest good. For example, many women have internalized that we must be caregivers and put others needs before our own, or that we must not express our ‘negative’ emotions. We fear rejection if we don’t follow through with these ‘norms’. The truth is, as a human you are meant to love others without being a martyr and honour ALL of your emotional needs.

5) “It’s just another thing I ‘should’ be doing.” Thanks to social obligation as mentioned above, not meeting our ‘shoulds’, ‘need tos’ and ‘musts’ leads to resistance. The more obliged we feel about doing something – and the more accompanying self-judgement it brings – the more we will resist. If we are ashamed of some aspect of self-care, we will avoid it at all costs to also avoid experiencing the dreaded feelings of shame. The best way to suck all of the fun and value out of your self-care is to do it because you ‘should’, instead of because you ‘choose to’, ‘want to’ and ‘love’ to engage.

6) “I wish someone else would take care of me.” The more we yearn for someone to come and ‘save us’ by meeting our unmet needs, the longer we stay stuck. This also manifests as wanting to meet our needs without having to express, assert and negotiate how to meet them with others. If you can relate, I lovingly share that living your best life begins with taking responsibility for yourself, including meeting your own unmet needs.

7) “I don’t deserve it.” Self-care is a matter of health-care, not a question of whether or not we have earned it. You have the unconditional right and responsibility to take great care of yourself. The real question is how would you love to tend to your emotional, mental, spiritual and physical need? Understanding self-care as an essential priority in your life will help you ditch the guilt and see it as a necessary part of being alive.

Okay, now breathe.

That was a lot. You don’t have to get all entangled by the details of these barriers if they’re all too much. Simply pick one to explore, or if you prefer just take away the simple message that you deserve to take great care of you. And return to those fundamental questions:

What do I really need? What could I do today to get one step closer to meeting that need?

Yours in self-care,

Nicole

P.S. Want to receive more messages like this, straight to your inbox? Simply subscribe to my freebie here and you’ll also receive weekly empowering notes from me!

Posted in: Dreams, Empowerment, Mind

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

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