Post ID 692

Posted by on August 14, 2019

“Sustainable happiness is . . . found in our relationship to place.” Richard Louv

 

Where do you feel most at home? 

On this lifelong adventure of being happy and whole, knowing this about yourself is gold.

There are many ways to know you’re on the right track to being your truest self on the inside and out. Today I have 3 fun questions you can ask to more fully be yourself and enjoy your life.

1) Where do you feel the most like yourself, at peace and alive – the most at home? 

This is on my mind as I’m currently at the place where I feel most at home – my family’s summer camp (or cottage or cabin if you prefer :).

Built on a beautiful lake by my grandparents in simpler times, when resources were treasured, craftsmanship was beautiful and the good times were oh so good, I’ve been blessed to spend summers here my entire life. 

Camp’s a part of me. I’m part of camp.

This is where I feel most at home. What about you? Even if it’s a specific patch of earth where you spent only moments, remember yourself in that place where you felt most like you.

2) As you picture yourself in that place, what adjectives describe how you feel there? 

I think about this all the time as I know there’s wisdom in our feelings. When I think about how I feel at camp, it’s no surprise to me that the words that come to mind very accurately describe my own personal values . . .

  • Connected – The loving and joyous times come to mind – with family and friends, young and old, today and yesterday
  • Simple – Camp life is easy life, it’s minimalist and routine in the best way which makes everything more simple and fun
  • Free – Living in the moment with barely a care in the world, spacious and away from life’s stressors
  • Natural – From morning through night, in all weather and elements, barefoot if I please, appreciating the wonder everywhere and feeling like a part of it all
  • True – This is me and this is where I feel most like me.

What words arise when you consider how you feel and why you feel that way in your “home”?

3) How does this awareness help you? 

The place you feel most at home is a ‘sacred space’ of sorts. In some cases, you may be able to return to this place that feels like home to feel whole, centred and true. More practically, you can recreate elements of this place in your everyday life. 

I use this insight about myself to guide my actions whenever possible. When it comes to my self-care, my personal life or my business, I use these words as a compass to make decisions and to guide my next steps.

How can I make this more connected, simple, free, natural or true?

For instance, when it’s time to take good care of me, I may ask myself what I can do to increase my experience of just one of my above 5 words. Maybe I need to meet up with a friend to meet my need for connection, or perhaps I can go for a walk to connect to nature. 

I do the same for my personal and professional life – how can I make housework more simple? How can I share more of my truth in these business emails? The more I align with my values, the more in flow and enjoyable life seems to be. 

I also use these words when facing decisions. To help me choose, I consider which option would bring me the most connection, simplicity, freedom, nature and truth.

Now it’s your turn. Considering the feelings you’ve noted for yourself, choose one and decide what you can do today to invite a little more of that into your life?

There’s no place like “home”,

     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: Empowerment, Heart, Spirit

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
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