It was always a major challenge for me to take care of my own needs. It became a vicious cycle where everyone else had a higher priority: clients, family, friends, even my to-do list.
I remember attending Cheryl Richardson’s workshop in San Francisco called “Stand Up for Your Life.” In one of the segments she was talking about needs. At the time, I didn’t know what my needs were, but I did know that I wasn’t my normal, joyful self. It was also a time in my life when I kept getting sick.
As Cheryl talked, I felt a weird tightening and fluttering in my stomach. It felt like I couldn’t breathe. I approached Cheryl on the break to ask what a personal need was. As she explained it to me, tears started running down my cheeks, because I realized I was looking after everyone except myself. I had become disconnected from myself; from my deep internal wisdom, and from my joy and passion. Do you ever find yourself putting yourself last, while smiling and trying to keep it all together? I think that most of us have experienced this feeling at some point.
I know that women have been regarded as the gatherers, primary care givers, and nurturers of our communities, and I think our tendency to be people-pleasers stems from not wanting to be ostracized. Because—good heavens!—what if people thought we were totally selfish, uncaring, or just out for ourselves?
Notice the feelings and thoughts you have when you read this. If you feel a negative charge, then these limiting beliefs and thought patterns might be running as white noise in the background of your life. They act as blocks that distract or distort you from hearing your inner wisdom. Or perhaps you already do make yourself a priority and honor you needs. If so, congratulations, you are modeling an important component of self-love for each person that you come in contact with!
One thing I know for sure: you can’t keep running around with an overflowing to-do list and also hear that wise voice inside of you. But you can step into your full feminine power and create something new, different, and deeply satisfying for yourself.
With self-care, rituals, creating boundaries, and getting in tune with your needs, you truly are your best authority. Take some time for yourself, tune into your belly wisdom, and finish the sentences below with your own answers. Your transformation begins by listening to your truth and then implementing it. Don’t be surprised if your answers are completely different from what you thought. I included my answers below, and numbers 2 and 3 completely surprised me. I am one of the healthiest eaters I know, and I was unaware that I was casting blame. I am grateful for this wisdom that has come through for me.
1. The most important self care ritual I need right now is ___________________________________________________________________________ (Bridget’s Response … to sit on a large patch of grass with an abundance of trees and to meditate)
2. My energy and vitality skyrocket when I make the decision to ___________________________________________________________________________ (Bridget’s Response … see a nutrition specialist)
3. My self love flourishes when I make the decision to ___________________________________________________________________________ (Bridget’s Response … let go of all blame in every little nook and cranny of my life)
4. To create more freedom in my life, the number one boundary I need to set is ___________________________________________________________________________ (Bridget’s Response … to switch my computer off by 7 pm every night)
I would love to hear some of your responses. I invite you to share in the comments below, or via my Facebook page!