Self Care: Why is it so damn hard to take care of ourselves?

 

Self care. It’s actually kind of a boring “should” word and something we all feel we should be doing more of. What does it mean to you? Is it eating food, relaxing or exercise? This has been one of my biggest struggles turned passions. No diet, amount of health information or pairs of shoes can replace truly caring for yourself on all levels.  

However, I prefer to ask the question like this: How do you care for you?

We all have different needs and requirements to staying healthy and happy yet many people totally clear on what theirs are or they only work on one piece of the puzzle.  Autopilot kicks in and we find ourselves behind the curve and our “self care” looks like survival. True self care includes the needs of our whole selves being met in Body, Mind and Spirit. Ignoring or neglecting our needs can be dangerous.  It’s like trying to put together a car with missing parts. It’s just not going to get you where you want to go and it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

We often miss the connection between self care and truly honoring, loving and accepting our selves. Self care is the action we take to confirm what we believe about ourselves and what’s possible for us. It’s an imperative ingredient for living a fulfilled life with purpose defined by our personal definition of success.

There are many ways we can deny ourselves our basic needs and we can be creative at justifying why.  Here are just some of the basic ways we do this.

 

Habitually meeting other’s needs and not your own. 

Saying yes when you really mean no. 

Ignoring parts of you that want to be expressed and heard. 

Numbing yourself with food, alcohol or drugs.

 

And WHY does it feel like such a challenge? It’s not easy to put our name at the top of the list. Sacrifice and suffering can be synonymous with love and it’s easy to get our wires crossed.  We can easily ignore our needs in favor of someone or something else because that’s how we’ve learned to show our love or belong. It’s not workable like this when we don’t get our needs met. Some other reasons we don’t action are:

 

We feel we didn’t earn it, aren’t worth it or don’t deserve it. 

We feel guilty.

We feel judged(by others and ourselves) .

We have the perception that putting ourselves first takes away from others.

We don’t know or aren’t aligned with what we really want.

 

Self Care is an art. It will look different at different times in our lives. There are items that are a constant for everyone like enough water, food and sleep and then there are other aspects that will change with time around mindset and emotional needs.  Connection with ourselves daily is imperative so that we can identify what those needs are. We must know what they are in order for them to be met or that donut starts looking like pure bliss! Oh and it is but there about a million other ways to experience that. Once we know what they are, than we can create action or explore the reasons why we are not.

It's beautiful how the way we shift one thing effects everything else(yes everything else) in our lives.  The body, mind and spirit work miraculously together and investment in each of the areas effect their counterparts.  For example, evolvement in mindset and spirit will inevitably shift the body in a way no supplement or health plan can and visa versa.

Where can you start?

Step One: Write it down. A very simple exercise is to write down what you want every day so you can stay connected to what you honestly want and need. Make a column for the physical, mental and spiritual.  If you are looking for more energy than the focus can be on subtracting out the energy robbers in your day. If you are looking for more connection to others they you can go into the day with that intention rather than keeping your headphones on and head down. This is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your needs on a daily basis.  It’s easy, quick and powerful and it’s great for the mind in and of itself!  

Step Two:  Define an actionable item daily. Writing it down doesn’t create action it just brings awareness. Self care requires taking action so pick one thing that stands out the MOST to you where if you imagine having taken action you can feel yourself light up from within.  You have to be able to FEEL the excitement of having it or you probably won’t follow through. Just a reminder: This can be anything and stay away from the list of what you “should” be doing. Pick what’s going to elevate you on the spot or what you feel most attracted to in the moment. If it's not eating more greens than don't pick that just yet!

Step Three:  Slow down. One of the hardest things ever but in order for us to make conscience choices, we have to slow down a bit in order to fit ourselves in. When you feel like you are on a hamster wheel all day a simple act of putting your bare feet in the grass can feel impossible! 

When we reclaim our time to CARE for ourselves we have so much more to offer others and the world.  It’s easy to fall into the thinking that we are taking away from others but the opposite is true. Your greatest contribution to the world is to love and care for YOU.

If your health has experienced a decline or you aren’t feeling as vital as you would like, take a step back and evaluate how you are caring for yourself in mind body and spirit.  

If you can relate to some of the challenges I mentioned above than I highly suggest signing up for my Self Care Challenge starting next week where we’ll be basking in caring for ourselves on a whole new level and working through some of those very challenges!

Sign up Below!

http://bit.ly/1SnAjTf

 

Embrace your Desires for Health and Happiness

OK, so what does it mean to embrace your desires? Fair question. I’m not talking woo woo unicorns and rainbows here. I happen to like rainbows and unicorns but I understand that’s not for everyone. However, honoring your desires and what’s inside your heart + soul IS FOR EVERYONE including you. 

I’m talking about real life here.  Your life and what you want to be experiencing that you are not currently. This is not to assume you are totally unfulfilled, unhappy or lost but certainly you may feel any of those or all of them when you aren’t connecting and honoring what’s in your soul or who you are.  Maybe you feel like there’s a missing piece?

This was me most of my life. I was an expert at choosing things that were kind* of related to what I wanted but I never believed I could have what I ACTUALLY wanted. And guess what? Surprise! I didn’t get what I wanted and always felt something was missing. Not only that but I got super excellent at convincing myself that it was OK. Always wishing I was somewhere else or that my grass was greener. Well of course your grass isn’t going to be green if you are not watering the whole thing. There were my computer programming days, my time on stage and my Pilates Instructor decade. These were all fine. Yep FINE.  (FINE - FULLY INSIDE + NOT EXPRESSED). Getting what I really wanted was not a choice on my menu. I simply was not allowed.

Honoring our desires is connecting with the deepest parts of us that know what we want. It’s not something we need to think too deeply about but rather just allow the thoughts, feelings and words to surface so we may dare to listen, be willing to get it wrong and say YES, I’m allowed to want or BE this. Saying yes and declaring it to yourself and others is the permission slip for alignment with exactly what you want. It’s like getting on the right bus. We know the permission slip is truly signed when we can FEEL what it would be like to have our desire fulfilled. There are so many things that keep us from embodying our own YES and this is what I work on frequently with my clients. Getting to the WANT under the WANT and revealing the brilliance that’s inside all of us so that we may receive it.

Think about when you are your most passionate, powerful and ALIVE version of yourself and that’s what you want to turn up the volume on. Is it dining on your favorite meal, red lipstick, yoga, singing, rolling in the dirt, hugging, meeting new people, laughing with friends, writing, baking, poetry, painting, swimming in the ocean, feeding the homeless. Whatever puts in you in alignment with…well….yourself.

It’s not always so easy and it is a process. Fear, overwhelm, self doubt and all the disempowering states sneak in so it’s incredibly important to be able to step back and keep perspective or create a whole new one. These are terrifying(yet SURVIVABLE) emotions that make us feel like we are going to die if we keep going outside the bounds. The voices that tell us all the reasons it won’t work, we don’t deserve it or it’s simply too big for us. It’s impossible to truly move forward from these states so doing things from our ALIVE list is crucial.

Desire can pertain to our professional life, money, health, our bodies, relationships or ANYTHING we want to be experiencing. Sometimes we don’t even know exactly what we want at first because we’re so wrapped up in the fear, our perceived reality and what’s NOT possible for us, we can’t imagine taking action and there we are….what’s the word….stuck?

If you feel this way, you are not alone and this is part of the process and the magic of the journey. This is where we learn, where breakthroughs happen and where we get to choose our path.


Feeling stuck is a gift and opportunity if you let it be. 


We stay where we are safe, where we belong and where there’s love. These are all great. Vital really. We all want to feel safe, belong and feel loved from day one. But what if I told you these also were the things that get in the way and bungee cord us back, keeping our desires out of reach and doors closed to us. It can feel like an “either-or thing” where we’re trading love, safety and belonging for what we really want.

And THAT is scary.

Not to mention feeling SELFISH!  The feeling we might have to lose something or someone else we love may have to lose something for us to get what we want is enough to have us look around, declare we were just kidding and stuff our desires into a deep abyss inside us where we hope we won’t hear from them ever again. What was I thinking? Who was I to think I could shine so bright?

The perfect example is the sick wife who is afraid her husband will leave her if she gets healthy so she makes sure she never does despite a long list of efforts. (Who would she be if she lost her husband?). Or the woman who won’t lose weight permanently because she won’t have anything in common with her sister who she emotional eats and shops with. (The thought of leaving her sister behind is way too painful so she stays overweight in devotion). Or the mom who is afraid she’ll be taking away from her kids if she follows her heart’s work and passions so she never tries or never plays full out (That one is mine ….was mine). There are tightly stitched threads that keep us running in place. We have the power to keep the threads knitted tightly and we also have the power to loosen them.

What are we REALLY saying when we say no to ourselves ignoring our desires and what kinds of feelings do these following statements create in our body?  

Stay safe.

You can’t have what you want.

Don’t dare ask.

You are not worth it .

You don’t deserve it.

You didn’t earn it.

It’s not your time.

Not Now.

Other people are more important and get what they want but not you.

NO Feelings: Disappointment, Resentment, Self Loathing, Shame, Smallness, disempowerment

What are we really saying when we say YES to ourselves and what kinds of feelings do the following statements create in our body? 

You are worth it.

You deserve it.

You CAN have what you want.

I love you.

It is your time.

YES Feelings: Excitement, Empowerment , Happiness, Fulfillment, Love, Trust, Deserving

Which set of feelings do you think allows for more alignment, healthy cells, healthy organs, healthy bodies, healthy outlooks, healthy lives and a healthy world?

Forget what you SHOULD want, what’s practical, sounds good, makes others comfortable, makes mom proud or even makes sense. The BEST desires in life often makes NO SENSE to anyone but you. These are usually the big impossible ones that make your voice shake, require leaps, risks and a whole lot of faith and TRUST.  If you want to run for the hills then you are on the right track! And it doesn’t have to be big. Small changes produce big results. In fact fulfilling small desires on a regular basis is life changing.  More rest, regular relaxation and a good breakfast everyday. Anything you want to be doing or experiencing that you are not. There is no empowered action too small. Connect with yourself every day and unapologetically ask:

What is it that that I want?

What do I want more or less of?

What inside me wants to be expressed? Why is this important to me?

What is something that I want to be doing for myself that I’m not?

This is the first part to creating transformation in your body and life. Of course there’s a lot more but it starts with declaring WHAT YOU WANT.

Write it down. Express it on paper. Say it out loud. BE Honest. BE Bold. See it. Share it. Honor it. Roll around with it. Enjoy the journey and believe everything comes when we are ready and at the perfect time.

In the words of the late Wayne Dyer: “Don’t Die with your music still in you” 

Sign up below for a  complimentary 30 minute strategy session with Nanci focusing on what you may be stopping you are slowing you down from honoring YOUR desires. 

https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=11490099