Posts In: self care

Are You Paying Attention?

October 29, 2014

Self-care isn’t something that’s nice to do.

It’s essential.

I’ve known that for some time. True in my own life and that of my clients. But I’ve been quiet about some of the services I offer. Afraid to promote too heavily. Afraid of rejection. But all that changed for me about a month ago.

On a Sunday a friend who’s an author and international trainer had a stroke. This woman, a key figure in her industry, has touched the lives of many. Today she’s relearning to walk, do laundry, use a computer…

On that Tuesday another friend, a man with a brilliant mind and big heart, passed away after an 8 month dance with cancer. His kindness and belief in me were life changing when I was in my 20’s. His professional life was all about being an advocate for those in vulnerable situations.

On that Thursday his wife, my best friend from college and the maid of honor at my wedding, received her first chemo treatment for ovarian cancer. My friend was a social worker. Currently she works as a nurse practitioner in an emergency room. If you’ve ever complained about a health care practitioner without people skills you can appreciate how important this woman with skills in nursing AND counseling is to her community.

Big Heart, Brilliant Minds

The world needs people with big hearts and brilliant minds. We need the gifts, the life purpose, of these creative and caring souls.

I can’t say that if any of them had made different choices they would have avoided the events of that week. But I do know that people of a caring nature, the massage therapists, coaches, teachers, social workers, artists, etc. I work with often neglect themselves in the pursuit of helping others.

They skimp (or skip) on their workouts. They work late in order to help someone. They eat a fast food meal because they’re too tired from giving, giving, giving.

Yes, I’m talking about others, but I fall victim to this pattern as well sometimes. Thinking that finishing a project is more important than getting to bed. Telling myself I need to work “just a little longer” when what I need is to walk. When I pay attention and take care of myself it always serves me.

My takeaways from that week:

  • Take good care, really good care of the precious body, mind, spirit that you’ve been given.
  • If something’s important to you spend time with it. Friends, family, your pets, a favorite hobby, your purpose in life…
  • I need to be bolder about my message. I’ve stayed too hidden. I need to let people know how I can help. My genius is in helping people with a passion sink firmly into their purpose in a way that is sustainable. I can help them get out of overwork and overwhelm and onto a path that gives them energy and wellness. All while still doing the thing that they’re meant to do.

How about you? What can you commit to doing this week in service of your wellness and your purpose? Commit to it here!

I was planning on writing a blog post about water as a stress relieving and balancing tool. I will write an article on water, but it won’t be the article I was planning on writing.

You see, coincidently (if you happen to believe in such things,) Kathleen McKern Verigin,
my mentor and founder of the nine-month Anam Cara program
I’m in asked me about my love for water. She wants to drink more water. But she didn’t just want the scientific facts.

She’s a smart lady and she’s already heard the facts plenty of times. She said, “I want to fall in love with water. I want to drink it for reasons other than because I “should.” I don’t like shoulds…I want spirit.”

I thought her words were brilliant. They get to one of the core reasons we don’t always do the things we know would be in our best interest. I don’t like “shoulds,” do you? Being told we “should” or knowing that we “should” feels too much like having a parent at the helm rather than our wise inner coach.

And how often do we take the time to fall in love, deep crazy love, with the thing that will be nurturing to your body, mind, spirit, emotions, or energy?

If you’re making resolutions…

If you’re embarking on a new fitness plan…

If you’re adding more of something…

Then consider falling in love with the thing before you tie your life energy up with it.

And hey, if you need a guide on your journey of “falling in love” I’d love to that guide. (“Matchmaking” is one of my superpowers after all.)

I had a stress dream last night. If you had asked yesterday if I felt stressed I would have said no. Yes, I was working on a big project, but I’m excited about it. I believe in the results I’m seeing with clients. Still I wonder if the changes I’m making in my business will be beneficial…

In my dream I was gathering with friends at a Portland pub/restaurant. I usually feel connected to this group of women collectively and individually. For some reason I felt out of the loop all evening.

When I arrived I had felt lucky to find a parking spot right in front of the restaurant. But as I left I couldn’t find my car. In talking with people I discovered that my car had been hit and then towed. Sounded like it was totaled.

To make matters worse I was told that because of how the accident occurred I would be held responsible for the damages to the car. I felt alone in the process of figuring out where my car was, getting home to Salem, renting a car, etc.

But I didn’t feel stressed…

Even though I wasn’t consciously stressing I clearly had some unconscious stress.

Do you ever tuck away stress only to have it give you a message you can’t ignore? Might come in the form of a dream like mine did. But you might find yourself grinding your teeth, feeling more irritable than usual, experiencing a headache or upset digestion… Your body will have its unique way to get your attention.

Great Relaxer (and so much more)

While I’m figuring out what the dream is about (ideas?) I’m going to use some relaxation tools. One of the tools I’m pulling out is marjoram (Origanum marjorana) essential oil. A great relaxer, I like using it with or without lavender to help with sleep.

Marjoram is a friend to the nervous system both relaxing and strengthening the nerves. But it’s not just the relaxation I’m seeking right now. Marjoram tenderly shines light on one’s shadow side. Once acknowledged it helps gently release fears and bring in new patterns related to the fears. To me it feels like a warm hug from a trusted friend.

While a safe oil to use, marjoram is so good at its job as a relaxer that you want to be mindful of not overusing this oil. Too much can dull your passion and senses. If you end up liking this oil remember to take breaks from using it.

Have you tried marjoram? Do you have a favorite tool for releasing fear and unconscious stress? 

 

I’m excited to share this guest post from Yollana Shore, owner of Soul Business. You might also know this amazing Aussie as a coach with Heart of Business. I

n this post from her blog she shares her insights from the work we did together. Check out the pictures of her self care cards.  You might just feel inspired to make some of your own.

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Are you taking care of yourself?

I never knew that I was sabotaging myself in this area, until I attended the Sacred Moment Seminar in Portland, OR earlier this year. The seminar was about how to talk navigate that sacred moment in a sales conversation where you and your client decide to work together. But I had another important conversation while I was there.

… Even if I never signed up with Sharon Roemmel for her truly awesome Self Care Coaching, that conversation probably would have changed my life. Because through her gentle questioning, I saw my game. I saw that I was happy to work, contribute, serve in my work, family and friendship circles. And I was willing to tend to my own needs now and again in a haphazard kind of way, and when I really needed to. But no way was I going to invest any time or money in my own general well being if there was no measurable and productive result for my family at the end.

Damn.

Does this sound familiar?

Are you also a passionate, erm, workaholic? Do you ever say “I must get a massage…” and then conveniently forget about booking one for another six months? Is it easier to spend money on looking after your children/spouse/friends than it is on looking after yourself? If this is sounding familiar, then hey – I know how you feel. And, read on. You might have something to learn from my recent journey with this.

The myth of productivity: time x work = outcome

When I work hard and focus on serving and contributing, it’s because I have a vision for how I want to make a difference in the world. That’s what powers, motivates and drives my efforts. There’s something I’m wanting to achieve. The myth is that achieving my goals is a direct function of time and work. If that were true, I would only have to work harder and longer to achieve more.

What’s missing from this picture? Perspective. Strategy. Inspiration.

If you’ve ever tried to push ‘against the flow’ to finish a job, only to find that your work has become redundant, then you probably already know what I mean. Or maybe you’ve approached a job thinking it was going to take forever, and then somehow – in a flash of inspiration – you got it done in a quarter of the time. This is the power of Inspiration. Or there’s the power of Strategy, where taking time out from the ‘coalface’ of your work, you see the bigger picture, and map a more effective path forward. Whether you are accessing spontaneous guidance or planning an effective strategy, you need space away from the busy-ness, to connect with yourself, your heart, the project.

How long does it take to get Perspective? Well, somewhere between two seconds and two months, I guess! The amount of time you need depends on the amount of stress and disconnection that you’re carrying. But, in general, 5 to 10 minutes can go a long way.

The Secret Key to getting perspective and being productive

“I’ve seen how talented you are! You are a great presenter, healer and coach…  and you really shine. But just imagine how much more you will shine when you are actually taking care of yourself?”

When Sharon said this in our first conversation, I caught a glimpse of something truly awesome. Me.

Seriously, though. I saw that I could be doing my work from a place of abundance. My cup was full and running over. I wasn’t overworked, overtired, or stressed out. I was shining. Shining big. And it would have been possible only because I had made space for my own self-care.

And only one week into my own self care process, I was already seeing these kinds of results. I had freed up more time for my creative projects – projects that will ultimately become products in my business. I was more relaxed with my husband and kids, which made them feel more supportive of my work. I was better rested physically and had sorted out some emotional stuff that was weighing on me, both of which gave me more energy to shine in my work.

Get the picture?

It doesn’t have to be hard

In fact, looking after yourself can be wonderfully fun and deeply rewarding. Especially if you do it your way. I had thought that stepping up my own self care would require more organisation, structure and discipline. And that just sounded like more work to me. No wonder I was resistant!

But there are a thousand creative solutions to nourishing yourself. And the first step is to get in touch with what you truly need and want. Just ask: What would nourish me and give me joy right now?

I had a lot of ideas about that. And because I’m not so hot on routine, Sharon suggested I make my very own “self care cards” that I can pull at random. And I even have permission to put one back and pick another one if it feels hard or just not fun at the time. How cool is that?! I was so pleased with how these gorgeous cards turned out that I couldn’t resist sharing some pics with you here:

 

I printed out the list of self care items that we brainstormed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I coloured them and added symbols to represent emotional, physical and spiritual self care, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here they are, ready to inspire!

 

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Want to know more about the lovely Yollana Shore, owner of Soul Coach?

In her words “My name is Yollana Shore. My own soul calling is to help you find and fulfill yours. I call myself a soul path illuminator. I’m also a healing guide and business coach. For over a decade, I’ve been working with individuals and groups, helping them to clear away the unresolved emotions, limiting thought patterns, and unhealed issues that stop them from finding and fulfilling their soul calling.”

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