Unintentionally and completely unplanned, I have taken a couple of months off writing a blog post. At the beginning the thoughts swirled through my head telling me how I was not good enough and I was feeling like I was a failure here because I was not consistently writing. This break was not because I had writers block and did not know what to share with you, in fact it was the opposite. The longer the break, the more creativity hit me. The break happened because I am deep in my own healing and I am discovering that with all this inner work I needed to create space in my life for myself. It was an act of self-care; a gift that I gave to myself.
I could have drowned myself in the fears of not being a good enough life coach or writer, or worried about what everyone else was thinking of me. But I realised that this break I took, was an act of love. And when you really show yourself compassion, gentleness and love, it is a hard space for fear to thrive.
The break I took was one I needed. It has allowed me to commit to myself on a deeper level and to really tune into how connected I am with me. You see if I do not nurture myself, and respect when I need the space to grow and heal than the words I write hold no integrity. Tuning into and committing to yourself is one of the most courageous things you will ever do. Yes, as times it is confronting, uncomfortable and overwhelming, however it is also so incredibly rewarding.
I have found that really committing to my own healing is a very confronting experience. There is much from my life that I have wanted to ignore and forget about. However, by doing this, I was fighting myself. I have written previously about how I lived for many years so guarded and how I had built a brick wall around myself. I did this for my own protection. It was my coping mechanism. I had numbed myself, and used food as my comfort. However, over the last few years I have been breaking down this wall. I am letting it crumble away – in tiny little pieces.
I am committed to building a strong connection with myself and understanding how this is the basis for everything in our life. It effects every aspect of our day, from the food we eat, to how we move our bodies, to the thoughts we have, and how we interact with our work mates, our friends, our partners and our loved ones. The connection (or the lack of connection) shines through in every single element of our life.
I noticed with myself that when that connection is not there, I strive hard and push through every single day. My stress levels are high, and there is an underlying feeling that everything that I am doing is not good enough. It is a space where I deplete myself, while constantly giving to everyone around me.
My default setting is to be a quick-thinking and fast-acting high achiever. I find slowing down and creating space can be really confronting and uncomfortable. It challenges you to look at yourself and it stirs up emotions. It is not until I STOP, that I could begin to see how fast I was pushing through everything. There are some days I feel like I am going at a snail’s space because I am used to being the cheetah. However, by slowing down I am becoming aware of how shot my nervous system is and how I have spent decades living in fight or flight mode.
The choice is with you; you can continually push through until your body stops you with a health crisis, or you can create this space in your life. I have committed to checking in with myself daily and adjusting my life accordingly. This is the ultimate act of self-care I give to myself.
We hear so much about self-care these days, and how important it is to look after our self. There are so many blog posts out there telling you how to have the best morning routine by doing these 50 things (oh those stress me out because what time am I meant to get up in the morning?) and so much about all the luxury self-care like massages and facials. I understand where they are coming from, it truly is so important to be looking after yourself, however these items are like the icing on the cake. They have the biggest impact, when we are making self-care part of our every day.
There are times when self-care can sound overwhelming and expensive, and make you feel that what you are doing is not enough. It is time to change this. It is time to see that self-care is essential to your every day. So I want to share with you my daily self-care two-step process (that is not overwhelming or expensive).
Ask yourself every day –
How am I feeling today?
Am I am tired or energized, happy, sad, angry, frustrated, anxious, nervous, stressed…
What do I need today to support myself?
The options are only limited by yourself. You may need to blast some really loud music and scream at the top of your lungs. You may need to read a book. You may need to not have that cup of coffee because it won’t help you sleep well. You may need to go to bed at 7.30pm. You may need to call into work sick because you are actually sick and pushing through will not help you. You may need to sit in silence. You may need to reach out to a friend.
I have done the luxury self-care stuff in the past and walked out after a massage feeling like “well, that didn’t do anything except waste my money” and it was because the foundation of daily self-care was not there.
So this little update is for a few reasons, to say “hello” because I have really missed being here, and it is also to remind you that your connection with yourself truly is so incredibly important. It is something to be nurtured every single day because when I do, I notice everything that my body is telling me. I know how ingrained in our lives it can become to ignore our needs and wants. Instead, we can deplete our self because we focus our time and energy on what others may say or think about us. Perhaps it is time for you to show yourself the same love you show others, and commit to daily checking in with yourself. When you commit to yourself with love, compassion and gentleness it is amazing to watch how those worries about what others may think of you fade away.