We are the work horses of our society. We are the nurturers, the caregivers, the mama bears and the revolutionaries. We hold each other up, when others try to hold us down. We are the beginning of life just as we are often there at the end of life. We are the keepers of light and the protectors from darkness.
With as much power as we contain, control and emit, we are still often stuck in a murky mire trying to decide where we fit in a world so heavily dominated by men. We as women often put ourselves last in our heavily packed to-do schedule, and yet if we do not nurture ourselves, our energy depletes and we become jaded and exhausted at having to do it all in the effort to have it all. What if we, as women, instead put ourselves first? What would happen if you put your foot down and said, I openly receive, and be the first person in line with your hand out asking for help?
Often, we look around for assistance and instead of waiting for someone to step up and help, we feel resigned to do it ourselves. Anyone with kids will know what I mean after asking their child to do something when only to pick up the mess, finish the project or find the missing shoe ourselves.
How do we flip the switch to receive as much as we give? To put ourselves at the front of the line, and let others serve our needs? To rediscover the dreams and passions we perhaps put aside to create a family, or carve out a career. How to do we find her? The girl that we once knew but have been losing bits and pieces of her along our journey.
Reclaiming our lives and living out the dreams we still hold so lovingly to our breast requires some thought, self-reflection, determination and a re-configuring of our current life’s prioritization. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
- Deep Thoughts – take some time to determine what it is that’s preventing you from being who you really want to be. Make a list, do some automatic writing and see what areas of your life you’re dissatisfied with. Where you are feeling unsupported or overwhelmed? Listen to your heart center to hear what it has to tell you. You might be surprised how different it is compared to your conscious thought.
- Self-reflection – Create a journal and begin to rediscover yourself. What do you love? What did you love when you were a child? Do these passions still live inside you as an adult? What have you always wanted to do, to accomplish, or create that you seem to never find the time for? What do you feel passionate about? What careers, volunteer work or other acts of service can you think of that would combine your passion? Dig down to discover your ‘WHY?” – Why do you feel passionate about this dream? Why are you holding yourself back? Why is it imperative to have this passion/goal/dream in your life right now? Keep asking yourself why until you can’t come up with any more answers. This exercise is truly powerful. Try reflecting in a journal every day for a few weeks and see how much you rediscover about yourself.
- Determination – Once you have figured out the gaps in your life and how you might like to nurture those areas, create mini-contracts with yourself to start changing your life in small ways. I love the statement “Do one thing…” it shows the universe that you mean business and are taking concrete and inspired action toward you goals. What “one thing” will you do every day to work towards reclaiming who you really want to become? Start small, and work your way up to even larger and more inspired goals as you begin to change, adapt and see positive improvements in your life.
- Re-prioritization – This one I know is more difficult.How do you re-prioritize your life to make time for these new, or rediscovered dreams, passions and goals? I recommend once again to start small. Once a day, do something solely for yourself. It can be your “one thing” or just taking a 10 minute walk during lunch to center and ground yourself. Then think bigger. How can you ask others for assistance? What can you take off your plate that will allow yourself time to pursue your passion, or dreams? Turn off the TV or put down the phone for thirty minutes and take the time to accomplish something you’ve been meaning to do, but haven’t carved out the time for. You need to allow yourself some nurturing self-healing every day. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel if you put yourself first once and a while.
With that in mind, I want to also remind you to stop apologizing for your need to take care of yourself. As women, we are often apologizing for putting ourselves first or for not being able to take care of someone else’s need. STOP IT! Reclaim this as a right, not a privilege. Stand up straight and say “No, I can’t help you today because I have other plans.” I’m not suggesting you stop helping, nurturing or giving to others. Just remember that you should schedule time for yourself and don’t break the contract you have created. Once you let it slide and allow one thing to be prioritized over it, it will be like a snowball down a mountain top.
Claim your boundaries, stand your ground and slowly make progress towards reclaiming the person you’ve always known was inside you waiting to burst free.
If you are local to the Denver area, I invite you to join me Sunday, August 25th at 10 AM for an insightful and fun workshop all about reclaiming your authenticity and defining who you are and who you want to be. Putting the She Back in Me
I will also be facilitating an exercise during this Monday’s Claim Your Desire Women’s Circle. I hope you’ll come out and join me for this event as well.
Until next time,