It might surprise you to hear that one of the best ways to cultivate a hopeful, optimistic outlook is to practice some radical self-compassion.
Frequently people confuse self-compassion with self-indulgence or even selfishness. But being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others, if not more so.
Being kind to yourself means you can stop that vicious cycle of self-blame and recrimination. It prevents you from ruminating on past mistakes and builds your resilience and confidence so you can pick yourself up and get back on track.
When you are kind and encouraging to yourself, your anxiety levels drop, your mood lifts, and you become more optimistic and hopeful about the future.
Perhaps the best way to start your self-compassion practice is to adopt a more mindful attitude to life. Mindfulness focuses on the acceptance of who you are, and where you...
I was raised by a very strong mother and an even stronger grandmother. They did everything. My mother ran a business with my father, took care of him after he had a nervous breakdown, paid the bills, and parented the kids pretty much on her own.
I don’t remember seeing her take a break except when she worked in our backyard, growing flowers or planting cuttings from someone else’s garden. She was ALWAYS busy.
Her mother, my grandmother, was equally busy but she had a different style.
As a farmer's wife, "MaMa,"(as we lovingly called her) milked the cow, churned butter, washed clothes for our family, prepared special meals for my grandfather, and always baked a cake on the weekend for Sunday "dinner" as well as cooking a huge spread for the whole family.
In addition to each full day, she would drive over to her sister-in-law's house. Aunt Angie was bedridden with rheumatoid arthritis and MaMa would drive to her house to take her a meal, cut her...
When it comes to working on self-care, all of us have different aspects of ourselves that we aren’t fully aware of. It could be personality traits, feelings, or actions.
These blind spots can really hamper our self-care efforts. This is why it's so important to become fully aware of them. Let's look at some of the most common blind spots you may discover with making sure your self-care is in place.
A lot of people hate conflict, but sometimes it's needed to resolve situations. If you tend to avoid conflict, it means you’ll often do or say things you don’t necessarily agree with. This is a common blind spot that can really derail your self-care efforts.
The trouble is, when you give in to others just to avoid conflict, it reduces your credibility. You’ll also find you are frequently miserable due to not standing firm in your own beliefs and values. So, if your blind spot is avoiding conflict, it’s important to address...
If you’re struggling to make healthier changes in your life, it could be that you’re not convinced a change is needed. Many of us are also great at avoiding change. It tends to be something we dread, rather than look forward to.
However, if you want to live your best life, it’s imperative you recognize when a change is needed. So, how exactly can you recognize that change is needed in your life? Below, you’ll discover some of the common signs to look out for.
Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and you’ve lost your purpose? This is a sure sign that a change is needed. Everyone has a purpose, but it isn’t always easy to identify it. Also, your purpose can change as you get older and go through life’s experiences. So, if you feel like your life isn’t your own anymore, it’s time to make a change.
Another sign change is needed is if you find your mood...
Even when you know how important self-care is to your wellbeing, it isn’t always easy to incorporate it into your daily routine. In fact, did you know many people fail when it comes to taking care of themselves?
Let’s look at why people generally fail when it comes to self-care and the main things holding them back.
Self-care is often perceived as selfish
One of the main reasons people fail to take care of themselves is because they feel it’s selfish. It could be that you feel guilty when you take time to focus on yourself. Or you may worry what other people think or that you are a terrible parent for not focusing solely on your children’s needs.
It is a total myth that self-care is selfish. In fact, it can help you to be a better parent, friend, spouse, and relative. The more you take care of yourself, the easier you’ll find it to take care of others. You’ll also show your children the importance of self-care. Teaching them to take care of their...
Clutter. It drives us all mad and if you're like me, the harder you try to deal with it, the worse it gets.
All that extra “stuff” in our lives does harm to our brains and our wellbeing. It’s a hot topic and for good reason. As a society in the western world, and the US in particular we have more stuff than ever before.
Our houses are bigger, our closets are bigger, yet every closet, the spare bedroom, and the garage is full of stuff. There's now an entire industry that’s grown around helping us deal with our clutter from stores that sell organizing solutions, to organizing and decluttering consultants, and even storage units that allow us to keep even more stuff that we don’t have room for.
If nothing else, all this clutter and all this extra stuff can be very distracting.
When was the last time you spent more than a couple of minutes trying to find something among all the extra things you’re...
"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."
C S Lewis
I’m always shocked a bit when I realize that we’re so close to the end of another year. It’s like suddenly there’s talk about what to have for Thanksgiving dinner and what will Christmas be like.
As we inch closer to December 31, we have choices we can make.
We get to decide how we want the rest of the year to go and how to finish it up.
And how we want to enter into the new year.
Whether it's been the toughest year of your life or you've been able to sigh and say, well, it wasn't that bad compared to 2020, I want you to pause for just a second.
And think about the hard parts of 2021.
Before we can move on to the next step, we have to let go.
It sounds easy, simple. Right?
But when you have a broken heart or you feel crushed by a huge sucker punch life has given you, it is NOT EASY to let go. ...
Forgiving yourself involves many things but mostly it has to do with letting go.
When you can forgive yourself, you are free of the cycle of beating yourself up.
When something we do hurts someone else or when we make a poor judgment, we can get stuck going round and round, thinking "if only."
We can be harder on ourselves and not be able to forgive ourselves when we think we've done something "wrong." We get stuck in shame, especially if we were shamed as children.
I asked a few people this week if they could forgive themselves.
Sometimes I was met with a puzzled look. Other times, an almost tearful look.
I got these answers:
"I think about it every day"
"I think it's hard"
"I don't know how to forgive myself"
"I never thought about it"
I realized most of us don't really know how to forgive ourselves.
I thought about this topic a lot and came up with a few things to think about:
1. It won't help...
The answer to your best life might be surprising.
We all know it's not about having gobs of money, although having your basic needs met is crucial.
Yet in this world where people are stressed, anxious, and not happy in jobs that are way too stressful and demanding, it's time to do what we can do and take ultra good care of ourselves. This is what makes an ordinary life the best life.
We live in a world where we don't know what will happen with the pandemic or the climate crisis. It's a crazy time in history and by many predictions, it will get worse.
So...here's the deal.
There are way too many things out of our control.
We can choose to start loving ourselves so that we can be resilient and contribute to helping figure out how to help in our own unique way.
When we let go of how we think life has...
What is it?
It's different things to different people.
I think of it as having a high regard for your well-being and happiness. It’s about prioritizing your needs and what you want in life.
Think about someone you love.
Close your eyes and bring up a clear image of that person who’s very dear to you, someone you absolutely adore.
What is it that you love about them?
Is it their unique way of showing up in the world? Is it their wit, their generosity, their deep caring for other people?
Or is it that they're badass and they never give up?
Take a moment to savor their uniqueness.
Now. I have a question for you.
Do you love yourself as much as you do them?
If you answered yes, what are the similar traits that you have in common with this person? What you admire in others, you probably have some version of yourself like...
Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.