Since I recently re-evaluated my lifestyle and came to the conclusion I was once again pushing myself too hard, I wanted to open a discussion on this topic with all of you. I’d love to hear your comments about this post, because my vision for this blog is to make it more and more interactive. This can become a place where there’s a sense of community, of healing, and of a collective sigh of relief in the midst of the craziness of regular life. Which brings me to my topic…
How are you living your life? Are you too busy? Are you overbooked? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you always tired?
I want to know what’s going on with you personally, so that we can all have a discussion about this for the next month or so. I’ve got a bee in my bonnet regarding this topic, because I think our culture supports the message that doing, doing, doing is somehow GOOD. We’re overbooked, tired, and not taking care of ourselves, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
I spend a lot of time giving my clients permission to do things like rest, say no to requests for their time/effort, and dial down the intensity of their lives. I am glad to be a role model for this way of living- one that values being, resting, and listening to my Essential Self (don’t worry, I’ll be talking at great length about the Essential Self in a few weeks, so you’ll have some more tools to really tap into this intuitive inner self). As a coach, I choose to be authentic, living what I preach. It keeps me honest, and I like it. I like living my life at a pace that feels good to me. I like not letting our culture dictate my lifestyle. I like going against the flow, the madness, and letting myself live with room to breathe in every single day.
My Social Self – the part of my psyche that wants me to fit in within my culture – gives me messages daily about how much work I should do, why I should not rest, why I need to be busier, etc. For me, just knowing that I have a Social Self (want to know more about your Social Self? Read Following Your Own North Star by Martha Beck) helps me to make choices that directly oppose its opinion. Sure, my Social Self thinks I should work constantly and tell everyone how busy I am. Then she feels really awesome, like she’s successful and everyone will approve of her. My Essential Self, on the other hand, would really prefer to go do absolutely nothing on a Friday afternoon, take naps, and go meander among the fall leaves before the snow comes. She doesn’t give a hoot what anyone thinks of this plan.
So, guess what? My Essential Self wins. I’m starting a crusade, right now. If you want to join me, I’d love it. Let’s take a journey toward saying no to our Social Selves and yes to our Essential Selves, more and more and more. I’ll promise to listen to my Essential Self, tell you all about it, and be the constant role model of an un-busy, sometimes even un-productive (gasp!), life, if you’ll share a little bit about your endeavors to do the same.
It’s time to take care of ourselves in a new and different way. It’s time to give ourselves the gift of less rather than more. What can you subtract from your day, today, to give yourself some do-nothing minutes? Do it, and then give yourself permission to truly do NOTHING, for five minutes, guilt-free. Then, go crazy and give yourself five minutes (or more!) to do something totally silly that you really love. Anything at all.
If you want great health, taking care of yourself is not optional. I would even venture to say that illness is the teacher who forces you to learn this lesson. I plan to expound on this topic some more in the following weeks, because I meet so many women each week who don’t value themselves unless they’re working themselves into the ground. I beg to differ. You are all valuable, worthwhile human beings, even when you’re lying on the couch, imitating a vegetable.
I refuse to say I’m busy. I’m done with that way of living. I am not busy. I work, I play, I rest, I do nothing, I breathe, I spend time with friends and family. I live. I take care of myself. I am worth it.
Talk to me, ladies. Tell me how you’re living your life. If you’re taking the time to care for yourself, how are you doing it? If you aren’t, why not? Let’s chat!
Posted on October 8, 2008 at 10:54 pm