I’m only three chapters away from finishing my E-Book – Self Care for Women Who Care, and I’m so excited. It’s the book I wish had been given to me a long time ago and one that I hope will inspire many of you to start prioritising yourself.
I’m a woman who cares.
I care about the environment. I care about social issues. I care about my relationships. I care about giving back. And I care about health and wellness.
I know there are thousands of other women who care too.
You may be working in the health or social sectors. You may be a mum. You may be caring for relatives or friends. You may be trying to find out what it all means while balancing everyone else’s needs. You may be healing from illness. Or looking to get reinspired about what you do at work. You may be looking for a new career, one that better fits your passions.
I know you. Because you are me.
This book is for you. For us. For all women who care. I can’t wait to share it with you.
Below is an excerpt from Chapter 2 – Stop. The Chapter is bursting with exercises that can help you on your way, but for brevity I’ve just included the text. I hope after reading it you understand just how important it is to just rest and stop before making any monumental life and health decisions. I know personally that it wasn’t until I stopped that I truly understood where I needed to go next. Enjoy!
“To get what you want, STOP doing what isn’t working.” – Earl Warren
For many of us our lives are a constant stream of engagement, stimulation and busy-ness. Our days are bursting with things that need our attention – work, kids, exercise, cooking, hobbies, staying in touch with friends and family, or planning for tomorrow, next week, or next year.
Our attachment to buy-ness is a complex one. On one hand, we hate it and complain about it all the time. On the other hand, we find a perverse pleasure in our spectacularly complicated lives. How many times do we get asked ‘Busy week?’ instead of ‘How are you?’.
For many of us, busy-ness is an escape. A coping mechanism learned through years of feeling insecure, anxious, not enough. We think that the more we do, and the better we do it, the more whole we will feel. But paradoxically we end up feeling much, much worse. We lose touch with ourselves. We become disassociated from our bodies.
Women particularly tend to cope with daily stressors though multitasking. However, there is increasing evidence that multitasking makes us less effective and more stressed. All of our multitasking is decreasing our attention span, reducing our immune response, increasing inflammation and making us less productive overall.
To make matters worse, many of us are convinced that to get truly happy, to find spiritual enlightenment, to lose weight or to achieve any other of our wellness goals, we need to do more. So we sign up to a bootcamp. We push our poor, underslept bodies beyond their boundaries. We try and squeeze in an art class. We take on caring for others. And instead of making us feel better, it just makes us feel worse.
Getting rid of Should
Our addiction to busy-ness is enforced by social norms – by a society which celebrates achievement over empathy and action over being. How many things do we do simply because we feel we should? Should is a terrible word – if I had my way it would be banished from our vocabulary.
Should reflects what we perceive to be the right course of action. Using the word ‘should’ is a learned habit – it comes from a place of being afraid to do something different.
‘Should’ had a very good place when we were growing up and learning to function in the world. It allowed us to follow social guidance and stopped us from being ostracized. But over time, we stopped listening to what we wanted, and listened only to all those people using the word ‘should’. Teachers, parents, partners, kids. As we bent to become more what other people needed, we lost our inner creativity, our confidence and most likely, our true self.
Eventually all the ‘shoulds’ became overwhelming. Remember this. ‘Should’ does not represent what we need. What we love. What we want in our life. ‘Should’ is only a product of our conditioning – it is our perception of what we think other people want us to do.
We must come to a place of stillness
So we can see that we need to change the fixation on doing. We need to do less, do those things we love, do them more simply and do them consistently to see real change.
The first step in our journey is therefore to stop. Stop thinking. Stop ruminating in our heads. Stop telling ourselves we’re lazy, bad, anxious. Stop listening to other people. Stop moving. Stop doing. Stop taking on more things. Stop looking everywhere else for distractions.
We must come to a place of stillness where we can fully appreciate where we are at, what we need and develop new ways of doing things. Some of us are forced to stop through illness. Recognize this time is an opportunity for healing and don’t resist it. Others of us won’t stop until we are absolutely forced to.
We can’t possibly achieve our wellness goals until we stop running and sit still for a while. Learning how to stop is the single greatest gift we can learn. It is by removing all of these layers of ‘stuff’ and ‘busy-ness’ that we uncover the diamonds beneath – our true beings.
Creating space to heal, to get reinspired and support ourselves is not selfish. In fact, it is the greatest thing we can do for those around us – those who want nothing more than for us to be happy, healthy and nourished on every level. Creating space is essential.
We cannot move forward until we have done this.
Want some more guidance to identify things you can shed in your life? Ready to book your FREE 30 minute health and lifestyle coaching session? Contact me now.
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