In my last post, I offered up five reflective questions for the new year — questions designed to get you thinking about how you want to walk authentically as a peaceful, playful and present woman in your life.
As I said then, I’m reflecting on these questions myself.
And today I’d like to spend some time on the very first question: What emotion am I yearning to experience this year?
When I offered this experiment to my coaching clients a couple months ago, their responses weren’t that far off from each other.
Joy. Peace. Calm. Serenity.
So if this is what we’re all most yearning for why is it so hard to reach it?
That’s where our myths about what self-care really is come into play, sabotaging our ability to take “me time” and recharge effectively, hence all the mom burnout happening in our culture today.
The first myth is that we think self-care is about getting away.
We think we need time away to recharge. But, what happens is that the urgent stuff takes over our lives and pushes away the important stuff — the important matter of taking care of you. And so you never actually get to leave the children, the job, the house, the life for a while. And when you do, you start to feel guilty. This is the quickest and fastest way to the Land of Bitter and Sour.
Self-care isn’t about getting away. It’s about feeling good. And, in the land of Abundant Mamas, we believe that feeling good can and should happen right there, on the floor, with your little one. Period. Getting away is just a bonus when it happens, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of nourishing ourselves.
You have to find a way to balance out the positive and negative energies throughout your day.
The second self-care myth is an even bigger trap in our lives as mothers: That self-care is about YOU and that’s why we carry guilt with it.
Self-care is a selfish act, but rather one that is about love. When we love ourselves enough to nourish ourselves in a way that leaves us feeling more relaxed, we can be more kind, more loving, more playful and more healthy. it means we are doing exactly what we should be doing to help our family and raise thriving children.
I can’t think of anything better than to model self-love — rather than self-neglect — to our children through their own childhoods with the hopes that they, too, will love themselves enough to take care of themselves.
And if you want to take your own self-care more seriously, you’re going to have to get serious about it and start understanding how you want to feel and doing more of those things — without the guilt.
The entire second week of the Abundant Mama Project is dedicated to nourishing ourselves in simple, but really effective ways, and usually by week’s end the women in the class finally start understanding that self-care isn’t a dirty word.
Let me say it again, self-care is not a dirty word.
It’s not a guilt fest.
Taking time to truly nourish ourselves is sacred and necessary, and when done properly it totally changes our perspective about motherhood.
And, it’s the fastest path to joy, to peace, to calm and to serenity — or whatever that emotion is that you are yearning to experience more of right now.