I just returned from our amazing Fall Self-Renewal Retreat at The Crossings with twenty wonderful women from around the U.S. (Look for more to come on our April 2010 retreat.) During one session, we explored what our “barriers to self-care” are: what keeps us from taking care of ourselves.
Many women shared that they were afraid of what others might think, they might ignite anger or irritation for taking a stand for their needs or they were afraid they might rock the boat by saying “no” to a request from someone else, so they could say “yes” to their physical/emotional/spiritual well-being.
Can you relate? I sure can.
Usually every Fall and Spring—our busiest times—I become extremely mindful of my time, energy and resources. And invariably, I have to end up saying no more often than yes, to things that truly feed me: new coaching clients (they can work with our amazing senior career coaches Angela and Sarina), opportunities for collaboration/projects with colleagues, starting new partnerships and friends/school social gatherings. Occasionally, I even change my mind and give myself permission to back out of previous commitments.
This used to be really hard for me. I love to help and serve others and have many gifts and talents which allow me to do so on a large scale—whether it’s supporting others to discover their life’s work, experience more balance, grow/expand their business, promote their amazing events/initiatives or remember who they really are.
But just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.
I am not willing to over-work, over-schedule, over-commit or over-extend in order to please others. And, when you commit to this path—which is often lonely—you will invariably p*** off some people along the way.
I took the hard road for the first thirty-something years of my life, but have finally learned that the person that I need to honor, nurture, respect and love above all–is me. And when I am kind, accepting and gentle towards her, everything else flows …it’s all good.
“Self-care is not about self-indulgence. It’s about self-preservation.” Audre Lorde
AN INVITATION: Interested in how you can learn to take a stand for your needs and tap into the power of self-care? Consider starting/joining one of our women’s self-renewal circlesor joining us Oct.29 for our FREE Live Inside Out class via telephone. Sign up here. View all upcoming events here.
The Journey, a blog about coach/author/entrepreneur Renee Trudeau’s personal journey to life balance and living life from the inside out, comes out weekly.
Photo: Renee Peterson Trudeau. Olympic National Forest, WA.