Shaman Guy and I have a running joke. Whenever both of us are feeling under-appreciated and rundown, wanting a shoulder massage or foot rub, and there’s been a little tension in the air, one of us will say, “Yep, I get it. It’s all about you! You definitely need some good lovin.’”
“Nope,” the other will counter. “It’s all about YOU. Whatever YOU need, honey. I’m here to serve YOU.”
This elicits a chuckle as we try to one-up each other in who is neediest and most desperate for some attention.
Truth be told, it IS all about you. You are the center of your world. When you feel good, then the world around you flows. When you stress or get small, relationships, work, finances, kids, the house, it all suffers. You can’t give what you don’t live. When the mommy well runs dry, there just ain’t nothing left.
This week I got tight. As my business is gaining momentum and taking off, I watched myself contract a little. I started to lean back even though I’ve loving what I’m creating. How was I going to still take care of Shaman Boy and have a fantastic relationship with Shaman Guy and run a house and work more? How am I going to do it all? My expectations for myself grew and grew. I became a little terse and snippy with myself about going to yoga or taking a few extra minutes to meditate.
As I felt my panties getting knotted up (as Shaman Guy says), the Doubt Demon crept in. Are you sure you want to offer sessions and ecourses and newsletters and…? I felt the internal struggle between doing what I love and “juggling” the rest of my life.
Then I made myself stop. Underneath all the swirling and spinning was the real issue. Am I committed to taking care of myself deeply? Will I abandon myself as my business grows?
Bingo. I’m not interested in creating a business at my own expense. I’ve watched my parents toil for years with not much to show for it. I’ve seen Shaman Guy create a hugely successful business that doesn’t make his soul sing yet has afforded us a lovely lifestyle. There are few roles models for creating a business that comes from your purpose, creates financial abundance, and allows for time to nurture yourself. Those of us who are creating heart-based businesses are blazing a new trail.
My business cannot be the boss of me. I will create it with awareness and care. My idea of how fast and how far and what my life should look like cannot rule me either. I am the most important essence of my world. I have to value myself as much as I value my relationship with my children and husband. As much as the house and the bills and all the other countless tasks that it takes to run our lives. As much as doing what I love and serving others.
I’m also not willing to let myself create a problem when there’s not one. When I became honest with myself, I was the one choosing to skip the yoga class or not take the bath I was craving because something on my to do list seemed more vital. I still have a huge amount of freedom in how I structure my days. And Shaman Guy has majorly stepped up and has been spending more time with Shaman Boy as he’s become older and more into his “Pawsie,” giving me more time to work or for myself. (Thank you honey!)
As I look around me, all my clients and friends have been echoing this theme. While they might come to me wanting to expand their business, or heal a relationship with a parent, or find a new career, at their essence they deeply want – and need – time to nurture themselves. This is the core of what each and every one of them is seeking in their lives. I am important. I am okay. I have taken on enormous amounts of responsibility and change in my life and I need some breathing space to deal with it all.
And while they can come up with a million reasons why they can’t give themselves this deep care – don’t have the time, don’t have the money, have too many responsibilities, don’t know how – the truth is that only they can make the commitment to take care of themselves. Only they can choose to make different choices and take different actions. And as soon as they do, voila, their inner and outer world transforms. The challenge that they were tackling starts to resolve itself.
So if you are facing a challenge or are feeling stressed or stuck or out of sorts, try laying the problem aside for a moment and ask yourself, “What I deeply need to take care of myself?” What haven’t you been giving yourself permission to do?
Check in to see if you allowed yourself to [fill in the blank – go to the gym, set aside a few undisturbed minutes to tackle your desk, accept your inner judge/critic instead of wanting to get rid of them…] how would you feel? Relieved? Shoulders can drop a little? What would give you SPACE?
I am constantly awed by how simply caring for YOU makes your world right. And how little it takes… while it may feel like you need 3 weeks of utter silence on Fiji without any gadgets, children, or work, really it would only take a bath or a book or an afternoon with a girlfriend (then regularly repeat).
In the midst of my internal tantrum this week, I took a bath in the middle of the day. I took a hike with my family when I could have spent the day working. I read a good book that wasn’t about stimulating my spiritual or business growth (Peaches for Father Francis by the author of Chocolat). I went to yoga at night when I choose to work during my favorite class during the day. Ahh, yes. There I am.
When you bring an attitude of expansive, gentleness to your life, your business, your growth, your spiritual process, then you feel better. You slip into the flow. Coincidences and synchronicity happens. Contentment happens.
When you start to feel stressed out, contracted, leaning back, or the doubts and fears arise, then it’s your body’s signal to slow down. More care please. More space. Find a way to make it happen. Ask for help. Ask for what you need. Be extra gentle with yourself. Let go. Breathe. Let go some more.
It will all get done. It’s all going to happen. It might as well be done with some grace, gentleness and ease.
Your life is all about you. And my guess is that you are like me. You will always give and care for many, many people around you. You will meet your responsibilities. Let yourself off the hook. Go ahead. The world will still spin without you for a few minutes. And when you decide to hop back onto the carnival ride, perhaps you can do so with a laugh and a smile. Give yourself some good lovin’. We’ll all feel better.