Have You Forgotten How to Just “Be”?

Busy much? If you’re like most women, you are running faster and faster just to keep up with the demands of modern living.  How often have you reached the end of the day and not known where the hours have gone?  You blink and poof, the day is done … but you still have lots on your plate and you’re simply exhausted.

The technology that was supposed to make our lives easier, has too often made us tethered to our computers, phones, work and responsibilities.  Many of us have forgotten how to just “be.”

What’s a girl to do?

Good question.

CALL-TO-ACTION ALERT: Right here, right now, I invite you to take a much-needed break from your life. Step away from the to-do list.  I know you’re a busy gal so I promise that our time together will be well spent.  What are we focusing on?  Making time for the most important person in your life: Y-O-U.

“Me,” you may be asking?  Yes, you.

You see, in my work with women, I find that many are suffering from a martyr mentality: the idea that they have to put everyone else’s needs before their own.  Many fall into the trap of trying to be “perfect.” A huge majority are plagued by the g-word: GUILT.

Does this sound familiar?  You’re not alone if you said yes.  You’re also not alone if you’re not as happy as you think you ought to be.

WOMEN & HAPPINESS

With all the strides women have made through the years, you’d think we’d be happier than we were in the past.  Surprisingly, this is not the case.  In fact, a very significant study called the General Social Survey found some startling statistics related to women’s happiness.  The study revealed two pieces of disheartening news:

  • Women are less happy than they were 40 years ago, compared with men
  • As women get older, they get sadder

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like those findings.  We have a women’s crisis on our hands … and it’s going to take us banding together to right the ship that has gone off course.

Where do we start?  Look in the mirror. It’s time to reignite the relationship you have with yourSELF.

Ready, set, go …

CONNECT: Be still and identify what fills you up as a woman.  Do you love jazz music, modern art, foreign films, marathons, hot baths, knitting, photography, writing?  What makes you come alive? One of my clients recently discovered she loves running. She used to hate it. She’s now run a half-marathon. Love it!

RELEASE GUILT: Let it go. Feeling guilty about nurturing yourself is a waste of precious energy.  In fact, guilt and worry are two emotions that will get you nowhere … FAST. Just say no to guilt.

DATE NIGHT: Make a date with yourself to do something you love.  Schedule it in your calendar.  Rest assured, the world will not stop just because you’ve taken a break. I did this last night. Booked a sitter. Went to one my favorite restaurants to have dinner with a friend and listen to live music. Heard some amazing songs from local artists. I came home with a full tank!

If you find you are consistently overcommitted, exhausted and simply don’t have time for YOU, the next tip will change your life …

LET PEOPLE DOWN (with grace): Disappointing people is one of the most challenging, yet most important, components to living a powerful life. How many times have you agreed to something you did NOT want to do because you were too afraid to say no?  Practice saying “no, thanks” (do it now!).  It gets easier with time.  If it’s challenging to say that 2-letter word, buy time with the magical phrase: “Let me think about it and get back to you.”

FOCUS FOR THE WEEK

  • Get out your calendar and schedule a date with yourself.
  • Choose an activity that you absolutely love.  Get excited about pursuing your passion.  Stumped?  Think back to when you were a kid.  What made you come alive?  Give yourself permission to explore this side of yourself that has been dormant for a while.  You never know what you’ll discover.
  • Clear your life of commitments that don’t fulfill you.  Perhaps you said yes to things that you weren’t so sure about … and now you know you don’t enjoy.  Make a phone call, send an email, call a meeting and bow out.  You’ll be amazed at how your life opens up and your happiness increases when you use your voice to create your ideal existence.

If you’re looking for a FANTASTIC book on making the practice of extreme self-care a new standard of living, I HIGHLY recommend Cheryl Richardson’s book “The Art of Extreme Self-Care.” I’ve given the book to many clients because I believe in it so much.

I also invite you to join me and 23 other gutsy gals this August in the Berkshire foothills of Massachusetts at the Retreat for Goddesses, a transformational weekend retreat to unplug, connect and rock your life. If you ever have those days where you just want to get in your car and drive away from the doubts, fears, worries and exhaustion, the Retreat for Goddesses is for you. This is a place where your senses come alive … a place where you can get quiet, sit still and hear the innermost desires of your soul, yourself, your truth … a magical place where you can unleash your inner Goddess. Find out more here.

Would love to hear what you do to carve out time for your self-care.  Let’s share insights and support one another in this wonderful and wild world of womanhood.

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