In my last blog post, I listed 7 key life coaching tips or words of wisdom, for help in obtaining and living a ‘life in balance’ for women.
Tip # 1 is – Put yourself at the top of the list of priorities!
Many women I work with say, “Hey, I couldn’t do this, that would be selfish. What about my kids? What about my work? My family?”.
The intention with this ‘life coaching tip’ isn’t that you forget about your caring and your relationships. Rather, it is taking a slightly different look at life and life beliefs.
In our current culture, we are still feeling the influence of ‘agricultural society values’ from yesteryear, where physical strength and pregnancy/birthing were two key factors in identifying roles. Add in old time Christian teaching that ‘the man is the head of the household’ and the end result is that without personal reflection and inquiry, many women fall into a ‘victim’ role in the family and community, without even knowing it.
Self care is really about knowing yourself well. Knowing what your emotional and physical needs are, what your values are, when you feel taken advantage of, when you feel overwhelmed, when you feel fully nourished, balanced and fulfilled.
Here’s an example…. Jane is a working mom, trying to balance making lunches, driving to school and soccer practice, work, groceries, spending time with her guy, seeing her parents … you get the picture! She’s in survival mode, always on the brink of overwhelm. Every 6 to 8 weeks though, she gets sick with a cold type illness and needs to ‘crash’ for a few days. Though she feels guilty for missing work, she kind of relishes the ‘sick days’ as she gets cared for with things like ‘hot tea in bed’ and can stay home in bed and read all day, while her hubby drives kids to school and makes meals.
What’s the pattern here? It’s push push push …. crash; push, push, push …crash! It’s speaks to her relationship with her husband and role allocation. It speaks to her family of origin (I’ll bet this is how her mom did life), it speaks to what she is modeling for her kids (you only get to read in bed all day if you are sick).
With good self care, how could Jane’s pattern be different? If she understood her socio-cultural conditioning, her deep emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual needs; she would have a solid foundation to clearly ask for what she needs from those in relationship with her. For example, she could re-negotiate role responsibility with her husband, she could set up a car pool for driving to soccer etc. Also, Jane realized that she had completed stopped her yoga, which she had previously really enjoyed. Jane joined a yoga studio and also booked in a series of therapeutic massages. Although the massage therapy was totally covered through Jane’s extended medical plan, she had been too busy to even explore her benefits!
By being clear on her own needs and ensuring these needs are met, Jane is giving her self great self care and therefore feels happier and more in balance. Jane realized that she had been only doing things for herself once all the other ‘to dos’ were completed. Now she is at the top of the list and can care for others from a solid inner balanced core of emotional and spiritual strength!
Give it a try my beautiful friends!
In peace and mindfulness,
Zoey Ryan BSc., PCC
executive ~ leadership ~ life coach for wise women
mindfulness life coaching to set your heart on fire and soothe your soul!
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
~ Mary Oliver from the poem A Summers Day