I see you out there, thinking you are superwoman. Telling yourself you can do it all. You WILL do it all. "No" is not a word in your vocabulary. Of course, neither is sleep, but hey you'll have those 4 dozen cookies for the school bake sale tomorrow. I can pick you out of the crowd because that used to be me.
We have created a society that prides itself on busyness. We have trapped ourselves in the belief that to be busy is to be successful, and that to be busy is where we find our happiness. That by saying no and honoring our time, we are somehow failing. I used to take it ALL on. Do it all. I was tough enough to handle it. I was able to survive. I was strong... and I was miserable. I had given every ounce of myself to please those around me and told myself it was all from a place of service and love. Now, that's not entirely wrong, but what my young self failed to realize is that by never saying no, I was exhausting all my resources. I wasn't getting enough sleep, eating right, or...
Think about how you’d feel at work if your boss expected 100% perfection in every single moment of every single day. Anything less than 100% was grounds for disciplinary action. If there was no room for human error or an off day, it would leave you feeling inadequate, nervous, fearful, and likely unhappy in your job. That constant pressure would make for a hostile work environment and would likely not allow you to grow, only survive.
I don’t know about you, but I likely would not remain in that kind of work environment. What about the environment you create in your own head? Are you expecting perfection out of yourself day in and day out? Are you beating yourself up multiple times a day for being “inadequate” in some way, shape, or form? There is a fine line between holding yourself accountable and beating yourself up. While it is important and in most ways vital that we hold ourselves to a particular level of excellence, it is also important...
I have traveled to Guatemala twice for mission trips with the God’s Child Project. We built “houses” for multiple families on these trips. By houses, we’re talking 4 walls and a cement floor; something we would consider more like a garden shed here in the States. There is something so eye-opening about providing service in a third-world country. The stark differences between how we live our lives here in America, and how the people of Guatemala live their lives. I was 20 the first time I went and I remember one of the gentlemen from the Project helping us to process our emotions. Someone in my group had talked about feeling guilty for how “comfortably” she lived her life when the people we were building houses for were just grateful for 4 walls and a Quikcrete floor. That gentleman reminded us that our version of comfortable and their version of comfortable was different, but that didn’t mean our families had any more or fewer struggles than...
I'm sorry, I just had to share
Have you ever heard the phrase, "seen and not heard"? In past generations, it was believed that this should be true of women and even of children. Thankfully, this belief system is primarily one of the past. However, old habits die hard… we still see remnants of that teaching in common behaviors today.
One example of this is when we hear someone say, "I'm sorry, I just had to share…"
As in, "I have something on my heart that I'd like to share, but I feel bad about drawing attention to myself."
It is likely not conscious, you might not even realize you’re doing it. But I hear and read some semblance of that phrase far too often.
We apologize for taking up space, for being noticed, and for asking to be heard. We apologize for sharing stories, thoughts, ideas, and opinions. We apologize for something we really are not...
In the hustle of it all, sometimes we forget the things that really matter.
In a world full of negativity, sometimes we tell ourselves stories that are not true.
In a society that sets unreal expectations, sometimes we feel inadequate.
Today, I remind you...
You are worthy.
You are a blessing.
You are strong.
You are capable.
You are independent.
You are valuable.
You are patient.
You are creative.
You are compassionate.
You are smart.
You are empowered.
You are beautiful.
You are radiant.
You are purposeful.
You are fun.
You are a badass.
You are clever.
You are adaptable.
You are intellectual.
You are inspiring.
You are amazing.
You are gorgeous.
You are unstoppable.
You are fierce.
You are sensational.
You are loved.
You deserve to achieve every dream you have.
While we know it is better to be a lighthouse in someone else's storm, than to join in their chaos, what happens when that chaos is yours? What do you do when you’re in the middle of your own storm?
When we feel overwhelmed and lost in the hustle, we often do not take care of ourselves. Our energy is low, we are burnt out, exhausted, and feeling lackluster about life. Some circles tell you this is normal, this is "adulting", and this is life. Others tell you this is abnormal, you're not handling life well, and you need help. Then there's the group that will encourage you to find yourself-read the books, buy the journals, and just get better.
I'm not here to judge or to tell you which of these paths is better than the rest. No, let's look at life a little differently.
There are many different seasons of life. Some are busy and hectic, others are slow and steady. Some bring stress and hardship, other...
Last week we talked about delegation and how empowering others can help them develop just as much as it can help you relax. Win, win, right?!
But what happens when the frustrations you have are from situations you have little control over? A client of mine recently said, "I just wish people would be nice to each other!" Neither one of us has any control over how others behave, but their behavior impacts us just the same.
Hearing about murders, abuse, assault, death, hate crime, etc can sure put a damper on your day. I watch the news very sparingly for this reason. As an empath, it's hard to hear all the heavy, heartbreaking stories without doing a lot of work to keep my light shining bright. But that same heartbreak is sometimes in our own homes, our workplaces, or communities. You can just turn off the news but you can't avoid life. So what do you do?
First, you change your mindset. It is so easy to think...
Something that is often taught in leadership development is the art of delegation. Learning what tasks to hand to others on your team and empowering them to accomplish those tasks can really change the way your team interacts, and of course, lightens your load too!
This concept can be the same in your household too. You know better than anyone that you're the captain of that ship. It's up to you to make sure there are clean clothes to wear, grandma gets a birthday card, and the goldfish has been fed. Sometimes the weight of it all feels unbearable. Overwhelming. Even frustrating.
What would happen if you began to delegate some of those tasks or responsibilities? Of course, you're not going to have your toddler paying bills, but they could probably feed the fish. Are your children old enough to wash their own clothes? What about being responsible for a meal or a side dish?
Now you're probably thinking...
Often we look into self-care when feeling exhausted, burnt out, and overwhelmed. But, what if you looked at it from prevention than from recovery? I’ve always been a supporter of routine maintenance over crisis management. In a perfect world, we would make time for self-care every day. If you’re looking for some quick strategies to support your self-care I have a good list of them HERE. There is one thing that isn’t on that list though. A variety of self-care that often is overlooked.
In particular, being aware of your own limits. Knowing your limits in all facets of life is vital for keeping you grounded, organized, and free from burnout. Let’s use this example from my high school days. My nephew was in the class below me and we were both involved in many of the same activities, track being one of them. He was a distance runner. I was a jumper. So when he wanted to “go for a run” his idea was 8+miles at a...
Mom-guilt is such a strange emotion.
It is all-encompassing and sometimes feels impossible to avoid.
Work too much- mom guilt
Work too little - mom guilt
Clean the house- mom guilt
Don't clean the house - mom guilt
Feed your kids take-out- mom guilt
Don't feed your kids take-out- mom guilt
You add in the ever-changing recommendations and research in raising children and there's a whole other myriad of guilt-inducing challenges (cry it out or don't, vaccinate right away or delay, allow devices or don't, attachment parenting or free-range parenting, etc etc etc).
We have these ideals and standards in our minds about what a perfect mom is and allow ourselves to feel guilty when we are less than that imaginary figure in our minds. It's not easy mama. I hear you. And while there's so much to unpack around those standards and how you feel, there is a slight change you can make in your home that can help you feel good...