You know those times when just something slips out of your mouth. Not that it was anything awful or crude. Just that it kind of rolled off your tongue in the midst of discussing something else and you realize after the fact that it was indeed a fairly profound statement?
Well this happened to me the other day and I keep coming back to what I said. It is sticking with me.
To give you context, I was recording a video for one of my group coaching programs; The ComplEat Wellness Lifestyle Program. This program is a collection of all my knowledge around the things we can do to increase our health and vitality and move ourselves forward from stuckness in the purest, most authentic way to reach our own definition of wellness. It felt fitting to me, that the first discussion we had in this program was about our own beliefs, or lack there-of, of our own worthiness. The more that I work in this field of health and wellness and coaching, the more that I realize just how unworthy many of us feel that we are. I have also come to understand, much through my own experience, that nothing changes until we not only BELIEVE that we are worth it, but that we take small action steps that confirm and amplify this belief.
As I was speaking into the microphone on this concept of self worth, I suddenly had this thought, and it came out. What if we gave ourselves permission to be the most important person in our lives?
What if we gave ourselves permission to be our own number one, the most important person in our own lives, prioritized above all else and all others?
How would our lives change? How would our health improve? How much more joy would we have in our days? What would this allow us to do for others?
As a Mom and as a person who values her family above all else, I had to dig into this for myself. Even while speaking to the camera I had a wave of guilt run through me. No! My kids and my husband are the most important people in my life! How could I put myself above them? What kind of a mother and wife was I to even say such a thing? I was being so selfish.
But, no. I am not being selfish. I AM worth prioritizing myself as number one. We are all worth valuing ourselves in this way. When we not only believe that we are worth our own love and attention, but take around this in our lives, we take better care of our health, we are more energized, more motivated and so much happier. Now consider how this impacts those who we love and our ability to give them the attention and love that they too deserve. This deep belief in our own self worth creates a powerful ripple of impact in our lives.
I was curious however about how my husband would interpret this statement. So the other night while we were making dinner together I brought up this question that I had asked in the video and shared my perspective around how we needed to value and care for ourselves first. He was quiet for a moment, looking down at the peppers on the cutting board. Then he nodded his head a few times and said to me, “All I know is that you HAVE to take care of yourself and do what you need to do to be happy and healthy, because if you are not okay, then this family is not okay.” He started smiling and humming the lyrics to “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone,” a song he sings to me every time I go away for a few days. “There is a disturbance in the force when you are gone.” As much as I laugh and guffaw at his comments, because he is an amazing, loving and capable dad to our kids, I know that it isn’t the same in our home when I am not here.
I started envisioning the kind of parent that I want to be for our kids. I want to be healthy, in good shape, strong, with energy to play with them and take them out on fun excursions and experience life with them. I see myself being patient, loving and nurturing, being firm but gentle. I envision laughter and games and fun and I see myself being present with them in the moment, taking it all in because I can’t get these moments back.
This is a pretty picture, isn’t it? All you parents out there are thinking that that all sounds great but it isn’t always so nice. It’s not always that pretty picture in my life either.
Maybe it is because I have been sick before. The kind of sickness that meant I was hospitalized and couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs. Maybe it’s because I’ve been through depression before when I could barely manage to get out of bed and sit on the front step to watch my kids play. All I know is that when I am ailing, unhappy, tired, burnt out, when I have forgotten myself as worthy of my own love and attention, everything else falls to shit. I am not the person that I want to be for myself or anyone else.
The truth is that our society isn’t so set up to allow us to prioritize ourselves. It’s too fast, too busy, with too many unrealistic expectations of how much we can fit into a day. It’s too easy to get sucked into the ‘having to do more for everyone else’ saga, to put on a good show and be the most engaged, most dedicated and most accomplished Mother or parent on the block. We are so used to this mentality of doing more and being more for everyone else, the thought of putting ourselves first and saying no to some of these other things, sucks us into guilt and shame. Another truth however, we CAN make a shift.
Most of us know that we need to love ourselves. Most of us have heard that we should believe that we are worthy of love and joy and financial freedom and everything else we desire in our lives. Telling ourselves these things is a start, but how do we unwire all the years of conditioning and past experiences that have made us believe deep in our core that we are not worthy of any of it, that we are not enough?
I will tell you.
We start with small action steps that put ourselves first. We acknowledge and accept when we are feeling off. We go for a walk. We make ourselves breakfast. We take a nap. We learn something new. We buy ourselves a new shirt. We get together with a good friend. We read a book. We invest in ourselves. We take a bath. We ask for help. We say no to another commitment. Each time that we take action for ourselves in this way, we are showing ourselves that we are worthy of our own attention and love.
We can also make a point of reflecting on how we feel after we have taken one of these small action steps for ourselves. When we take time to notice how we feel and reflect on how that impacted our day, then we are more likely to repeat it. Often making time for these kinds of things, especially if you are a parent, means communicating with someone and asking for help, time and space. This asking for what you need is vocalizing and reinforcing your belief that you are worth it. Asking for help is a powerful action step.
You will come back from whatever it is that you are doing for yourself, refreshed and re-energized and ready to give more of yourself to those around you that you love so much.
This is that powerful ripple of impact. It is like magic.
And here is another out there thought for you. The feelings of love, worthiness, gratitude, energy, happiness, vitality; they all exist in a higher energy level. Here life feels radiant and light with a sense of buoyancy. When we are stuck in feelings of lack, being less than, despair, frustration, etc. it is more difficult to access these higher energies and life feels hard, heavy and dark. You start climbing that energetic ladder by loving yourself. Every positive thought and action that you take for yourself is like money in your energetic bank account. Every grateful thought you have, every ounce of joy you feel, every second that you acknowledge your own worthiness adds more energy into your world. All of this starts with you believing that you are worth it.
Give yourself permission to be the most important person in your world. You are so worthy of this kind of love and you are so much more than enough.
The change you are looking for actually starts when you say YES to yourself.
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