What's On Your List?
As a coach and speaker on the topics of resilience, balance and courageous conversations, I work with deeply committed women who are often feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
Some come to me in what they view as their last hope.
These women are busy, and they feel like they’re constantly putting out fires.
To help themselves feel better, they’ve tried (in their own words) “everything”.
They’ve taken yoga classes looking for peace and calm.
They’ve joined weight loss programs in hopes of ending the cycle of yo-yo dieting.
They’ve bought expensive planners to organize their schedules.
Some have even gone on retreats to find themselves.
(I’ve done all those things, too. Have you?)
These women have proven that they’re eager to make changes and are willing to do what it takes to eliminate overwhelm and change their lives for the better.
Yet the more they DO, the more worried they become, because sadly, they’re not getting the results they hoped for. ( I didn’t either, at first.)
“What if I’ll always feel this exhausted?”
“What if I never get a handle on my schedule?”
These women are typically happy, smart, confident and engaging. Yet somewhere in the midst of all the DOING, resentment and frustration have crept in.
These heart-centered women are shocked by the harsh feelings they were experiencing. Feeling anger definitely isn’t natural or comfortable for them and, they’re a bit scared.
My clients often ask me:
“What’s wrong with me?” “
"Do you think I’m crazy?”
“I have everything I need in my life”.
“I shouldn’t be feeling resentful and angry.”
Here’s the thing:
I KNOW nothing’s wrong with them. I KNOW they aren’t crazy.
I KNOW because I’ve been there.
It wasn’t long ago when my girls were in school and I was exhausted, unfulfilled and shockingly I, too, felt resentful, (for your understanding … resentment was totally unnatural to me.)
I remember going to bed every night, feeling exhausted, unproductive and totally depleted.
I was in a constant state of DOING, yet I felt like I got nothing DONE.
A typical daily To-D0 List included:
Caring for my family.
Organizing and executing household tasks.
Volunteering at my church.
Fundraising for the school.
Participating on the neighborhood association committee.
Supporting my husband’s work/travel schedule and picking up the slack at home.
Every single one of these of things was my choice, I know.
And all of them good.
I had a passion and commitment to each and every thing I put on my list.
However, what was glaringly missing on my list were things that energized me.
Missing on my list were activities that relaxed me.
Missing were practices that soothed me.
Missing... was me.
Over the course of a few years, I slowly and intentionally began to take inventory and adjusted my list.
At first it felt selfish and uncomfortable to say NO to things so that I could do something for myself.
After years of putting the needs of my family before my own, it was hard for me to head outside for a jog.when my girls were home (even when they were old enough to be on their own, and probably loved having me out of the house.).
But the efforts and time I took ensuring that I cared for myself, were all worth it.
And I see similar patterns in the lives of my clients.
They come to me with different experiences like: feeling overweight; unsatisfied in their career; empty in their marriage; disconnected from their children; drained by caring for elderly parents; feeling like they’re on a hamster wheel with no control of getting off.
The one thing they all have in common however, is that they are not taking good care of themselves.
Self-care has not been a routine of theirs.
I now know that self-care is not selfish. It’s paramount if I want to show up as the person I’ve been designed to be.
In the words of Parker Palmer,
“Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”
If you want to lose weight and keep it off for good...
If you want to be the best employee/boss/leader/mother you can be…
If you want to connect on a deeper level with those you love...
You must get on THE LIST.