I am guilty. I often make myself the martyr. I don't necessarily do this to people please, but because I feel like it is the only right thing to do in the moment. When things are tough, I am often the one who steps up and finds solutions, who sacrifices and shifts into overdrive, immersing myself in the needs of others. Over time I become exhausted, feel unappreciated, and ultimately, bitter.
Recently I wrote about Extreme Self-Care and I do believe this to be true primary care, but it can be really hard to implement on your own. Our practice is about helping you work this into practice. We ask the tough questions. We identify your areas of neglect. We offer tools and resources for investing in yourself. We walk the walk with you, hike the hike, and meet you on the mat.
One of the best approaches, in my mind, to starting any new practice, particularly one about self-investment is simple awareness. Observe your habits. Begin to offer yourself some mindfulness. What are your routines, patterns, and behaviors. Why? Try this for a single week and see what you learn. Change nothing in the process of observation, but take note.
When you've completed the week, pull out your #journal and note where you feel deprived. Do you wish you had more sleep, more private time, more emotional support, more physical energy, more companionship, more intimacy, or more peace? Awareness is a powerful catalyst for creating sustainable change.
Identifying When You are Deprived
Admittedly, this isn't always easy to recognize because so many of us neglect inner-reflection or personal time to really think on how we feel or identify what we actually think. We then offer ourselves little to no compassion so we really aren't recognizing the underpinnings of our foul moods and distress.
I've come to learn that when I am angry, it's my body attempting to protect me in ways I was failing to protect healthy boundaries. When my bed isn't made, it's because I have over committed my schedule and jump out of bed fretting, rushing to my first appointment. When my plants are weeping, I am neglecting to notice my environment or I am letting time pass me by without sufficient awareness. When I am overgiving, I am feeling deprived.
Too often, I fail to see that what I am giving to others is what I am hoping they will offer me. Then I feel unappreciated and taken advantage of, but what I am failing to do is recognize that giving can come from within me. I can spend more time with myself, thinking and communicating, recognizing and praising, even spoiling. I can do the work of making myself feel worthy, loved, and safe. This does require time and commitment, extreme self-care. The hard truth here is that often when we feel as if no one appreciates, what we are really saying is that we take on too much, hoping that someone will notice and tell us how good we are and how grateful they are. Identify this and change this behavior.
When you catch yourself fretting that you have no time to do what you really want, realize that what you are really saying is that you fail to make time for your needs. Make time. Don't wait for someone else to recognize your need. When you feel as if you always end up doing everything yourself, the truth may be that you just aren't asking for help. If your husband or your children or your clients or your colleagues always take up all your time, again, you have chosen to make their time a priority above your own. Now it's your turn.
In what ways are you starving yourself of what you need to live a rich and fulfilling life? What do you need more of right now? What are you yearning for, even starving for? Journal this. Get it out of your head and heart and onto paper. Take time to get the clarity you need to identify the underlying why of your exhaustion, your bitterness, your emotional fatigue.
Join us in our Wednesdays Wellness gatherings - this was today's topic. If you aren't a member and would like to be, schedule your first wellness visit with Dr. Layne and we will help guide you on the right path - we offer primary care, functional and integrative consults, community, IV nutritional therapy, yoga and accountability. We even hike with you. What more could you need, right? We're having a great time and would love to share with you what we have learned along our own paths in attaining joy, peace and wellness.