Monday, June 24, 2019

Is Practicing Self-Care Selfish?

I would say no. Self-care is never selfish (unless I have no regard for another’s feelings or best interests). 

I understand I am responsible for my own well-being. Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Self-care can be setting healthy boundaries when someone is over-stepping them, not respecting my space or being manipulative to get what they want.

Self-care can mean saying “no” to an invitation or to someone I care about because I need time to myself to rest and be still. 

It can be treating myself to a massage or a nice meal at a sassy restaurant because I need to feel pampered.
In the past I had confused self-care with being selfish; I believed that putting others first was selfless; but it doesn’t work. In the long run it made me feel depleted and unappreciated (by myself mostly). Self-sacrifice usually means I am giving more than what I can and I may be expecting to be acknowledged for this. But I understand I cannot give of what I don’t have for myself. If I stretch my capacity trying to please others, I will feel resentful, and that is not healthy. 

When I care for myself and honor my own needs, I can care and love others from a place of wholeness. It’s a win-win experience.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Focus on this Moment!!

Focusing on the present moment was never easy for me.  Having an anxious and over-active mind meant that my thoughts were usually somewhere in the past or future.  

I have become much more aware of my mind activity, and with practice I have learned to master presence.  Yet, even as I  practice this consistently, I still catch myself multi-tasking in my head.

Whenever I'm not present, I feel rushed, stressed or even guilty, depending on what is on my mind. But, when I consciously choose to focus on what I'm doing at the moment, the experience is completely different.  I become aware, engaged, and a sense of expansion fills my mind.  I'm not stressed or anxious to move on to the next task anymore.  My mind is present, peaceful and focused! 

I do this practice as I wash the dishes.  I practice awareness and presence when I'm listening to someone.  I listen with intent and interest.  And the other person I'm sure can feel a difference too.  There's an energy of connection.  They can sense they are being acknowledged and heard.  If my mind wanders (and it will), I just notice, and I bring it back to the now.  

You can try this too.  Start by being present in a simple activity, such as brushing your teeth.  Or really savor your food instead of rushing through it while watching television.  I assure you you will feel more alive.  Sounds good, right?  Let me know if you try it and how it feels.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

My Love for my Adult Children

I just spent 5 days in Mexico City visiting my daughter and granddaughter. We had not spent quality time since they moved there June of last year (2018); and quality time it was. And fun!!!
But being a mom hasn't always been fun nor easy.
I remember my own mother. She did her very best to raise me well, but her narcissistic characteristics made her unstable mentally and emotionally and very difficult to get along with (and to please);I grew up feeling emotionally alone all through my childhood and teen years. By 20 I was married.
As a mother myself, I was determined to do my best to be a better and more conscious parent for my children than my mother was for me. I tried to be really present and supportive for my 3 children. Even so, I made so many mistakes. I was not abusive with my children (as my mother was) but their father was abusive with me and I allowed them to be exposed to years of conflict, fighting and to a toxic home environment.
I realize that parenting is one of the most difficult yet rewarding projects we can take on in life! It’s a huge responsibility, and most of us are not equipped with the wisdom, patience, and emotional health required to guide our children in the best of ways. But as we become more aware of our deficiencies, we can choose to work on healing our own inner child and become better parents.
Today, my relationship with my adult children is open, loving and enjoyable. Through the years we’ve had many difficult yet healing conversations, where they were able to express their feelings, resentments and frustration. It was hard to listen, but so worth it. I am very grateful.