Yes, I said responsibility. Taking care of your mind, body and soul is your primary responsibility.
Before you may start asking “Who in the hell does this girl think she is?” just take a moment to hear me out.
When I was in graduate school for acting, our “business of the business” instructor told us that we had better get a therapist and get real with our demons stat before we went out into the world, trying to audition. She also urged us to get real with our bodies and start eating right immediately. At the time, I thought it was a little bit brash, and I didn’t want to get a therapist or go on a diet, so I brushed her off.
What I have come to understand from her words, is that it is our responsibility to work our crap out.
It is especially important if we have big visions for ourselves, if we want to be powerful parents, leaders, teachers, influencers, artists and world shakers. And that “crap” means any ideas, thought processes or stories from our past that may stand in the way of taking radical responsibility for our own experience here on this earth.
I see now, after having worked with hundreds of people, how stuck they can stay because they are unwilling to make their own self-care a priority. They may feel undeserving of it, like other’s needs are more important, or they may fear potential consequences (including success).
But here’s the thing! Human beings seriously CRAVE feeling like they are a part of a bigger picture. They crave impact, to leave their mark, to make a difference in some way. You have the capability of making INCREDIBLE impact in this world. Just you, just little old you, without all the bells and whistles, just as you are.
You are designed with your own unique recipe of skills, qualities, and desires and following your AUTHENTIC bliss has everything do with how you can make the most impact.
Oftentimes though, our biggest untapped potential lives in the places that we are most resistant to going, that we are most afraid of. So, we decide to play small in our lives. We don’t risk. We don’t stand in the scarier arenas. We maintain status quo. The more we avoid taking care of our mind, body and souls, of doing the uncomfortable internal and external work to keep ourselves in our best mental and physical space, the less we take action. We become more afraid of external judgment, and the less we are willing to risk.
The more we ignore clearing the space of our CRAP, the more we become stuck in cycles of how things should look, of what other people think, how RIGHT we are, and how WRONG others are. We shift blame. We get caught up in US versus THEM. We live in our own bubble, numbed and protected, and leaving our potential totally untapped.
Our potential LIVES in the spaces that feel the most vulnerable to us, and we need all the resources possible step out of our own protection with grace and courage.
Whether your impact is raising children, teaching people how to love their bodies, working in a hospice unit helping people die, solving the water crisis in Africa or becoming the owner of a Fortune 500, it lies in your living an existence that won’t always feel safe or easy. Because while what your soul most longs for may be SIMPLE, it is NEVER safe or easy. It keeps you on your growth edge, stepping into the unknown constantly.
How we do one thing is how we do anything.
It is very possible, if we are resisting taking care of ourselves, that this resistance is also popping up in many areas in our lives; that we are experiencing resistance, disempowerment, and fear as a theme, rather than the exception.
Sometimes, my clients believe this is because they don’t really care about taking care of their bodies, of themselves. They assume they don’t love themselves, and they decide to wait until they experience self-love to take action.
“How do I start to love myself so I can take action?” they will ask.
I tell them I believe they already love themselves, or they wouldn’t have reached out to me in the first place. They already have this incredible voice inside that is asking for change, asking for larger impact. They may not feel its presence completely yet because they are so overwhelmed by a story about what is possible for them. Right now, that self-love may be a TINY flame, but with continued action, it can turn into a raging fire.
I tell them they don’t really have to FEEL like taking action to do so. They just have to take the aligned action with what they say they truly desire and they will start to feel like it. They will start to experience self-love and self-trust bit by bit.
The problem is they want to wait to feel motivated before taking action. And while, that is awesome, it’s not always necessary. See how that might keep someone stuck? It’s like asking someone to say “I love you” before you will. Think about how you love someone else. You show love through action. Even when it would be easier not to show up in the difficult moments, even when it feels scary to do so, that is what it when the love is most received. That is when we learn to trust another person.
We show love through ACTION; through speaking or doing. And oftentimes, you fall in love with another person THROUGH the action, or through receiving the gesture or the words they have given you. That is also how you fall in love with yourself; by being present to your own incredible vulnerability and sometimes weakness, and still showing up for yourself and your larger vision.
Self-care is how we express our commitment to our bodies, our minds and our souls, all integral pieces of this unique human puzzle. It is how we start to feel deserving of change we say we want. And while we may not have chosen this relationship with ourselves or with our specific body, it is the one we are in, and the only way out that we know of is through death. It is a marriage that has been pre-determined and we are inextricably linked with our physical and mental self.
No outside source (no diet, no liposuction, no outside relationship, no magical moment) can make us magically feel deserving of change. Only we can do that. That is on us.
Stepping into a PARTNERSHIP with our bodies and minds is necessary to step into deep alignment with our souls.
It is the first step in living in the arena of your own life; for stepping in line with your truth, your authentic self and your true desires (instead of what you have been telling yourself you want). It starts with taking care of your body, of clearing your mind of the thought patterns and negative belief systems that have kept you stuck.
Your body is the vessel through which you see, walk through, and experience the world. When you are abusing it, ignoring it or rejecting it, you will experience pain because it is a part of you, the larger whole. You will feel like you are cut in two. And when you are in pain and in “self-protective” mode, it is a LOT easier to hide in your own life.
While I believe you not your body, just like you are not your thoughts or your feelings, it is your piece of the universe. If you won’t follow through with a commitment to tending to your piece of your universe, how can you truly believe in your own power in your life?
So, taking care of our piece of the universe is the first step to living powerfully. When you start to follow through with one commitment to yourself, then another, and another, it is a snowball rolling downhill. Momentum and trust in oneself builds.
We realize we can promise ourselves MORE, and we can count on having our own back to follow through on those promises.
Taking care of your body is actually brave as all hell because once it isn’t the problem, there are bigger beautiful and gorgeous problems calling your attention.
As I always ask my clients, “What if this wasn’t the thing in your life? What would be calling to you, asking for your presence?”
That THING has been waiting for you your whole life, and it is your first step in living a powerful and whole-hearted existence, where you WILL most definitely risk, and fail, and fall, and fly, and LIVE and AFFECT other living things in a real, profound way.
As one of my faves, Danielle Laporte, says: (this coach agrees)
So, next time you are considering taking action for your own self-care, but just don’t quite FEEL like it yet, don’t feel deserving of it, or aren’t sure you love yourself enough to follow through, connect to the tiny flame asking for change in the first place. Then, connect to the part of yourself that craves profound impact. Gently remind yourself that you don’t have to experience self-love or a feeling of deserving just yet. Those feelings will come in time as you build a new relationship with yourself, as you prove your devotion to yourself repeatedly, as you go after what you REALLY want. Momentum will build into a raging fire, as you realized you had the capability to have your own back the whole time, and that this is just the beginning. The world is waiting for you. You have work to do.
Rock On & Be Well,