“Where am I in all this?!” she asked me…she asked herself. I knew what she was talking about. I could see how she was contacting a Sacred Frustration within her and giving it space to finally be spoken and heard. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t try to explain or rationalize…and I especially didn’t try to CALM HER DOWN. I held space for her to continue.
“Where in the hell am I?! I care for everyone else! I’ve devoted years to caring for our children. I stopped working [outside the home] and put my career on hold. And now this?!! I’m exhausted. Last night, I got to the end of the day, and I asked my husband, ‘WHAT DID I DO TODAY FOR ME?!”
Ahhhh, there we go! She’s waking up!!!
There comes a time when a woman, a mom, a healer, a friend, a human being recognizes that the person she must tend to the most is her own self.
There comes a time when all that she does for others MUST be balanced with tending to her own well-being — for her own spirit, body and heart as well as those she nourishes.
We are fiercely devoted to caring for our children. And at some point in a woman’s life — a mom’s life — she realizes she must bring that same fierce love and devotion to nourishing HERSELF.
This is her awakening.
This is her time of fierce frustration…AND getting real, cutting through all the B.S. and being fiercely devoted to what she really needs.
I know that summer can be both joyful AND long. I know that we can easily put aside our own self-care, saying, “I’ll get to that in the fall.” Just the other day a mom told me how she’s already looking forward to the fall. She loves her children dearly but she also is feeling into the deep need within her for her own space and to focus on her own self-care. And yet it feels difficult to give herself such space over the summer. I had to admit, I was fantasizing about the fall, too.
But I’ve seen what happens when we don’t give ourselves such sacred space to care for ourselves NOW. We get angry, resentful and frustrated. We react. We blame. We overreact.
Enough, enough, enough.
Back in September, I started to call this the Year of Nourishing MOM. Me. Nourishing ME. I listened to that Sacred Exhaustion. I listened to that Sacred ENOUGH within me. Enough volunteering and enough being there for everyone else. Enough of the “mom guilt” keeping me from engaging in deep self-care and embracing my sacred feminine brilliance. Enough putting myself last. I wanted SPACE. SACRED SPACE to deeply care for me.
That Sacred Cry within you for space? That Sacred “Enough?” That’s holy. That’s your soul crying out to you to bring your life back into balance. That’s your soul longing to free the Life Force energy you have within you that is all balled up, tightly wound within you.
I said to my friend, “Waaaait a second. What can we do THIS SUMMER to really care for ourselves?”
And then we rephrased it: “What will I do this summer to honor myself?”
Can you feel how this question gets below the usual “self-care” crap our culture labels as “self-care” and into the deeper waters of what really matters?
Yes – HONORING yourself.
That word – HONORING – is powerful.
What will you do this summer to honor yourself?
Asking this question is a mom’s radical commitment to self-compassion. It creates an opening for each of us to reconnect to the parts of us we have pushed aside or ignored. It creates an opportunity for connecting to the well of Life Force energy moving through us.
One client is honoring herself this summer by letting her “yes” be YES and her “no” be NO. She is done saying “yes” when she really means “I’d rather not. I’m exhausted and holding too much as it is. I need time for me.” She is done saying “no” to putting off her own self-care.
Another client is honoring herself this summer by realizing where she has a choice. She is looking for the ways she goes into the mode of thinking, “Ohhh, I don’t have any choice here” and she is saying, “WAIT a second! THIS is my choice.”
Another client is honoring herself this summer by taking the month of July OFF (yes, OFF).
Another client is honoring herself this summer by going into her art studio every single morning. She has hired a babysitter so she can do this.
And yet another client is honoring herself by not pushing away the grief and she is creating the sacred space for gently tending to what wants her attention.
Dear Heart, the longing within you is sacred. The agitation is holy. The art you MUST do is calling to you. The rest you must take is calling to you. The lightness, the adventure, the cup of coffee by yourself on the deck, the yoga class…is calling to you.
“I am honoring myself this summer by…….”
How do you answer that question? Let it be with fierce devotion. Let it be with fierce “honoring yourself.”
Let this be a summer of honoring yourself.
As for me? How am I honoring myself this summer? Yes, the list could be really long and I could get caught up in the enormity of my list of what needs tending to and what wants my attention. But the ONE way I am devoting my attention to honoring myself this summer is this: being the modern-day mystical poet with a feminine voice that the Divine calls me to be. Claiming it. Writing it.
May this be a summer of you honoring yourself in ONE deep, soul-and-body nourishing way.
Know that I am here to support you on your journey — through the poetic and inspirational gems in my shop and the Compassion Coaching I offer to women (and men) all over the world. Perhaps you have a specific question that you could use support in — check out my Ask Lisa Consultation.
I recently added a new inspirational card to my collection, “Kindness.” Kindness — especially the kind of self-kindness we are talking about today — blesses us AND dear ones.