July 20 ♥ Why You’re NOT Selfish

I know that “selfish” is a loaded word for many of us. Too often we tangle it up with self-care, thinking that they’re synonyms. And we want to be anything but selfish. Long ago we were encouraged to perfect our nurturing side during our childhood years and so now taking care of others is just our knee jerk reaction. And, of course, if we’re constantly attending to the needs of others, we have little time for ourselves. And what’s the effect of that choice? Exhaustion. Crankiness. Short tempers. I know you get this. And yet that word, selfish, lurks in the background and gets in the way. Because if you don’t do the nurturing, the care of others, who will? It’s time to sharpen our understanding of the S-word. Being selfish is all a matter of degree. Here’s what Merriam-Webster says, “taking care of one’s own comfort, pleasure, or interest excessively or without regard for others. We so often miss that very important detail. Honestly, does that sound like you? Being overindulgent with yourself? That’s not what you’re about. You want to be there for others. You want to be generous. You truly want to nurture. Thinking only of yourself is just NOT in your nature. You really don’t know how to be “selfish” in the dictionary sense. Let’s agree that we’re not being selfish when we devote time to care for ourselves. Because who knows better how to meet our own needs? To restore us, to replenish our batteries, … Continue reading

Let’s Get Selfish!

“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.” ― Karl Lagerfeld I know that “selfish” is a loaded word for many of us. We perfected our nurturing side during our childhood years and taking care of others became our modus operandi. And, unfortunately, most of us learned that skill far too well. When I ask women how they take of themselves I usually get a sheepish grin and a comment along the lines of, “Yes, I know I should but…” And the list of excuses begins ad nausea. Enough “yes, buts” already! Let’s learn a new meaning for the S-word. Let’s define selfish with its original meaning: care of self. aka self-cherishing. Note that this says nothing about self-care to the exclusion of all others. So often we miss that fine detail. You know how the airline pre-flight safety precaution states that you should administer oxygen to yourself first, before helping others? Same thing applies to YOUR LIFE. If you run out of oxygen, if you are depleted of energy, centeredness, time, space,sleep, exercise, fun, and healthy food, how can you possibly have anything to give anyone else? This may be a, “Well, duh!” moment for you, but, what are you DOING about it? Think of yourself as a beautiful container that holds water, which you lovingly share with others. If you do not take time to replenish the water, you eventually will be unable … Continue reading

Are You Asking for It?

When was the last time you asked for help? And I ‘m not talking about, “Could you get the door, please?” That one’s too easy, too much of a reflex. So the question is, when did you last ask for help—consciously and deliberately? The “I can’t can’t do this because… I’m physically unable, overwhelmed, constrained by things outside of my control, drowning”…kind of need. For many of us, asking for help is hard…very, very hard. It goes against everything we believe. And exactly what IS it that we believe? Perhaps we believe that we HAVE to do things all by ourselves. This, supposedly, shows that we have great strength. As in, “Wow! Look at her. She can do it all!” Un-huh, right. Or maybe we just don’t trust others. The old, “Nobody can do it as well as me.” Little Miss Perfect title feeling threatened? And then some of us throw out the money factor. “I really, really can’t afford to pay someone to do X.” Really?! Do I hear the martyr somewhere in here? Many of us then go for the double whammy combo, “I don’t have the money and, besides, it wouldn’t meet my standards!” Two for the price of one! I’ve been getting a steady stream of messages from the Universe lately. And the theme consistently has been, “You need to ask for help!” <groan> And my initial reaction consistently has been to ignore, ignore, ignore. Merrily dancing around the inevitable, if I would use logic. My … Continue reading

And it’s off to the races!

So often we make ourselves conform to the schedule we have imposed on ourselves, or one we let others impose on us. We let “should” govern our lives. We get swept up in the rush of activity that “must” be done. And the gerbil on the circular track goes round and round, mindlessly. Whoa! Stop the wheel, I wanna get off! OK, I’m as guilty of this as the next person. I often wake luxuriating in the possibilities of the upcoming day. I revel in the spaciousness I feel. I notice the sun filling my bedroom with brilliant light. All things are possible from here. And then, as I begin to become more fully wake, my mind takes off: “Don’t forget to follow up on… Gotta deal with… Remember to… I should… ” yada, yada, yada,” and all of this before I’ve even taken a shower or made coffee! As these thoughts intrude on the stillness and clarity I felt upon waking, my adrenalin begins to surge through my veins, and it’s off to the races. Hurry! No time to lose! You’ve got so much to do today! Move it, woman! Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!…Don’t be late… Don’t forget… I must… Faster, faster… I feel my body revving up—and the serenity and peace I felt upon waking evaporates into the dawning day.   I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello! Good-bye! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late! ~The Mad Hatter from … Continue reading

If not now, when?

I ran across this question during the past week. Isn’t interesting how the Universe sends the most appropriate message, just when you need it? Now that my house has sold, I’m in the throes of all of the details involved in moving.  And I’ve found myself thinking, on way too many occasions, “As soon as X happens then I’ll be able to Y.” As in, “As soon as I get everything packed, then I’ll be able to find time for myself.” Or, “I’ll begin work on that second book once things settle down.” There are some assumptions going on here. I’m believing that conditions have to be right for certain things to happen; that life is somehow going to dramatically change and there will be more hours in day; and that I can control all of the variables in my life. You would think that at my age and with all of my life experiences, I would know better! <sigh> Why am I putting off what I want? What magic do I expect will happen once all of the planets are aligned? Ah, another wake-up call: I cannot put off my dreams, needs and desires until…whatever. There will never be a “perfect time”. That’s just my excuse to delay taking action. It’s a way of blaming forces outside of myself instead of taking responsibility for what happens next. Bottom line: my “when” is now. —I’m puttin’ on my fancy pants, and steppin’ out   “Action expresses priorities.” ~Mahatma Gandhi Your … Continue reading