What do we do when we’re not OK? When we’re not 100%? Most of the time we keep pushing through – or fall into a puddle of self-blame. Would you be curious if I say there is another way?
Be kind. What??? Be kind to yourself. That’s it??? You’re kidding me???
Not really. This is where change starts.
When you feel un-wellness creeping in or feel stuck it is a gentle reminder from your inner voice (or sometimes not so gentle if we keep turning the deaf ear for too long…) for you to check back in.
When we feel off-kilter, when the body is telling us it needs a break or when our emotions tell us that something is not quite right, step one of turning it around is to be kind to ourselves.
It’s a reminder to listen to that inner voice (hello….hello…..I know you’re in there….even if I haven’t paid attention to you for a while….). You may have gotten off track in some way and it’s OK, you will get back on track if you give yourself a chance.
This comes in two ways, so stay with me:
- Either you’re coming from the NARCISSIST side of the spectrum (which I was big time for the first 40 years of my life) – and when you expand the void of where and how you’re heading vs your true self you normally speed up, do even more to deliver, put even more pressure on yourself and others AND dial up the tactic of fixing and instructing everyone around you of what to do. In short, making it all about you.
- If you’re coming from the PEOPLE-PLEASER side of the spectrum (which I’ve learned the last 5 years to embrace in a resourceful way, which is about caring and putting others’ needs first) – when you get off the track and feel unwell it’s most likely because you have cared and looked after and served too many other people’s needs and forgotten about taking care of yourself.
So, that first gentle reminder from our body or emotions that we’re not feeling 100% is a very kind nudge to pause, become aware and take action. But not MORE of the above action which is typical for you, more kindness-to-self action.
If you’re more narcissistic, kindness-to-self means taking a break. Having 5 minutes, an hour, a day, a weekend, whatever is available to you right now, of clearing your busy schedule and BEING. Of doing something that fills up your tank WITHOUT having an outcome or goal to reach. So, if you would relax by going into your garden – do it with joy, smell the herbs and take your time, it is NOT to get all weeds cleared out by 2 pm.
If you’re coming from the people-pleaser habit, kindness-to-self means looking after YOU. Kindly allowing others to take care of their stuff themselves and taking 5 minutes, an hour, a day, a weekend, whatever is available to you right now, to BE YOU. You probably don’t know how to do it, because you’ve very seldom allowed yourself to put yourself first. But have a go, sit with a cup of tea or a book because you want it and need it. Like the good old aeroplane oxygen mask metaphor: you have to put on your own mask first, before attending to others.
I trust that you will now start taking the first signs of un-wellness or not being 100% as a gift, a well-meant reminder to pause and be kind to yourself. It becomes a curious, fascinating game to watch out for signs from your inner voice – and act on it.
For me personally, it’s hilarious that I now have to be aware of signs from both directions as I now embrace the full spectrum from putting myself first to truly caring for others. It’s like being in a new country with different traffic rules and having to look carefully BOTH ways before crossing the road because traffic may be coming from the side you’re not used to.
So now, if I feel a bit unwell or feel that I’m not my usual self, the indication could be either that I’m pushing myself or others too hard for results – or that I’m taking on others’ stuff too much. Either way, shifting it back to MY true path starts with kindness to self.