Many people reached out to me a bit worried because I didn't write on Sunday. Thank you for your love :)
What happened was a mix of family craziness tossed in with travel combined to create a perfect storm of extra-busy plus a little overwhelm. And I decided it was okay to take care of myself first, which meant not writing the newsletter. It isn't that I'm not committed to reaching out--I'm SO COMMITTED. But my first commitment is to my self care. I've learned the hard way that if I don't honor my needs, things really go to hell in a hand basket quite quickly. And if I'm depleted, then I have nothing to give and my family, friends, and work and all will suffer.
Women, self care, and food. Women are incredibly hard on themselves. Our culture has carefully trained us to be this way. We are taught to believe our happiness is connected to the happiness of others. If our happiness is connected to the happiness of others that means we work tirelessly to take care of the needs of those around us and if we aren't doing this for even a moment, we feel GUILTY. Even the most aware among us fall prey to this guilt.
We work tirelessly for the happiness of others while posting social media memes declaring, "HAPPINESS IS AN INSIDE JOB" or similar sentiments. HA!
We post those memes and still don't recognize that our happiness is indeed connected to WHAT IS INSIDE US. What I mean by that is: OUR DREAMS, OUR DESIRES, OUR IDEAS, OUR PASSIONS. We are SO QUICK do dismiss our desires, dreams, and passions. That voice says, "Who am I to want that for myself?" or, "If I follow my dreams I'll be a terrible mom." or "I'll never know enough or be enough to follow that dream." or even worse, "I'm an idiot for even thinking about that!"
Guess what? When we are committed to the happiness of others and we deny our own brilliance, we live in a low level of apathy because "...none of it matters anyway." It keeps us in a place of not wanting more while simultaneously apologizing for wanting things.
When we give, give, give and go, go, go, we are depleted and we end up resentful. Because we feel guilty doing things for ourselves (and because, ultimately, we are not fully expressed as human beings) THE ONLY THING WE CAN RECEIVE FOR OURSELVES IS FOOD AND ALCOHOL.
We are so depleted, the only thing left are the Oreo cookies in the cupboard. The cookies are 100% there for us. They will ALWAYS fill us up. They never let us down. And, best of all, no one will fault us for eating them. They will, however, fault us for not being super thin (or even too thin--seriously, we cannot catch a break) but that's another topic for another email. The point is, EATING is about the only socially acceptable way women have of nourishing themselves!
No wonder we all have such disordered eating habits--disordered physical habits and mental habits, too. And this is yet another way that we are kept apathetic.Listen--this is political. All these stories we are told about what it means to be a "good" woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend in this world HOLD US BACK and KEEP US DOWN. And let there be no doubt--they are designed to do that.
Why? Because women are POWERFUL. I'm not saying we are more powerful than men and that men suck etc...if you're going there in your mind I invite you to simply stop thinking of others just for a moment and consider YOU. Consider YOUR LIFE. Your dreams, hopes, desires...and I mean the dreams and desires that you never even say allowed for fear you'll be judged.
Women are powerful and we have big dreams. We have big solutions to the problems we face. When we allow ourselves to be fully expressed, to own our power unapologetically, and to step into our dreams...WHOA. THE ENTIRE WORLD BENEFITS. Our families benefit. Our friends benefit. WE BENEFIT.
The fact that we feel guilty, the fact that we go, go, go without taking care of ourselves, the fact that really weird and crazy expectations on how we look, what we say, and what we do is something we have bought into is not our fault. It's not men's fault either. This system has been in place for thousands of years. We are the fish in the water--we don't even know we are in water because we don't know anything different.
To be clear, obviously many women and men know there's a different way. But even those men and women continue to understand the ways in which the current cultural paradigm has hurt us and holds us back in deeper ways. And, as you might be able to see, we are in the midst of a powerful cultural awakening in general. It is a very exciting time to be alive! But we all have stuff that we don't know that we don't know. Now is the time to learn a different way of being.
Where do we start? So many of us have not really taken the time to truly ask ourselves what it is we desire. It can be a scary question. It can also be challenging to answer because if we rarely ask it, that muscle is weak and we really aren't sure of the answers!
Here is an exercise for you to start working on this question. It's deceptively simple. I recommend using this as a journal prompt for 5 - 7 days in a row...just set a time and free-write what comes up for you every day. See how things change at the end of 7 days. Then keep up the practice as much as you'd like to--every day or once a week...trust yourself to know how often you need to do this.
EXERCISE: What are 5 things that you would like in your life?
Separate out what you would truly like from what you think is possible! Allowing yourself any feelings or emotions that arise out of the desires that you may have previously “failed at” or “succeeded at not having” for weeks, months or decades.
Exclude the things that you no longer want. You can still write them down, but just flip it so that you are replacing the unwanted state with what you would like to experience instead.
As always, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR BACK FROM YOU! And I also invite you to join the Virtual Goddess Gathering, where like-minded women show up to support each other in creating change in their lives and the world.
Sending so much love your way,