Life Without Guilt or Shame
I love getting emails in response to my blogs (yes, yes…it seems like I’m still looking for that external validation!). One person recently emailed me and beautifully clarified what I mean when I talk about self-care: self-care is all about self-love, self-respect, self-value, self-worth, self-compassion, and honoring who you really are!
And that’s my entire message and my work in the world. It’s my honor, privilege (and secret sauce) to help you reconnect and remember the amazing, awesome, wonderful darling of the Divine that you are. You are invaluable and irreplaceable. I can see beyond your excuses. I can see beyond your guilt, shame, doubt, and fear. There will never be anyone like you again. So, if you bury or hide who you are, then what? That ‘thing’ that you are here to do or say will be gone. Forever.
If you’re stuck, if you’re settling, if you’re playing it safe, if you’re a people-pleaser, if you allow yourself to be a doormat, if you don’t speak up because you don’t want to rock the boat, if everyone else comes first, if you’re hiding behind some sense of shame or guilt…..
….you are NOT honoring who you are and who you’ve come here to be. And you are robbing the world of your gifts. And all of this ‘hiding’ is not the answer. You are meant for more! You are meant to live an authentically beautiful life without guilt or shame defining you.
Many of us don’t have a roadmap or a blueprint on how move beyond guilt or shame or even how to put ourselves first. We are pros at taking care of everyone else. We are masters at hiding our feelings. We might be the ‘go-to’ person for anyone who needs advice, a favor, a shoulder to cry on, or troubleshooting. Don’t get me wrong – that’s awesome! But there’s more. You’re more.
One simple thing you can do to put yourself first is to practice some ‘elegant’ self-care (I just threw in the word ‘elegant’, even ‘inelegant’ self-care is valuable).
Maybe you need to change the way you relate to the word ‘self-care.’ I know I did.
Now is a good time to take stock of how well you’re taking care of yourself. Self-care is a bit of a buzzword, but it is one of the most important things you can do for your health, happiness, relationships, and even your productivity. Self-care is a key step in being your best you. Unfortunately for many of us, it’s also a neglected part of our lives.
So how can you tell if you need more self-care? See if anything below applies to you:
- You feel overwhelmed at work or home
- Your calendar is full
- Your to-do list never seems to get any shorter
- You have many people counting on you
- You could do with some more sleep
- You get lots of colds and coughs
- You don’t have time to exercise (this is supposing you want to exercise)
- You don’t have time for self-care (everyone else comes first)
You may even like the idea of self-care. Maybe you say to yourself, “I’ll do ______ (fill in the blank with something that’s just for you) when I have time.” In the meantime, you may feel like you are chasing your tail, are in survival mode, or just want to sit on the couch and zone out.
Sometimes our compulsive behavior like overeating, drinking, or shopping is our unconscious way to ease our stress and overwhelm. And you know that’s not the long-term solution (although who doesn’t love chocolate, martinis, or Chicos? But I digress).
Having poor boundaries, too many obligations, or an inability to say no will start to show up in some unpleasant ways in your life. Not to mention your lack of self-care and overwhelm can lead to resentment, moodiness, poor sleep quality, and exhaustion.
See the possibilities of a life where you say ‘yes’ to yourself. The big thing you can do to turn this around is to stop handing your power over to other people and to start putting yourself first.
Of course, this means learning to say no and setting some boundaries (and I’ll get to those ideas in future blogs). For now, let’s start simple, easy, and with small baby steps (my favorite way to start):
- Sit in a coffee shop and do some people watching
- Binge on Netflix (without the guilt and with the intention of taking it easy and relaxing)
- Order groceries online and have them delivered
- Get a manicure / pedicure
- Do something that used to make you happy as a kid
- Call a girlfriend
- Take a small road trip (alone) maybe an hour or two away from home
- Organize or declutter your closet
- Unplug from electronics (yeah, that means no Facebook or Instagram)
- Ask for help with chores
- Get a massage
- Buy yourself flowers
- Take a nap
Self-care isn’t a reward or a luxury, and it’s certainly not selfish. Self-care can also be the gateway to transforming guilt and shame to forgiveness and acceptance. Be kind to yourself and make sure that self-care is a non-negotiable part of your life from now on.
Say yes to yourself by honoring who you are
Maybe you don’t know how to begin or where to start. Self-care and putting yourself first can feel risky and scary. If you need some direction and are ready to shift to what’s possible and re-discover yourself, let’s connect.
Janet is a transformational coach who helps women move beyond the negative voices in their head so they can unleash their purpose, unmask their self-confidence, and uncover possibilities that they have been blind to. Bottom line: she helps them to stop settling, start soaring, and experience the magic of their dreams again.