In lasts week’s post on Love and Grace, we continued an exploration of caring for ourselves, which we started with in The Long, Cool Road and followed into broadCAST September 2019. We recommend the reads and reflection, and we continue the deeper dive this week.
To date, and essentially, I have offered the following in retrospect. Allow me to recap.
This Blog may very well be all over the place in thought. As I have been these past couple weeks. I don’t mind saying it like it is, as you probably have noticed by reading my last blog, I am quite up-front and honest. I am usually very positive and upbeat. But guess what, I am human like the rest us, and I am exhausted. I have been pushing myself to the limit in every aspect of my life. I have been trying to be a kick-ass Mom, Friend, Partner and Student. Well I only have so much to give. I guess what I am saying is that in order to fill your own tank, you need to do things that you love. Even then you can find yourself drained and depleted. I am a prime example of that this past week.
This summer has been full, beautiful and extraordinary. So many positives, yet I am pooped. I am a strong believer in self-care. A huge believer. But even in the moments of self-care, my mind is in full speed, thinking of all that I need to do in the next five years of my life. Which in all honesty does not help or benefit me in the slightest. While most structure their lives around schedule and organization, my life just doesn’t work well that way. Or at least I don’t think it does. Lord knows I have tried. I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. I get things done, and if I don’t, I clearly didn’t think it was needed in that particular time, or in that particular order. I know I am not the only one that lives like this. Other people may think it is chaos, where I find it comfortable. It just works. Rather than getting into how it works, which I don’t think really matters. We all work differently. I want to talk more about doing the best that we can with what we know. And finding what fits and benefits your life.
I am currently reading a Brene Brown book called Rising Strong. She is a phenomenal writer and I find myself relating to most of her writings. I have to say it is taking me a LONG time reading because of that thing we call life. I take all the moments I can spare to sit and read for a bit. But let’s be real, I also have a million other things that I want to do. Be lazy and watch Netflix, eat cheesecake, do my nails, hang with my boy, maybe just do absolutely nothing while scrolling through Pinterest. You know, all those important valid things. Which I think at times we need to do. I think it is a part of unwinding and letting ourselves breathe for a moment in time.
In Brene’s book she talks about doing the best that we can with what we know. I relate this to Child and Youth Care (in which I am studying), and life in general. Brene talks about finding people ignorant or rude, or responding a certain way to something. At first, we look at the person like they have ten heads. Like maybe they are just jerks. That’s not the case. We are simply doing the best with what we are given. We are doing our best in life with our skills and knowledge. This speaks to me on many levels. In society, as a parent, as a friend, as an employee, or with ourselves. I look at how I am to others. I love them, I love everyone really. I find the best in anyone and everyone. That is because I was raised that way. Raised to be kind, empathetic, compassionate, and respectful. That built a love and understanding within me that I use outward. I treat others with love because I was treated with love. It is my norm. But when it comes to taking moments to care for me, that isn’t so natural. I can’t exactly blame it on my upbringing, but it is more of a generational thing as far as I am concerned. I feel like moments of relaxing, taking a nap, going to a spa, or getting your hair done, may have been considered more of a selfish act. When really it isn’t. It is taking little moments to love yourself.
Because this is not such a natural act, I get stuck in moments of self-care, with little imprints of caring for others or thinking about the million things I need to do. That is not self-care at its finest. I know how difficult it is to completely unwind, allowing your mind to compartmentalize the important and not so important things we need to focus on at that time. I guess therefore I have been left exhausted. I have been doing things for myself amid chaos these past couple weeks. But clearly, I have not allowed myself to detach and let go of everything I have no control over in that very moment. If I can’t fix it now, then get into that little box inside of my head so I can push it away somewhere until I can address it or accommodate it.
Let me add something this week.
- In life there will always be moments to love ourselves enough to rest and take care of our basic needs. But how we come to do that is the real test. This is where we are doing the best with what we have, or what we know. We are taught by people around us how we should and shouldn’t love ourselves. We mirror what we have watched growing up. We allow people to plants seeds, such as, selfish, lazy, high maintenance, or needy. When in all reality it is a basic need of ours. We NEED to care for ourselves. However that looks to each of us may be completely different or one in the same. Now like I said, we are either taught how to love ourselves or we learn. So, let us learn.
In my next post, and upon reflection, I will share thoughts on what that might look like.
I love the idea Jenny is proposing. Self care and love are unique to each of us; as is balance.
Yesterday was a bit a remarkable day for me. In Public Relations class with some music students, we talked on the importance of self awareness as an artist… and the need to be authentic in our “branding”. Posing creates much more work, to maintain the pose.
Last evening, I attended a memorial for a former student who took his own life last week. Sam was a gifted Soul; gifted with compassion, generosity, kindness, thoughtfulness, creativity, enthusiasm, joyfulness and more. And yet, he chose to depart this realm. I shared this post on my feelings around the news and the day yesterday morning. Then, last night and upon reflection after the memorial, I shared this Facebook live post, around thoughts on Sam and more. I shared this post yesterday as well… on Sam’s family choosing to advance the necessary dialogue on suicide.
And so why do I offer up such? I would suggest that self care and self love are grounded in seeing our best self and character, and honoring it. I suggested in class that one powerful form of self love is to love others. In other words, when we fully identify and accept who we are here most to love … and love them… we love ourselves. This does not imply trying to save everyone. It does imply that choosing to be of service to those who matter most to us can run parallel to us taking time to take care of ourselves.
For example, I spent a great deal of my adult life trying hard to please everyone. In the final analysis, and with great mentors, I realized that I get to pick who I choose to best serve. For all, I choose to try to give friendliness and joyfulness as a countenance. That is my universal service.
But to maintain my best energy and care, my personal and professional lives have a sharper focus. With Epic Engage™, we serve those world embracing and noble minded educators, entrepreneurs and emerging leaders who get it or want to get it. We are clear on that. We are not here to convince or preach but serve who best and most needs our work. We get to choose when and where and how.
With my personal life, I have my Camelot, my tribe, my chosen family who will get my very best.
Stephen Covey referred to this prioritization as the big rocks. I referenced it in The Long, Cool Road.
Ultimately, I am suggesting that self love and the love of others are parallel journeys; but we must be very strategic in choosing who we best serve. During this most busy term of my life (and it indeed is), the best way I will take care of myself is to choose who I will actively and purposefully serve and love best. I only have so much to give, and I must needs choose where I will best give. In so doing, I will both take care of my energy and health, and I will feel best fulfilled with the feeling that I have been there for the people who matter most. Caring for them in my personal and professional lives shows care for me. I think that is what Andy Grammer sings of here.
My 10-Day Path to Love
So, I am taking on a personal 10-day project to sharpen the blades and simplify. I saw this meme on Facebook, reminding me of the intriguing numerical significance of 10 days in September 2019.
91#19 with the # running from 0 through 9. Intriguing indeed.
Each day, I will eliminate one distraction or add one habit.
Yesterday, on the first day, I decided that I will no longer engage in any activity unless I feel a real energy is there for movement. In other words, I need to feel a “Hell Yeah”. If not, I do not.
Today, and in honor of Sam, I will commit to one simple, conscious act of kindness each day. I tend to think of myself as typically kind… but I am intent on making sure a day does not go by where I do not take one simple act of kindness, in word or deed.
Over the next 8 days, I will establish 8 other commitments. Whether you start your own act now during this period or not… think about taking 10 days and making 10 simple commitments to cut things out or commit to simple actions that will love you and others.
See where that takes you. I will let you know my 10 next week. 🙂
Together, we are committed to living a joyful life and work. Best friends do that.
Together, we will continue to explore our own perspectives on love and character and how they can build a life of work, play and service that is right for each and all of us.
Peace, passion, prosperity, and a whole bunch of Love and Character
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Benny and Jarry
Jenny Dearing speaks to love in action. She brings talent, experience and learning around love, trauma and care. With a passion for Child and Youth Care and Addictions, and a background in same, she connects, and memorably so. Her work spans children and youth care with addictions, personal and senior care, respite work, and business leadership; delivering on all. Jenny is a Certified Virtues Project™ Facilitator, with professional training in child and youth care with addictions support and home support services. With certification in ASIST Suicide First Aid, Autism Awareness and Understanding, Trauma Information Care and Child and Youth Care Practice, Jenny brings it, with zeal. On top of all that, she loves singing, and is an accomplished multi-media artist … and brings both to her work. Artistry is a path to love and healing. Jenny knows it. She believes in it. She drives it.
Barry Lewis Green moves the needle on character leadership and unity building with joyful ferocity and thoughtful zeal. Barry helps leaders forge strong, united cultures at school, work, business and community. Joe Calloway says, “I had the distinct pleasure of being in an audience in Montreal with Barry Lewis Green on the stage. Quite simply, Barry absolutely captivated us with his talent, his message, and his heart. The feeling of unity that Barry created in the room that day was extraordinary.” With 39 years in education and leadership training and development … and work in the private, public and community sectors across Canada… and as a speaker, educator, master facilitator, coach, writer, singer, dancer, and cartoonist, Barry stokes the fire on together strong.