Are you turning yourself inside-out for your business success? My last blog entry seemed to touch a nerve for quite a few hardworking business people. For a variety of reasons, many people put their personal lives on hold while they chase after elusive professional goals, or while they try to meet the overwhelming demands placed on them by the companies they work for. This is particularly a problem in this difficult economy. Not taking care of our personal selves can cause tremendous stress in many areas of our lives.
My last entry was written about a friend of mine who had gotten off course in personal/professional life balance. After publishing that entry, I asked her if she would be willing to answer three questions for me and give a bit of an update for this blog entry. I am very grateful to her, and honored, that she was willing to do this. I’ve changed her name and any identifying information to protect her privacy.
My questions are in bold type, followed by her answers:
1) “Jane”, what were the attitudes and behaviors that weren’t working for you before?
“It is so important to create space for change and the biggest belief that I had to break was that I was not worth taking care of. I would take care of my business clients and my friends, making myself last. Mother Theresa said we have to take care of ourselves, then our families, then our community, then the world. I was useless to others when I wasn’t nourished. It was not easy to break the pattern of being a victim, but as soon as I created that space, wonderful things began to happen!”
2) What are the changes you’ve made in how you choose to live your life now?
“The first change was in getting back to basics — making time for quality sleep, eating right, drinking enough water, and getting healthy exercise. I used to let a lot of these basics go in the name of being productive, and let’s just say that my third trip to Urgent Care for health issues was the last strike. I now choose myself first — getting enough sleep, eating good food, living life, nourishing myself with good energy from people and the planet. I started loving myself. My previous programming made me think I had to have others love me before I could feel lovable, but the biggest change was that loving myself attracted wonderful love…this choice worked wonders for my life!”
3) How have these changes impacted your well-being: emotionally, mentally, spiritually, socially, and physically?
“Giving myself space to love and respect myself has weeded out business clients who were not a good fit, and helped me attract my life partner. I am engaged to someone who is really there for me, and who shares the same values I live my life with. I am learning, giving, growing, loving life, and finding out that being able to say “No” allows for more nourishing “Yes’es” to happen!!”
At the top of the note she wrote to me, she shared that she and “Pete” (not his real name) were hiking when she told him about our conversation of a year earlier and about the blog entry I had just written. It makes me so happy to think of them both out enjoying nature together. It makes me even happier to think about how connected and emotionally safe she must feel with him, to allow herself to talk about her past vulnerabilities.
I hope that all of you reading this will take some time to really think about the day-to-day choices that you’re making. I hope that you won’t have to make multiple trips to Urgent Care before you realize just how special you are, and how worthy of self-care and nurturing.
I feel so honored that Jane trusted me (and all of you) enough to share from her heart. Please honor her — and yourself — by honestly looking at your stress levels and asking yourself if you might be in serious need of some downtime. Do you want to be like the woman in the first picture, stressed out and overwhelmed — or do you want to be like the couple in the second one, hiking up a hillside, full of smiles, feeling invigorated and peaceful? No one can make that choice but you. I would love to hear your thoughts about all of this.
Until next time,
* Thank you, “Jane!” I so appreciate you and your trust! *