When I was in my 20's, single with no kids and lived in LA, I would volunteer for all the fundraisers, donate my products, help my friends doing social justice work and offer my time to all the community centers I could possibly squeeze into my day. (And hey, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this, in fact I still love volunteering. Just hear me out and keep reading...)
Then, when I had kids, I'd do all the things for them, my family AND my community and ALWAYS left myself last, not realizing that I was not offering my best self when I was overwhelmed and depleted... in fact, I usually wouldn't realize I was burned out until it was too late.
When I say "all the things", I mean: cloth diapers, made my own baby food, nursing exclusively (no formula), baby and children products, my own laundry detergent, homeschool, big birthday parties, performing, traveling, vending at farmers markets, I really meant #allthethings. And again, THERE IS NOTHING wrong with this... unless you do them with resentment and is making you unhealthy.
I thought being unhappy (or numb) and making others happy was "normal" because I was now a mom.
I thought serving others, before serving myself, was the best way to help but I soon realized I was helping NO ONE when the "self destruction" would kick in... then the guilt... It took me a while to realize my health and emotional well being was suffering because of this way of thinking. I wasn't honoring myself or my creativity.
I learned how to STOP THE OVERWHELM... and HONOR MY TIME.
I learned that "over giving" is a beautiful thing when done without resentment. It is a GIFT for both the receiver and the giver.
I used to think CREATIVITY & SELF CARE was unimportant & selfish. This limiting belief I was holding on to was not stopping me from being creative but I felt guilty and I was hiding my true self and gifts from everyone.
Now I realize that those of us with the BIGGEST HEARTS & CREATIVE MINDS have the potential to create a huge positive impact in the world by being ourselves fully and discovering & sharing our gifts with others... but we can't do this when we're always depleted & burned out.
I no longer work till I "crash and burn" and I now TRUST myself with all the decisions I make and have lots of energy to do more of the things I love to do.
I'm INSPIRED to do more of the things I love, which benefits others! Things like foster dogs and cats and create online communities with other creative and compassionate women who want to discover and share their gifts with others.
As an Empath, I also discovered that my self care was CRUCIAL for my well being and productivity.
THE MORE MY OWN NEEDS ARE MET, THE MORE MY LIGHT WILL SHINE & THE MORE I HAVE TO OFFER WITH LESS EFFORT.
It is NOT selfish to wake up in the morning and light a candle and journal before making breakfast for the kids or feed your dogs. Your doggie and family will love you for this because you will then be GIFTING them your JOY & HAPPINESS knowing that you fulfilled your needs first and they are not a burden to you = )
What are YOUR self care rituals? Have you ever thought about what you need first thing in the morning in order to set yourself up for a wonderful day? How do you feel when you lay your head on the pillow at night? Tired, yet, fulfilled and happy? Or tired, resentful and lost?
What I have learned over the years about myself from slowly creating practices that help me fulfill my needs is that I first needed to IDENTIFY what my needs were!
After many years of always over giving with resentment, always looking outside of myself for approval, many years of wanting to please others and prove that I was "good enough" to deserve love and happiness, I learned that I didn't even know what my needs were, let alone fulfill them myself.
So what did I do?
I started writing. Writing about all the emotions, all the truth about myself I had deeply hidden inside my being. When writing about the unfortunate truth about my life, I began slowly. Just writing little hints, and slowly I began to develop the courage to see my whole self, my flaws, my strengths, my gifts and talents. I began connecting to my soul again. I realized my soul was lost. And then I would burn these pieces of paper so that NO ONE will ever see them. It felt good to get all these emotions out of my body and onto paper. And when I lit this paper on fire it felt good! Like I was REALLY letting it go!
This was the beginning of one of my "clearing" self care rituals. I did this as a teenager many times too. I started writing poetry when I was 14 years old. By the time I was 16, I was an angry, depressed teen, who wrote poems, scribbled and crossed out and ripped up these pieces of paper and threw them away... sometimes burn them with my cigarettes or lighter. At that age, I was already unconsciously practicing these clearing and releasing rituals... not knowing I will continue doing these same rituals years later and teaching others how to do them. In fact, after being Certified in Hypnotherapy and taking a few courses in NLP, this type of ritual is actually included in some of the lessons. Interesting right? The reason this works, is because our unconscious mind thinks it is real, it REALLY thinks we are literally letting go of these destructive thoughts and behaviors. Pretty cool right? Most of these negative thoughts and behavioral patterns that we have trouble taming live in our subconscious mind. So it very possible to transform them by practicing this type of ritual often and BELIEVE it will work for you.
Here is the Clearing and Releasing Ritual you can try for yourself. I like doing this type of ritual Monthly, right before the New Moon before a new moon cycle begins so that I feel like im getting a "fresh start" on my life. I do this ritual to let go of all the funky feelings I've been carrying around, all the fear and doubt that creeps and "sticks" to us all month long with every challenge or obstacle we go through. I don't always do this monthly and when I skip a few months I definitely feel it. I start having feelings of self abandonment and neglect, like I haven't checked in to my Intuition and Inner Wisdom and I have been carrying all this energetic heavy weight around. It's very subtle and not so obvious. But when you begin writing things down. writing down all of the things you want to let go of and clear you will feel the difference! You will feel great and have a feeling of accomplishment... like you've had a productive day, even though all you did was connect and check in your body and soul. (Well, you will do a little more than that, as you will read in the step by step process) But it will go to show you how powerful this practice is if you take the time to do it! Try it and let me know what it did for you!
CLEARING AND RELEASING RITUAL
for energetically and emotionally creating space for allowing new intentions to come into your life.
1. Grab a piece of paper and pen.
2. Before you begin writing, close your eyes and observe your breath. Take 3 deep inhales and exhales very slowly and bring your awareness down from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Really allow yourself to become fully present and aware of your body. Focus on your heart by placing one hand over your chest.
3. Slowly open your eyes and begin to write. Write down all the things you would like to let go of in your life. Write down all the things that do not serve you. You can write down physical things, like clutter, negative thoughts, let go of fear, sluggish energy, unhealthy patterns that keep repeating themselves. Write down whatever comes to mind. Write quickly, do not overthink it. It does not have to be perfect. Do not worry about forgetting something... you can do this ritual any time you need to!
4. Burn this piece of paper. Keep the ashes./ or rip it up and throw it OUTSIDE in a trashcan or dumpster. Please be careful when working with Fire. (Use an ashtray, an iron skillet over your stove, a pot or something beautiful you normally burn copal or incense in for ceremony. It doesn't matter what you use. What's important is that the Fire Element turns these thoughts and events into ashes)
5. Hold some of the ashes in your hand, go outside and let the element of Air blow them away. Air is about movement and giving life to stagnant energy.~These old thought patterns, habits and emotions have been stagnant in your body.~As you release these ashes from your hand visualize yourself transforming them into something new. Once these ashes are gone so are these things that no longer serve you!
6. Discard the rest of the ashes anywhere you like.
Let's connect! Schedule a FREE call with me If you would like help with this ritual or support with creating your own self care rituals or anything else you are struggling with, lets schedule a call! It's FREE and easy to do! Just click on this link and choose the date and time you are available and we will go from there. https://poeticpotions.as.me/schedule.php Or just email me! firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set up a date and time to talk.