Saturday, 22 September 2012

So how much do you actually care for YOU?

Yes... You! Don't look behind you as though I'm talking past you!
I'm talking to you, the one staring at these words.

It's time for an intervention friend!

I want you to consider something that you have already heard about before... but I'm sure you've just rolled your eyes at, saying to yourself; "yes, yes... I know, I know, I'll do it when I have a little more money, a little more time, when I have this sorted out or when I have that... or when that person starts to..." ect, ect, ect!

This is what I want you to ask yourself (for maximum effect, look in the bathroom mirror as though you are chatting with you best friend):

"How are you feeling right now?"

Soften your eyes when you ask, like you are really interested and concerned, like a really close friend whom you know you can be intimate and vulnerable in front of. Answer your question in the same manner. Try not to play it down...time to be honest and open.

The basic science:

We are all hard wired to for the need to care and be cared for. Often this becomes mostly imbalanced when give up our personal care practices or known better as sacrificing for others around us or by bad emotional experiences. Funny thing is we more often don't accept help or care as readily as we offer it. In other words, we are very good at caring and putting everyone else's needs before our own. Yet we crave the love of others. Sometimes we're even filled with what feels like unmet needs & desires form those we love. There's nothing wrong with that... unless it's from a place of neediness.
Our brains are wired to mimic the behaviours and feelings we see in our circles of influence through a system of mirror neuron that fire off in certain ways. This is an automatic and subconscious function that cause logical and emotional responses that mirror what we see in those who surround us.
Of course we have a choice through the practices of consciousness or intrinsic emotional intelligence, but the more we behave in particular ways the more these neurological connections fire off; the more we strengthen these synapses and pathways, therefore the more likely we are in getting the same responses outcomes and in our own behaviours.

We feel what we see and we give what we ourselves experience or wish to experience. That brings up a tone of questions for more exploration because we attach what we see and experience to our self worth. Does this resonate?
That leaves much to be said on the subject of how we can be shaped and conditioned by our peers, parents, and other circles of influence and how that affects our beliefs about ourselves, the world, about emotional expression, which do shape our feelings of worthiness for this very broad matter on self-love.

Naaa, just kidding LOL!
It was once thought that your genetics determined the biggest part of your disposition and that learning couldn't be changed after a certain time frame of development, which is strange to me as many extraordinary, innovative people through the ages have broken the social norms to reach and stand up for a better life.

So how can we re-open and rewire these pathways so that we can experience a more self-content life?
How can we become more  aware of going into  protection/defence mode and avoid the biological processes in deepening our emotional emptiness? How can we be less needy and less dissatisfied by the results others give us? How do we shift unhealthy expectations?
How can we actually change the way we perceive and think?
How do we overcome the conditioning of those past experiences that are no longer serving our actual needs and visions of the future we so much want? How do you learn to put you first?

Luckily there is something you can do to step up the self-love factor. From there, everything else takes care of itself as you take this conscious effort and journey into what you really want to feel and foster in your life

Why it is important to care for you first:

Did you know that babies love looking at themselves in the mirror? Did you know that you love hearing the  sound of your own name when someone else calls it out?

The first thing is that your life depends on it! Lack of basic self-care can and will lead to a fluctuating emotional state and moods, unbalanced, a poorly focused and negative mind and poor body health & image etc. Obviously , the lack of the most basic self-care actions can lead to death. we are wired to want to preserve our lives... but sometimes we do it only to a certain point. All these things can lead to health problems, stress, anxiety chronic illnesses & even cause death if not taken care of. The body has a way of telling you what it needs, and when you ignore whichever system is calling for your attention, it will shout louder until you are forced to pay attention.

The practice of self-love will reign in more emotional intelligence in articulating on identifying what it is you are feeling firstly, and also helps you relate to those around you. When this happens you are practising self-awareness which will spur on the feeling of more wholeness, more congruence and coherence on all levels and systems in your life.... and guess what... You'll want to serve those around you more and you'll have the capacity to do so without feeling drained or spread out thinly. Self-care = bigger aptitude for service. Service is what give us meaning and charge like Brendon Burchard would say (Author of "The Charge)".

You will inevitably have a better self-confidence because how you see yourself is what actually counts the most to you. Not others so much as you think (sure, to some degree it matters to us, we all want validity). The proof lies in the fact that you are your biggest critic. You criticize because deep down you want to be better and have your own back. There's no better feeling than being whole and self-sustaining.
I'll say it again... happier you means a more present you for family and friends. So is it selfish to claim some space for you? HELL-TO-THE- NO!

When you show others that you care and respect yourself, you teach them how to treat you and you teach them how to treat themselves too. What better gift is there that you can teach those you love? You want them to care for themselves as best they can, right? How did you figure that that's any less true for you?
So stop making yourself feel guilty for a little alone-time or recharge time with you. I can hear you saying... "but Mads... I have kids that demand my (insert excuse) or "the house won't clean itself" how about you delegate, "I just don't have the time" REALLY? If that's the case, I think you're a little chicken and scared of spending some time with you. LOL, this takes practice & tons of consciousness as the old habits & ways of guilt-tripping yourself for putting you first will show up until you really start feeling & believing that you are totally worth being first.

How do I know? Huh... lets just say I learnt this the hard way, and if you are having as much as a human experience as I am then I know you can relate. 

Here's my next confession:

As a yoga teacher I am not taking care of myself as I really should and I know it. I blame it on time, money, circumstances, running a business and all those other things that it makes it easy for me to give away the responsibility I have of taking care of ME.

I eat too much or don't eat at all. I skip meals as I get to enveloped or obsessed with work. I got all stressed out and in May & I broke out with adult onset acne because of how stressed out I got. It was NUTZ! I drive a little recklessly on my scooter. I don't drink as much water as I should or feed my body the right nutrients it actually needs to function optimally. This winter, I just can't count on my fingers how many times I have fallen sick with the flue... as I was writing parts of this post, I was still waiting for the remnants of the last round of flue to leave (I am better now ;)). If I'm not careful, the threat of recurring illness is fast to step up. More often than not... my mental focus feel slow and sluggish, my memory is affected and without the correct prospective on self-values... I am prone to slipping into anxious states of worry ans stress and yes, if I let myself... I can sink into depression. Nutrition plays a bigger role than you might think, and I know this. That's not me being my best, my highest version of myself for the life I actually want to live. It's the opposite and it's shit.

I used to sink into depression quite easily... and I must say that even when I don't take care of myself like I should, I don't slip into such lows because of a basic understanding I have on how I work.

It's so easy not to take care of yourself. The state on the inside will show up on the outside and you don't want to get to the point where you need to do severe damage control. 

You should know that you are a wonderful being, that you deserve to have space, to feel happy, safe, contents, adventurous, nurtured, confidant, beautifully inperfect and all those other things you imagine and wish for yourself... 'Cause you're just down-right FABULOUS!

So I made a commitment to myself & I invite you to do the same:

I bought myself a promise ring. I bought it because last year was the year I felt that I compromised myself in a very unloving way. This promise ring I have is a commitment that I made to myself to put me first after I defined my values and identified my growth needs. I even date myself, I love going on dates with me, I get spoilt with quality me time. Why don't you try it? remember how happy you felt browsing the book shelf at incredible books, maybe buying a book you knew you were going to love indulging in? (insert other memory you love doing by yourself) go do it.

Make a commitment to yourself for better self-love and care. Following through with any commitments you make to yourself. It  is what FEEDS the self-esteem, lessens the self-critic and builds your own set of integrity rules that you know you'll stick to. When you truly value something and you give it the important status of "Insert something you value deeply", you're going to lovingly take care of it.
(When you undermine your values or your needs to put someone else's need first, don't you feel awful? I do. I have learnt the the reason I feel that awful is because I let myself down... yet again. But don't be too hard on yourself okay... You know what else is cool? saying your going to do better next time and make it a challenge  "Challenge accepted" as Barney Stinson would say. The nice thing is you get to give yourself as many chances as you like.)

Your assignment, should you choose to step up and accept it (can you hear the James Bond song in your head) is:


1) Draw a list of the areas YOU KNOW you've been slaking in the self care department. List them all in your journal. Once you're finished with the list; on a new piece of paper, write some action steps (baby ones) that you can take to start stepping it up a notch in that area.
I'll share a few of my own with you as an example:
  • I've been slacking with nutrition.
  • Mental focus = not so sharp as a result.
  • lowered immune system & prone to catching flue
  • Inclined to anxiety & stress.
these things I listed above all work off each other. If the nutrition is off, your mind will suffer, your health, and each thing spurs on more of the negative stuff you don't enjoy feeling. Lets just say it snow-balls.

so my counter list or my empowering action list goes like this: (Of course I'll do this in baby steps)
  • Elimination junk food & sugar.
  • Better skin care routine.
  • Eliminate milk/ dairy products (didn't help the sinuses or acne).
  • Eat a more PH balanced diet (more greens and fresh produce).
  • Avoid wheat (causes to much bloating & discomfort).
  • Get onto Omega 3 oils ( feeds the brain, helps the mood & other awesome functions).
  • Get onto a multi-vitamin supplement.
  • Get in enough protein (more plant based = low acidity and limit animal based protein... uh-hem, unless it's sushi of course).
  • Practice my mediation and coherence methods to bring my prospective back into balance.
  • Drink more water... (start with a glass as I wake up).
  • ect.
my list is pretty long... But really look into your nutrition, this makes a huge difference in self-care. To me the most important thing to start with is nutrition.

2) Now share this post with a friend, because you are going to need an accountability partner. You're going to fill them in on about you wanting to take more care of yourself. And because they are your friend, ask them to  help you on some of these things eg. if you drink way to much when out, your friend can remind you of your goals. (goals are there because you want to feel a certain way, entry for an entire other blog post). You never know, this might inspire your friend to join you on your new self-love and self-approved adventure, therefore you feel even more awesome for inspiring someone else into more self love! BAM!

Refer to other blog entry on love & cleaning up the self love-act: Out Hidden Hearts of Gold It's obviously one of my favourite topics. LOL

Marie Foleo ~ "It's okay to start before you're ready" GO!

Warning: this is a lifelong relationship you’ll have with yourself… perhaps the longest one you will ever have! You can’t divorce or dump yourself… but you can ignore it and treat yourself badly. Who wants a bleak connection like that; surely not you?

So what are you going to do about it?
Are you mad about your life or are you Mad, crazy-in-love with your life?

You a little stumped? Well, I'll help you out with some suggestions to get the fire started!

  • You can enrol for some Mad About Yoga; Private Yoga Coaching with me. Here bringing the art of mindfulness, movement and other methods that will step up your self-love in all areas of your well-being. Check out the different options available (something affordable for every pocket) on the Blog Site for Mad About Yoga.
  • Mad About Yoga general early morning yoga classes @ the dojo: About the classes
  • Check out tips, inspiration, yoga facts, Yoga event updates etc on the Mad About Yoga on the Facebook Page
  • Free yoga, hiking, boot camp ets on the O2 FitClub Facebook Page.
Hope we can meet soon & chat about how to step up your practice of self-love. Please feel free to leave your resonating thoughts and comments & share this post using the feeds bellow.

The Mad Yogini ~ Madelain