I’ve been practicing more mindfulness.
From a young age, I was predisposed to taking care of myself and then caring more for others even when I’ve worked just as long and hard and they are just as able-bodied and able-minded. Crying was not a thing. Unless it was anger, expressing hard feelings was unheard of, even for adults. This is a dangerous way of life: that no matter what you’re going through, you have to do for others. Acting otherwise is considered selfish. In my family’s dictionary, selfish is wrong. And of course, guilt is a byproduct of being selfish. We were programmed to feel guilty for doing for self first. How crazy is that?! These embodiments are so hard to shake, y’all⏤a generational lifestyle that I am sure goes beyond the generations of matriarchs that raised me! But as I continuously researched the amazing benefits of actually being selfish sometimes, I knew I had to make some changes.
Just like any other practice, like mindful eating, it takes actual practice to build a habit and even longer to finally⏤if ever⏤ be able to define that something as a lifestyle.
I believe many of us ladies are consumed with the wellness of others and easily forget our personal wellbeing. My goal is to stop doing that. Just stop. It is not some intangible, complicated goal but rather pretty simple once you acknowledge the issue and you’re ready for that shift; our overthinking minds are where things get complicated.
We can say ___________ needs to stop immediately or wake up in the morning and decide that that is the day. It’s a beautiful way to take your power back!
There are so many methods to self-soothe and stay in my feelings! Getting and staying in your feelings can be as simple as taking a beat to gather your thoughts and not be so reactionary. In some cases, it involves being very present but also aware of future consequences⏤good or bad. I can get pretty anxious and just focusing on my breathing is a simple activity to pull me from the future and back into the present. I created a list of my favorite self-soothing techniques that remind me that I’m never helpless but instead hold the power when it comes to how I handle things. I also recently read that Canadian doctors are prescribing free park passes for patients to simply get some sun and fresh air; although I think this should have been a thing, I appreciate that not-so-western methods are being prescribed because they do indeed have power and a lot of positive side effects.
Although I’m flattered that certain people in my life use me as a go-to for sage advice, staying in my feelings has allowed me to say I don’t have the capacity to hear what this person has to say right now and not feel guilty. Mindfulness has allowed me to put my needs first in order to serve me first then, if I have the bandwidth, serve others from a place of levelheadedness instead of just trying to quickly create solutions for their issues. I realized that when I stop dishing out so much of myself, the world would keep turning. These people would keep living. And it does; and they do.
I know being in your feelings has a negative connotation, but lately, I think we are not feeling enough. There comes a time when we must get back to how we feel in order to understand what we need to do; this process can be hard because it involves ridding yourself of distractions (sometimes these distractions are people!) and taking an honest look at yourself.
I still fall off the wagon pretty often especially when I care and really want to help, but tis life, right? I’m aiming for progress, not perfection.