You may have heard about self-love but what does it really mean to have it and how does the lack of it in your life show up.
Lack of self-love might not initially be evident to you, but you might see it showing up as …
💙 A feeling of shame about yourself or being ashamed of things that you have or haven't done.
💙 Ignoring your own achievements, downplaying them, and not accepting compliments.
💙 People pleasing and letting others walk over you so you can be liked.
💙 A fear of failure that stops you doing the things that you would really like to do.
💙 There are also some things that we think self-love is …like being accepted by others and doing ‘the right thing’ (even though you may not want to).
💙You may also think it might be buying yourself things or taking yourself out for coffee, getting yourself a facial or going on holiday …
And those things are important, but self-love goes far deeper than that.
For me Self-love is having complete love and a deep compassion for yourself as you would your own child or someone close to you.
It is allowing yourself to be you in your truest form and this comes from inside of you.
It doesn't come from outside of you or from external validation, and no one else can give it to you.
It doesn't come from external things like your work, personal sacrifice, being busy or your identity in this world.
Is it little wonder why we get to this age, our self-love tank running on empty and it’s obvious why …?
Till now we’ve been looking after everyone else and feeling like everything is our responsibility. But now it has become intolerable.
So, why has this happened?
Well, it usually began when we were young, we were rewarded for putting other first and god forbid if we were selfish.
And as time went on you may have had children, and you did it even more.
You may have become the self-sacrificing mother a behaviour that we probably learned from our own mother.
Another thing is having weak boundaries (more about this at another time).
Finally, I want to ask you this question, what is it costing you by not putting yourself first and loving yourself from the inside?
Let me know.
I kind of slipped into midlife unaware of the physical and emotional changes that were starting to take place for me.
I was knee deep in the aftermath of a divorce and working out who I was …
A single woman with two teenagers and it felt like my body was failing me, my capacity to deal with my emotions, my confidence dived and I was an uninspired mess.
Of course I’d heard about perimenopause/menopause and I knew that some women had a hard time of it …hot flushes and midlife crises etc. I was also vaguely aware of a ‘shift’ that occurs at midlife and that things change …
I liken it to hearing the advice about the first 6 months of having a baby. You do not get it and understand any of it until you have that baby in your arms.
It came as a complete surprise to me that when I was complaining about feeling awful, that a friend (who was older than me). She said do you think it could be menopause darling???
OMG it hit me and when I followed up with some basic research …
Yes! That is what was happening to me …
And then I was suddenly able to recall friends and colleagues sharing about their experiences and then the penny dropped …
My life was changing …
I didn’t feel ready and I resisted it for a while.
Well, that didn’t work, it just made it worse …
I felt aimless, unhappy and physically fragile … like my body was failing me, I didn’t have much time left and I didn’t even have a partner … a bit of a loser!
Then I had to give myself a good talking to ...
And decided to reclaim my life for me …
To get excited again …
To start to dream about what I want in my future …
To make a plan (you know fail to plan … plan to fail) and it worked …
I wanted to share with you 5 ways I got my midlife mojo back:
1. Exercising regularly.
I've never been a great at exercising and though I always feel good when I do it, I was slack! No matter what you choose, just do it and you’ll notice the difference. My choice is is walking in nature and yoga, exercising has transformed my energy levels and has helped decrease my stress and has lifted my mood.
Do whatever suits you, but doing it is the key
Tight muscles, weird restless legs at night, tight joints all these things have been helped by magnesium … I take it, spray it on my skin and also have my favourite Epsom salts baths – sometimes I even have them daily, in my house it’s not a special occasion thing.
3. Reduce your Alcohol.
Be mindful of how much you are drinking and why you are drinking. I gave up drinking alcohol completely (this is whole other blog post) and it has been fabulous for me and my health.
4. Look at your Mindset
I spent some time in deep reflection by myself and with my coach and close friends about my mindset and if it was going to serve me in midlife. And it wasn’t … the way I was thinking had become, frankly quite negative and sad over the last few years. So I spruced it up with some inner work and refocused on what was important to me and how I wanted to think and feel.
This is so important! And has been a total game changer for me. By sharing what’s happening for me and my feelings I have been able to create deeper more authentic relationships with my family and friends. It means I don’t have to suffer in silence anymore.
Opening up to others helps untangle my thoughts and brings them out into the light where they are far less scary.
If you don’t feel that you can share with people you know go to a practitioner or join a group of likeminded people.
Phew I so glad I did or I’d be crazy by now!
Everyone's experience is different, and your list may be completely different to mine!
I know that if you are feeling unhappy or things feel stuck or just not working for you …it’s time to do something about it!
Because it’s your time now.
Big love Kathx
I'm sure it's what many of you are asking …
How do I balance what I need to do with what I want to do?
How do I manage to look after my own needs and manage my commitments to my children or aging parents or both, without feeling guilty?
Also, we need to add managing your energy levels – you may be used to doing it all but now you feel less desire to do it all and your energy levels won’t allow it!
Here are some areas to look at when you are feeling like you could use some balance in your life.
Boundaries are one of the most powerful things that you can put into your life. But they're also the trickiest because mostly we are used to being all things to all people, never drawing a line in the sand and saying no to anyone.
An example might be working longer hours at work because we've always done it and the work won’t get done unless you do it. It could be three extra hours per week or is it more?
You can decide to bring a boundary into that situation, by always going home on time or not taking work home with you or not being available after hours.
And in the beginning, it will feel different, it may even be difficult, but in the end, it's empowering – not to mention the extra hours you are bringing back for you to use for you!
2 . Acceptance.
By this, I mean accepting that in this part of our lives (midlife). We are experiencing some big changes, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
We aren't the same as when we're in our 20s or 30s or even early 40s.
Things have changed, our energy capacity is different and so our priorities – we are starting to want different things.
If you pause and have a look back and compare what was working for you five years ago to what are working for you now, some reassessment will be needed.
Like working long hours, the type and amount of exercise that you do, stress management and the amount of alcohol you drink are all places to start.
It is a fact that prolonged stress is not good for you and it is time to remove those stressful situations from your life (if possible).
Once you may have thrived on stress or could handle it better. But in this time of our life, it is harmful to our bodies and it uses up energy that we need for other more fun things.
Do you need that friend that stresses you out? Do you need to work that extra hour at work? Do you need to take on that extra project just because you always take on more? Can you bring some R & R to your life?
4. Choose happy
What makes you happy?
Choose more of those things that do make you happy and let go of the things that don’t.
Create a list and start letting go.
Areas to look at are your work, relationships, health choices and social media accounts
Ask yourself … does this make me feel happy?
And then choose.
All it just takes some is some self-inquiry and making a conscious decision to keep or let go.
5. Clean up your thinking
How do you speak to yourself?
Do you encourage yourself and reaffirm that you've done a good job, or do you always to berate yourself for not doing enough or that you aren’t good enough?
Do guilt and shame have too much to say?
They will NEVER say anything nice to you.
Start consciously choosing your thoughts and bring some self-love into the equation because you are so worth it!
Choose one to reflect on this week and let us know below which one would make the most difference to you!
“The top 3 mistakes I see frustrated midlife women making and what happens when they make them”
1. Believing that this (whatever situation you are in) is all there is and that you are stuck!
At any given moment there is an infinite number of possibilities available and it only takes a slight shift in thought, direction, commitment, or action to make to move forward in a different direction of your choosing.
2. Your past choices determine your future.
Got divorced, invested poorly, told your boss to stick it & got fired, didn't finish uni …
This doesn’t mean that you’ll always have bad relationships, can’t handle money or that you are unemployable.
The past is been and gone and it is only when we keep it alive by thinking about it - that it becomes a part of our future!
3. Putting yourself last and not honouring what you want – your desires, needs, health, happiness.
You sacrifice everything to make everyone else happy and you end up tired, burnt out and resentful because it is impossible to keep everyone else happy and you can’t pour from an empty cup.
No wonder you are frustrated, and life can feel like such a struggle. Particularly when you really want so much more than what you are getting!
Fortunately, things can be turned around pretty quickly when you get a fresh new perspective on the power you have to make a difference to your life and I can help you with that.
WHAT YOU WANT MOST...YOU ALREADY HAVE
What the?? I hear you say, what’s this woo woo…it is simply not possible!! If I have it, how come I haven’t got it??
…hear me out…
Working with clients, chatting with my friends, being part of personal development groups and grappling with this myself. I have come to know, that at the heart of what we really want, at its deepest level, not the external things, but in what we really want for ourselves, we already have.
The experiences at the core of our being like peace, kindness, fun, love, joy, fearlessness or being powerful, to name a few, what we are searching for…we actually already have!
It is simple, that what calls to you the most is what you really are in your true essence. It’s what you suppress or don’t think you are the most…. it’s there just waiting, while you think you haven’t got it, it calls to you often and as you deny it, the calls get stronger. This is where the frustration and the unhappiness kicks in and dissatisfaction grows...the searching.
And instead of answering the call by noticing, you feel the distance is too great and what you want most feels as far away as it’s ever been…the gap seems to get wider.
But no matter how far away it seems, it is there, waiting for you to notice and reconnect with who you want to be the most and the possibility that you want to be is already yours.
If it is peace, that intense desire for peace indicates that peace is already waiting for you…it will take some self-awareness, it will take some re-connection and self-reflection. There are all sorts of ways of getting back to it, but it can be as easy as acknowledging “that what you want is already yours” and the uncomfortableness of being apart or separate from it, is actually an indication that what you are thinking that you are apart from is what you already have.
I’ve noticed that when clients, friends or colleagues are searching for a purpose or feeling in their lives, that they are actually 'that' already and it shines through whatever pain they are feeling, the behaviours, the actions, the words…they just can’t notice it in themselves. It doesn’t take any particular training to notice it in others just being present…but it does take some self-awareness to recognise it within yourself.
It all began when as a child or adolescent we made decisions about ourselves, that we are bad, wrong, not good enough etc and that we are not who we really are in essence, and we keep finding evidence to support those decisions and it rules our life until we make another more conscious decision, usually when life gets to painful for us to endure any longer.
How? I hear you cry…
How do you want to be? Simply relax and ask yourself what do I want most, how do I want to be and the first words that pop into your consciousness are your personal truth….
Then share with others (trusted peeps) what you most desire to be and I will be very surprised if they don’t see in you, what you want most already, plus some other important things you haven’t acknowledged…yet!
Notice what’s in the way of what you want…some old story, what old way of being, habit, what someone told us, and now really own that you have been keeping yourself separate from who you really are and what you really want.
Being our own fully expressed, beautiful self, is having what you want and being ourselves completely. The world needs us to be our full self, our kids, families, communities, work places need us to be true to what we most want for ourselves, to own and believe that what we are is enough...plus it feels really, really good!
Know that just by being yourself completely, you will have what you’ve always wanted.
How would that be for you?