To Those Who Are Struggling
You are so tired. You are burnt out from the onslaught of your responsibilities: work, finances, caring for your relationships, caring for yourself, the invisible work you seem to be responsible for in every area of your life.
When you allow yourself to go there, you are emotionally wrecked by the devastating tragedies of children being murdered in their classrooms, the hell of war, innocent people with brown and black bodies being murdered by people in positions of power, the injustices that abound, big and small around us and to us everyday.
You are frustrated. You have followed the “rules”. You work hard, you care for your people. You anticipate the needs around you. You feel lost, disconnected, depressed, anxious and disappointed. Your relationships are not what you want them to be.
Boundary setting feels like a foreign language. You’ve been taught to avoid setting boundaries. Even considering saying no and prioritizing yourself triggers shame and guilt that stops you in your tracks. You’ve been taught that these things are selfish and selfish is one of the worst things you can be.
Because you’ve learned that being connected to others means being always available, you retreat and withdraw when you feel overwhelmed. And even though this feels unavoidable, it never feels good.
Finding yourself exhausted, burnt out, disillusioned and angry, you turn against your body. You may look for the next diet, the next exercise program or machine, the next pill that promises to get your body “under control” and in alignment with the myth we’ve been immersed in since birth.
The myth: Look “beautiful” according to the latest standard and everything in your life will fall into place. You will be happy.
Happiness v. Well-being
Because the term “happiness” is elusive, fleeting and difficult to define universally, we’ll use the term “well-being” instead. Subjective well-being can be defined as a combination of positive emotions and appreciation for/satisfaction with one’s life.
The path to well-being begins with self exploration and self compassion. This exploration and the introduction of self compassion allow us to understand and appreciate who and how we are, our strengths, the family of origin and cultural experiences that influence us and what we need to understand so that we can take the next right steps for ourselves.
Doing this work orients us toward our power and how we might use our power to benefit ourselves and others. We create a ripple effect in the world.
Resistance to Self Exploration and Compassion
I’ve found for myself and many of the people I work with, there is a lot of resistance that must be addressed before we can engage with ourselves in a compassionate way.
This resistance comes from internalized beliefs about ourselves, others and the world. Many of these beliefs may be unconscious and powerful motivation for our behavior.
Recognizing that there will likely be resistance can be freeing. When we expect it, we can acknowledge it and explore it’s roots. Understanding where our resistance to self compassion comes from helps us understand ourselves and our journey better.
Well-being and the Human Experience
Working toward well-being doesn’t protect us from the human experience. Pain, trauma, grief, suffering and sadness are inevitable.Rather, this work strengthens our essential selves and empowers us to use this critical guiding system to control what is within our control, understand what is not and how best to make use of this knowledge.
It also affirms our responsibility to ourselves. Each of us are tasked with caring for and prioritizing ourselves. We learn, through this work, what we as individuals need day by day, moment by moment and how to implement what we need within the limitations of our individual experiences.
What Can I Offer You?
Guidance in understanding how you’ve been impacted by your family and culture in ways both helpful and harmful. Tools and wisdom that point you back to yourself as your own authority, help you heal your relationship with your essential self, increase your self compassion and guide you toward your purpose.
You can also expect introductions to folks that are doing powerful work in these areas. My goal is to help you connect with the resources that will benefit you most.