img_20161201_180947Not everyone who desires access to your life, your heart, and your spirit are worthy of the access they seek. Protect it.

Your time is your most valuable asset. By all means give it to those who will appreciate it. But to continuously allow yourself to be used and suffer through others’ actions and for their own convenience, you’re doing no one any justice. Take care of YOU first, so that you can take care of your PURPOSE and be all that you were meant to be… FISRT.

vigo-lite_phase-4_inclusion_10x7-print_option-1-002_2_001.jpgOnly then will you be able to be there for others. You can’t share an empty cup – you can’t share what you don’t have. Fill your cup first! And That’s the truth!!

Here’s how to fill your cup so you can share it with others:

1. TAKE YOUR TIME

Nobody is going to give you time out.

Your family is probably not going to say “gee, you look tired, why don’t we cook dinner tonight,” so don’t count on it.

Brewing resentment is a tea that will poison everyone who drinks it.

It’s called taking time out because that’s exactly what you have to do: you have to TAKE your time.

YOU ARE WORTHY of being able to spend time as you choose. You deserve it. You don’t need to meet any arbitrary internal or external expectations before allowing yourself to take a breather. You don’t need a reason or an excuse. You don’t need to be sick or at near break down to take time out.

Prioritise it. Put it in the diary. Schedule that time and set expectations. (This works both ways of course, your partner needs their time out too, so do your kids – be the role model).

Tell your partner to bring home pizza because mamma ain’t cookin’ tonight people.

Employ a digital babysitter once in a while to catch your breath and enjoy a cup of tea.

Go to the movies. Or out for coffee with a friend.

Find balance by taking time out.

2. QUESTION YOUR STANDARDS OF PERFECTION

Who has time for time out? There’s too much to do!

Do you lack time or do you carry around an unrealistic, self-imposed standard of perfection that won’t allow you to relax?

The perfectionist demon will flay strips of flesh until you’ve worked yourself to the bone. And it still wont be sated.

That to-do list will always eat away at every waking moment if you let it.

Before you can ‘take’ your time, you need to be comfortable letting your standards of perfection slide. The world doesn’t end if you haven’t scrubbed the toilet recently. But it doesn’t become a better world if you’re too exhausted to give the best of yourself.

And you can’t shine without regularly filling your cup.

No one has lived in service to others more than Mother Teresa. She’s on her way to being canonised as a Saint! And she took at least 4 hours of time out (which in her case meant prayer) Every. Single. Day.

3. PRIORITISE SELF-CARE

You’ve heard it before: on an airplane you’re told to fit your own oxygen mask first, before anyone else, before even your own child’s. The reason is because you’re no use if you’re unconscious in your seat.

In practical everyday terms that means prioritising the self-care you need to stay healthy.

staff-awards-advertorial-mva-fund-page-001It means getting enough sleep. It means taking a nap when the baby naps. It means eating nutritious food. It means prioritising time for exercise and play and showering. It means regular check ups with the doctor.

I’ll be the first to admit self-care isn’t always easy, especially when your children are very young or when you’re trying to balance work, home and everything else. That’s when it’s even more important to let go of unrealistic standards of perfection and choose self-care over busy work.

Do you use busy work to justify your existence? Are you worried about wasting time? Is busy work a shield against facing difficult emotions?

We only get one life.

A strong work ethic is all good and well, and maybe you have to work long hours just to make ends meet. But the slavery to economic growth that we’ve all literally bought into is a game nobody wins.

4. BEAUTY IS MORE THAN SKIN DEEP

If you’ve gone through a lot of pain (inside-out) through all the chemo and radiation and trauma of cancer treatment or found out this year that you have a chronic disease, like me, one of the support programs that have helped many is the Look Good, Feel Better program. The philosophy of the program is that looking good (makeup, clothing, accessories etc.) is an important part of feeling good about yourself and therefore an important part of recovery.

But it’s also a good philosophy you need even if you aren’t sick.

I’ve never been one for beauty stuff, I’m more of an ‘inside my head’ kinda girl. I have my days, you know, when I like to get all dolled-up. Most days, however, a lipgloss is all I need, because I believe we’re all innately beautiful without cosmetics.

But there’s something magical about dressing up – it’s not superficial – it does wonders for your self-confidence and self-worth. Looking good DOES make you feel good.

And feeling good fills your cup.

I prefer natural products, because the chemical stuff seems counter-intuitive. One of the best sites for natural beauty products is Nourished Life – an Australian online store dedicated to toxin-free cosmetics.

But more than that, appreciate your beauty, both your outside beauty and your inner beauty. That’s particularly hard but super important in the Photoshop age. Look in the mirror with love not criticism.

And surround yourself with beauty, particularly natural beauty. There’s nothing more uplifting than a walk in the park, or a bunch of colourful flowers. Open yourself up to see the beauty around you and let beauty fill you up.

5. SPIRITUALITY IS NOT DEAD

The problem with busyness is it leaves you feeling like an existential rat keeping pace on a meaningless wheel.

Getting in touch with your spiritual side, regardless of how that manifests, reminds you you’re a part of something bigger. It reinforces the connection with the humanity around you and the larger universe. It can inspire us to strive to be the best version of ourselves.

In more concrete terms it might mean you spend some time each day journaling your thoughts – I call this tool “truth pages”. It might mean taking time out to meditate each day or spending time in prayer. Maybe you study a spiritual text or read an inspiring book. Maybe you walk on the grass barefoot or taking a mini-retreat in nature.

I’m not much of a religious person, but I have spent many years wondering if it’s possible to have a full cup with a life devoid of spirituality, or at least a connection to something bigger than ourselves – for me, that is GOD. In my experience, there’s nothing that leaves you feeling more empty than asking the question: “what’s it all for?” and hearing the echoing answer that there is no meaning beyond the day-to-day grind.

Now more than ever, it has to mean something. It has to be more.

6. GIRFRIENDS ARE YOUR LIFELINE

When I’m having a whingey moment, I have a friend who says “girlfriend, I hear ya!” with such sass and swagger, I can’t help but feel better. Just thinking about it makes me smile.

Sometimes the most powerful medicine is a sympathetic ear and validation.

Someone who gets it. Someone who’s been there and understands. Someone who doesn’t judge you, who isn’t trying to fix you.

Someone to drink pink Margareta’s with until the early hours of the morning.

Those people are your tribe. They are your soul sisters. And they are your lifeline when times are tough.

Building relationships isn’t always easy, and when we’re so busy with work and family and everything else, we convince ourselves friendships aren’t important. But they are absolutely fundamental to the good life. And you are essential to them.

images-9When times are tough and you’re super busy, too busy for socialising, take the time to nurture your friendships anyway; don’t let them wither because what blooms makes everything else worthwhile.

#YouArePossible #IAmPossible #LetsBePossibleTogether #TruthThursday

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