Selflessness is a coveted virtue and it describes so many ladies in this age of women who do-it-all. Unfortunately, consistently putting the needs of others before ourselves can leave said woman feeling burnt out and, to be honest with you, a little bit shitty.
Why? Before you can give (well) to others you need to be your best - by giving to yourself.
I like to use the analogy of a fruit tree - with plenty of water, food and sunshine the tree bears beautiful nourishing juicy fruit. So delicious! So satisfying! Without proper nourishment? The tree suffers from neglect and bears fruit that is dry and shrivelled. Blergh!
Well, you are a fruit tree sista! And you don’t get everything you need just from water, food, and sunshine – you also need to feed your soul. When you are feeling your sparkliest best because you’ve been doing the things that make you feel amazing, the people in your life reap the benefits. You show up 100%, you give wholeheartedly, and you are generous with your time and resources. All without resenting the fact that you are spending your energy on others, because, and this is key, you’ve made sure you have all the energy you need first.
It should be clear that I’m not advocating selfishness here! What I’d love you to practice is selffulness (aka Self Love!) – filling yourself up with love, joy, and peace and then giving your time and energy to the people around you. This way you are not depleting yourself to please your mates, your family, or your overly demanding pen pal!
If you are feeling run down, stressed, or just a bit average, understand that trying to show up for your loved ones when you feel this way is akin to feeding them that gross shrivelled fruit. Not good!
So what can you do? Get comfortable with saying ‘no’ to give yourself the time and space you need to be your best. When a social or work commitment pops up and you find yourself thinking “Do I have to?!” this means you’re already depleted energy wise. Going along to these things only eats away at your energy, as does the resentment you’ll feel at being somewhere you wish you weren’t.
Do your mates a favour and say ‘no’ when you know you’re spreading yourself too thin – going to a dinner when you’d really rather not isn’t doing them any favours! Don’t forget to accept the fact that people in your life will need to say no to you from time-to-time for the same reason. Make sure you give them the space to do so.
Here’s a fun little exercise for you to do right now to help you bring more selffulness into your life.
Grab a pen and paper and write a list of at least 15 things that you love to do – things that make you smile, things that make you feel safe, things that bring peace and joy into your days. I have a huge piece of paper with the things I love to do written all over it! I’m always adding to my list and you can too.
These don’t have to be big joy-making events like travel and birthdays (although those are awesome inclusions). Think day-to-day soul food as well. My list includes things like going to the beach with a good book, giving my Gran a compliment, making my boyfriend laugh, chasing my dog around the park, and watching funny YouTube videos.
Put the list somewhere you’ll see it and do at least one thing from your list every day! The more the better of course! Bestowing a small act of kindness to your self each day helps remind you that you are special and worthy (yes you are!). It reminds you that you are loved. It counteracts stress, heartache, and general crabbiness. It feeds your soul. It helps you be your most wonderful, beautiful, and radiant self.
Whats on your list? How do you love to practice selfulness in your life? Let me know in the comments below.
Lots of love,