It IS All About YOU!

The title of this article is probably opposite to what you think the article is going to be about. How many times have you heard people sarcastically saying this to others, maybe even you, when you seem self-focused or selfish?  18426542_l

While these words are often said together sarcastically, there is something very real and true about these words.

As you may have noticed, I have been quiet these last few weeks. My head has been down preparing for presenting at conferences, interstate travel to clients, creating new training courses, expanding Mindful Mediation to include a new CEO and 6 consultants. (Welcome to all of you!) I have also started a new wonderful relationship, and moved house. It has been a very, very busy time. A few chapters have closed and others have opened. These last few months have been an emotional roller coaster.

What has kept me going through this time has been my commitment to myself, honouring myself each day before I do anything.

I have a great routine, which combines Qi Gong, Yoga, and Meditation. I feel nothing less than great when I do my what my partner calls “She-ber-ring.” The days seem to flow. I have endless energy, my mood is positive, even uplifting on most days. I feel very connected and drenched in love.

During this busy period I stayed on course each day no matter what was planned for the day. Some days I did shorter sessions to accommodate my schedule, others I luxuriated with hours of self-worship.

That is, until last week. The week I moved house. This week was different. Anxiety built up in my body about getting it all done while running a busy consultancy. So I told myself packing boxes and carrying them up and down stairs was enough “exercise” and that She-ber-ring would have to stand aside.

The results were amazing. I am a living breathing experiment on the importance of self-worship.

In just a week I noticed my energy levels dropping significantly, from bouncing out of bed before 6 am to feeling like a teenager dragging one eye open at 7.15 am. I felt exhausted most of the day and found myself at times fantasising about raw cacao to boost my energy levels to get me through.

My mood also changed considerably, the many positive things that happened in the last week were hardly registered. I even heard myself saying “life is tough.” I felt disconnected from friends and family, despite a huge level of support from both with the move. That seems crazy!

Now I don’t drink coffee so there was no help with energy lifts from caffeine. I also don’t drink alcohol anymore so I didn’t numb away the pain with a few glasses of champagne, despite being offered some Veuve Clicquot on Sunday night by my sister-in-law. I would have jumped at the chance a year ago.

I did, however, have some temporary relief and sensory enjoyment from the bricaderos, a raw Brazillian dessert my partner made on Monday! I find it hard to pronounce but very easy to eat!

It seems strange to have felt all this emotional pain last week. Particularly given the previous weekend was my birthday weekend and it was the most special weekend on record from start to finish. I spent the whole weekend with the people I love, doing the things I love to do. I felt so alive, so cherished, so loved, so connected.

What a change last week was. How could all this happened in a week? What went wrong so quickly?

These two people I have described sound and feel like two different people!

They are! And they live inside me. It seems scary to think about it. The great news is that I can choose which one comes out to play and which one comes out to moan.

This week has been an incredible learning experience. I got in touch with the extreme negativity that can overcome all of us through times of stress and anxiety and with the habits that can form around those feelings. It was also interesting hearing my inner voice turn from words of love, joy, and peace to fear, grief, and anger. What was even more interesting was hearing myself buy into those words and thoughts.

What I have learnt is simple. IT IS ALL ABOUT ME! Self-worship! It’s not just about exercise or doing the things you love. It’s about setting aside time daily to honour yourself.

How well I look after myself sets up the next moment, the next minute, hour, day, or week. The sun shines the same brightness each day. It is my eyes that determine how bright I see the sun. The world always seem lighter and brighter on the days I honour myself.

When I do not look after myself I set sail on a different course into dark and stormy rain clouds – like those on Sydney Harbour last week when I was out sailing on a friends yacht in the pouring rain!

When we focus on looking after ourselves we can handle the ups and downs and stresses of life more easily. It is so easy to blame circumstances like moving or job stress or our partner or work colleague or children.

When we focus our attention on looking after ourselves our whole world changes. We don’t need to change others or even the situation.

How can you relate this to your life? Is it the stress or pressure in your life that is getting you down? Or is it how you are looking after yourself (or not) that is determining how you are viewing and responding to situations in your life?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Comments

  1. Caryn what a brilliant and timely article written from the heart. I thoroughly enjoyed and related to it. By way of a brief example, I ran my first 2 day strategic alliance intensive a couple of weeks ago. It was a very intense 3 months leading up to it which I handled well by ensuring I maintained my self care, nurturing and compassion routine. When it came to the actual event I made one critical error – I was going to stay in the hotel over the 2 day but at the last minute I decided it was an ‘indulgence’ and stayed with my mother just 6 kms away. As the Universe has it my 4 year old got incredibly sick with an ear infection and long story short splitting my focus between my various roles over those 2 very important days left me absolutely wasted by the Friday. The event was still a great success but I know it could have been even better. It took me a week off to recover and I’ve not been sick with a throat/chest infection for nearly a week. What I thought was an indulgence was a necessary decision designed to preserve myself so I could give everyone who is important my best.

    I did have an epiphany though – looking after me is what enables me to give my best to the people and things that matter most. My business, my children, my clients, my family and friends. And the truth is, that’s all that anyone can ask of you.

  2. Thanks for sharing Simone. It is very true that the more time we spend looking after ourselves, the more able we are to give others our best – including family, friends, clients and even people we don’t know yet! Let us know how the next 2 day goes when you do stay in a hotel!

  3. John RF PENBERTHY says:

    A resonance with me and an appreciation for people sufficiently OK with themselves to share at this level. Thanks Caryn and Simone.
    Caryn, you talk of “self-worship” and I have no problem with that notion in the context in which it was offered. If I shift the paradigm slightly and take the view that; “you are it” – the only mobile business entity you will ever have, to generate not only what you need to survive but also to nurture and provide for those you love and care for, and who depend on your sustainability. Then perhaps its about “self-custodianship” a responsibility to ensure sustainable levels of productivity and wellness. In this I think Simone’s outcome, (by accident rather than design), has a lesson for all of us.
    As mobile working entities should be not act with the same care towards ourselves as we might be expected to do towards the enterprises and companies we manage? I am reminded of Porter’s (1998) thoughts on Strategic Market Positioning and relating it now to the individuals who actually deliver the product – us.
    “Our Strategy is about aligning every activity to create an offering that cannot easily be emulated by competitors: It’s about the person being honest about where they have real competitive advantages and re-focussing accordingly”
    The Zulus have a saying “shala ghashle” – go easily (on yourself).

  4. Thanks again Caryn. So important for us all that people take the time to pass on their experiences and brilliantly articulate what so many of us have happening in their day to day lives. Like any sharing it can be great fun and most of the people who count in our lives will feel positive and empowered. For a mediator and admirer of the famous mediation and high conflict guru Bill Eddy, your title “It is all about you” is particularly poignant, but everything needs to be in context. Bill says “It is not about you” and “Do not work harder than the clients”. As I said it is all about context and he is really saying the same thing as you Caryn. It is so important to know and understand how far we can and should go in any situation. It really is about finding a balance and and I am a great believer in catching breath and as they say in the classics taking time to smell the roses. Talk to a friend, take a break, take a stroll along the beach, grab time for a coffee, share time and money with some one less fortunate than ourselves. May be even ask for help even though that might need a bit of swallowing of pride. It really can work and mostly people respond with love and compassion. Takes me back to my Latin studies as a boy which I think partially influenced me to move into mediation-that beautiful word “humanitas” . I always joked and called it Ciceronian “humanitas”. I see this meaning having a compassion for your fellow human beings and of course we as individuals need that same nurturing and compassion from others to deliver the work we do. And in your words Caryn honour yourself and look after yourself. Have a great weekend. Tom Stodulka

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