Archives for Culture
One of the books I regularly recommend to readers is Rosie Molinary's Beautiful You. Because it's empowering, inspiring and practical. And because it's necessary. Because we receive messages that tell us we aren't good enough---but we can become good enough and happy and confident if we do X, Y and Z. If we lose weight. If we change our appearance. If we are productive. If we don't make any mistakes. If we...
You guys know I love making lists, especially when it comes to practicing self-care and creating satisfaction. One of the ways we can use lists is to write down what truly nourishes us and brings us joy---and then make sure that we include these things, people, actions and places inside our days. Because, as Annie Dillard famously and wisely said, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
Each of us carries a collection of different "shoulds." Beliefs that we are convinced are pure, hard facts. Beliefs that dictate our actions. Beliefs that often don't support us. A range of beliefs about everything from our bodies to our hearts. Beliefs both big and small.
I should weigh X number of pounds. I should have a super clean home. I should have muscular legs. I should always look "put together." I should say yes whenever people ask me for help, no matter what it is. I should exercise every day. I should be happy. I should know how to do that. I should be able to do it all. I should keep my needs to myself. I should keep my emotions to myself. I should be organized. I should finish everything on my to-do list. I should know what he wants. I should know what she needs.
Some days everything just feels so loud. And so intrusive. The random thoughts screaming inside your mind. The tension sitting inside your body. The frustration sticking to your skin like glue. The laundry that needs to be folded. The 80 unanswered emails. The 80 other things that need to be done. When? When?
Many of us rarely check in with ourselves. We rarely wonder what we really want. What nourishes us. What delights us. What hurts us. How we can respect ourselves. Which people are actually healthy for us to be around. What is the most compassionate, supportive decision. Or we may know these things but we don't act on them. One reason is that we get caught up.
Maybe you're pregnant and are lethargic and nauseated every single day. Maybe you take what feels like 30 naps a week. Maybe you have a newborn, and you can't think straight. The tasks that seemed so simple are anything but today. And it's like you're moving through neck-deep mud. Maybe you're going through a divorce, and it feels like you're scaling a mountain.
This summer I penned a piece called "You are not currency, you never were." In it I talk about how we are inherently worthy---even though most of us think we need to earn our worth. We think we are indebted to others, that we owe them all sorts of things---and we sacrifice ourselves to deliver. Here's an excerpt:
It's been a while since I've shared links to powerful pieces by other writers. So, today, I'm changing that. Below are beautiful, important, insightful thoughts on everything from embracing our bodies to embracing ourselves. I hope you find these helpful, and I hope you have a wonderful Sunday! Remember you can opt out: You can opt out of everything from being weighed at the doctor's office to workout classes that don't feel welcoming to “I’m so bad, I ate a piece of bread” conversations. How to create your own care instructions.
So many of us struggle with feeling our feelings. Maybe we were taught to dismiss them, to pretend they don't exist. Maybe we were taught that anger is an emotion to swallow and sadness an emotion to sweep away. They're negative, after all. Maybe we received the message that some feelings are OK ---like happiness and excitement---while others are not. Maybe we received the message that good kids smile and don't rock the boat by having "bad" feelings. That bad feelings equal bad, ungrateful, naughty, unruly, shameful kids.