Like many women, I thought of self-care as selfish or indulgent, served up with an undercurrent of guilt. It seemed extravagant – like a weekend at a spa, rather than emotional first aid of the highest order. Like the classic example flight attendants give about putting on your oxygen mask first before helping others, it’s important to tend to yourself first.
“Shame, for women, is this web of unobtainable, conflicting, competing expectations about who we’re supposed to be. And it’s a straight-jacket.” ~ Brené Brown
What makes the Inner Critic difficult to see and root out is that quite often it’s been a part of your landscape from the very beginning. It feels so familiar and normal to you that it becomes strangely comfortable. Spotting your critical self-talk is just as crucial to your emotional health as detection and treatment of a debilitating disease is to your physical health.
Laughter is often said to be the best medicine. A shot of laughter can change your outlook and help you cope with stressful times. It unbridles you when you can’t see past your situation.
That was the year as a midlife woman that I felt the undeniable call of my soul’s desire. That I felt the undeniable need to live with Intention, which meant casting aside so many things I’d been tolerating that were keeping me from becoming the woman I wanted to be. If you find yourself feeling this same sense of urgency, get ready to start your own [R]evolution™ by jettisoning these 17 things from your life. How many of them are you currently tolerating?
"Paging Evelyn," I heard over the loudspeaker. "Paging Evelyn: your life is calling." I don't mean I literally received this message over a loudspeaker. It was more like one of those messages the universe likes to send us now and then when we're busy making other plans.
I discovered that if I’m strong enough to be weak enough, I’m given a wound that never heals. It’s this gift that keeps my heart open. I discovered that joy – real joy that doesn’t deny what’s difficult in our lives – is a choice. Joy finds us when we’re willing to acknowledge that we belong – to ourselves; to another; to the world; to the mystery that is so much larger than ourselves.
In order to write this article I've spent a great deal of time thinking about and researching work+life fit, and looking for examples of severe work+life dysfunction among business women with family obligations who feel like they're barely treading water.
I refuse to refer to the transition that occurs for most women in midlife as a "crisis." While it's true that the word "crisis" means a crucial or decisive point or situation, or a turning point, it also has about it an air of instability bordering on hysteria.
Resistance and perfectionism tend to go hand in hand. So many successful, high-achieving women find themselves stalled by these confines of the mind, by the need to be Superwoman. There's a sort of pas de deux women perform between these two extremes that has them both tap dancing in place and covering the length of the dance floor (while wearing a fifty pound pack on their backs).