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.
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 early 2011 I spent three months offline and out of my office recovering from extensive surgery. Truth be told, it was life-saving, life-changing surgery. And that made it non-negotiable. For women like me, non-negotiable is often the only way self-care gets done.
In our current culture so much credence is placed on positive thinking and the Law of Attraction and, of course, as a coach I've heard my fair share of well-known experts espousing the belief that we bring to our life what we really, truly want. I've even been known to tout these mantras a time or two (or three). But couched within these well-meaning belief systems is a more insidious message: That if bad things happen, somehow we've asked for it. And that's too close to blaming the individual for what are often experiences well beyond our control.