I read an article just recently about the issue of why it’s so hard for women to be selfish, published in the Vogue magazine online. The article prompted me to write about it because it’s been on my mind a lot recently. I’m approaching my 40th birthday this year and have found that as I’m getting older, I’m wanting to set my boundaries and find what is it that I really want to do and find my inner peace and joy. I’ve always been a people pleaser even if it meant that I was doing that at the expense of myself. I’ve realized that I spread myself too thin by saying yes to too many things which causes me unnecessary stress. I’m not able to get the commitments done as well as I would like them to be done because of lack of time. I think it’s natural to women to be the ones taking care of everyone else, leaving their own needs aside. I believe that this is absolutely necessary when you become a mother so that you can care for your child. I had no problem of putting my needs aside when my children were little and I’m still more than happy to do things that evolve around them. It’s what makes me happy and they are young for only such short period of time. It’s all the other things I’m learning to set boundaries for. I love volunteering and helping people so naturally I gravitate to saying more to yes to various volunteering when I really should be saying no. I do think that you can be compassionate and kind while also being respectful of your own self and finding your own boundaries. Once you do that, there is no shame in setting those boundaries. Saying no to things doesn’t make you less loving or compassionate or helpful. It can actually be more loving to set those boundaries because you are loving yourself enough to be able to set boundaries and as a result love those around you even more and serve them at a higher level. When you come from a place of joy and abundance, you can attend to your love ones with a full heart of joy allowing you to love and operate from a place of being content and loving with all of your heart. If you are constantly stressed and overwhelmed, it’s harder to have the energy to attend to those who need you with a full heart and joy.
I’ve been reading a lot about the Danish Hygge and the Marie Kondo’s method of tidying up in an effort to find balance in my life and to learn to take more time for myself so that I can better take care of those around me. Marie’s book of Spark Joy is an excellent read and I highly recommend it. The idea is to get rid of items that don’t give you ultimate joy. I’m still in the process of implementing some of the ideas in the book but love the whole concept of letting go to find more room to breath and feel less stressed. I think by removing the stress in the environment helps with finding inner peace and love which in turn allows me to live and love with abundance and joy. I also highly recommend the book Grace not perfection by Emily Ley. The book is all about taking little steps and finding joy instead of chasing perfection, especially the perfect image that we see on social media everywhere. The danish method Hygge is all about how the Danish people value the state of stillness and being and how they spend time together with loved ones without distractions and extra fuss of the ideas of perfect parties etc. It’s about getting together around a table and just enjoying each others’ company without stressing out about the Pinterest worthy, perfectly decorated house or parties. For more reading about Hygge, I love the book, the little book of Hygge, Danish secrets to happy living.
I think women are created not to be selfish from an evolutionary standpoint because we are the glue that holds everything together. It’s our lack of selfishness that allows us to be the mothers and wives that we need to be in order for our children and families to thrive. Personally I’m blessed and happy to have that role. I think you can be that way and at the same time find yourself and what is it that you are meant to be outside of the roles of a wife and a mother. Us women are like the master jugglers who take care of our children, spouses, friends, work, volunteering at our local schools, church etc. We, women are a special tribe that only other women understand what we are going through and by sharing and lifting each other up we can help all of us to find more balance and joy. I think we need to also remember to take time to ourselves even if it’s just 15 minutes of sitting uninterrupted or watching a show that brings you joy. There is no harm in taking some time for yourself while the responsibilities are waiting. The laundry and the dishes will always be there. It’s the time that you can’t get back. So by being fully present in time when you are, you gain so much more than stressing about what you should be doing or checking off a to-do list. The route to finding balance is hard, but so worth it. After you’ve watched the trashy, entertaining TV show or read a few pages from a book you absolutely love, you can go back to being the master juggler again, keeping million things in the air, with a heart full and ready to give and create.
I recently attended a succulent planter making party and it was so much fun! It was a great break from the everyday stuff and after coming home from the party, I was ready to spend time with my husband and children and listen to them and attend to their needs because I had just attended to my own needs and felt fulfilled. Find what brings you that joy. Write down your favorite activities that brings you joy and commit to doing one or more of those activities once a day even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes. It will make a huge difference in how you feel. Please comment below with what your favorite, relaxing and fulfilling activity is and let’s chat!