Serve from the Overflow
If I am not kind to myself first, I cannot expect anyone else to be.
It is our own responsibility to set boundaries so others know what we will and wont accept. We are also setting the boundary so that we know for our own wellbeing - how much to give. It's all about balance.
I like to think of my energy as a commodity and create a pie graph in my mind, deciding how much of my energy I will "spend" in each area . This helps me to decide what's really important, and whether I'm sticking to my plan of what I already know helps me function effectively.
It's like a financial budget and I must review it regularly, but especially when things are not working well. (hello meltdowns!!)
Often I find that I have been spending too much on others, and not enough on myself. It took me a long time to realise that it is not selfish to practice self care.
If I am going to show up in my various spaces (wife, mother, Bowen Therapist, daughter, sister, friend etc) then I need to make sure that I am at my best, before I consider giving my energy out in any of those roles. If I don't I'm depleting my energy, not pouring from a healthy supply.
"But I love helping others!" I hear you cry, "It gives me purpose, it makes me happy". Sure this is literally me too, I get you.
I also learnt the hard way that if I don't ensure I have a supply of energy stored up, then I am only pouring out mediocre energy which only leaves my recipient and myself both feeling dissapointed. There is nothing worse than someone feeling guilty that you weren't really able to spare the time or effort you gave them...
So, how do I create a supply? By practicing self care you find the balance. This means ensuring that you have tended to your physical needs and have had adequate sleep, nutrition, water, and movement. Also that you feel balanced emotionally and spiritually. Which can be using anything that works for you. I've included a diagram I made to help remind myself what works for me.
Personally I need plenty of quiet time, my brain recharges best when I don't have distractions such as noise or busy around me. Other people cant stand the quiet, and only feel balanced when they have a busy vibe surrounding them to connect with.
You do you.
Here's the thing, "We must fill our own cup, before we can serve from the overflow". This is a beautiful quote from Andrea Frank who I met recently, by saying yes to being interviewed for a podcast with Loretta Hart on The Happy Chicks Collective.
To hear me discuss kindness on the blog click HERE