I remember the days when my 4 children were young and I had barely time to shower myself and much less time for any of my own interests.
YOU know the story - 2 boys on separate baseball teams, a daughter in softball, a son in scouts, and a husband who was just well, wasn't much help.
I volunteered my time at schools, game snack bars, scouts, teaching Sunday School and leading a children's Pilgrim Fellowship group at our church. I also offered to watch other's children after school and on weekends.
I made wholesome, homemade meals, cut coupons, kept up with laundry, tracked everyone's schedules (which was actually MY schedule too), Dr's appointments, practice dates, hair cuts, veterinary appointments, card and gift shopping, grocery store shopping, Valentine's, Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays, Christmas shopping - (insert deep breath here). Can I tell you how much I have grown to dislike shopping?
So, within my typical day, within my typical week, it was not uncommon for me to impulsively pick up the phone and call someone to say; "How about dinner at our house on Sunday?"
Most times the invitation stuck. There it sat in the back of my mind - and a monkey on my back all week long. Oftentimes, waking up on Sunday morning, realizing that I hadn't given the house a decent cleaning in well over 2 weeks; still hadn't decided on what I was cooking and WHEN I would do all of this because one of my kids has a football game in an hour, and another is supposed to be at a Pail Shake an hour after that!
Then HERE IT COMES - my self talk.
"WHY? WHY did you pick up the phone with a dinner invitation? WHY?!!!
Were you board? Did you NEED extra work? Did you NEED to add to your 'to do' list?
What EXACTLY do you NEED?"
So, it took some time - by 'some' time, I mean decades later for me to finally answer that question: What exactly did I need?
I needed that feeling that comes with someone paying attention to you. I needed to create an opportunity for someone to ask ME how I am doing, or to notice what a good mom I am. But WAIT. Do we, as moms (or dads) ever feel confident about being a good parent?
I know now that I was looking to be VALIDATED. I was looking for someone to tell me that I was making a difference somewhere.
( And guess what? If some said to me, "Wow! How do you do it all?!" I would brush it off as if it weren't anything. )
Pay me a compliment? I'd give you 2 reasons why I shouldn't accept it.
"The house looks great!"
Me: "Are you kidding? It's filthy! I haven't dusted under the beds or cleaned out the fridge in 3 weeks!"
So, even if I got what I was looking for - I couldn't accept it for the gift that it was.
TODAY, I see what my need was back then. I had never heard of the term self-care before. I doubt if I had, that I would have acknowledged needing it.
Magic happens when you practice self-care.
You pay attention to the most vital person in your life. YOU.
You begin to notice what you need to balance and nurture your being.
When you begin to practice self-care on a regular basis, you start to notice a change.
Change YOU = Change Others = Changing your World!
SoulCollage(R) vs Vision Boards and PINK
I created my first Vision Board last night! It was very much fun, and gave me opportunity to focus on areas of my life where I wanted to make positive change.
We were instructed to focus in on basic areas of our life, for example, Health/Wellness, Spirituality, Work/Business, and then to narrow it down to two.
Then we were to think about what we truly wanted for the New Year in these areas, and then write down a few goals.
Right now, I have joined a group of other women interested in better health and weight loss. We are invested in this together for the New Year, and also, we are there to empower each other. So, I really want to succeed, not only for myself, but for all of us as a whole. Looking through magazine pages, I searched for the words that connected with these feelings and thoughts. So many beautiful and interesting pictures and articles, I was happy to have a focus to help my distractions!
I am also half way through Yoga Teacher Training. At age 59, I am very excited for this opportunity that I am giving my inner self and my body. Yoga is becoming more and more in and on my mind. Adding Yoga, health and wellness to my Vision Board was foremost on my mind.
At the end, we each presented our boards, and showed how we were able to manifest our goals, turning these huge blanks papers into beautiful works of art.
After I presented, I was asked: "How does Vision Board compare to SoulCollage(R)?"
I explained that Vision Boards were about goals and the future, and that SoulCollage(R) was about your inner self, connecting with others, the world, the universe.
Then I was asked, "PINK?" "Can I make a card about PINK?" - I happened to know that she LOVED the color PINK, and I had to smile.
So, this is my explanation:
With SoulCollage(R), you create cards using your intuition. You connect with your inner self in ways that you don't even realize sometimes, until you are looking at a card that you just created. You can also create cards that honor people, places, or things in your life. So, if you are inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh, Eleanor Roosevelt,
the Grand Canyon, your beautiful Golden Retriever, or that stunning color of PINK, then YES. You can lovingly, passionately, creatively create a card that is all about honoring the color of PINK.
A SoulCollage card, honoring myself and the things in life that I love. Nature, Beaches, Happiness, Eating outside, and BELIEVING!
Debbie Jaine lives in Woodbury, Ct. Helping women to see their wonderfully kind and powerful selves is what she loves to do best in her business and also in her personal life.