Many of us know that as parents we have to prioritise self care in order to be able to take care of others. But if you're really honest, how many of these self care activities, the self-compassion things, are you actually doing? The importance of self care for mums cannot be overstated. Are you meditating, dancing, are you doing any of the self care ideas you read about or feel drawn to...or like most mums, are you doing nothing? A harsh lesson that we all have to learn if we want to grow and expand is that nobody is that nobody is coming to do this for you, and if you reach this point in your life and you're thinking this sucks, there has to be a better way. I promise you, there is!
The real problem though, is that when we don't give love to ourselves, then we really don't have enough to give away to others. Disconnection from self and our own needs, leads to a lack of empathy for others.
When parents lack empathy they have often become disconnected from their sense of self as a defence mechanism to avoid them feeling pain, shame, guilt. Trauma encourages us to build an armour, a tough outer shell that we show to the world. When really it is the real definition of courage to acknowledge fear and to be able to not only see how it is showing up in your life, but also to find the resources to get through it. And courage really comes from ways of thinking and ways of feeling, which brings us back to the compassion. When you are in tune with yourself and are able to observe yourself, you can notice what happens when you eat bad food, or drink alcohol, or are around people who are draining. When you are looking after yourself and your well-being; emotional and spiritual, it becomes far easier to be able to handle anything that life throws at you.
You literally cannot pour from an empty cup. For that reason, I often talk about self care as a behaviour, rather than a feeling. A collection of practises or habits, if you will. For example, how many of you get triggered by your children's emotions? When you are able to step back and observe your emotions from a place of detachedness, a sense of compassionate self enquiry as to the original wound that has been triggered you, you will begin to understand that your emotions are trying to tell you that there's work to be done, that you have inner work to do. Your emotions are really your friends, they are messengers to bring you back to yourself For all anger is, is really just a request for healing.
Once and only once you've learned to connect with yourself, self-compassion starts to become more automatic, this is a process. It's not something that you can do once and then be done. It's a bit like going to the gym and your self criticism has probably been going on for years and years. Undoing your subconscious programming is really a continuous process. Changing your life can take time. If you're a speedboat then you can turn quite quickly, but intentional parenting or changing your life is a bit like like steering an ocean- liner! It can take some time to turn something so big and with so many moving parts. It takes time and practise to embed a new and healthy mindset and integrate the things that you're learning…to make different choices, takes real courage. This is where the Circle of Raar originated, which describes how FIERCE people really become that way. (Please see the video to understand fully.) You have to go around the circle of Raar for yourself first, then you go around the circle for your family and friends, then once you've managed to have enough love for yourself and you have a full and overflowing cup then you have enough to give to others and can perhas commit to then serving a greater purpose in some way.
What I try to do all of the time is to be making sure that I'm full to overflowing. If I’m ill, if I'm stressed, if I'm tired, I don't have enough to give away, because when you're giving away you need to have enough to give. Then you also have enough to give away in some greater capacity. So if you know you are giving away to much of yourself, why not write a list of self care ideas right now? When you have connection to yourself and compassion, when you have self care awareness, regularly do self care activities, you find you have the courage to be yourself and to show up wholeheartedly without fear of judgement, without blame, without giving a s*** about what anybody else thinks about your life. You will begin to find that really you are the master of your own destiny. That's what I want for you and that is what I want for your children. And it's why I do the work that I do, helping mums be super intentional about raising wholehearted children who can live to their fullest expression.
The "Raise a Tiger" Programme
Helping Parents & Educators raise wholehearted children who love, trust and believe in themselves.
"It's literally the best thing I have ever done with my child!" - Jordana Matsuda - Early Childhood Educator