Having worked with many women over the years in small groups, workshops, or as an individual coaching client, it’s always heartbreaking when a woman begins to recognize the degree to which she has ignored her own needs. It’s heart wrenching when a women discovers that she has poured her life out for everyone around her, while investing in herself becomes an after thought. I too grieved my own recognition of the lack of attention I had given to myself at the core.
Some women assert that they love serving others. I certainly love the role of being a mom and wife above all others, but I also understand the necessity of focusing attention on my own wellbeing.
Other women protest that they treat themselves quite nicely, being independent, doing whatever they want and purchasing what they want. Yet, rarely do women recognize that investing in themselves goes much deeper than a weeklong cruise, a dream trip to Europe or anything they can adorn their life with.
It’s entirely too easy to push inner needs aside, keep rolling, deny and offload emotion. However, self-neglect will surface when a woman fails to give herself permission, time and wide-open spaciousness to invest in herself at the deepest level.
The heartbreaking recognition of self-betrayal recently brought some women to tears in one of my small groups. Years of dutifully stowed dreams, permissions, desires and emotions had been labeled “Selfishness” and It’s not about me” to justify the disparagement of inner attention and care.
Somehow we forget that all of this stuffed emotion will come out somewhere and somehow. It's been said, “All unexpressed emotion comes out sideways.”
Years ago I started a journey of learning how to value myself at a deeper level. I began making space to invest in myself at the core. I recognized that the outerwear could only camouflage the incongruence of what my insides felt and I began to carve out regular and intentional space for growth, self-care and nurture.
Some of the ways I invested in myself was through: becoming a one-on-one coaching client, personal development trainings and retreats, creative workshops, classes and retreats, as well as settings that made me feel alive and offered space for spiritual growth and wholeness, rather than dutiful living.
How are you, beyond a mere wink, intentionally investing in yourself at the deepest level?
If you’d like to start, we have the perfect opportunity for you.
*Artwork by Kimber Britner