Tag Archives: self-care

Whatever you do is enough

Again our yoga instructor offered this to us during our practice. Again it resonated.

As someone who has, and can, get stuck with “I’m not enough.” As someone who has worked at replacing that self-defeating (and lambasting) mantra with a full-blown recognition of my own enough-ness, I latched onto our instructor’s gift. And held on tight.

Over the years I replaced, “I’m not enough,” with “I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.” I still have visions of myself riding in a taxicab home from a support group one evening, repeating over and over and over to myself, “I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.” Over the years I replaced “I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.” with “I am more than enough. I have more than enough. I do more than enough.” Somehow the extra “more” was necessary – or at least helpful – to pull myself out of the not-enough-ness that I could throw myself into.

So when our instructor suggested that whatever was enough, there in class as well as outside in the “real” world, I felt myself ease again. As a friend said to me recently, while reflecting on our similar reflex to push and punish ourselves, that reflex comes from a desire to “control everything happening around me.” If I don’t make mistakes, I reduce the chance of being hurt or abandoned. And if I try harder, and harder, and harder still, and hard “enough”, I reduce the chance of making mistakes.

It amazes me how many of us are wired so hard and so tight, with such lack of self-compassion. It amazes me how prevalent this self-defeating and lambasting mental approach is.

It also amazes me how easy it is to let it go, at least for a moment. How permission from outside – from my yoga instructor – reminded me to ease up on myself.

It also amazes me how I’m getting better – and better – at this. The other day another friend asked me how I juggled all that I had going on without freaking out or going into (too much) overdrive. I’m diligently (and delightedly) working on moving my memoir towards its publication date in September. I’m relatively managing (and enjoying) my leadership consulting practice that is booming and busier than ever. I’m still a (extremely lucky) parent with one child at home. It is a lot.

I laughed when my friend asked me, and I acknowledged that I’ve learned to just do what I can do, do what’s in front of me, and trust that somehow everything else that needs to happen will somehow happen. So far it’s working at least relatively well.

Which means that somehow deep down inside of myself I must be reminding myself, as my yoga instructor did, that “Whatever you do is enough.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Recovery, , Tags:

I (don’t) deserve to die

I did something the other day. Something simple. Something small. Something quite insignificant.

But somehow my internal critic was certain that what I had done was horrific – and that it mattered greatly. And the shame rose up in me like a tsunami, threatening to wash me out to sea.

Whereas my rational mind knew that what had happened was no big deal, my irrational self was taking over. And this irrational self had determined that what I had done was so bad – that I was so bad – that I deserved to die.

Now, I know I didn’t deserve to die. I don’t believe in the death penalty, and even if I did, I know that no jury would condemn me to death for the little mistake I had made. But even though I could tell you this – even while I was overcome with shame and horror – my emotions were taking over.

I truly felt like I deserved to die.

I know these are old thought patterns that are, perhaps, deeply engrained in my psyche. I describe my mind – at times – like a luge path. Once I get caught in the course, once the mind games are started, it’s nearly impossible not to rush down, on the icy path at full speed, to the foregone conclusion.

That I am bad. That I deserve to die.

I was raised in a religious cult where I was taught about my inherent guilt and sin and shame. I was taught that I was never good enough. The things that happened to me certainly convinced me of that. I learned – I learned well – that most things were my fault and that I was sinful and bad. Or at least that if I took most things on as my responsibility and fault, I might be able to control what was happening around me. I could repent. I could change my ways. I could try harder to do better. And better still.

Luckily I now know that these thought patterns are lies. Luckily I now have the wherewithal to perhaps not make them go away in the moment, but to remember that they will pass. If I can just keep breathing and reminding myself that although they feel true they aren’t true, they will pass.

Years ago I learned a wonderful saying, “Feelings aren’t facts.” I can be awash with feelings, and they can be based on mistruths. I can be overcome with shame and guilt and horror, and that can be based on lies.

I did my best to love myself through this shame-fest. I did my best to acknowledge my feelings, while I acknowledged they were crazy. And crazy making,

Because you know what, I certainly don’t deserve to die.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Resilience, , Tags:

I’m going to have a good day

I woke up this morning with a justifiable reason not to have a good day. But I’m going to have a good day.

I woke up this morning with a justifiable reason to be frustrated and disheartened. But I’m going to be heartened and hopeful instead.

I don’t know if I always was a “glass half-full” kind of person. I know that I work hard to be one now. I don’t want to ignore or negate the awful things in the world or the challenging aspects of my life, but I do want to choose to see the upside and potential. I’ve learned that a positive outlook literally broadens our peripheral vision and allows us to see more opportunities. Opportunities we might miss if we’re hunkered down in the negative.

I believe (finally) in all my feelings. After years of not having – or at least not admitting or allowing – any sadness or anger, I know how life-affirming it is (for me at least) to admit and allow the full range of my emotions. The “good” and the “bad.”

But, I don’t want to be anchored in the anger or sadness. I no longer want to be mired in or defined by my pain. I want to look for reasons – and create reasons when necessary – to have a good day.

I can notice the sunshine and the leaves blowing in the wind. I can breathe deep and feel my mind and soul ease. I can think of the people I love and the friendship and joy I have in my life.

And I can have a good day.

Have a good day.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: My Story, , , , Tags: