I had a phone consultation the other day with a life coach. Now, I've done my fair share (maybe more) of therapy. I've sought answers and questions in many different places - college, religion, books, yoga, the middle of the woods, men, alternative health, EFT, diet... I've spent some time following a guru, visiting an ashram, backpacking for a week at a time, and generally seeking some kind of enlightenment. This life coach thing felt a little strange, even with all of these other experiences under my belt. I have to say though, it was worth the time.
Rather than telling me what to do, she asked lots of questions, and made some profound statements that I have been considering as I move forward and attempt to mesh my ideal and reality. What is draining my energy? What can I eliminate? She asked me to observe what is working. She asked me to appreciate something each day. She advised me to respond rather than react.
I've been thinking about these questions and ideas and have found some interesting things. One is that I very rarely stop and appreciate myself - I often stop to enjoy something the kids said or did, but not something I have done. I also noticed that I am not really breathing - I find that when I stop to" check in" I am almost always holding my breath.
As we talked about interactions with the kids, the life coach brought up an idea that I have heard before, but don't always take the time to think about. After an interaction whether it is positive or negative, think "What conclusion did my child draw from that?". I'd love to say that the answer is always that I love her/him no matter what is going on, and that her/his ideas and thoughts and feelings are important to me, but at times I'm sure that is not their conclusion. So that is something to be attentive to.
The thing that keeps coming around like a boomerang was this - "The more extreme your self-care, the more time you have". I know this. I know if I do things for myself I will be better able to organize and plan meals, days, activities, and I'll be calmer, saner, and way more fun. It is so hard to take the steps towards doing this, since it feels like you are robbing that time from someone else. But she is right, as was every other person who said something similar before her. Just need to keep hearing it.
Now is the time.