My Client, Susan (name changed for confidentiality), a highly talented and skilled professional came to me because she couldn’t stop crying. She was not an overly-emotional person, she told me, but found she could no longer keep her emotions in check.
As we talked it became clear that Susan had been pushing herself in her career and in her personal life as a wife to another talented/skilled professional and mother of 2 active, talented children. She was simply over-whelmed emotionally, mentally and physically.
Over the course of several sessions, Susan began to implement some very small, but very necessary self-care practices, beginning with finding a small, private space. She cleaned out a spare room in her home and set up a comfy chair with some pillows, some beautiful scented candles and brought in her iPod to play guided meditations. Once she’s done a short relaxation and if she doesn’t fall asleep!, she reads a novel. Susan makes it very clear that she is to be uninterrupted for at least 30 minutes. She does this at least three times/week. As we discussed her life, she uncovered several things that we were able to bring relief/resolution to. She has added several more life enhancing, self-care practices.
I received a note from Susan not that long ago. She wrote; in all my busyness and problems, you are helping me with what I have learned from you in the past. I often hear you whispering in my ear, "you can do this, you know exactly what you are doing, and you are doing a great job.” From the bottom of my heart, thank you for always being there for me even when you don't know you are. I’ve learned to make time to take care of myself and that means spending time reading, sleeping and sharing time with those I love. When I really reflect on things, I believe, for me, it really is letting go of self-judgement and shame and allowing love. You my friend, helped me to realize this and I know when I falter you are always there to help me remember.
How about you? Even if you aren’t overwhelmed, does the idea of having a ‘safe space’ of your own sound appealing? What sorts of things would you put in there? What would you do there? Does the thought of letting go of self-judgment and shame speak to you?
Are you the constant support for the others in your life? How do you feel about hiring support for you? See: Stop Over-Caring, Over-Giving, Over-Doing.
In addition to one-on-one coaching for people like Susan, and possibly you, I have developed a program to permanently shifts the pattern of burning out/over-doing and that gives you the tools to create the life that’s right for you.
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