Are You Practicing Self-Care?

Thank you all for the kind words following last week's letter about rising strong from my bike crash. While I'm still recovering, this week has been an opportunity to practice self-care in the face of a long to-do list. Which leads me to this week's thought...

How are YOU practicing self-care in the midst of work, family and personal obligations? 

Are you taking pause to notice and to lean into any discomfort or confusion you might be feeling? Are you able to see these as entry-points and opportunities to greater self-awareness, as opposed to feeling like a victim to your circumstances, powerless and hopeless?

I get it. It's easy to feel like a victim to our thoughts, emotions and the situations we find ourselves in. In fact, if you swing like a pendulum from feeling strong and empowered, to feeling powerless and hopeless, you're not alone. We all do it, myself included. 

Last week after my bike crash, I had an hour of feeling helpless, waiting for my partner to come home from work and take care of me. Then it dawned on me! I've been taking care of myself without a partner for decades. Duh! I can do this. It would be nice if he were here right now, but I can draw my bath, ice my wounds, and wrap my bandages until he comes home. I could call my neighbor if I truly needed immediate assistance. I then asked myself, what I needed in that moment to feel more empowered, hopeful and comfortable and I gave that to myself. 

When you feel that tug towards helplessness; when you allow it to become the pervasive thought; when you give it permission to rule your behavior -- you lose. 

Instead, can you feel the tug and stop the momentum there? Can you say to yourself, "Hey! Look at that...it's that victim mentality again! What is that about?" with love, kindness and compassion?

Can you then take a breath, lean into it like a real-life Nancy Drew, and poke around looking for insight and clues that lead to greater awareness about yourself and others? Can you see it as an opportunity to practice self-care? Ask yourself what you need most in that moment.

Might you then be able to use the pendulum swing (from empowered to powerless) as an indicator pointing in the direction towards where you can practice curiosity and find greater self-awareness?

If leadership development is self-development (which I firmly, whole-heartedly believe is true), then how can you use your hopelessness, your victim mind, your lower self, and your helplessness as an opportunity to practice self-development? 

If you do this, then you win. You win, because you grow and because you will become a better leader to yourself and for others. And this, my friend, is what the work is all about!