Self-Care as the Ultimate Act of Selflessness

5 Reasons that "Taking Care of You" Matters

You know, I’ve been noticing a lot of drained people lately.

Courtesy of Flickr/GeraintRowland

Courtesy of Flickr/GeraintRowland

And quite a few of them – friends, coaching clients, baseball moms – have confided in me during the past couple weeks that they’re depleted. They’ve been giving and doing so much, all summer, and now have nothing left. They’re just plain spent, and everything feels like a struggle.

Sound at all familiar?

It got me thinking: this is a pretty common theme – and while summer might magnify the issue, it’s standard throughout the year. Work, kids, taking care of aging parents, the Holidays – we are, if we’re honest with ourselves, a tapped-out culture.

I see this a lot.

When I’m in a coaching session, I am privileged to view behind the curtain of peoples’ lives, thoughts, interpretations, conditioning, and feelings. It’s hard to express what an honor this is, and I am deeply inspired by the courage and perseverance of even the most “average” among us. It’s extraordinary, really. I know without a doubt that every person reading this post has their “story,” their struggles, obstacles, doubts, old patterns that no longer serve them, as well as their daily strength, perseverance, and desire for something better. There is nothing remotely average about anyone, when you get to really know them.

Within this realness, my clients get honest about how over-stretched they are. Suddenly “my life is crazy-busy” transforms from an important-sounding social currency, into a tangible obstacle for the happiness, peace, health, wealth, love that they are so desiring.

See, in our society we tend to admire those who are always on the go. But it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. And just because someone’s calendar in full-to-bursting, it doesn’t mean they are happy.

I say all of this with absolute compassion and non-judgement. I’ve seen how much effort it takes to keep up this busy-ness, and all the things we miss from our lives when we do.

I also say it with some dismay, because I know it doesn’t have to be this way. We can be busy – and important, and valuable – and still be healthy and happy.

Yes, we can.

I’ve seen it, time and again with my clients.

Courtesy of CleanWaterAction.org

Courtesy of CleanWaterAction.org

So here’s the deal.

  1. You are like a Well (or a glass of water, as the case may be).
  2. If you fail to refill your Well, you will run dry.
  3. If you are dried up – or even low-running – you are providing sludge to whomever is asking for water.
  4. No one is able to fill your Well except you.
  5. When your Well is full, and people come for water, you plenty have it to give – in easy and joyful abundance.

Here’s it is, in even simpler terms.

When you are full, you are able to give more. You are better for your loved ones, your work, your community.

Sooooo many of us have been taught that “selflessness” is a virtue. While this is true, it’s not the whole story. When we give from emptiness, our energy around the giving is weakened. We may be giving (or doing – such as leading the PTO even though we really don’t have the bandwidth to do it in any enjoyable fashion), but there is some toxicity in the giving, some energetic sludge. There may be vague resentment, or just plain exhaustion.

I have watched countless clients struggle with this concept. It is highly likely that you yourself have struggled with it – for years, probably decades.

The good news is, it’s pretty easy to change. It’s easy to give from a full Well, where the water is fresh and clean and abundant and good.

In order to be the best we can – for ourselves and for everyone around us – we simply must keep our own Wells full.

This, dear friends, means that Self-Care is the Ultimate Act of Selflessness, or Giving.

Courtesy DavidMolnar.com

Courtesy DavidMolnar.com

I understand this is a radical and difficult concept for most people. I’ve seen my clients try to wrap their heads around it. I’ve also seen them take some baby-steps, and set a new life in motion, with this one simple shift.

To help you see how easy it can be, here are some babysteps I’ve seen work:

  • Buy that pint of raspberries you’ve been eyeing
  • Take a bubble bath. (No, it’s not too indulgent)
  • Get those drumsticks you’ve been thinking about, and start banging out some beats
  • Sleep more. It’s not just okay – it’s filling your Well
  • Invest in newspaper delivery, if you simply love the feel and smell of the real thing
  • Get a sitter. It’ll be good for everyone

So I ask you,

What baby steps can you take to start filling your own Well?

Please join me over on my new Facebook Group and post your Well-Filling Baby Step there, so that we can all help each other stay accountable to taking these steps to changing our lives for the better. There truly is nothing like a reliable source of genuine support to keep us on track.

And if you know ready for, and will work best with, a more intensive type of support – maybe you’ve been trying to make change for some time now, with no real results – contact me for Energy Coaching. I have no doubt in my mind that your life will be transformed.
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16 thoughts on “Self-Care as the Ultimate Act of Selflessness

  1. This article is spot on! You cannot give what you cannot got. This is what I rave about ALL THE TIME!

    Glad someone else is sharing the message, let’s get this out there !x

  2. It is very hard to change the way you live and think. With this group I am going to learn how to take care of me and fill my well up. I took the first step I set outside and watched the sunset from the beginning to the end without thinking what I need to get done.

    • Exactly, Karen. And I’ve found then when my clients (or I) push too hard too fast, the results are never as power-filled as when they get there through baby steps. Each new step/achievement opens up more energy for the next one, so by the time we get to what had seemed “big” before, it is now the next logical step. What a great way to go!