For today I invite us into a curiosity around the difference between the field of desire and the field of expectations. How does it feel to expect yourself to take care of yourself? How does it feel to desire to take care of yourself? How does the expectation for Self-Care differ from the desire to choose it? I wrote a blog a few years ago exploring my perspective at that time of the difference between expectation and desire. I'll post it below. Is it possible to get in touch with the desire for Self-Care and be liberated from the expectations of you regarding it?
Here's the blog post from July 2nd, 2016, exploring the difference between expectations and desires:
"An expectation is something that is placed on you, either by yourself or someone else. It has a quality of pushing or being pushed. Someone can expect something of you. It's a standard that's imposed that you can be motivated to achieve or meet. Typically there are consequences attached to not meeting or living up to the expectation, some sort of punishment (something being taken away, withheld or kept from you, unless or until you meet the expectation). On the other side of the coin if you do meet the expectation there is some sort of reward, or acknowledgment or praise.
A desire is something that you can have for yourself, or someone can have for you. It has the quality of being pulled towards someone or something. It's something that emerges from you, often in response to contrast. When someone isn't being kind or loving, the desire is to have someone in your life who is kind and loving. There are two main types of desires, the desire to escape and the desire to express. The desire to escape is what you don't want to be, do, have, or experience. The desire to express is what you do want to be, do, have or experience. When we tune into what we desire to express that can call us into action. It's what is often called inspiration.
Most of us were brought up in an environment based in expectation. There were imposed standards that we were trying to live up to. If we lived up to the standard or expectation we were rewarded, loved, praised and appreciated. If we didn't live up to the standard or expectation we were shamed, made wrong, rejected or cast out of the group. This is based in control. It is designed to motivate people to behave good and do the right thing and prevent them from being bad and doing the wrong thing. The challenge with this structure is that it takes the place of the internal guidance system, in other words, if no one is there to impose the standard or expectation we don't know what to do. Some of us will end up sitting around waiting for someone or something to provide guidance and direction. This occurs most often if we have been conditioned to live up to expectations and have received sufficient love, attention and appreciation for performing well or succeeding. Others of us will be in a resistance and reaction pattern, rebelling against what someone else told us to do often by doing very opposite of what they want for us. This occurs if we more often did not meet or live up to other people's expectations and thus experienced disappointment, let down, rejection and lack of love, attention and appreciation. Ideally, for this particular model to work, we had to have internalized enough expectations (originally put on us by others) to keep ourselves motivated to push forward and reward or punish ourselves in whatever way we have been taught to do.
So the invitation here, if you're noticing that your motivation is waning or that placing expectations on yourself or having someone else put them on you isn't working to guide your life forward or push you in what is deemed to be the right direction, is to consider getting in touch with your desires. What do you desire to express? If you had total choice to guide and direct your life who would you chose to be? What would you choose to do? And what would you like to have in your life? Sometimes it can be easier to get in touch with what you desire to escape, or who you don't what to be, what you don't want to do and what you don't want to have in your life. That can be a starting place, which can then be translated into what you desire to express. As this awareness expands, the inspiration or call to action can show up, your internal guidance system can come online, and those feelings of joy, happiness, and appreciation for living can emerge. What if now is the time to live from this space and live your life in full expression! If you would like support or assistance with this process go to the contact me page and request a session. I would be happy to assist you to gain access to your desires, become reacquainted with your internal guidance system and act from inspiration."
For those who chose to engage with my inspired offerings for 12 Days of Self-Care, thank you! I wonder what can arise now, as a launching pad from this new moment of now.
Today I wanted to offer a reminder that self-care isn't something you have to do on your own. To truly activate Self-Care it's about acknowledging your capacity to give and receive the energy or quality of caring. It's also about acknowledging the people, places and things that support and facilitate it, as well as becoming curious about your gift as a supporter and facilitator. It can become something that you come together with people in the space of, and share in the activity of giving and receiving it. Caring can take so many forms. The key is to offer love and support in the spirit of enriching or enhancing the well-being of whomever and whatever you are caring for.
Caring can be offered in a field of reciprocity, activating the experience of loving and being loved, nurturing and being nurtured, supporting and being supported, enriching and being enriched, inspiring and being inspired as so on. It can spark the joy of living and encourage intimacy. Where can you invite this quality of caring into your life? How else can your life be enriched? Who else can come together with you to ignite this potential and make this a living reality? If you would like one-on-one support to really activate this field of Self-Care, as it applies to your mental, emotional and physical well-being please get in touch through my sessions page.
For today I invite you to take a look at what you've associated with caring. It can also be beneficial to look at what you've associated with love. One of the capacities we have is to form associations between qualities based on having experienced them at the same time. What often follows that is mistaking one thing for another. It's an efficient tool for aiding in memory and recall, but it can lead to confusion. Where it can get us in trouble is if we make assumptions based on having experienced things together. For instance, if someone who cared for you also required to submit to their authority it may lead you to associate caring with submission and assume that they always go together. So when you want to care for yourself you may end up submitting to someone else's idea or belief of what that means or what the right thing to do is, which may or may not be right for you. Another example is if someone worried in the name of caring for you it would lead you to associate worry with caring, when in fact worry arises from fear and self-serving motives and conveys distrust, whereas caring is born of love and acknowledges the best interests of someone and uplifts, supports and encourages them.
As we become aware of these associations, we can distinguish different elements so that one doesn't have to come along with another. Caring is caring, worry is worry, submission is submission. Through this type of acknowledgment discernment can be developed and the ability to perceive what's what. So, tuning into where your at, what have you associated with caring or with love that you no longer have to? Caring can come without worry. Caring can come without having to feel bad about yourself. Caring can come along with inspiration and empowerment. Love can come without control. Love can come with deep appreciation and trust. It can be a game changer when these distinctions are made. It will ensure that one thing is not confused with another. And it'll alleviate any assumptions, for instance, that love comes with pain, or that caring comes with obligation. Even if this has been the case, or you had experiences when they did come together, it doesn't mean that'll continue to be the way it is. If you'd like an exercise to assist to distinguish caring from other characteristics you can read my blog: What is True Caring?
So, I wonder how much more free we can be of these associations that prevent true Self-Care and Self-Love. It'll change how we are with ourselves and how we are with the people in our lives when this is clarified. If you're having a hard time becoming aware of your associations and would like support with please get in touch through my session page. How much more can your Self-Care be enhanced and enriched? Perhaps it's time for it to gently modified or even radically transformed. Either way, I wonder how much ease you can have in the process.
One of the things that came up during my online class last night, was that there are many influences on the decisions we make. Given this capacity we have to self-blame or make ourselves the problem, it's possible to make the assumption that we made a bad decision and it's all our fault. What this blaming strategy prevents, is us being able to see the influences at play in decisions we've made or are currently making. This includes the context, the people involved, societal factors, cultural factors, family influences, internal mental and emotional states and so on. When we don't acknowledge these influences, it prevents from seeing clearly, and thus being able to take the appropriate amount of responsibility for making good choices. When we take full responsibility for a decision, as though there were no environmental influences at play, and we label that decision as bad, it can lead to an internal collapse. This act of shutting down then prevents us from having the flow of creative vital energy that supports us in making life-affirming choices. If you would like to dive deeper on the topic of responsibility you can read my blog entitled: Shared Responsibility.
As it applies to Self-Care, I invite you to take a look at the current internal and external influences at play that are either supportive of Self-Care or in opposition to it. When we acknowledge that many different influences go into a decision or path of action, we can then choose to consciously invite in more beneficial and benevolent influences into our life that make looking after ourselves and extending that same care and love to others a lot easier. If self-care is currently difficult for you, or you find yourself not doing what you know you should do, or are at odds with what you know is best, take a moment to ponder the different influences on your action or inaction. These influences can be internal in the form of thoughts and feelings, or external in the form of people, places and things that either are in favor of enhancing your well-being and enriching the quality of your life or subtly or not so subtly opposing it. Once you have more awareness of these influences, you can make some new choices and develop new strategies to reduce the strength of an influence if someone or something is having a negative impact, or strengthen an influence if it adds momentum to your beneficial actions. If you sense that I can be a supportive influence in your life please get in touch through the inquiry form on my session page for a free 20 minute consultation.
There is this human tendency to distract and dissociate when things get stressful. Coping with distress or tension can involve trying to get away from it. Often this translates as the mind becoming more active and the emotional body being vacated, so as to not feel the intensity of the reality. Physically this can show itself as a sense of anxiety or panic. In order to reverse this trend it's important to acknowledge that it is a valid strategy. It does "work" so as to reduce the perceived level of discomfort. However, as a loving act of Self-Care we can learn to shift the momentum in the opposite direction. We can learn to become more present and available to the physical and emotional aspects of ourselves so as to offer new resources and support to reduce the stress. Directionally speaking, instead of moving up and out in times of stress, we learn to go down and in, fully occupying our body with our attention and supporting our emotional body to regulate itself and gain resilience. This translates into being able to take more effective and relevant action in our day to day lives.
A few years ago I was downtown in a big city and I witnessed myself beginning to dissociate and become less emotionally present as I was looking around seeing things that I found painful to witness. It was a big moment for me to consciously reverse the trend, and acknowledge that turning away or leaving was not the way to demonstrate that I didn't like seeing something, instead I had to learn how to gain the capacity to see and understand the dynamics that I was witnessing and acknowledge that it was the reality. To read about the insights I had closer to the event itself you can go to my blog called, Presence & Preference.
So, with regards to your Self-Care, where have you checked out, that you can now choose to check in? Often we witness other people distracting or dissociating when things get tough and learn to do the same. There are other strategies that are much more powerful and supportive of long-term health and well-being. When we learn how to give our attention fully to our physical and emotional body in times of stress we can feel palpable and dramatic reduction in tension, which has the added bonus of calming the mind and supporting you to think more clearly. It may be difficult or uncomfortable at first to become more available and present physically and mentally when things are challenging, but it can be a game changer in terms of enhancing your quality of life and enabling you to be resilient and resourceful.
If you find it difficult to give yourself this kind of presence and attention I'd be happy to serve as a role model for you, doing it for you initially, so that you can quickly and easily learn to do it for yourself. If you'd like to have a free 20 minute consultation to see whether working together can benefit you please get in touch through my session page. I wonder what new strategies and approaches to Self-Care can become available now. I wonder how much more we can learn to check in and resource, instead of check out and avoid. The solutions can present when we're home, so to speak. If we're out to lunch we'll never get the message. May we all get the message, learn new skills and awaken our capacity to love and care for ourselves more than ever before!
What I wanted to offer today is a reminder to start where you are. What often prevents us from enhancing our self-care is that we decide that we should already know how to do it, or that we should be taking better care of ourselves or we should already be making different choices. What these decisions do is keep us stuck opposing ourselves, or turning against ourselves, which can lead to feeling of angst and uneasiness. If you tend to have the word should in your inner self-talk the blog, Putting the Should's and Should Not's to Rest, may assist. Self-Care becomes easier when there is less inner conflict. Evolution or improvement can be a natural condition of deeper self knowing and the choice to give ourselves what comes available as an offering from life itself.
So, starting from where you are now, what are the current ways you have available to care for yourself? What is one thing you can do to reduce inner conflict? Is there someone else's voice that you internalized that you no longer have to? Is there a new way to care for yourself that you can become aware of? Often life has a way of presenting us with gifts and new possibilities when we become curious and direct our attention towards the mysterious and the miraculous. I wonder what can be revealed and offered to you now...
For day 6 I invite you to take a look at where your motivation for self-care is arising from. Last year one of my focuses was to articulate and demonstrate the differences between fear based learning and love based learning. If your motivation for self-care is fear based, it'll be done in order to avoid punishment and acquire rewards. The setup can be that illness or disease is framed as a punishment and good health and happiness as a reward. If this is the framework, the threat of undesired circumstances or punishments will constantly have to be kept at bay, and you'll constantly have to assess your progress and good deeds in order to appoint yourself as deserving of the rewards. At some point this structure breaks down. For example, you'll have done everything right and taken good care of yourself and you get sick. Or, you'll see someone who makes lots of "bad decisions" yet is healthy. This is an indicator that you're ready to graduate from that paradigm of thought, because you've noticed the inconsistencies or holes in the logic. Essentially, pain is not a punishment, pleasure is not a reward. In the fear based model, self-love will be kept at bay too, until you've deemed yourself worthy of it, or have proven yourself to be deserving of it by doing the right thing enough times. It's exhausting to say the least and you'll probably never get there, as there is always something you could do better. It's a losing battle. For more insight into this dynamic you're welcome to read my blogs, Why You Don't Deserve Love and Is it Time to Graduate from Fear Based Learning?
So, engaging in Self-Care with a fear based approach will be fraught with conflict, pressure, fight, doubt, and ups and downs. The key is to recognize that it's possible to engage in Self-Care with a love based approach. Once you become aware that it's possible you can initiate this path of learning and growth. When the field and frequency of love becomes your source of motivation, actions are taken from where you are, in support of enhancing your well-being and enriching your life. You're welcome to read my blog, Activating Love Based Motivation to dive deeper into this subject matter. Everything changes when self-care is truly a loving action, rather than an action born of agenda of so that you don't get sick, or so that you don't gain weight etc.
Here and now I invite you to take a deep breath into the space of love based Self-Care. Become curious about what this is and how it can show up for you in your life. Everything changes when the source of motivation changes. Tune into what it would be like to care for yourself as act of love. What can enrich and support your mental and emotional well-being? What actions assist your body to feel nurtured, resourced, strong and flexible? What if anything named as weakness is not something to be feared, but rather something to be worked with and understood? What truly nourishes your body? What truly nourishes your heart and mind?
I wonder how much more the field and frequency of love can ignite in our lives, assisting Self-Care to be joyful, enriching and life enhancing. If you would like support to initiate this love based approach and clear up tendencies you developed in fear based environments, such as the tendency towards criticism, control, demand, expectation, doubt, pressure and force please get in touch through the inquiry form on my session page. It's amazing how quickly these tendencies can be evolved into something greater when loving support and attention is given to them.
There is a human tendency to cease paying attention to something once we think we know it. Instead of having a direct relationship with something that is alive, dynamic and ever changing, we go into a relationship with our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, ideas and beliefs about it. This leads us, often subconsciously, to want people to confirm what we think we know about them. If a person shows up or behaves contrary to what we've decided, we will be frustrated or irritated. If they behave according to our perceptions, beliefs or ideas we feel good or satisfied or even right about them. As you can imagine, this type of relating, which is not direct, alive and spontaneous will feel more and more empty or dull. Having a relationship with what we think we know about someone, or how we think they should be or how we want them to be and then using our experience to validate or invalidate that is a recipe for unfulfillment.
So, what can we do if we have a desire to practice true self-care, love and be loved and cultivate genuine intimacy? First is to acknowledge that there is a human tendency to fear the unknown. Thus, what is known is safe and what is unknown is scary. So, a strategy to avoid feeling fear is to decide we already know someone or something. However, not paying attention to someone leads them to feeling ignored, undesired, confused or upset. If your attention or having a direct relationship with you is something they want, they will behave in a way in order to get your attention. What is the best way to get your attention? Do you pay attention when something is wrong? Do you pay attention when there is a problem to solve, or a wound to heal, or something broken that needs fixing? I invite you to take a look at what best gets your attention and how often people in your life utilize those strategies.
Given what I've shared, as an invitation for day 5 of Self-Care, is to see with who and what in your life you can choose to offer your attention to, as a gift. As you offer your attention, what can you come to know, see, feel, sense and understand about that person or thing? When this practice is applied to you, in what way can you offer yourself attention so as to come to learn, sense, feel or understand something new about you? Are you willing to go on the adventure of exploration? Can you lead with curiosity and wonder as to what you'll find? Is there a spark of joy inside you that's just waiting for you to ignite it? What if now is the time? Here and now you can commit to having a direct relationship with everything in your life. In doing this, you will open the doors to receiving so much more from everything around you and thus feel more nurtured and fulfilled. Your attention is a precious gift that can benefit you and everyone in your life. You no longer have to fall in the trap of thinking you know something or someone, and you can establish a new relationship with the unknown so that it ins't something you fear. Thanks for reading and I'll be back with an inspired offering tomorrow for day 6 of 12 Days of Self-Care.
Yesterday in the video I mentioned learning to attend to our bodies with a quality of presence that allows for their mystery and majesty to be revealed to us. Today I wanted to name something that prevents this quality of presence, so we can become aware of it more fully, and make new choices regarding it. One thing we've been taught is to reject, push away, dismiss or disregard what we don't want and don't like. Unfortunately, our caregivers, teachers, and friends tended to do this with qualities, characteristics, traits or aspects of us that they didn't like. We thus learned to do that to ourselves. On some level this actually leads us to fear or hate ourselves. In order to reverse this trend, the first thing to acknowledge is that the strategy didn't work. Rejecting or pushing away qualities, characteristics, or aspects of ourselves doesn't make them go away or disappear. Instead it leads us to be in a state of internal moderation and control so as to prevent them from being expressed or shown to others.
Fortunately we don't have to remain in this extremely uncomfortable position. We can choose to evolve the strategy into something that works better. The qualities, characteristics or aspects of ourselves that we've learned to push away and reject, we can now choose the opposite movement and pull them towards us, so as to expose them to the field of Self-Care, or the field of love and support that can assist these parts of us to receive what they need to evolve, develop, unfold and become what they can be. This process profoundly reduces inner tension, conflict, strain and anxiety. It invites relief, resolution, peace and relaxation.
So, I encourage you to take a look at any parts, aspects, qualities or characteristics of you that people named as not enough or too much, or were simply rejected and dismissed without explanation. Here and now you can choose to engage in the opposite practice, of inviting these elements of you into the space of Self-Care, this field of Love and Support that is available now so that they can receive what they need to become what they are, so you can receive what you need to unfold and become who you are. If this is a foreign concept, or your not sure how to enact the practice, please reach out to schedule a 20 minute consultation with me and we can explore the possibility of doing some session work together. I wonder how much relief, resolution, peace and relaxation can come available to you now, as you step into this field of Self-Care and get acquainted with the love and support that is here for you.
On the home page of my website I shared that, "I'll INSPIRE when you need to be inspired
ADVISE when you need advice. ENCOURAGE when you need encouragement
and UNDERSTAND when you need to be understood." Essentially I'll be modelling to you, or teaching you what you can subsequently learn to do for yourself and do for others in your life. Think about the type of relationships you could have with these qualities fully activated within you! You'll learn to inspire, advise, encourage and understand yourself, and gain the capacity to do the same for others. If this interests you get in touch through the inquiry form on my session page.
For today I recorded a short video as an invitation to enhance the quality of attention that we're offering to our bodies. How much more love and care can we now give, as we attend to our bodies in the here and now?
Christine helps people to navigate transitions with love and wisdom. offering presence and care she can assist people to play an active role in their mental, emotional and physical health no matter what is going on in life. With all of the different tools, methods and wisdom she has access to, she inspires, encourages and makes it possible for people to really love and honor themselves, and thus be more able to love and honor others. Through her patience, kindness and astute awareness of the body, mind and heart she accelerates people's self-healing journeys and makes the inner and outer world a whole lot easier to navigate!