If you are a woman reading this, I want you to stop and ask yourself 4 things:
Do I have a tribe of supportive women in my life?
What am I passionate about?
Do I make consistent time and space to nurture my body, mind and soul?
Can I speak my truth?
These are four things that I find a lot of women are struggling with right now. And, it makes sense. Women are busier than ever, juggling the demands of so many roles, whether it’s being a mother, stepmother, wife, girlfriend, daughter, sister, friend, employee, boss, business owner, caretaker of a family member or a student. Women are being asked to do so much. Yes, we can handle it all, of course, but often times we get lost in the process.
Women are wired to “tend to mend”, and that means that our natural instinct is to care for others before we think of ourselves. But we are not an endless source of energy and just like a tree that needs nutrients from the rain and earth, we need to replenish ourselves as well.
As a yoga teacher and therapist, one of the main focuses of my practice is to help women by creating a safe, nonjudgmental space for them, a place where they can slow down and think about themselves and their needs. A place where someone can support them and help them to release guilt and quiet their internal Critical Voices.
So, how do we start the process of nurturing ourselves? How do we begin to find our passion, our voice and our tribe? There is no right or wrong way to do this, but I find it can help to first make friends with your inner Critical Voice. Imagine that this voice is not out to get you, but is trying to help keep you on track. But, just like an overzealous sports fan, screaming on the sidelines of a game, it’s gotten too loud. Can you thank this voice and ask it to quiet down? Can you turn up the volume on your inner Wise Voice instead?
The next step is releasing guilt and shame over taking time for yourself. And knowing that the word NO is a complete sentence. That you have the right to carve out time for yourself, to dream, to journal, to take a walk in nature, to climb a tree, to go to a yoga class, to meditate, to go to the gym, to have time with a friend or whatever other activity that feeds your soul.
When we allow ourselves to slow down for a moment, we can discover passions that have been undiscovered or tossed aside and create space for them.
Maybe you used to write poetry, sing in a choir, draw or dance; maybe you love helping animals or the environment, maybe you enjoy knitting, traveling or want to embark on new career. Whatever your passion is, it’s waiting to be discovered and brought into reality. And then you can use your voice to speak your truth and share this passion with others.
Finally, there is the art of creating a tribe, whether it be with one good friend or several pals. Women truly need other women to share the ups and downs of life, to laugh with, to talk with and to listen. Finding these like-minded, nonjudgmental friends can greatly improve your mental and physical health, so don’t be shy, seek these friends out. Remember, as you let your light shine, you give others permission to do the same. So, go out there and GLOW!