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The Woman Warrior Challenge

Hi there Ladies! 

Have you ever been in the middle of your day:  Either in the car driving your kids around with them yelling and mad traffic, or at your desk multitasking with 3 colleagues and 2 phone calls at once, or in the kitchen making dinner while the dog is chasing the cat around the house and your oldest is tormenting your youngest in the latest in sibling rivalry tactics … At that moment, you suddenly feel like a passenger in your own life… Instead of the driver?  Ever wonder How the Hell your life took such an Odd and Unmotivating turn?? The mundane emptying of the dishwasher, only to pull the same bowl & spoon out 7hrs later for breakfast?? I mean, what is, truly, the point of life?? What is necessary, and what is a waste of our time?? Why does making the bed seem ridiculous to one, while essential to the other?? Who’s right & Who’s wrong?

In these moments, when all seems lost in terms of the direction in your life… What your inner self is telling you is that it needs you back!! 

As women, we are the Multitaskers and CEO’s of the Universe!

I’m of course being overly dramatic for effect. But in starting my new business A Better Way Health and Wellness, and creating a new focus on every aspect of my daily life, it’s given me the opportunity to understand why women feel so overwhelmed, and unplugged, from their own Lives and Families. It’s because they are the Caregivers, the Peacemakers, the Managers & the Psychiatrists; As well as in most cases the Breadwinners of most of the people around them most of the time. Consequently, at the end of the day, we find ourselves Emotionally Bankrupt.

You would think that would be an eye-opening discovery in and of itself, and once I stopped moving for a few minutes and allowed for just a little self discovery, it became painfully obvious to me why we feel so lost.  We are not only Emotionally Bankrupt; we are also bankrupt in all of the most important aspects of our own Health and Wellness: Nutritionally, Intellectually, Physically and Spiritually… Yet as natural born Caregivers, the expectation we have on ourselves, as well as in most Societies, is that our Value as a women comes directly from our ability to sacrifice for The Greater Good:  That is, The Good of the Family Unit.  

But we are often also expected to hold Everyone, and Everything, together in our Work Lives, with the expectation that, to some extent, your personal life should suffer for The Greater Good:  That is, The Good of the Work Unit! At the end of the day, not only is there nothing left, we have emotional debt, as we innately feel that we have not given enough to anyone, including ourselves.  In my family we call it The Italian Catholic Guilt. Whatever you call it, it goes on in most family and work dynamics of all cultures and kinds.

So to my fellow Women Warriors of the Universe:  I challenge Thee!! Take back your own Inner Self, Feed Your Soul by practicing these Simple Daily Affirmations:  Don’t worry Ladies, These aren’t the tear jerking, soul searching life exercises that will leave you physically and emotionally exhausted.  This is not Fix my Life! These are designed to uplift and motivate you, as well as to give you permission to put yourself first!! I truly believe this is the first step to achieving true inner peace.  A great side effect?? Once you take care of yourself, I promise you that you will find much more purpose and satisfaction from taking care of those most precious to you!!  

Number One:  Give yourself permission to say No and be Okay with It. 

No one can be all things to all people.  That being said, be prepared for bounce-back!!  The manipulators of your world are going to be very displeased that they now have to take on their own responsibilities, and will probably be very vocal in expressing that!!  I suggest that you give The Guilt right back as an appropriate & self-empowering response. For example, “Oh I’m so sorry I won’t be able to pick up Mikey today, and I’m really sorry if there’s no one else to ask…  But I’ve had health & sleep issues from going 100% from morning til night. I need to start putting my own health ahead of other’s needs. Thank you SO much for understanding. You’re a great friend” They can’t really say much after that!?

Number Two:  Minimize the Manipulators:

For me, that was really difficult, because my main critic happens to be a member of my immediate family.  But it’s really important to allow yourself to put physical and emotional distance between you and the people in your life who are toxic to your own personal Wellness.  Whether they put you down, consistently think the worst about you, take away your inner power, minimize your struggles or, in general, overcriticize and devalue. You could try to communicate your feelings to this person and see if you can come to a compromise?  Particularly with either family members or people who have been in your life a long time, sometimes just vocalizing the issues is enough to improve the situation.

That was not possible for me, as this person, I believe, is completely incapable of seeing how one-sided her opinion of me really is.  So it took a really long time, and a second major (BA in Psychology) for me to understand that she is toxic to my achieving my best self.  So now I give myself permission to limit communication, so as to focus, without Distraction or Sabotage, on achieving my life goals. Presently that includes following my dream of becoming a Nurse Entrepreneur.

Quote from the Movie Pretty Woman I feel brings this point home in the most basic way:  

Julia Roberts: “People put you down enough, you start to believe it”

Richard Gere: “I think you are a very bright, very special woman”

Julia Roberts:  “The bad stuff is easier to believe.  You ever notice that?”

Until you get rid of that crap, you will be unable to focus on the positive.  Put a more classic way, you can’t see the forest through the trees.

And the Last and Final Challenge to all of my Woman Warrior Comrade in Arms??

 *Allow yourself permission to spend time doing something just for you!

For me, it’s walking the beach with my new Puppy Love … Lassie. 

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You see, the Bike Path is at the end of our street, so daily dog walking is most convenient there.  It’s actually beautiful, and we go there daily. However, most of the time, there are too many people for Lassie to be able to run off leash.  And at 50yrs old, I can only go so fast!!  

The ride to the closest beach is probably 7 minutes away, but that beach is my least favorite RI beach, and is usually fairly crowded. My favorite beach, East Matunuck, as well as Jims Dock at the end of the road, where I grew up, is about a 12 minute drive.  But throwing a ball on that beach with Lassie, listening to the waves and watching the sun shine off the ocean as I enjoy my adorable 5 month old full bred Golden Retriever Puppy carry a shell down the beach like it was her newest Trophy: It feeds my soul and renews my love of this beautiful place where we live!  So I give myself permission to take my new BMW SUV for a few more minute drive down the road to my Happy Place. I leave my cell phone in the car and just get back to the Beauty of Nature & the Unconditional Love only a dog can give! We are so blessed to have so many scenic places to renew our energy & motivate us to achieve our best self here in Our Great Ocean State.

So brave the cold, put on a hat, scarf and mittens, get out there & get some fresh air!  Preferably at one of your very favorite tranquil spots. My second favorite Happy Place? The Cliffwalk, followed by Brenton Park on Ocean Drive in Newport…  Check that out my friends… It’s well worth the drive over the bridge!

And Enjoy, Breathe and Reboot!!  You’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel, inside and out.

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