In my early 20’s, I always prided myself on being low maintenance and a tomboy. I didn’t wear a lot of makeup (still don’t) and I often washed my face with a splash of water (no soap) unless I wore a little make up that day. In that case I would use an over the counter scrub and moisturize with mineral oil. That was the extent of my self-care routine. I never made a fuss over what I ate, it was whatever, and the grungier the better.
It’s so funny how in our youth we live like we are invincible. Selfcare consist of waking up, maybe taking a shower, getting the cheapest food into our faces, and getting to bed whenever you feel like it, and that usually mean in the wee hours in the morning when your body wants to involuntarily shut down. Yeah that was me in a nutshell, then age caught up with me...
My belief, was if I spent too much time fussing over myself, it made me look shallow, self-centered, and selfish. I did not want to be “that girl” that wore tons of makeup, walked in heels all day, and wore expensive name brand clothing. I wanted to be that down to earth, approachable, “Maria from the block” girl that the guys liked to hang out with because I was one of the boys.
Unfortunately, I confused taking care of myself with arrogance, and being selfish. But in the end I learned it all had to do with my self-worth and self-fullness.
Let’s define the word selfish.
1 : concern excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regards for others
2 : arising from concern with one’s own welfare or advantage in disregard of others
It’s so easy to get being selfish, confused with being self-full, but where they differ all depends on who benefits or who suffers in the end. If you are not sure if your actions are selfish, ask yourself this; is what I’m doing depriving, taking away from, or hurting someone’s else in order for me to gain?
Now let’s look at the word Self-Full.
The word self-full, is a relatively new term (at least to me) I first heard it about 3 years ago.
It has been defined as taking care of “my needs first”, so that I can better take care of others!
It's about taking care of me, and making sure I'm not just surviving, but THRIVING, on every level......
physically! So that I can be that superwoman or heroine mom to my family.
I can give more, joyfully, without being resentful!
I can live in my purpose and be there for both myself & for others!
I can give and receive .... in abundance!!!
"Mom Guilt" Selflessness
Women, and in particularly mothers, suffer from what I call "mom guilt". We often hear mind chatter that goes like this "How dare you take care of yourselves first before the kids!" or "You are such a selfish mother for wanting to take a break from your kids." We often feel guilty of thinking of I/ME first in fear of seeming selfish to others. So instead we live in the other extreme of being selfless. And while in the act of caring, serving and putting others first, we are losing our sense of self, our identities, authenticity and divine propose. This is why so many of us are depressed, stressed, with no regards to our self-worth.
This is the space I’ve been living in for a while from the day I became a mom. Until one day while I was sitting on a plane ready for takeoff, when finally, after years of not understanding why if the plane decides to drop out of the sky, and the face-mask falls out in front of me, I had to put it on myself first... before my child. After years of judging the airline authorities for making me do such a selfish act in front of my kids, I FINALLY GOT IT! I am no good to ANYONE if I'm passed out and helpless! And what an amazing teaching moment to your kids!
It’s now my life purpose, mission and passion to teach other women to shift their mindset from the fear of being selfish, driving them to being selfless, but instead live in authentic SELF-FULLNESS on every level of well-being...
Physically... as one can’t thrive without the other.
Food for thought, according to a CTI report : The Power of the Purse: Engaging Women Decision Makers for Healthy Outcomes”, which was based on a multi-market survey of 9,218 respondents in the U.S., UK, Germany, Japan, and Brazil have found that 77% of women don’t do what they know they should do to stay healthy because, according to 62%, they lack the time.
Sisters, the journey to being self-full begins with making TIME for you FIRST! Scheduling your self-care and then DOING IT! Self-care is a re-focus on your well-being, a time of rediscovery, healing and growth. Let’s examine one of the levels of well-being and how you can start living self-full today. I am going to start with emotional health, as it is the squeaky wheel out of the 3 levels of well-being, it’s the one that gets our attention first.
Emotional Well Being And Self-fullness
Did you know that, in several studies of various populations over the years, scientists have found that the risk of a heart attack was about 15 percent greater on Mondays for adult women. Scientists have also found that deaths from heart attacks follow a pattern during the week. They occur at their lowest rates on weekends, jump significantly on Mondays, then drop again on Tuesdays.
What does this tell you? That STRESS IS THE #1 MONDAY KILLER!
Just the anticipation of going back to work on Monday, perhaps not living your life purpose is killing us! The number 1 cause of dis-ease is stress, so it’s essential to learn how to manage your emotions and stress levels, and then actually do it. Here are a few things you can do to support your mental health wellbeing.
Prayer & Scripture Study: If you are a spiritual person like me, no need to explain this one. Rather, I want to stress how important it is to always establish that connection and be in tune-ness with the spirit, so that you are always guided by the Divine. Making HIS purpose your purpose will always keep you on the path to self-mastery.
Meditation, Mindfulness: If prayer is the conversation between you and God, then meditation is being still enough for Him to respond. If you don’t know how to meditate, try my favorite APP "CALM," It’s one of the most important APPS on my phone, there are also many other awesome app for meditation, just do a search in your app store, and when you find one that best fits your needs, make it a new habit to be still every day.
Getting Enough Sleep: It’s so important to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Lack of sleeps leads to weight gain, mood changes, confusion, hallucination, and paranoia to list a few. GET TO BED EARLY! I am a super light sleeper and had to create a routine to get a restful night of sleep. My sleep routine consists of diffusing the Serenity Essential Oil blend, and taking one to two of the Serenity Complex Gel Capsules, knocks me out every time!
Exercise: I love yoga and pilates, and kickboxing, and nature walks. Again, find what fits your level of activity and be consistent!
Finding a Hobby: Find something that brings you joy, for me it’s cake decorating, painting, dancing and watching movies with my family.
Service: Look in your community for opportunities to serve, or find a cause that means a lot to you. I look to Shelter, Women Centers and my Church for opportunities. There is always a need to serve mankind.
Essential Oils: Try using calming essential oils and blends to help manage anxious feelings and stress, these are the first things I grab when stressed. My favorites are Lavender, Balance (Grounding Blend), Frankincense, Wild Orange, Cedarwood, Serenity, and Bergamot. I pick one to three oils and diffuse them in my cool mist diffuser, or I use them topically by rubbing one to two drops behind my neck, behind my ears, on the inside of my wrist, over my heart or any of my pulse points. If you ever find yourself confused as to how to apply your oils for emotional support, just inhale it! Add two drops in your hand, cup it over your face and just BREATHE! DEEPLY! It's that simple.
I Invite you to start making steps towards being Self-Full by trying a few of my suggestions, and beginning your journey of emotional wellness today. It may seem overwhelming if you look at it as a whole, instead, take it step by step. As the expression goes “How Do You Eat An Elephant? One Bite AT A Time”. Try one or two of the suggestions above, create a routine, schedule it, and be consistent till it becomes a habit, then move on to the next new habit.
If you are interested in trying essential oils for managing emotional health, and would like me to send you some oils to try, click here or go to the "What are essential oils?" page and scroll down to take the survey, and check yes for free oil samples.
On the next blog post I will be discussing how to be self-full physically. I'll be talking about nutrition, and finding the right foods and supplements to support your body to function at optimal health.
Until next time
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