As humans, we have an incredible capacity for compassion... and a beautiful burning desire to help others. Women in particular are biologically wired to give, to nurture, to connect, to serve. And the world desperately needs us to express these feminine gifts in order to heal.
Where we have a funny way of getting in our own way is with the false notion that we somehow need to singlehandedly source this bottomless well of giving, without ever receiving, without replenishing. The thing is, there is no way that we can truly give unless we take care of ourselves first.
So many of us are operating in the red zone - drained, depleted, dangerously close to empty. This can result in a number of different unwelcome dynamics where:
- Others feel obligated or somehow indebted to us when they receive from us because they sense our underlying resentment from chronically over-giving.
- Others feel annoyed, intruded upon, or robbed of their own autonomy, due to our constant interventions from over-functioning.
- Others are enabled to develop or to continue habits of codependency as they get used to our responsiveness from over-accommodating.
- Or, our loved ones are simply plagued with worry and concern for us, as helpless bystanders watching us wear ourselves out from overdoing it.
You may think you're helping things but when you give from this place, but there's a good chance you may actually be hurting. You cannot truly serve if you're running on reserves.
We can consciously create a positive, supportive environment that helps us juice up and jump-spark our creative power. It is about noticing the nature of inputs and influences that we currently have in our lives... whether they are physical, emotional, social, or spiritual… And then making more intentional choices about them. Our routines, rituals and relationships are all part of the context that we create for ourselves. So the question then becomes, what can we choose more of, to allow us to feel N.I.C.E. (Nourished. Inspired. Creative. Energized.)
Fill yourself up to the brim with all the things and experiences that you find most delicious and delightful in life. Mindfully eat and savor healthy, tasty food.... Food that goes beyond physical fuel and makes you feel vital and lovingly attended to. Indulge in a pampering self-care spa day. Spend time listening to music you love. Play games with your kids. Curl up on the couch with a cup of hot tea. Watch a cheesy movie with your girlfriends. Soak in a bubble bath. Take yourself on a date with Mother Nature. Watch the sunset. Whatever you find in life that makes you feel precious and cared for, give that to yourself.
Choose to surround yourself with people who lift you up. People who love and accept you. People who you admire and respect, who make you want to be more of your true self. Gather around the people who know something you want to learn. Stay close to those that ignite your desire to step up into your own power. On the flip side, step away from the ones that drag you down with negativity and complaining. We all have friendships that we hang onto for "old times’ sake" or a sense of obligation. If we are brutally honest with ourselves, we might see that the give-and-take is all give and no take. If we spot this bear, we need to… Back. Away. Slowly.
Embrace the natural ebb and flow of rest and activity, of incubation and creation. Creativity is not a doing; it's an allowing. There's no need to push too hard or try to force things to happen. Nurturing creative energy requires us to make space and allow our new ideas, new projects, new directions to naturally emerge in time. Make space and time for yourself and creativity will pour out. Design and make a beautiful workspace for creating in. Clear up guilt-free time and space for doing nothing.
Deliberately put yourself in places and spaces that light your inner fire. Whatever makes you feel the most alive, make it a priority to do that. Maybe it's traveling. Maybe it's trying new restaurants. Maybe it's hosting a party and meeting new people. Maybe it's volunteering at the local dog shelter. Maybe it's drawing or coloring mandalas. Maybe it's kayaking in the open sea. Maybe it's speaking in front of a room of students. Maybe it's tearing downhill on your snowboard. Maybe it's dancing all night until you're completely soaked in sweat and buzzing from head to toe. If you can do what makes you feel most alive, then you are living fully. From this place, we are effortlessly generative and generous.
If we can remember to make choices to create a N.I.C.E. environment for ourselves, we will begin to feel so full and so vibrant that we overflow with feminine power. We will be absurdly unstoppable and unlimited in our capacity to give and contribute.