Discipline doesn’t have to be about restriction, it can be about freedom, it can be about openness, it can be about more rather than less. “Batya Zamir
Generosity: Create your own system of self care
How would you feel if you could start your day with your cup full? Most of us experience depletion from others needs, our own commitments and various other pulls that are part of our current reality on a regular basis. In addition, during your day what if you had a plan to add a little to your cup so that by the end of the day your not running on empty. I call this generosity and it starts with you! What would it look like if you gave yourself the gift of 30 minutes of exercise 5-6 days a week, 10-15 minutes to plan your meals and in turn this would serve those around you as well, scheduled sleep 7-8 hours a night and 5 minutes of quiet time just to name a few examples.? I have a colleague that stated her New Years resolution was to be less generous. This made me think is it really that she needs to be less generous or does she need to take care of some of her own needs to there is less resentment on her part and more generosity to go around for others.
In our culture we are all trained to believe certain things. In other words we all have a mind set that we believe to be true. Things like: family first(financially and/or physically) my needs don’t really count, I don’t have time, it is selfish. These are only a few. We all have our own unique list. Breaking through this and creating a different mindset is the challenge. What if you embraced the idea that you would be at your best if you took care of your own needs first (or at least some of them) and then started on all the other areas that needed addressing for the day? This might require some creativity. Things like getting up a bit earlier to have your time, not arriving home after work until you have taken care of your fitness, setting an alarm to remind yourself to get to bed at a certain time. Men and women struggle equally with this concept. The demands might be different but the idea that you would put your needs first in order to best meet the needs of others is the same. So I encourage you to explore the idea of being generous. First with yourself and see how this affects your ability to be generous with all those around you. This will most likely require some practice and a plan.
Try this thought experiment. Imagine you have a new mindset that is directing you to make feeling better a priority in your daily life, a top priority.
1. What are 1 or 2 small things you could give to yourself on a daily basis, starting now, that you feel would raise your energy, help you feel more in control and contribute to your well being?( be creative and keep it simple. Small steps are encouraged)
2. What activities would you spend time doing and how do you feel physically and mentally?
3. What is one thing you could let go of on a daily basis that is not contributing to your generosity list: Example, guilt, the list of shoulds or being unable to say no.
It is not easy to change your mindset. It takes some courage and the willingness to acknowledge that our current way of being may not be serving us so how do we create a new way of interacting within and outwardly. Small steps are the key in my experience. Try on one or two new behaviors and once those start to feel solid add a few more. The better your feeling, the more generous you are with yourself the more you will have to give in other areas of your life and to other people in your life.
Generosity to yourself in the form of physical activity helps you be fully who you are capable of being- a patient parent, a loving partner, a role model in the work setting. When your daily actions and choices grow out of doing what matters to you, you are being yourself and asking that shift into what we call well-being.
In and health and support