Working for the biggest media conglomerate in Canada was half the best job in the world and half what made me hit a wall. While working incorporates, the first thing I did when the alarm clock rang, after snoozing, was to look at my emails while still laying in bed.
I would rush out the door without a packed lunch, earbuds in and heels. I’d stop to grab breakfast on the go and of course, have a coffee too. In the evenings, if I wasn’t working, I would go to the gym because I thought I had to, but in reality, I hated it.
This fast-paced lifestyle was nowhere near healthy for me. I often found myself at the drop-in doctor’s office because of a strep throat, being sick three to four times a year… but I would brush it off thinking “oh it’s because of the weather changes” or “oh I’m just tired”.
One summer, I did 180 hours of overtime, and I didn’t get compensated for it. I had no love life, and all the activities I had revolved around work. I realized that I was just a “number” and I didn’t matter as much as I thought to the company I worked for.
Changing jobs wasn’t enough. My body spoke to me through intense chest pressure, a fast heart-beat, a sensation of gasping for air… I was starting to have regular panic attacks. I needed to start taking care of myself, and that meant putting myself first (instead of the performance level I thought was expected of me).
Have you ever had signs from your body saying you needed to care for it?
You might say “yeah yeah, I know I need to practice self-care, but I just don’t have time”. The thing is, you really have a choice. A choice to hit a wall, burnout, live in comfort instead of courage, or to choose you… because ultimately, you only have one life to live in this body, and I know you don’t want to end your life filled with regrets. Right?
It was when a friend took me to yoga classes that I started slowing down, de-stressing, tuning-in to what was really important to me, FEELING emotions, shedding layers or unresolved pain… and I found my Self. I found a part of me that was needing self-love, care, divine support and trust.
So… is putting yourself first really crucial to living on purpose (and without regrets)? Here are 3 reasons.
#1 Self-care helps you step in your own power (and be more productive)
Has it ever happened to you when you arrive on vacation but you crash because you’ve given too much of yourself?
I remember taking on a family memory video project with my cousins for the Holidays, at the same time as being in charge of a major event at work, and ending a semester at Uni. I thought I was being successful because I was taking on so many responsibilities… But I ended up spending the Holidays with the sniffles and no energy.
I was overworked, overwhelmed and exhausted… and yet I’d still managed to say yes to things that went beyond my boundaries. I thought doing more would make me more productive… when it was the complete opposite.
Living a fulfilling life means that we live in accordance to our desires and to our needs. Self-care helps us to tune-in to what those needs are, to what feels good to us, and more deeply, why we’re on the planet.
How does self-care help us to do that?
By slowing down, being in silence and tuning-in to our inner Self (instead of letting the “you’re not good enough” thoughts take over and actually feel “not good enough”). When we’re able to tune-in, we’re able to feel, hear and be with whatever’s happening within and around us and better react according to what feels honourable towards ourselves.
I do understand that silence, slowing down and tuning-in can be scary… but it really is a choice. If you are a driven woman who no longer wants to have stress side-effects and who wishes to stand in her power instead… then just take a few deep breaths from the belly, and feel in the presence of the Now. And see how good you feel just from taking those few conscious breaths. See how that allows you to have control over your body, your mind and your emotional state. See how you’re standing in your power just by slowing down.
So is putting yourself first really crucial to living on purpose (and without regrets)? Here are 5 reasons.
#2 Self-care helps you to make decisions that make you feel soulfully good
One of my clients started a PhD because she thought she had to. All she knew was how to perform in an academic environment. But to complete her PhD, she had to work 2 jobs, drive 3 hours to and back from work, and had to study, cook for her family and be… She hit a wall and burned out! She hadn’t listened to what her intuition was telling her… which was “A PhD doesn’t feel good right now,” and instead she went with the “A PhD is what I should do right now”.
If she had a self-care practice when she came time to decide to go with the PhD or not, she would’ve been able to hear the intuitive voice. Respecting the voice is a practice of its own, I know. Choosing yourself can first remind you that answers are within you and that you’re able to make decisions you’re happy with, without looking for guidance outside of yourself. Especially not when you might be influenced by the “shoulds” and the “have tos” of the mind (because you want to do things “right”).
Does that sound familiar?
It is in times of silence and slowing down that we can hear the voice of the intuition instead of always making decisions from the ego-mind because of the fast-pace lifestyle. When we have a consistent self-care practice, we’re better able to understand what feels good to us vs what’s a boundary-crossing that we might regret.
So what I love to suggest to my clients is to start recognizing when you hear your inner voice say “shoot I knew that”… because that’s your intuition who was talking and you didn’t listen!
And when we make decisions that we’re happy with, we don’t have regrets, we don’t feel like we’re going to a family gathering just to please our family, we don’t feel like we’re doing a certain degree for our parents, and we don’t work past our paid work hours unless it feels right to us because we’re able to recognize what our Soul wants (and our Soul has no judgement) vs what our ego “to show off or please” wants.
#3 Self-care is your way into optimal health (and to flexing the Mindset Muscle of Manifestation©)
I say this to my clients all the time: Health is more than just physical, it’s mental, emotional, and spiritual too.
When you practice self-care, you’re better able to connect to what your body is telling you, physically. Tuning in to the messages of the body, like the painful back, the pressure at the head, the weight on the neck and shoulders, are all ways that the body speaks. When we listen and tend to what they’re saying, we can prevent illness, have the ability to change our mind guilt-free when things don’t feel right to us and address whatever is bothering us, emotionally, in a safe and supportive way.
Self-care also allows us to flex the Mindset Muscle of Manifestation© (MMM), which is all about choosing your thoughts. When we have a consistent (and prioritized) self-care practice, we’re in tune with what our thoughts are (and most of them are negative, pessimistic, judgemental and fear-based).
Just the other day, I was thinking that I felt weak and like a failure just because my plans didn’t come through… when it was all out of my control. I planned on moving to New Zealand, and then a pandemic happened!
So flexing the MMM is all about being able to recognize the thoughts, stay with them to honour them, and then distance yourself from them. Turning harmful thoughts into helpful thoughts allows us to attract exactly what we want in life.
For example, instead of thinking “what if it doesn’t work out… ever” when it comes to changing careers or moving to New Zealand, what if you thought “what if it works out” instead? Just doing this helps to rewire neural pathways in the brain and helps you become a master manifestor.
I manifested a trip last January. I was visualizing myself at the beach with my friend Victoria, and I was having thoughts as if that trip was already happening for me. Well, guess what? It happened EXACTLY like that! Another example is that I just bought a new house. I manifested this house within one week because I shifted my thoughts from “what if we don’t get it” to “this is our house already”.
In order to:
- live a fulfilling life in alignment with our soul purpose…
- to get out of feeling lost and not knowing where to go next…
- stop feeling like you don’t have enough money, you’re not good enough or “it’s too hard”…
Only you know whether mastering your self-care is high on the priority list or not… but if you’re thinking “not yet”, then I ask you: “When?”.
Implementing the foundational basis of self-care may be exactly what you need. Looking WITHIN for answers is the WAY-IN to being guided towards living a fulfilling life aligned with your soul purpose.