This is a good time of year to talk about a habit that many women have that I call ‘The Island Syndrome’. You see, we women are used to taking care of business all by ourselves, thank you very much! Many of us have become so ingrained in the mindset of hyper productivity that we go through our days feeling like we are all alone on a deserted island. We are super efficient, crossing things off our to-do lists and in the process, super stressed out!
This becomes even more apparent in December when there are gifts to buy, decorating to be done, functions to attend – so many expectations!
Do any of the following statements look familiar?
- I pride myself on being independent, capable and self-sufficient.
- I love doing for others and making people happy to the exclusion of my own needs.
- I believe I must work hard and strive for everything I get.
- I feel that focusing on my own needs instead of others is selfish.
If you are nodding your head yes, you may be trapped in a mind-set that keeps good things from coming your way.
We say we want the life of our dreams, good health and happiness. But many times we unconsciously sabotage our ability to have these because we run on programs and habits that push away the good that wants to come in.
One example of this that I see all the time is when a woman is complimented on her pretty outfit or her new haircut. What is the first thing she says? “Oh, this old thing. I found it on the clearance rack at Target.” or “I was just tired of taking care of all that hair.” Very rarely do I hear a woman say, “Thank you!” and truly soak in the compliment.
But this time of year is magical because it offers you a chance to practice your ability to receive.
Why is this so important to my health, you may wonder? Because when you don’t take time to bring good into your body, to really feel it, to relax into it, you short circuit your body’s ability to metabolize food, and life in general. And anything that we don’t metabolize gets stored. Whether it goes to our fat cells or into our energy bodies, the result is the same: stagnation, lethargy, heaviness and ill health.
It is crucial that we bring balance to our lives in this way. It is how we were designed to live. Like the ebb and flow of the tides, we take in and we give out.
A few of my favorite ideas to try this season include:
- Make your own ritual of giving back to yourself throughout the holidays. Each day, find a way to gift yourself, whether it is a 30 minute break with a cup of tea or an hour doing something you love or that new lipstick you have been eyeballing.
- When your list gets long, ask your spouse or children to pitch in. They can just as easily wrap the teacher’s gifts, do extra chores around the house or run a few errands. The key is to not assume that you have to do it all by yourself and to communicate how others can help you. Many times we short circuit other people’s ability to give to us by doing everything ourselves. If you practice this, over time, people will naturally come to your aid without you having to ask!
- Be mindful of the words you say or think. If your constant refrain is, “The holidays are so stressful.”, you are almost guaranteeing that you will not have an enjoyable month, and that you will gain the dreaded ten pounds of holiday weight. We tend to make choices that are not good for us when we are constantly stressed out. Try substituting this recurring thought instead, “The holidays are full of love and light and I intend to enjoy every minute!” Feels a lot better, huh?
- Make a list of things you actually want and give it to your significant other, your family, your kids. It’s ok to want things and it’s ok to get things you really want. No more bracing for the dreaded appliance or home item. You deserve to be excited to open your gifts! Btw, this is a great habit to continue after the holidays are over. Knowing what you truly want is the first and most important step to having a beautiful, fulfilling life.
With our intention, we can make receiving a natural part of our every day experience. It is so important that we make ourselves a priority and know that we are worthy of all the richness we can imagine. In this way, we take responsibility for our own lives and happiness and give others the chance to experience the gift of giving to us.
May this be your most wonderful December yet!
With boundless love,