Know When to Stand and When to Lean – Getting is Giving

Guest Blogger:  Asia Sharif-Clark

If I could compare us to part of a tree, it would be a solid trunk.  We stand firm, strong, and tall securing the roots beneath and the leaves above.

There’s only one problem and it’s a big one, most trunks don’t lean.  Leaning symbolizes receiving support from others, standing means giving support from oneself.  We’ve got standing perfected.

Now we must allow ourselves to lean. That’s where the branches comes in.  They move with the wind, sway in the rain; giving to leaves, yet receiving from the trunk.  Giving and receiving.  Standing and leaning.

I’ve learned to lean more and more over the years and am amazed at the immense joy others experience from giving to me.  I am open and happy to receiving.

Self-Care Tip – Wishing you more moments to lean.

Question:  Can you tell us about the leaning motion in your life?

I’m Asia Sharif-Clark, founder of Centered Self Worldwide, the Glow Weekend, and the Glow Circle. In 90 days, I take women from overworked and overwhelmed to empowered and energized. And, that’s just the beginning.   I invite you to Raise Your Joy!

Let Things Come Together And Fall Apart To Experience Them More Fully – Presence

Cover of "Boy"

Cover of Boy

He still has some lingering vestigial baby-smell that sets the pheromones into motion.  I turn soft and doughy sniffing his hairline and would claw out any threat; as if there would be one within our stuccoed walls in jungled suburbia.  But just in case, I am primed.  Grrrr.

This moment that comes in one lungful of air sets off the sixth sense, like chimes in the wind, into a little pretty song of contrasting emotions – something warm and nice against fear and aggression.  Lovely.  Complex and simple.  I breath in and taste what is in the air again more slowly.  I let it come together so I can pull it apart.  I am in awe.

What creatures we are.

Big breath everyone.  What contrasts come together for you?  Is the experience of letting yourself watch them coalesce and then dehis add any sense of presence to your moment?

Self-Care Tip – Let things come together and fall apart to experience them more fully – presence.

Tell the Truth About Yourself To Feel Freedom

Self-Care Tip – Tell your true story to feel freedom.

Nobody ever asked me how I feel about what I do.  And it wasn’t until I told the truth that I started to feel freedom.

drawneartogod.com

My husband surprised me with a spontaneous date today after work.  (I almost wrote after school.)  We didn’t know what to do with ourselves.  What do Middles like us do with ourselves on a date?

Middles is a name I just thought of for those of us in our middle of life time with; middle-level debt, middle place in careers, middle waistlines growing and all that we find in our middle years.  Middles.

Anyhow, we found ourselves at the theater because I guess that’s about as creative as we could manage.  There was only one movie showing at 3:30 pm on a Tuesday; The Help.

Score!  Wow!  Blowing my nose and sharing germs, we had no idea it would be this great.  We’ve seen a lot of bang ‘em up movies lately for some reason and we were more ready than we knew just to hear someone’s story.  The Help, told a good tale anyone could relate to.  Of all the ah-ha moments however, watching Aibileen Clark walk away from getting fired was my favorite.

Nobody ever asked me how I feel about what I do.  And it wasn’t until I told the truth that I started to feel freedom.

I remembered us of course.  What we have and are fighting for:  Being our own friend.  The freedom to feel.  Courage to love ourselves enough to love ourselves in our communities.  Accountability for ourselves even when victimized.

So I ask us all again, “How do you feel?  Please tell us your story.  When, in your narrative, did you start feeling freedom?

You Are Free To Feel. Emotional Freedom.

I should feel happy.

Norma Talmadge

Image via Wikipedia

In Mona’s efforts to process what it meant for her to claim her emotional freedom, she tripped over this,

I should feel happy.

I almost tripped too, with, “No you shouldn’t!” But wouldn’t that have been weird?

Freedom to feel how we feel is not the same as picking and choosing our feelings from the great many genetic options we have all been given.

“No. I’m going to a meeting today. I’m going to feel powerful, confident, secure and somber. I’ll save ‘happy,’ for later when I come home.”

Ahem. That sounds like another indenture; some other short sugared path to being controlled.

The first part of emotional freedom is simply unwrapping the gift.

“I have this collection of shiny and not so shiny gifts that are accumulating in the attic. Nope. Never opened them.”

Open the gift of emotional freedom or not, it’s still ours. It’s ownership isn’t about what we’ve done to get it or keep it. That’s what a gift is. Free. There’s no negotiation; no exchange. It’s a one way path to our home, attic or living space as it may be.

I hoped for Mona that she would grow in her awareness of her freedom. No other goals at the moment; no happiness quest. No scavenger hunt for emotions she wanted and house-cleaning for those she didn’t want; just an awareness that what she felt was hers. She was free.

Questions: Have you felt free to feel? Or do you believe that you feel the way you do because of what others do to you? Is this a useful thought-paradigm to you? Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip – Open up your gift and check out your emotional freedom. Be a friend to yourself.

Strategize Your Energy Deposits and Your Work To Heal Emotionally

Working from home

Image by ishane via Flickr

Work works if it’s in something we find pleasure in.  That’s where we will find empowerment and self-esteem.  We don’t resent the labor as much.  We feel less controlled, boxed in and manipulated by others.  We have more gratitude and optimism.

The realm of biology enthroned on helices of DNA are socialized and demystified some with the tools of our temperament. Our temperament, sometimes called our personality, has built-in guidance we can use to steer our energies biologically, psychologically and socially.  Directing our energies strategically both maintains our emotional and behavioral health, but also is a healing force on the way our genes express themselves.

Wow!

This is one area that insight might improve biological function.  Generally, I don’t have much faith in insight if the biology isn’t there to support it or produce results.  However, when it comes to the excellent tools outlined by Jungian Typology, we have true assistance.

Mopping a floor with a metal clock on a stick, combing my hair with my shoe, drinking out of a lidded bottle – you get the message.  We have design.  We have areas of strength and brilliance.  We have power.

Self-Care Tip – Do what you were designed to do.  Be a friend to yourself.

Questions:  Is this a realistic tool in your life?  What’s helping you vs. slowing you down from using it as a tool?  Can you share an example or more?  Please tell us your story.

Good Sleep

Naruto Sleeping

Image by lyk3_0n3_tym3 via Flickr

When our day feels out of control, perhaps our night doesn’t have to be.

During sleep, our body replenishes hormones and chemical messengers that it needs so badly to cope with the many physical and emotional stressors throughout our day.  If we don’t sleep well, we can’t cope as well.  It is during sleep that our memory consolidates and we can see where that might affect us.  Poor sleep means poor day time memory, concentration and focus.

Focus on the part of sleep that we can influence.  This is called sleep hygiene.  Possibly we can choose what time to go to bed, what time to wake up, what is in our bedroom and what we do before bed.

Any parent knows that there are times when these things are not in our control but they also know that without a good nights rest, parenting during the day is much harder.  Pick any one of those things to start with, such as getting to bed at the same time every night, at a time that allows us to sleep a good 7+ hours for the night.  Chart our sleep in a sleep journal for a week to get a better sense of our own sleep train and the areas we can take control over.

Taking care of others means taking care of ourself.  “You can’t give what you don’t have.”  And without sleep, we have a lot less to give to ourself and others.

Self Care Tip – get good sleep.  Be a friend to yourself.

Questions:  What does it offer you to know that the night doesn’t have to be another place of chaos in your life?  How has that improved your ability to be your own friend.