A few weeks ago I led a work-life balance mini retreat for a group of twenty very successful women leaders. As I was teaching about self-care one of them--the youngest in the room-- raised her hand and said she just didn't get the concept of emotional self-care (we had just explored the concept of why it was important to nurture our hearts). She thought women were supposed to be strong, armored and hold it together no matter what.
The room became very quiet. It was clear that this beautiful woman had been taught that sharing her humanity was a liability. Her modus operandi for years had been to check her feelings at the door before she walked into work. And to definitely make sure she didn't "bother" others with her problems or issues.
I think many of us could relate.
Last week sucked for me. It was very stressful (read more). But after attending an entrepreneur mastermind meeting last Friday, visiting dear friends who were in the hospital later that evening, gathering with my son's school community Saturday and enjoying special time with a friend Saturday night --I had morphed into a different person. Had my external circumstances changed? No, but my mood increased dramatically and I gained some much-needed perspective simply by being with others who made me feel more connected---to myself, to my family and to everyone around me.
One of my mom's favorite songs was I Am a Rock by Simon and Garfunkel (lyrics: "I am a rock, I am an island") and growing up I watched how often she would isolate herself from others and try to navigate all the ups/downs of motherhood, parenting and work--alone.
I am clear this is not how we're supposed to live. And the older I get, the more I desire to show up "human" and even vulnerable in my interactions--both personal and professional. I not only believe this is our birthright and essential to overall health and well-being, it's critical to our growth and even, our evolution.
I want to be an advocate, a model and a teacher for how we can all be more interconnected---both when we're struggling and when we're on top of the world. Because this coming together and leaning on and into each other-- I believe--is what's it's all about.
INVITE: Interested in learning how to become more comfortable asking for and receiving help and re-connecting with your needs and desires? Join me Oct. 19-21 for our New Way of Being: Women's Self-Renewal Retreat at the beautiful Kripalu Center for Yoga and Wellness.
I love to hear from, connect with and meet The Journey readers at our events. I invite you to:
- Find Your Tribe: Join or learn to facilitate Personal Renewal Groups for women
- Attend a retreat/event this fall or spring
- Learn about Live Inside Out and receive weekly inspiration on our Live Inside Out Facebook Community
- Pick up my life balance title The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal from the library or buy it here or at your local bookstore
- Read past issues of my Life Balance newsletter or Career Management newsletter
- Take Action: Contact one of our career or life balance coaches for 1-on-1 support; receive an initial complimentary consultation
- Empower Others: Schedule Renee for a private workshop or retreat for your company or organization
Photo at top: A spontaneous fall 2010 post-retreat puppy dog pile-on with some of my friends who not only believe "we need each other"--they live it!