i am mine.
before i am ever anyone else’s.
This is the quote my sister Hakikah Shamsiden started her guest post off with when she sent it to me. But I had to separate it. I had to take it in. I had to take it personally.
Hakikah and I met when we were both students at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She is a person whose knowledge I value and trust. It’s timely. It’s necessary. And it’s right where I need to be on this path. I hope it helps you too. I’m headed to my yes. Read on.
Are You B.U.S.Y? Getting A Good No and A Better Yes
“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”
Recently a friend RSVP’d to an event I hosted. She was a no show. I was reluctant to ask her what happened because, 1. my feelings were hurt, and 2. I didn’t want to come off as the needy friend. Later she engaged me without mentioning her absence. I owed it to myself and our friendship to say something. Giving me a list of her to-dos, I asked why did she confirm with such a schedule. I realized she had fallen victim to the ‘just’ syndrome, where we say, “I JUST have to go to the cleaners, gym, cross town, etc., thinking we can do it all.
I’m not the B.U.S.Y. [Because You Said Yes] police. Coaching women around their self care practices, I notice how rampant ‘B.U.S.Y.-fication’ is. Personally I’ve been in recovery for seven years, after literally being wheeled out of my job on a stretcher, suffering a mild stroke due to stress. I KNOW first hand how we ‘busi-fy’ ourselves!
It’s easy to get caught up in mindless busy work. I hear folk voice that they don’t have time for themselves because they are busy with errands, caring for others, etc. It’s almost some sort of wacky badge of honor. No time for your self? What’s that about?
I’ve finally learned the art of saying NO to what I don’t want and YES to what I do. When you get clarity around your yes, it becomes easier to say no.
Below are 3 ways to get to your YES.
1. YES to Taking Back my Mornings:
Releasing the habit of checking social media when I wake up. A quick check of my social media feeds can eat up an hour, easily. Start rededicating early morning hours to those things that are joyful and inspirational. Listening to music, writing, or simply sitting quietly can center you and reminds us to BE, not what we should DO.
2. YES to BATHING:
Once we stopped bathing and started ‘jumping in the shower’, we took BUSY-iness to another level. During a coaching session, a client promised she’d take a bath after our call. After a while I realized she was speaking from her car. When I asked her what happened to the bath, she said, oh I took that while we were talking!!! File that under: defeating the purpose; see also, what not to do. We tell ourselves we don’t have time to treat ourselves. See #4.
3. YES to Remembering Sabbath Rest
Find one day a week that is just for rest. For me that means a day doing only what I want to do. Your weekends are usually filled with errands and other people’s business. By Monday, you’re exhausted and miserable. You recharge your phone. Recharge your self. Make it non-negotiable. My Sabbath rest ritual always consists of opening and close my day with prayer, meditation and gratitude. Then I’m open to whatever calls to me. Getting out of my pajamas is NOT a requirement! I make it a habit to “rest for success.”
BONUS: If you’re caring for people who aren’t caring for you, review the ways you’re not caring for yourself.
Don’t get me wrong; I do falter. I know how hard it is to practice self care beyond the bubble bath. Just last week I allowed my time to be disrespected. I was so busy making ‘them’ feel comfortable, that I neglected and self-sabotaged myself. When this happens, inwardly I ask, why don’t they know how I feel? Why don’t they do the right thing? Reality is, I have to always do right by myself, that frees me up to give freely without guilt or resentment.
Need to declutter your brain before you can rest? Check out this article on mind mapping.
So, are you ready to get a good no and a better yes?
You can find resources and inspiration on rest and self care by following Hakikah on Instagram and Pinterest @hakikah1959 or on her website www.hakikah1959.com.