Just over five years ago, I was a full on people-pleaser. This manifested in all sorts of crazy ways. Generally, it would be around my free time. Well meaning acquaintances, co-workers, and many others would ask: "When are you free?" And I would look at my calendar and see when I was not working and give my time and energy away to whomever asked. I would show up for random baby showers, events, and birthday parties for friends-of-friends. I would agree to sub classes on my one day off; and then wonder why I felt drained and depleted.
I felt obligated to not only write someone back right away; but also to say "yes" because it was the "nice" thing to do. Every time I responded a "yes" I would get a short lived rush that made my inner little good girl proud, but inevitably would cause me to crash and burn. Through this people-pleasing behavior I was saying "yes" to them and a big fat "NO" to me.
Saying "NO" to myself in this way was leaving me drained, exhausted, triggered, and extremely disconnected. I knew it was time to really dive in to some self-reflective work so I could make decisions about my time based on my Truth.
1) I became clear on how I wanted to feel:
Through lots of inner work, learning by contrast, and studying the work of Danielle LaPorte -- especially her book, The Desire Map -- I uncovered that I want to feel:
Intentional, Lovingly-Connected, Vibrant, Inspired, Fun, and Free
2) I identified ways in which I could easily align with how I truly want to feel:
To feel intentional: I allow enough time for introspection, writing, meditation, solitude, and rest. One of the ways I do this is by craving out a chunk of time on Sunday evening to plan my week. I light a candle, listen to Tibetan singing bowls, and write intentions for the week and month in affirmative statements. Each morning, I read the intentions and allow inspiration to fuel my day. When I feel the most intentional; I feel like I am truly Aligned with the highest version of myself and am co-creating with Spirit.
To feel lovingly-connected: I carve out time to truly connect with my man, my nearest and dearest friends, and my spiritual communities.
To feel vibrant: I schedule in my yoga practice at home and in classes, my outdoor runs, and time to hit the market for the foods that make me feel the most thriving and alive.
To feel inspired: Sisterhood circles, dropping into new spiritual communities, singing at Kirtans, and attending talks that interest me; create fresh perspectives and shed new passionate light on my creativity.
To have fun: Dancing and seeing live music and spending hours-on-end with friends in mother nature are among the many things that feel fun and joyful.
To feel Free: Unplugging intentionally, or actually getting off the grid -- away from the hustle, bustle, dharma, and duties -- really allow me to let my hair down.
3) I am realistic!
I know that not every day, and not even every week, will I feel completely balanced in my beautiful cornucopia of feelings. I asked myself: What are my non-negotiables for the busiest of times? The answer is clear that the way I feel the most nourished, balanced, and energized; is to prioritize my intentional and introspective time. My work as a life-coach and yoga teacher has me constantly engaging with others and sharing my energy. Filling myself back up in this way allows me to show up in partnership with my boyfriend, with my friends, clients, and students from a truly whole and nourished place.
4) I easily divert my people-pleasing tendencies.
When I can feel my inner little good girl just want to say "yes," I pause and ponder: "How will this make me feel? How much free time do I really have this week, month? How do I want to feel?"
Nina Simone said: "You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served." When I first read this quote and when I share it with my yoga students; it's usually understood that she is talking about the importance of leaving relationships where you are being disrespected . While that sentiment is totally valid, I see now that this resonated so much because I was the one who was lacking the self-respect.
So here it is, I'm serving myself a big plate of Love. I am clear on how I want to feel, and I am using the precious currency of my free time to feel that way.
Stay tuned for part two of this topic where I will share how I set bad-ass boundaries.
Sending Love, Light, Alignment, Connection, and Bliss to you all.
Uncovering how you want to feel is one of the steps in my 12 week program, Magnetize Miracles. I support women who struggle with feeling disconnected from their truth; step into lives beyond their wildest dreams. I offer a limited number of complimentary 30-minute alignment life coaching calls. Email me for availability firstname.lastname@example.org