At the age of 47 and 3/4 I am taking time to focus on myself. Right now, it’s all about me and that feels kind of good. I am learning that happiness takes work and I have decided to take time to work on me. This past Summer was supposed to be one to savour but instead, it was one that left me feeling decidedly flat. My children are at a wonderful age where they don’t need me to direct every second of their day. They make their own choices and I chose to loosen the apron strings a bit to give them more independence and freedom. Thankfully they thrived with this newfound responsibility! And their relationship as siblings was boosted as well. They worked together to have fun and Ella took on the challenge of directing some of what they did as well in preparation for babysitting in the not-too-distant future. This helped to give me time to be more introspective and evaluate where I was, where I had been and where I was going.
Thanks to coaching from Gabrielle Treanor and support from Sophie Le Brozec and her Life Reboot Camp, I have finally fully appreciated that I need to do the work to know myself and love myself. As airy-fairy as it may sound, it’s true…happiness has to come from inside, not from external sources. I have taken time this Summer to get to know myself better, to recognise when I am over-thinking or ruminating and what triggers this as well as learning to make choices that are best for me. I have worked on setting goals and action steps to achieve those goals and have learned so much about myself in the process. I have also embraced journalling which has been both a creative outlet for me but also has given me a chance to evaluate my responses to situations and how I feel on a daily basis.
What have I done to help myself? I’ve looked at my past, forgiven some mistakes and people, forgiven myself and started to be far more patient and kind to myself. I have turned down the volume on my inner critic and am putting myself on equal pegging with the rest of my family as to things I want to do and pursue. Through the coaching and self-discovery I have also elevated my physical health to a higher priority. Today I had a consultation with a Pilates teacher who is also a Physio who specialises in post-natal abdominal issues. Although I am quite far away from being post-natal (Ella is 10 and Sam is 6!) I have a lot of physical repair of my midsection to accomplish. I was so encouraged by the Pilates teacher and am really looking forward to taking classes that will help me to help myself. It’s all a part of taking control of myself.
I have started using positive affirmations when I notice that I am over-thinking. My thoughts tend to swirl at about 200mph most of the time but when I find myself in a negative spiral or that inner critic starts speaking too loudly, I stop, breathe and repeat the affirmations above. Affirmations are positive statements that help to anchor and guide you forward. I have used positive affirmations with the children I have taught and now see the value of using them personally. I make a conscious effort to put the brakes on and remind myself of what is important and what accomplishments I have made. This serves as a bit of a happy flush for me as opposed to the hot flushes that I am starting to experience. Isn’t it funny how something as simple as a sentence can help you to feel better? Is it time to start making thing all about YOU?