I ” Take Care” of My Relationships, My Perspective, and Myself!

I have some  REALLY good friends. By no choices of mine, I am certain. I believe all friendships are divine intersections and  appointments in life. Some we meet and we connect, others we  leave behind after a season, but some we remain in contact from afar. But anyway, that’s not the point.

This  blog is about self care.  I really couldn’t BELIEVE when I searched through my archives I couldn’t find one on “self care”, being that I concentrate  very carefully, on this subject. It must be an indication that I must write MORE on  the subject.
Well, first I  shall define it… then I will send this wonderful email my friend send me… ( apologizes …source  unknown.) but while I was looking for it on the net.. I came across  this  GREAT ADVICE  in another little blog about  30 Things to Stop Doing To Yourself.
So here’s a really cool definition of “Self Care” I found some place in my work I do with women:
“Self-care means honoring and respecting the miraculous being that you are. Self-care means learning to listen with the ear of a dedicated mother to your physical, emotional, spiritual, and relationship needs, and then taking full responsibility for getting them met. Self-care means taking 100% responsibility for creating an environment that nurtures your physical, emotional, and spiritual selves.”
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WOW…. ok! Pretty neat, huh?
So here’s what she sent me and I love how they break it up into several paragraphs for clarity’s sake.
Taking Care of You
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables and eat less that is manufactured in processing plants. Avoid eating food that is handed to you through a window.
  • Live the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
  • Play more games.
  • Read more books than you did in 2009.
  • Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  • Sleep for 7 hours.
  • Take a 10-30 minute walk daily.
  • And while you walk, smile.
Your Outlook
  • Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  • Don’t have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  • Don’t overdo. Keep your limits.
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  • Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
  • Dream more while you are awake.
  • Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  • Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind others of their past mistakes.
  • Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  • Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  • Learn a new word every day.
  • Smile and laugh more. You don’t have to win every argument.
Your Relationships
  • Call your family often.
  • Each day give something good to others.
  • Forgive everyone for everything.
  • Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  • What other people think of you is none of your business.
  • Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick.
  • Your friends will. Stay in touch.

 

I Am Enough Because I Care.

Have you checked your “care” barometer, lately?

The care I am  talking about is:

1.) Self-Care …

2.) Personal  Development as care,  and …

3.) Care that involves you  being  a caring individual in this society.

If you haven’t  been the  most caring individual lately, it’s  likely you haven’t reached out to anyone in a thoughtful way, lately.   But that’s the norm sometimes.  It’s hard isn’t it?   We can barely care for ourselves, so how do we manage to reach out to others? I know. I am guilty.  I remember once,  I was in church, and the pastor was  saying if we want to make a difference:” Ask God to help you be a blessing to someone else.”

It was deep that entire week, I was the most compassionate human being  I had been in a long while.  I had started something.

I  am a person who cares for others.  In many ways it’s my profession, yet also in several ways, its also my  calling.   I care because someone cared for me. To be honest, I am not sure caring would come as easily as it does, or had I not gone through a few  situations to  cause me to be cared for. And have people reach out to me, in very merciful ways. I am very thankful God is in my life, because caring took on a new meaning  for me when I met a few sisters and brothers who love God, in a very   caring and  completely  selfless way.   I remember a time when I was “car-less”. My car broke down,  and since I was separated from my first husband, I didn’t have an extra car…and I  was devastated. “How was I going to get to work?!

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How was I going to go grocery shopping? And how was I going to take care of all my business?” I already felt alone form being by myself that summer and things were looking pretty bleak. I believe it was a Friday, and my car caught on fire in the parking lot where I work. The engine just blew on me. I  remember having tons of hope, though. I was encouraged. Why.. I don’t know, but I just began to count my blessings, because there were so many things going well for me, that  I couldn’t complain.   I wasn’t working that summer, and I  found out I could get employment during the summer months, and I wasn’t even expecting it.  As surprised as I was, I was completely hopeful things would work out.  I went to church that Sunday with a smile on my face, and telling every one it would work out, just by a testimony, and  I as thanking God. After church, two people came to me and said , “Hey, I have a car you can use  its our second car, we don’t use it very much, but we’d like to bless you. Another friends, said:” I am going out of town for two weeks, and you are welcome to hold the keys to mine.” I was shocked! These two persons will be forever imprinted on my life and a part of my compassion  list of people who care..  I  still love them very much to this day. And not just because they gave me something, but because I saw God in their actions, and they made  me smile and believe God even more.

I have had aunts, friends,  and  people in my life who knew me and knew how devastated, broken unloved and  hurt I have been in situations and  man, when you are down, and you have even more to struggle with,  as a result of being down, it’s just good to have someone reach out and love on you.  It feels  really, really good, to have someone come and give you a makeover to your office when you feel so disorganized – (my girlfriend in Texas); or someone to give you the keys to a car when you  have none ( my   former church member friend in  NY), or for someone to buy you a meal when you are starving and have no money. ( My friend  and sister in Christ.)

I was once even was kicked out of someone’s home, and had no place to go, and a friend stepped in and opened up their home to me!   I have been on the other end, and I tell you, as  great as it felt to receive, it feels even better to give.

Just today,  I was  out with my best friend –  and we got  pedicures –  and we just had lunch together. ( Uh… that would be my husband.  But don’t tell him I told you that!)   Haha…. And that was self care.  Was it expensive/. Sure was… but it felt so good to be pampered, and his smile, having  done this for the first time.. was priceless.

We all need a little pampering sometime. Ask your self how you  can be instrumental in this process and give yourself some  time, once a month, at least to : DO YOU. Alright?

So I admonish  you, WATCH who God has sent to cross your path. Be aware of those around you. Love on them.  Pay attention to detail in your life, and how you benefit from being in right relationship with them. Feel their sorrow with them.  Ask them if they need anything. Call them and tell them you love them, even if it does mean feeling vulnerable  for a moment. It’s ok.  And you will  see them turn toward you, or turn a little closer towards God, if that’s the hope you desire to give. I have learned so much from such giving people in my life about how to treat others when they are down.

 And ASK yourself? What’s my spirit and soul like today? Do I feel drained, out of touch with myself, has life bee a little figgy, lately/. Then COMMIT to self care.  I have created a  self care course called “The Rhythm-Conscious Life: A Self-Care Course for Steadying Your Life.” This course will  help you with this process.   Join us, by clicking here.

God can work even greater in you, when you  are open and have such a surrendered heart.

I Am Enough Because I Endure.

I am Enough Because I Endure.

Endurance hasn’t always been my best friend. Its so funny I hear my friends today say things like:” I dont know how you do it! You are involved in so many things and you do so many things!”

… And  I look at them like   I REALLY DONT KNOW WHO they are talking about.

It REALLY  took a really long while for me to get here, though.

Asking for help, that is.

I am currently in a situation with a knee injury, that causes me to  review that fateful day, back in 2004 where I was limited to only the use of one leg. I was hopping all over the airport in crutches, and here I am again. The airport!!? You may exclaim, wondering what the heck was I  doing traveling  with a sprain and  crutches! Yes,  I was very vulnerable, yet I was not going to  have a trip stop me from  taking care of myself and attending one of the most life-changing  conferences I had ever attended.

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You see, I  was headed to a leadership conference that was sure to boost my esteem and take me up a few notches in terms of who I am, but  I had to first believe I was capable of handling it for  a six day conference in another state.

I guess I should tell you how I  got the sprain: Yes, I was leaving someone’s home, and fell on the ice. As for my current situation, ( in 2015), I was sitting on the floor with a little girl in therapy, went to  stretch, and sprained it again!  So, in 2004,  I had an all -expense paid trip to a leadership conference spending time with amazing leaders and friends I tend to really enjoy  being around, and   i simply adore  spending time with people who love on me, and help me lead. That’s the most simplest way I can describe it.

So when I arrived,  at our very first meeting, in Washington, D.C. we checked in  and  had a small meeting to become reacquainted with one another, after years of absence. As the greetings were  coming around to me, and it was asked how I was, I  responded by  being absolutely honest with my group of deep and  emotionally  intelligent friends and mentors. I knew even if I tried, that I could not get by them for an entire week;  being fake for the next six days. I began to tear up and tell them How vulnerable I had felt, traveling form New York to D.C. and  how I constantly was in situations  where I  was not sure what to do and how to navigate the course I was on.

Our leader , suddenly realizing  I was in flux, and  had an entire week ahead of me; said to me: ” Jennifer, I want you to  look at each one of us in this group, in  the eye, and with great sincerity, and say: “Can you help me?”  And so , I did. I went slowly and asked. that’s all  I did. With every response of : “Yes, I will help you.”, I was empowered.

I learned how to ask for help for the first time in my life, at the age of 37. And all week, I was SO FREE.l asking for help.

Since endurance is  my word for the year and I have so struggled with myself this year, and my sense of vulnerability, I decided to write again on the word. It’s really been a while since I wrote on the topic, because I think I got lost for a few months. And that’s the truth.

The last time,  I sprained my ankle, my struggle was with asking for help. This time, it’s recognizing  my strength in coming into my own abilities. When does it stop?  The answer: Never. We are constantly growing. And life is in a constant  demand of us proving we can handle its demands.

And so here I am . Growing and sharing gems of my worth in my first online course that leads  me to  share information on  what I know about self care, because it’s so needed, and so necessary, to thrive.  It’s the difference between life and death. health or wasting away,  Hope or  Sorrow. This quote by Sue Bryce, photographer, today, gave me perspective:  
“I’ve searched my whole life …looking for what is good self esteem and what is self love, and   self care…  .saying no when you don’t want to do something, being emotionally honest ( vulnerable), with yourself and others, and being self-sustaining and comforting yourself the way your comfort a child you love, & caring for yourself. We have to learn how to put ourselves first and then we can change our entire world
.”

I am also learning the power of vulnerability.

Vulnerability can push you forward maybe ten years in maturity,if you would only acquiesce to it. Allowing yourself to feel. Allowing your self to self-reflect and be self aware. Allowing yourself to be present and  notice life around you and take an honest evaluation of what is working,  and what isn’t, and  being willing to risk change, as a result. To try something new ad different because life requires that we do. and noticing the cadence of it. Not struggling, complaining or fighting that wave, but choosing to ride it , when it comes, trusting God will make all things new.

Amen. I believe that’s all I have to say..

So… the power of being vulnerable and allowing myself to make the necessary shifts and changes that present themselves before me, whether they be requests from friends, or  opportunities for advancement, I should learn to acquiesce and makes allowances, for myself to grow, and heal. So I can pass it on, to the next generation, and to the next few that  come along and desire to grow and  look to me, for mentorship, after I have also been mentored.