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Day 25- Self-care, Self-talk

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Hello Ladies! I hope you are feeling better and better as this 30 Day Challenge progresses! We’re nearing the finish line!

Today, I re-publish this post from 2014. {Where did that time go?}

But first I’d like to say that I appreciate your comments. I hope you will keep moving forward and keep chiming in. Your experiences lift and bless others, so thank you for sharing your thoughts.


Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

November 1, 2014:

A large part of self-care is self-talk…that on-going conversation you are having with yourself about how you look, what you need to do, how you feel about yourself, your mistakes and your victories.

Often times I hear women say that they don’t like the way they feel about themselves, whether it is worrying about their looks or weight, or what they need and want to accomplish. Often I hear that they don’t feel that they are making the grade.

I challenge you to pay attention to your self-talk for 24 hours.  Are you critical or are you kind?  Maybe you are kind and patient with everyone but yourself?  Or maybe your self-talk is positive and encouraging! Just take a day and listen to what your inner voice saying about how you’re doing…

If you find that there is an encouraging, forgiving voice sounding in your head, rejoice!  I’m so glad!

But if you find that there is a never-ending tide of “you should have’s” and “why didn’t you” and “you’ll never win” voice that you are suffering through, please ask yourself this:

What if the negative words you spoke to yourself, the words inside your head that no one hears, were turned into actual physical blows instead of just demeaning words?

Would you have bruises and a bloodied nose?

Is that what you deserve for being human?

Please, take the challenge to just listen in and hear what you are saying to yourself. This exercise can be the pivotal point of great personal change!

This is what I wrote years ago when I discovered negativity living in my thoughts:

The harsh, silent, voice that cut me down, stalled my plans and killed my confidence, at last

has been heard,

exposed,

forgiven and

dismissed.

All my best to you,

Day 24- Henna Happy!

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A few years ago I stumbled upon a product that I love. It’s a healthy version of something many of you like and use, so I thought I’d share it as today’s self-care idea!

First though, a little background.

Some of the health struggles I’ve had have taught me that the more chemicals we ingest or breathe or slather on our bodies, the more work our liver has to do!

Consequently, I have been on the lookout for beauty products that won’t add to the toxic load my body has to process. {If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to lotion or perfume or some food or animal or chemical, especially hair dyes, you’ll know how important this concept is!}

So here ’tis.

This is my favorite brand.

Today, you can buy {very inexpensively} a product that is made of plant materials that can color your hair without one chemical! Permanently! With many natural colors to choose from! I’ve tried several brands, and this one is easily my favorite.

Are you excited?

I think henna is amazing! It comes as a dry powder. If you don’t have really long hair, you can probably get more than one usage out of one package. For short hair, maybe even four or five or six applications! That is extremely inexpensive considering that the 3.5 oz. package is about $13 + shipping.

All you do is add water to make it about the consistency of yogurt, and apply it to your hair.

After an hour or so, you rinse if off. That’s it.

It doesn’t smell horrible. {Well, not chemically horrible, it smells like weeds, and that’s a little weird, but what you might expect.} It won’t hurt you in any way. It’s permanent. It covers gray beautifully. It doesn’t lift your natural color off, meaning it doesn’t “process” your hair. Therefore, it doesn’t make your hair dry and straw-like, but instead it actually leaves it in better condition.

That said, there are some pretty wild colors! {Don’t hold me responsible if you decide to get crazy and go from gray to burgundy!} I’m personally not up for the red or red orange that looks like it is glowing, though I think it can be stunning on others. And black henna is really, really black.

In the last year or so, the guy at Henna Hut came up with a blonde that is permanent and his light and medium browns are beautiful, though they do lean a little red the first few days. {The color settles a bit after you wash your hair a few times.}

So, what do you think? Care to give it a try next time you want a change?

{If you do, please show us a before and after picture!}

Here’s to your health and happiness!

Love,

Day 23- Looking Inside

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Hello! I’m glad you are continuing on this journey with me!

{Side note: if you’ve subscribed to the Lioness blog but aren’t receiving a daily email, please check your spam box!}

Our path to learning and implementing better self-care habits is vitally important. This is certainly a matter of becoming able to do what we know is best. {Alas, just knowing that self-care is important doesn’t mean that our knowledge automatically gets transferred to our behavior.} So today I’d like to know, do you struggle with this concept?

If you do, it’s probably time to gently ask, why?


Photo by Ive Erhard on Unsplash

Is it because it wasn’t taught by the women of your family? Does it feel like something that takes up too much time? Has it simply not been made into a healthy habit yet? Or could it be because of a history of feeling neglected? Or possibly abandoned or even abused by those who were meant to care?

Please consider your “why(s)” if you struggle to put yourself on the list of people to care for. If any of these reasons strike a chord with you, I’d like to invite you to decide today to end the neglect. It is within your power, and it is right as an adult woman, to nurture yourself. Yes, you also need the nurture of others, but the person with the responsibility is the person who has the power to change the equation–You. Today, you can ask for help if you need it. {What a proactive thing that is!} Today, you can change your mind or make a new decision. Today, you can look within and find out what that girl inside needs.

Learning this has been a life-long quest for me. I am grateful for a mother and a grandmother who have modeled self-care by being active and engaged in taking care of themselves throughout their lives. And thankfully, I have friends who might well have become the masters of self-care. They have taught me as I have watched their self-care habits.

Maybe you are a master of self-care too! If so, I applaud you! But, in the case that you could use a few more ideas, here are some of my observations of what the strong, feminine behavior of self-care looks like in some detail. I hope they will inspire you!

1 Self-caring women are appropriately clothed. By that I mean that I don’t see them struggling or suffering because of the temperature or weather. They are walking around in warm slippers if they are home. They might be wearing a sweater or sweatshirt to be comfortable on a winter day. If they go out in cold weather, they wear the appropriate protective clothing, that is they may have gloves, a coat, maybe a hat or carry an umbrella. For the most part, they are comfortably dressed to suit the occasions of their days. They might wear an apron as they cook; athletic shoes for walking; or a cool sundress on a hot summer day. They also dress themselves with respect for their own bodies, not as a way to garner inappropriate attention. It’s as if when they were preparing for the day, someone was watching out for their care, and that is probably indicative that they are “nurturing” themselves.

2 Self-care masters are usually doing some kind of exercise or supplemental routine. There’s an air of self-responsibility and self-respect about a person who is tuned-in to what their body needs and are doing something about it! Noting that muscles are tight, they might be stretching on a regular basis. Feeling sluggish? They might be cleansing with lemon juice in the morning or drinking more water or going for walks throughout the day.

3 These women don’t seem to be a burden to themselves. Yes, that is a strange sentence but it’s really important! My self-caring friends don’t seem to feel that caring for themselves is a burden, but they do seem to enjoy receiving the comfort, delicious food, rest, good book and warm cup of peppermint tea! They don’t seem to begrudge the time it takes to give themselves what they need.

4 They give from a place of fullness! When you are embraced or served or spoken to by someone who is at peace, who is cared for, who is comfortable, who is well fed, who feels at ease and who is greeting the world as their most beautiful selves, you feel those things too. You don’t feel that you are taking, but receiving! Their giving is gracious and intentional and full of love!

{Note: this is where many have erroneous thinking about self-care! One might worry that if you are taking care of yourself, you might become self-absorbed or selfish, or worse, you might worry that you might be perceived by others as selfish! The first thought is incorrect and the second is prideful. What would God want for you? To be giving and serving in joy and grace, or to be suffering for want and trying to give in order to be seen as charitable?}

5 My friends don’t seem to be strung out by giving. In other words, they aren’t overreaching to take other people’s problems onto themselves, but they offer appropriate support at the same time. In other words, they aren’t practicing co-dependency. They have a correct sense of boundaries, that keeps them standing squarely on their own feet, caring for their own families, while also being aware of the needs of others and validating, or walking beside others, as they work out their own problems; offering great love, aid and encouragement, while not assuming responsibility for things they have no power to change.

6 These ladies have practiced knowing when enough is enough. That may be knowing when to pull back from working long hours, when to say no, when to stop eating, when and how to let go of unneeded emotional baggage and most importantly, when to give heavy burdens to God, and trust in His wisdom.

While none of us are without room for growth and improvement, I pray that if you need it, you will have the opportunity to observe women in your life who are caring for themselves in happy ways. It helps so much to have a visual aid!

And may you see the wisdom in becoming a visual aid to your children, so that following your lead, their adult lives might be filled with self-compassion too.

Happy, happy day to you!

Love,

Day 22- On Leadership

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Self-care for a parent is critical! It takes so much energy and grit to lead doesn’t it?

We need to give ourselves every possible advantage in part because of the fact that being a family leader means learning how to deal with disappointment.

We all know that in families, things can get complicated, frustrating and downright difficult!

But because they can be difficult at times, does it mean we abandon our dream of a fully functioning family?

Do we allow ourselves to become discouraged when the activity we planned goes south or the cake falls or the fun ends with a quarrel or when others don’t seem interested in our vision of a goal setting conversation or in pitching in to help when all hands are needed on deck?

{Yes, yes sometimes we do, only to look back later and see the waste of time it was!}


Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

There is a mental toughness required, to keep moving forward even when things seem to be falling apart. And developing that toughness comes with practice and time!

The ability to keep your faith alive, even when others are allowing themselves to be discouraged and doubting that your family’s evolution is possible.

So, maybe the greatest way we can lead is to cultivate our faith. {And that is an act of self-care.}

Faith in God, in each other, in our ability to grow together.

The evolution of a family is often imperceptible. Sometimes, in fact most often, you don’t recognize the ways that you are becoming a strong unit until you hit a milestone of some kind and look back at where you’ve been and realize how far you’ve come!

So, don’t quit. Keep taking care of yourself. Keep building your reserves. Keep believing and lead out by pushing the restart button every time things get tough!

Building a family takes time.

And I’ll bet you are further along than you know.

Be well!

Love,

Day 21- Faith to Knock

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We have been promised that if we seek, we will find. If we knock, the way will be opened. If we ask, the answers will come.

I believe it.

Many, many times I have knocked, sought and asked. Many times I have been answered, the way has been opened and many times I have found what I needed in order to take the next few steps into the unknown.


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

I love this quote by C.S. Lewis from, The Great Divorce:

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.”

It seems that the alternative to putting forth the effort to ask, seek and knock is to become complacent, or worse, discouraged and stop trying.

I hope you will feel able this week, renewed in your strength, to keep doing your best. And most of all, continue to choose joy!

“I pray for strength when I am weak.”
“I feel Love lifting me up.”
“I forgive myself and others.”
“I love my life.”

My best to you!