Why Women Get Weepy

crying_ladyThis is written for all the bewildered men out there who have had a weepy, sobbing woman on their hands.

WTF, right?

One minute she was fun, lively, and capable of solving all sorts of problems. But the next thing you knew she was sad and limp … a real wet dishrag. And for no apparent reason!

Is it her hormones? The phases of the moon? Or is it just one of those eternal mysteries, like the missing sock, that has no easy answer.

Speaking as a woman who finds her way to weepiness often, I believe it can be attributed to the following.

  1. We get tired of holding the world on our shoulders. Yes, we do feel we must hoist it alone … even with a perfectly competent mate by our side.
  1. We care too much. About our children, your children, our aging parents, plus friends, colleagues, the homeless guy down the street and the neighbor’s sister’s cat. No one escapes our empathic radar. We just can’t help it.
  1. We are all heart – and then some. We tend to feel our way through life. So when we come a bit unraveled … well, we fall apart. It’s that simple.
  1. There isn’t enough time for life + all these feelings. So we slide into emotional overwhelm sometimes. We just can’t help it. That’s when we long to be soothed with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s served in a dark room.
  1. Someone still has to do the laundry. Whether it is us, a helpful child, our spouse or the nice lady we hired to do it, we still have to think about it. Along with several thousand other things.

So this emotional landscape – just like our purses – represents a crowded no-man’s land packed with accumulated stuff. There is just so much. How we long for someone … anyone! … to take it all away.

And that’s about when we dissolve into tears.

I can still remember my mother, crying into her perfectly prepared plate of dinner when I was a child. It was mystifying then, but now I understand.

It’s not that there aren’t enough hours in a day. There are – and we know it. It’s that we can’t live up to our own unreasonable expectations. We can’t be that perfect mother, wife, sister, neighbor, community member or career woman we long to be.

We know we are love, and so we fear we have disappointed, again and again and again. And yet at the same time, it’s infuriating, this vast blanket of caring. We shake our fist at God: Must we live this way?

Well, yeah. That’s part of the deal, unfortunately.

So the solution is to fall apart, gently and willingly, and allow all that emotion to just come tumbling on through. It will pass. And when it does, we may have this surprising thought: We’re actually doing just fine. And if we need to have a little cry, so be it.

A final word to our spouses, friends and supporters — what is wanted at times like this is warm appreciation, like a soft blanket of comfort. An arm around the shoulders; a consoling word.

Then, together, we can return to the heart of love. For really that is all we are made of. And so you may think of this as a necessary pit stop for refueling.

 No shame. No guilt. Just love.

 

Exquisite Self Care on a Tight Budget

woman-meditating-outdoors-400x400-400x400I used to think of self-care as a special treat — something I only bought myself occasionally. Back then it took the form of a massage or a much anticipated spa day.

I couldn’t afford it, I always told myself. Anyway, I had children to take care of, mouths to feed and a business to run. Self-care seemed like a low priority and a big, fat indulgence.

Then my life fell apart. I lost my business, my marriage ended, I moved to the other side of the country and my daughter suddenly died, all in short order.

That is when I discovered that true self-care doesn’t require untold sums of money. What it requires is willingness.

During the grief that followed, I had no choice but to focus on myself and my relentless work schedule evaporated around me. I could barely put one foot in front of the other, much less run a demanding business.

So I closed it, I retreated for the better part of a year and I focused on self-care. It was exactly what I needed.

Amazingly I did this without extensive planning, passive income or a huge savings account. Instead, I shored up my resources, slashed my expenses and made God my employer.

Turns out God already was … I just didn’t know it yet.

Along the way remarkable things happened that insured I always had enough money, as long as I kept the faith that this was the right path. A call came in from out of the blue — a former client asked me to write a piece of commissioned writing to promote her business.

Then a new friend I made at a grief support group hired me to do some modest coaching with her. A friend of hers wanted some coaching as well.

Then a relative died and I received a modest inheritance – enough to take me for a while. Which was great because I still wasn’t ready to go back to work.

When I relaxed and allowed myself to trust this healing path, all was well. My needs were amply met. I simplified my lifestyle and learned to love the consciousness that went into each spending decision.

I used some of the inheritance I received to buy my car, letting go of car payments. Then I used that money to pay for dental work I needed. After my daughter’s death I moved to the country where rents are cheap and life is peaceful. I put my things in storage and rented a comfortable, pretty room in someone’s house.

When I decided my healing required two months in Paris, I called a friend who lived there. Within a few days he’d found me a place to live with a friend. The cost was $30 per night, just a little more than the rent I was currently paying.

I lived in Paris like a frugal Parisian, walking everywhere and cooking great meals with wonderful, fresh ingredients. I lived in a low rent area at the outskirts, practiced my French, and discovered an intimate, remarkable view of the city.

When I returned a dear pal invited me to live in her house for free, in exchange for some nicely cooked meals and a little dog sitting. I’m still living there.

Along the way, I forgot to trust the path sometimes. I got worried and tried to sell an old online training of mine that had done well in the past. But God, my employer, wasn’t having it. The re-launch was rife with technical problems and nearly every purchaser demanded a refund.

I bowed my head in surrender and let go, lesson learned. I dismantled my business a little further and waited to be shown the way. It came.

A month later I was hired to write a series of novels by a wealthy benefactor. He’d always wanted to write these stories, he said, but he didn’t have the time.

This was a type of writing I hadn’t done since publishing a novel in 1990. I hesitated. Could I really still do it?

But self-care is all about learning to listen deeply and then trusting the answer that comes, no matter what.

So I took the offer. The project has been completely fun and surprisingly fulfilling.

But self-care is all about learning to listen deeply and then trusting the answer that comes, no matter what. I bring home  a small fraction of my former salary now, yet I feel far more satisfied with my life. I go to yoga three times a week, I stop and smell the roses all over this sweet little town I live in, and I take long walks in a park up the road.

My clothing and my car may be a little old but quite blissfully, I don’t care one bit. That striving, strategic plotter and planner who thought she could only have her needs met by overworking is gone.

She has been replaced by the simpler, truer Me … one who walks through this life a little more kindly.

This is the true benefit of creating a life of self-care — I have renewed compassion for the suffering I see all around me. So I make a habit of giving away small sums of money to the homeless people I meet along the way.

They smile and they are so grateful, and once again I am renewed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Make a Tough Decision

When in Doubt breathe.FBSometimes all you really have to do is just stop and take three deep breaths. This has been proven to slow your system down — so you can literally catch your breath, calm down and make a grounded decision. Three deep breaths. That’s all it takes to choose with clarity.

Why We Are Here

pen in sun's hand.FBWe are here for one simple reason — To direct our natural, overflowing abundance of love just where it is needed.

Ask yourself what you could give today that would be just enough … For the rest of the world, and for yourself?

Thank you, dear friend.
We await your gifts with gratitude.

10 Ways to Stop Being ‘Insanely Busy’

Hands with teacupIf you’re like many of us, you work 50-60 hours in an office. Or you take work home, work on weekends — and try to juggle the rest of life as well. It gets overwhelming, doesn’t it?

That plus the ever present demands of children, aging parents, community sends us over the edge. No wonder we get mired in self talk about the impossibility of work-life balance. But here’s the thing …

 Would you unplug if you could?

Often we get lulled into thinking we have no choice. We believe we have to overwork in order to succeed, in order to be viable. We believe we have to suffer to be whole.

For one week why not try some of these unplugging ideas as an experiment in self care? You’ll find out exactly how willing you are to stop being so busy. And you may just find your way back to greater peace.

  1. Begin to breathe. Take five minutes at the start of each day – before you even reach for your phone. Sit up, get comfortable, and simply breathe with your eyes closed. Follow your breath in and out. Just observe it. Let your mind go crazy but keep coming back to your breath. Do this every day for one week, and then notice. Are you starting to feel calmer?
  2. Forgive those who anger you. Easier said than done, perhaps. Take at least thirty minutes of quiet time on a lunch hour to write out all of your resentments towards a particular person. Write it all down. Eventually you will get to the end. And there you will naturally find forgiveness – which feels so much better.
  3. Acknowledge yourself. When is the last time you tuned into your inner conversation about yourself? It’s there – trust me. Consider adding some kind words each day when you’re taking a shower or brushing your teeth.
  4. Take back lunch. If you work through lunch, stop immediately. You need this break. Really! Allow yourself to shut your door and relax. Bring your lunch to work and find something fun to do with this precious hour. Read a juicy novel. Knit. Take a walk. Bring an instrument and consider starting an office jam session. This step, alone, could start a small revolution.
  5. Turn off the ringer and all notifications on your phone. Let your phone fade into the background. Check it sporadically … you can do it! You’ll find you become more present, more relaxed. And far more inspired. If your boss demands you keep it on, simply smile and keep setting that firm, polite boundary. This is restorative time that allows you to work more efficiently in the afternoon.
  6. Turn off your phone at lunch. Just try this for one week, even if it feels incredibly uncomfortable. You will  find that what once seemed incredibly important isn’t so crucial now. And so balance returns.
  7. Start to walk places – or ride a bike. This is a good one especially if you can’t make time to exercise. If your daily commute is filled with traffic, get around it hopping on a bike. If that’s not practical, outfit your bike with a basket or panniers and do your errands this way. Or carry a small backpack and walk. The natural endorphins you’ll experience may make this irresistible.
  8. Take a nap. Insane right? Au contraire. According to The National Sleep Foundation, a 20-30 minute nap will leave you far more alert and better able to perform, without grogginess. Try to find a place at work to curl up — read Take a Nap; Change Your Life for inspiration.
  9. Find a buddy. Making changes in old habits and mindsets requires support. Find at least one good pal you can call as you travel new roads. Check in each day by phone or email on how this slowing, calming process is working for you.
  10. Ask yourself what you need … then provide it. So often we put ourselves last in the rush to please others and get ahead. But our needs never stop. Get in the habit of asking yourself several times per day what you need. Take the first answer you get, even if you don’t like it. It’s okay … you really can trust yourself to know the truth.

Remember, you were designed to be whole and complete — without overwork or stress of any kind. And you can get back to that sweet place by simply allowing yourself to unfold a little.

Please feel free to share your own ideas here about how you avoid being ‘insanely busy’. Thanks!