How Inner Kindness and Self Awareness provided the support I didn’t know I needed

If you read my previous blog “Why understanding your emotions will help you manage them”, you’ll know I spend a lot of time considering how I feel and why.  I genuinely believe that doing this can help us live happier lives – mainly because if we’re more aware of our feelings it helps us achieve the ultimate goal (mine at least), to let them go so they don’t dominate us and everything we do.

Before coaching, I spent a lot of time “in my head” and didn’t know what to do with any of the thoughts I found there.  It’s only through coach training and my own personal coaching sessions, that I’ve realized this is an opportunity to become more self-aware (and how much that benefits me).

Coaching has given me a chance to consider my thoughts, where they stem from and how to address them, so that I’m propelled forward instead of being held back.

So recently, during a coaching session of my own (where my self-awareness is heightened even more than usual), I realized just how tough I was being on myself.  How I was constantly stressing about something and never gave myself a break.  Even if I was on my own, relaxing, my head was still berating me for something I hadn’t done or still needed to do!

The whole world is experiencing such massive challenges right now, and to support those closest to me, I’ve tried to give so much.  It’s truly exhausting.  In order to support others, I’ve neglected myself. 

I don’t mean physically, but mentally.  How often do you concern yourself with how others are feeling, but not your own inner well-being?  We want other people to comfort us and give us sympathy, understanding and compassion, but we don’t give it to ourselves…. and we know ourselves better than anyone!  We know the exact amount of everything that we need. 

If we listen carefully enough, we can help to heal ourselves.

I can now see how much I’ve been trying to achieve and how it’s taken its toll.  It’s so easy to lose my patience with the children, to blame my husband for not helping more, to reach for a bar of chocolate or feel sorry for myself because “Why do I have to do all the work around here??  When do I get a break?!”

I don’t want to stop supporting my family – that’s what Mums do right?  However, during that coaching session, I set myself the task of finding ways to give myself some “me” time – to do more exercise, meditating, reading, tea-drinking, movie watching or whatever it was I needed to do.  A chance to let go of my anxieties and be intentional with the care and kindness I was giving myself. 

I can’t stress that word enough – intentional.  To give yourself an intentional break from everything going on around you, mentally as well as physically. 

During all this enlightenment and self-awareness, I took the dog on a walk one day and listened to a truly beautiful guided meditation by Sarah Blondin called “Loving and Listening to Yourself”.  The very first words are “I love you.  I am listening”.  As I walked through the rice fields at sunrise, with Mt. Agung in the distance, I had to sit down and really appreciate those words – it was like talking to a best friend.  I felt grounded and calm, as though all my troubles were washed away because there was someone close by who would always have my back.  Whose number one priority was taking care of me and showing me all the love and support that I try to show others. 

It was then that I pledged to be kinder to myself.  To talk to myself the way I would my daughter or my inconsolable friend.  To say often “I love you.  I am listening”.  To notice when I’m screaming out for someone to support me, and answer that cry for help myself.  To be intentional with the support I was giving myself.

With so much trouble and disturbance in the world right now, if you’re feeling the pressures of everyday life, I urge you to free up 10 minutes and listen to the podcast “Loving and Listening to Yourself”.  If you then realise just how much extra support you need to go inwards and be kind to yourself…

…I am here and I am listening.