Be easier on yourself and be happier

I wonder sometimes what has happened to me. Where did my ‘umph’ go? What happened to my energy that seemed to be never-ending? I’m a middle-aged woman and should still be able to get things done in a day! Somewhere along the way, I developed an autoimmune disorder, or two. 

Did I lose my ‘umph’ with those changes? Is it the hormonal changes that a woman goes through after childbearing years? Where is my stamina? 

Every day I see clients in my office, and we talk about the woes of life just like any personal care service. We try to solve the world’s problems in an hour while my client receives reflexology from me. I’ve noticed that the topic of lack of motivation seems to be coming up quite regularly lately. 

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I often hear from my older clients “Just wait, it gets worse.” I’ve heard people blame their health condition as if it were the only reason, therefore helplessly believing that lack of enthusiasm toward life is a side effect that they are chained to. I used to feel chained to my dysautonomia. I know I am not. I know my clients are not. None of us are. 

We’ve all seen amazing people like Michael J Fox, Kirk Gibson, Venus Williams, Stephen Hawking, Christopher Reeve to name only a few, inspire us with their ‘can do’ attitude. Even Dan Aykroyd and Anthony Hopkins could marvel on the silver screen with Asperger’s Syndrome. I also can guarantee it is not because we are getting older that we lose our interest in getting things done or tackling that next adventure. I have clients in their 70s and 80s that can move more mountains in one day than I have in four. Where does the wall, or will, as I like to call them, come from? It’s all in our mind, our built in ‘Can do’ or ‘Can’t’ attitude.  

The secret is to not get stuck in your head. It may seem complex, but it is quite simple. For example, in the first paragraph, I use the words “should still be.” You have said it, “I should have.” Then the internal beating, self-abuse, begins. Did you take note of how I wrapped myself in all the whys so helplessly? Before we know it, we have been in our head chastising ourselves for five minutes. What does this accomplish? Defeat. A beaten child that is set up for failure, and you are the only person who created it.  

Try this exercise. When you start to look around at all the things unaccomplished or all the things you “should be doing” stop and take a breath before the voice in your head begins confusing the path. As discussed in previous articles, all humans are designed with free will. If you are constantly telling yourself everything should have been done by now, then you have already told yourself that you shouldn’t even continue. Defeat. 

Simply ask yourself, “Do I want to do this right now?” Remain silent for a moment and wait for the yes or no. Then accept the answer. That’s right. Simply accept it. Give yourself permission to either do it or not. No arguments, no yelling at yourself. Give yourself free will to decide. Now you must keep asking the question throughout the day, not allowing argument. We all know what passive-aggressive behavior is when we look at something and then turn our head; so we don’t have to give ourselves the choice! Both behaviors are only harming your self-esteem preventing self-love.  

It works like this. “Do I want to pick that up?” If the answer is no, then accept that answer as such and move on. If the answer is yes, then get to work on it! No backtalk, no excuses, no guilt. You will get to all the projects in due time when you permit yourself. 

When you stop yelling at yourself for failing standards that are just too much at times, you will find happiness.  I don’t know about you, but I can say that when I tackle a project that I want to do it is fun and always turns out positive. When I feel forced or angry, it is either prolonged or done haphazardly. So, the pile of unopened mail that is stacked about two feet deep will remain on my counter till I am ready to tackle it. I permit myself to understand that I am not ready. I permit myself to do projects that I am ready for. No arguments. 

Lower your standards, let go of self-abuse and permit yourself to have free will. I was once told, “There are ‘want to’s’ in life and there are ‘need to’s’. We have to do the ‘need to’s’ to get to the ‘want to’s’’.  I agree with this, but I have learned that my “need to’s” have also become my “want to’s” since I have changed my attitude. Try being a little less hard on yourself and just ask if it’s time. If it is nap time, then take that nap. If it’s tackle the mail time, then tackle it. Be happy. Simplify your mind.  

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Laurie DeBruin CCH,CRR is the owner of Chrysalis Reflexology Hypnosis & Enrichment Center. Reach her at (517) 648.1980.

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