The modern woman is strong, successful, independent and focused on making an impact in the world. We have been conditioned from an early age to be perfect; just as men have been conditioned to be the strong protector and provider. As a result, if we feel sad, fearful or angry; we try to suppress these emotions in order to maintain the illusion of perfection. But does this outer façade of perfection, make us feel more alone than ever before?
Some of our earliest memories as little girls are being told not to be too loud, too messy, too boyish or too vociferous. Be a good little girl. Fall in line. Do as you are told. As we grow up, we unconsciously try to live up to an impossible standard of perfection and never actually give ourselves permission to be authentic.
We are trying to live up to the traditional “requirements” that we be good girls, then good wives, mothers and homemakers and also successful, well educated, independent women that modern society now expects us to be. We are frowned upon if we choose to remain single. We are judged and condemned if we choose not to have children or pursue our careers instead of a family. When we give the impression that we can handle it all; we don’t get the help we need. Everyone around us expects us to continue juggling family, home and work and to do it all looking flawlessly beautiful, with a big smile to boot. The modern woman is in crisis! We need to cut ourselves some slack.
What if we could simply take a breath and review our lives? How much of what we do and what we achieve, is actually through choice and how much of it is so that we can fit in with society’s expectations? How much of our time is spent being all things to all people – at work, at home and with our extended families? In comparison, how much time do we spend on self-care? How much time to we spend reflecting on who we are deep inside? The true, authentic woman.
“You cannot help anyone if you are not happy.” – Dalai Lama
Self-care does not simply mean having our hair or nails done or an occasional massage. We are not just physical beings. Stress seems to be a buzz word in today’s society. It almost seems fashionable to lead busy, stressful lives. According to cellular biologist and best-selling author, Bruce Lipton, only 1% of all disease is genetic. The other 99% is caused by stress and wrong beliefs.
Here are a few ways you can begin to take care of yourself, replenish your spirit, rejuvenate your mind and be a more authentic you:
- Take time each day to meditate. Even if it’s just 10 minutes. It reduces stress and anxiety; promotes emotional health, self-awareness, kindness and sleep. It reverses the signs of aging, reduces addictions and promotes overall wellbeing. These are just a few of the benefits of this daily practice.
- Find your tribe. These would be people that care for your wellbeing. There is mutual support, acceptance and inspiration to be the best version of yourself. This should not be a group that has pity parties or judges and gossips about other people. When you leave your tribe, you leave feeling inspired and uplifted.
- Nourish your body with good nutritious food, drink lots of water and exercise regularly. When we treat ourselves well; we set a standard about how we want others to treat us.
- Have fun. Do the things that make you laugh uncontrollably until there’s tears streaming down your face. List the things that make you happy, joyful and present and take some time to engage in these activities.
- Set clear boundaries. Most women with children feel guilty to take time for themselves and instead make themselves available 24/7 to their children. Are you really serving them by depleting yourself to the point that you have nothing left to give? Children don’t learn from what you “say”; they learn by watching what you “do”. Do you really want the next generation to believe that the only way they can be loved and accepted is if they do it all, all of the time? Would you rather not teach them that they are just as important as the people around them? I’m not advocating neglect. Taking some time for yourself, makes you a better parent, partner and makes you better at your job.
- Take time to nourish your mind. Learn something new. We live in an age where information is available at our fingertips, in an instant. We can either use it to mindlessly scroll through social media or we can use it to educate ourselves into becoming the best versions of ourselves we can be
Can we let go of the idea of perfection and instead embrace the idea of wholeness?
Kas Naidoo – Life Coach, Matchmaker & Founder of Quantum Tribe