As we round out our summer vacations and think about gearing up for the fall, boundaries feels like the right topic for the month. At our recent Whole Women Link conference in July, boundaries seemed to be on many of your minds as well. After all, “How does one hold space for personal growth and healing in the face of overwhelming new school schedules, activities, holidays, and the demands of loved ones?”
It seems ironic and out of balance that when nature is starting to wind down and slow down in a methodical preparation for a winter rest, we defy the laws of nature and embrace a fast-paced society that too often speeds up for an end of the year push. Yep, I can feel my own anxiety stirring just thinking about it!
The late Dr. Stephen R. Covey said, “The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule, but schedule your priorities.” I feel very blessed to have the privilege to sit in a sacred space with women as they examine their lives and seek to create new behaviors to change their current direction. I can honestly say I have never found even one of these now hundreds of women to be lazy, careless, or lacking in their ability to exert the changes they want in their lives. Yet, so often these same women feel paralyzing shame as they catalogue how they are not achieving their goals which keeps them stuck.
Although we need to schedule time for the things that we value, we need to go even deeper to look at the beliefs and emotions that are holding us hostage to old behaviors and that do not serve us or the loved ones we nourish. Throughout this month we will look at ways all of us can cut ties with shame based beliefs that are inhibiting our freedom to establish healthy boundaries, and in turn, hold space for the things we value most. I agree with Covey that we need to schedule time for our priorities, but what I have discovered in my work is that the most effective time of my day is actually scheduled time to be still and reflective.
Mindfulness is the ability to step back and reflect on one’s emotions, experiences, and interactions. Through this process one increases the power to direct one’s life. It is all about being still and learning from ourselves.
- How can I know my priorities for this upcoming fall season unless I allow myself some time to reflect on what I value most?
- How can I schedule time for my priorities if I don’t give myself permission to hold space for my own selfcare and believe that in so doing I will be a better person in all areas of my life?
Ladies, we are all in this together. Personally, I often slide back into less than powerful thinking patterns, but never is this more likely to occur then when I neglect my daily mindful practice of stillness. I know that each of us has the ability to create the life that we want no matter our current circumstances. It will start with small and simple changes, such as creating a little space each day to be still and reflect. Of course, I hear all you action-oriented ladies (and I truly love you) saying, “Yes, but what will that change?”
Keep reading this month and I promise to show you how mindfulness can be a powerhouse for change. You can find the personal power to hold space for what you most value by creating boundaries that are right for you. I am excited to be part of this conversation.
Your challenge this week, if you choose to accept it? (yes, I love Mission Impossible)
- Take 2 min each day to sit in a peaceful undisturbed place and breathe
- Reflect on what truly gives you joy and life meaning
- Visualize your fall schedule with no limitations and where joyful and meaningful things are included (your imagination has only the limitations you place on it, so feel your creative power as a tool)
-Sommer A. Seitz, MA, LMHC