Why You Aren’t Getting What You Need

Peaceful Office

Last week in my email I wrote about how to put yourself on the list of people that you care for.  For a lot of women this does not come very easily. They haven’t spent much time thinking about how to take care of themselves and they aren’t very good at it yet. Here are a few reasons you might not be getting what you need and a couple of suggestions to start turning things around so that you can get what you need.

  1. Do you even know what you need? I’ve asked a lot of women what they need and more often than not I am met with a blank stare. They know what their kids need, their boss needs and their husband needs, but often they haven’t stopped to consider what they need. 
  2. You think someone else is in charge of knowing what you need and helping you get it. It’s so funny that we don’t even know what we need, but we think that someone, usually a spouse or perhaps a friend, will notice that we are at our wits end and suggest what we need to replenish ourselves.
  3. If you did know what you needed, you often can’t figure out how to get it for yourself. It takes too much, time, energy or money.
  4. You don’t believe there is any way you can get what you need. You tell yourself that it is impossible for you to do what it takes to get what you need – and you give up. 

A few weeks ago I was feeling at the end of my rope.  Between Covid, schooling at home for my grandson, construction on my basement and all of us working from home,  I was feeling a little overwhelmed. I needed a break. Here I am a few weeks later, visiting my sister and getting the best break in the world. 

This is what I did. I recognized that I needed a break. I didn’t wait until the other people around me realized that I needed one. I recognized the signs – there isn’t a better person to realize what I need than me.  If I am being honest with myself, I am going to see it sooner than those around me. Then I started exploring possibilities – I did run into the time, energy and money arguments and at first I didn’t believe a break was even possible. The magic and the break came when I started to believe that there was some way for me to get a break.  I was willing to explore options that I have never tried, and when someone offered to assist, I accepted their help. It wasn’t easy or straight forward or convenient for my family, but eventually I got in my car, drove from Seattle to Salt Lake City and I am visiting my sisters. We are having  a wonderful time. I am spending some peaceful time working in a beautiful empty office at my sister’s business while their employees are working from home. Things are wonderful I and am going to be home next week fully refreshed!

You CAN get what you need however you must be responsible for knowing what you need. You must also be willing to get a little creative about your approach to getting your needs met. I am a life coach who specializes in helping women figure out what they need and how to get it. If you aren’t sure there is anyway for you to get what you need, I can help you see the possibilities and assist you in figuring out ways to take care of yourself.  We can get started with a mini program with maxi results, you will learn what you want in our first coaching session, then you will spend a few days asking yourself some questions. Finally in our next coaching session you will start to believe that what you want is possible for you. I know you will feel more confident and optimistic than you did before as you begin giving yourself exactly what you need.  It will feel like magic!

5 Ways I Learned To Take The Target Ball OFF My Shoulders

1,200 pound Target Ball

For many years while my kids were at home, and even after they were gone, I would shoulder anybody’s tasks that they couldn’t get to. Need to run an errand? Let me, my time is flexible. Didn’t get around to finishing that assignment? Not a problem, I can finish it for you. I even took on emotional problems. Somebody is making you feel sad? Here let me make you feel better. I tried to “be there” for everyone. No problem was too big or too small – my shoulders were broad and I could handle them all.

Until I couldn’t… One day I realized that I felt like I had a red, concrete Target ball balanced on my shoulders. That’s about 1,200 pounds. I felt like it was crushing me. I felt resentful, and I had gone past the point of genuinely caring about anything or anybody. I went on a woman’s retreat where I learned about caring for myself. A few days later, in my imagination, I took the entire Target ball off my shoulders and put it on the ground, and slowly backed away from it. I decided that if I felt resentful for helping, then I needed to step back a bit.

We know that women have a list of priorities for their lives, but what I learned at the retreat was that we also need to be on the list, near the top. If we are not meeting our own basic needs, we can’t help others. It was like a revelation to me that I should come anywhere on the list at all!

I honestly thought that if I served enough that someone would notice how much I was sacrificing and take care of me. As a result of my “others first” priorities I was suffering. I was overweight, had autoimmune illnesses, and I was exhausted and short-tempered a lot of the time.

While I was studying the scriptures one day I was reading about Christ teaching what the most important commandment was. He said “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” He then went on to say “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37–39).

After reading those verses over a few times I had a great epiphany, an Ah-Ha moment! Could it be that Christ was telling us that we need to love ourselves? That we should be on the list with our neighbors? I think he was and I’ve come to realize that we can’t do a good job of loving others without first loving and caring for ourselves. 

Often, we try and take care of others when we are hungry, need to use the bathroom, exhausted or in pain. We put our needs off, thinking that they don’t matter, or that someone else will meet our needs. If you think about it, would we ask a friend to ignore what she needs until she breaks? No, because it would not be a loving thing to do. Then why do we ask this of ourselves?

I learned that it was my job and my responsibility to start taking care of myself. It’s my job because I am the best person for the job and I am the only one who can determine what I need and provide it.

Here are 5 ways that I learned to remove those “Target Balls” from my shoulders:

  1. We belong on the list – when we make a list of our roles and our priorities, we belong near the top.        For me, I made a list of all my roles and my priorities and then ranked them from 1-5. I learned that I couldn’t manage more than 5 or 6 priorities in my life. I next made a series of concentric circles and put myself and my husband in the middle. We are my number one priority. My immediate family comes next. Everything else goes on one of the outer rings of the circle.  The miraculous this is – I have found that I have all the time I need to for everyone in all my circles. Without working myself to exhaustion.
  2. Each of us have physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs. We need to be the ones to take care of each of those aspects of our lives. We must recognize our needs and “make time”, not “find time”, for things such as exercise, meditation, prayer, journaling, and enjoying the scriptures.
  3. A simple to memorize, 1 minute breathe in, breath out, deep, slow, calm, easy, smile, release meditation can do wonders for our mind and spirit.
  4. Don’t always volunteer to rescue others so quickly.  Let them take care of their problems and don’t always rush in and try to save them. This is a lesson taught by Byron Katie.  There are three kinds of business:  mine, yours, and God’s.  We each need to learn to stay in our lanes.  We each need to take care of ourselves and let God take care of everything else.
  5. Choose service mindfully. There are more opportunities to serve than anyone has time for. Each of us can slow down and decide what is important to us and what we have time, energy and resources for, then we can enjoy every minute of this service. 

Realizing I had a huge “Target Ball’ on my shoulders and taking it off was one of the best things I’ve ever done. With all the time and energy that I’ve received back from not being in everyone else’s lane, I have time for every important thing that I want to do. And my favorite part is that instead of feeling resentful, I am serving in a more loving way.

You are welcome to signup for my email list and get the free resources that I offer to the list. Today it’s a useful tool to help identify all your roles and priorities in our lives, then order those priorities from an inner to an outer circle. The resulting visual can help you see where you need to put your time, mental and physical energy. 

If any of this resonates with you and you’re not sure how to start, please contact me.  I would love to get on a call with you and discuss how I may be of assistance. 

A Tale of Two Squirrels

A Tale of 2 Squirrels

Last Sunday morning I was sitting in my backyard with a notebook, writing and thinking. I heard a commotion and looked over to see two squirrels chasing each other across the fence and then up into the big cedar in my backyard. After a few minutes one squirrel came out from the cedar and jumped to a branch, quickly climbed up the branch and jumped to another tree.  He kept doing this until he was finally far away and out of sight.  

A few minutes later, another squirrel poked her head out of the cedar, she went slowly out from the cedar branches, and then darted back in. A few minutes later she did the same thing. Then she finally went out on the branch and jumped to the next tree, climbed up, paused and then ran right back to the safety of the cedar.  I didn’t see her again. 

I enjoyed watching the squirrels play and I told myself a story about the first squirrel being brave and adventurous, and the second squirrel being tentative and fearful.  

A couple of days later I told my story to my family with all the things that I imagined that the squirrels said and thought.  We all laughed at my characterization of the brave boy squirrel and the timid girl squirrel.  Then we each came up with a story based on the facts of two squirrels running across the fence, into the cedar tree.  One squirrel continued to climb and the other one kept to the safety of the cedar tree.  We told great stories, with great morals, like be careful who you follow, and have courage to do your own thing. I also told a story about the difference between girls and boys. Girls are timid, boys are adventurous. It was fun and we all laughed together. 

That’s when I realized that there were very few facts in this story and everything else was just a made-up story.  In my coaching practice this is a skill that I teach all of my clients. We all have stories that we tell ourselves, and the stories are usually made up of a few facts – and then what we think about those facts.  From my story you can see that I imagined some things were playful and funny, but on the other hand, some details were absolutely not true or accurate. Like the story about girls being timid and boys being adventurous. This is a cultural norm that I grew up with, and it isn’t true, but if I believed it, I would run my interactions with boys and girls or men and women through that filter. 

We all have thoughts about the events that we experience, and some of them are not true and can actually hurt us.  I’ve always been a storyteller and now that I am a life coach, I can help you tell your story too. I can help you recognize, discover and get rid of stories that don’t help you become the woman that God has in mind for you to become.  I can help you recognize the turning points in your life and re-frame them to help you see how your life has molded you into the person you are today. 

If you would like to do a little personal coaching with me, I can help you discover some of the stories you hold onto that do not benefit your life.  At the same time you can actually decide what your life story will be going forward. 
Click on the link below and get more information about my $149 program:

Finding Faith, Family and Yourself in the Empty Nest Season of Life

I would love to work with you and demonstrate how life coaching can help you live your life with more joy and purpose.