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Self Care is Not an Option; It’s a Requirement

By | Personal Growth, Self Care | No Comments

We are all given free will, especially when it comes to caring for ourselves, but what about how our free will impacts those who love us.

Recently I was asked to pray confidentially for a friend’s loved one whose body is shutting down, (please join us in prayer). I can see the turmoil in this individual’s life watching this essential family figure decline. It is no secret there was a history of alcohol abuse in this person’s life, but the drinking ended years ago. I think of another friend’s father who was very important to me when I was young, he didn’t like doctors, and when they diagnosed him with cancer, he refused treatment and never met his grandchildren.

Caring for yourself is not limited to your physical self. As you will see in my latest Soul Work Journal, I pinpointed four key areas to pay attention to through my SEEP method which I used when I first began my journey in Self Care.

Spiritual | Environmental | Emotional | Physical

Spiritual

How are you Spiritually?

A few of the prompts in the journal are pretty basic, but often people don’t want to care deeply enough for their soul to take time to consider how they feel:

  • Do I believe in God?
  • Do I believe I am a value to God?
  • Am I scared to grow spiritually?
  • What is my next step forward?
  • What is keeping me from spiritual wholeness?

Environmental

How are the Environments where you spend your life?

Sadly many people live in toxicity, avoidance, filth, excess, or in a pile of to-do’s which drain their energy and joy.

Some thoughts from my Soul Work Journal:

  • What can I do to flourish in my environment?
  • What am I going to do to keep my home comfortable?
  • Am I walking on eggshells with anyone in my life?
  • Is anyone walking on eggshells around me?
  • What do I hope no one else sees?

Emotional

We all ebb and flow with our emotions and some people more than others.

Ask yourself:

  • What unresolved issues need attention?
  • What makes me feel terrific? Examples: exercise, community, church, etc
  • What resources are available to me to nourish my soul? Examples: 12 step programs, counseling, volunteering, exercise, etc.
  • Am I willing to take the next step and reach out?
  • Name a friend or a relative in whom I can confide.

Physical

Our Physical bodies require care. They are the house for our soul, and we need to step up and go to uncomfortable appointments, and whatever is needed to stay in tip-top shape. If we can’t do it for ourselves, we should do it for those who love us or just as a thank you to God for life.

  • What does my body need?
  • How am I tending to my physical needs?
  • Are there classes are groups near me that I am willing to attend?
  • Who would enjoy coming along with me on my physical journey for inspiration and accountability?
  • What am I going to do to make my soul and body connected?

I learned to care for myself after I suffered the effects of fighting stage 3 rectal cancer. You can read about my journey and share it with others in my book Soul Work for Cancer.

As a result of learning to care for myself, I have developed a Soul Work Jornal for others to begin their own journey to strengthen the core of their soul. Please reach out to me for your journal. charlotte@charlottessoul.com

I am a Life Coach, I have a Life Coach and I would love to be your Life Coach. We all need a space to get our thoughts out of our head and someone to hear what we want for ourselves and hold us accountable to the next right steps when we figure them out.  You can book your appointment on my website charlottessoul.com or reach out so we can set up a time to connect.

 

 

 

What to Do With Fear

By | Charlotte's Blog, Personal Growth, What I'm Reading | No Comments

What to do with Fear

We all have a degree of fear. To some, it’s an annoyance that requires a slight lifestyle adjustment now and then. However many people feel absolutely paralyzed by certain fears. There are some people who cannot leave their home. Fear ranges from “I can’t drive across the bridge,” “I need to go to the ER again, I think I’m dying this time,” to “Yikes there’s a spider!”

Maybe we fear failure, rejection or death. Perhaps our fears are to disease, germs, or blood. Everybody experiences fear at one point in their life.

Research shows that we need to face our fears!

I vividly remember as a young girl having nightmares of snakes being all around me. Over the years I have struggled with camping, hiking and even walking in my yard with bare feet. You may not enjoy those things, but I do, and I have found myself doing them less and less because I have allowed my fear of snakes to grow and manifest itself adding restrictions to my life.

Dr. Jordan B Peterson, professor, a clinical psychologist and author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos states you do not deal with fear by making your environment safer. Protecting yourself from an irrational fear, only gives it room to grow, while you become more vulnerable.

A simple fear of meeting new people can lead to a life of captivity inside a home, or it can be addressed by breaking the fear into digestible tasks ultimately offering freedoms and opportunities for great relationships. Peterson shares examples of how breaking fears into bits and addressing the smaller pieces keeps the terrifying act of facing fear, from being overwhelming. For example, to one who is scared to meet new people, perhaps one can start by practicing shaking hands. Once that is mastered, and confidence has begun to grow the person can begin to add another goal and tackle the fear piece by piece.

“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR’s First Inaugural Address

Practically speaking I have decided I am going to intentionally come into contact with snakes. Maybe it will be at the aquarium, but eventually, it might include camping, sometime other than the dead of winter, when I know those little slimy things are all tucked in tight somewhere and won’t cross my path.

It has been proven that avoidance fuels fear. It decreases our feelings of confidence. According to Psychology Today, “Exposure to the fear is most the potent medicine known to psychology.”

Although exposure is not natural. You cannot manipulate your world from your fear by protecting yourself. What I have discovered is it is critical for all of us to accept that our comfort zone is not really a safe place, if we cannot stand up to those things we fear outside of that space.

I have been reading It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle by Mark Wolynn. This book is giving me pause for thought as to why some of us have irrational fears that we really do not understand the origin of.  Wolynn highlights the latest scientific research, supporting what many have long believed: that traumatic experience can be passed down through generations. This is a fascinating read in understanding how knowledge is stored and transferred in our DNA.

Soul Work for Cancer: Living A Life Interrupted By CancerI do not have a lot of fear in my life. In fact, when asked about the fear of my cancer diagnosis can honestly say there was not any. If you have read my book Soul Work for Cancer: Living a Life Interrupted by Cancer, you are able to tell that as you join me on my journey of diagnosis and ultimate healing of stage 3 rectal cancer. I used to live a life of bondage to fears. I would hear news stories and be convinced whatever happened to someone else could and probably would happen to me. Instead, however, God replaced my panic with His presence and the peace which passes all understanding. The peace has come from some 21-years of dedicating my life to Christ and having Him prove to me over and over that when He says fear not, it a waste of my life to disregard His powerful commands.

 

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

God has reasons for telling us not to fear. Fear can be very debilitating and can affect, among many things: our health, sleep, and ability to concentrate which can wreak havoc in all areas of our life.

Sensations of fear show up intense or weak muscles, no appetite, a racing heart, sweats, loose bowels, dizziness, physical paralysis, and a dry mouth. It can cause us to turn to substance abuse, harming ourselves physically and of course depression.

There are lots of tools for overcoming fear, here are a few.

  • be aware of your fears and be specific as to what it is you are afraid of
  • get curious about what thoughts generate your fear
  • try Therapy
  • work with a Coach (I’m a great choice)
  • Prayer/Bible Reading: my go to when I face fear is Psalm 91

And when I am scared of someone who has gotten away with hurting me:

Romans 12

I found some great ideas at  Wakeupcloud.com

Join me as we face something scary every day and watch our confidence rise and our fears diminish.

I am a life coach if you are looking for accountability or someone to come alongside you in an area of growth please reach out to me, charlotte@charlottessoul.com. Feel free to ask me how I am doing with my fear of snakes. I always love to hear from you, please let me know how this touched you.