Self-care

Just Be Yourself! How Difficult Can That Be?

Don’t be afraid of being yourself. We hear it all the time. But HOW?????

We, as children, were always taught to behave ourselves.

To comply with the requirements of adults, rules and expectations, at home and at school.

We did all that’s possible to fit in, to be accepted, to belong. Just to get a little bit of love and not be to rejected, while all the time our souls were screaming out loud …NOOOOOOO!!!

In order to be accepted by them, we needed to suppress our True Selves.

And in the process of fitting in we have lost this feeling of authenticity. Because being yourself was not allowed, it was not accepted. You had to fit in, be like others, to be less flamboyant, less expressive, sit quietly, not to be “disruptive”, to be complacent, not to stand out, and NEVER be DIFFERENT and so on …

As a child, if you were playful or noisy, you were punished, and god forbid if you expressed any anger. ANGER is not allowed for children. This emotion is exclusively reserved for adults. Some adults will then take this suppressed anger out on others or themselves.

Being yourself was simply FORBIDDEN.

Now, you may be wondering why YOU can’t just be free, be YOURSELF. It’s because you’ve had years of conditioning to be a very good obedient little child. You have forgotten, you stopped feeling, stopped sensing, stopped believing in what is possible, and who you really are!

We have lost this joy, innocence, fun, playfulness, laughter, the beauty of being ourselves.
And become sooo SELF-CONSCIOUS.
Afraid to be free, to express this wild sense of ‘me’.
Afraid of being judged, ridiculed, punished or abandoned.

Being yourself means being free to express yourself, and to live your life to the full.

The freedom of living out your dreams.

BUT HOW DIFFICULT CAN THAT BE?

More about this next time…

See you soon.

With all my love ❤️
Marzena
P.S. I’d love to hear from you. I’m curious if something resonated or spoke to you.

Start With — Being Kind to Yourself.

HOW difficult can this be? — you might ask.

For a long time, I found that being kind to myself was extremely tough for me. Even now, with all the uncertainty, I still expect a lot of myself.

It is getting better day by day, but I need to remind myself that it is a process of getting to know and cherish myself.

I used to drive myself so hard, working tirelessly, and never knew when to stop. I was expecting the best from myself, but and no matter what I did, 

IT WAS NEVER ENOUGH!

I was never satisfied.

I was always striving to do more, to be better, to improve, to achieve more, to learn more.

This was like an uncontrollable, invisible thing which was driving me crazy and sometimes to total exhaustion.

No matter what I did, it was never enough for me.

After some time spent in meditation and pondering on this, I realised that deep down I feel that:

I AM NOT ENOUGH.

That I needed to achieve, in order to be ‘deserveable ‘.

and

I needed to accomplish more to be loveable.

That feeling that we’re not enough stems from our childhood when we were only acknowledged when we performed well, brought home good grades or did something to make our parents proud. So they, in return, would love us.

Love given to us was conditional, was based on performance and achievement. We did not believe that being uniquely ourselves was in itself a gift and a miracle.

This is the reason that throughout our lives we feel unworthy of love, not accepted. We feel that doing and achieving more will gain people’s approval, love and acceptance.

The feeling that I’m not enough is one of the most difficult emotional wounds to heal.

I still struggle with this from time-to-time. It’s difficult to have kindness, compassion and appreciation for myself, but I’m getting better at it.

This feeling of unworthiness permeates through the core of one’s being, and no matter what you do, no matter how much you try, it doesn’t go away.

Being aware of this ‘not enough’ core feeling is the first step to freeing yourself from it.

The second step is to really nurture yourself, to care for yourself, treat yourself as you would treat somebody very precious to you:

– Listen to your body, to what it needs right now. Maybe you need to rest, do less not more? Do YOU need to be with others or on your own at this moment? What do YOU need, as opposed to what others expect from you?

– To discern what YOU are feeling right now. What is the emotion YOU need to acknowledge and feel? Allow yourself to feel the sensation fully, without denying it and pushing it away. (For more on emotions generally, please read my other post https://marzenapenfold.com/emotions-are-the-language-of-our-souls/)

– Be more understanding of yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. This is good enough.

It isn’t easy. It’s a long process of being compassionate, understanding, and in tune with yourself, but it’s so worth it. It’s so wonderful to free yourself from this insatiable feeling of not being enough. You don’t need to do anything to be deserving of love.

The third step requires courage and a radical shift in the understanding of who you think you are:

YOUR BIRTHRIGHT IS LOVE, JOY AND PEACE.

With all my love ❤️
Marzena

And When The Night Comes…

During the day, we get extremely busy trying to avoid our emotions. We find a lot of activities to make ourselves SOOOO busy, so we don’t have to deal with them. This way we pretend that they don’t exist, but deep down inside we really know they won’t go away.

But then the DREADED night comes, and we can’t escape them anymore.

There is nothing to do, nowhere to go, and…

Emotions keep us AWAKE all night.

Anxiety, fear, dread, worry will not let us sleep.

When we don’t allow ourselves to feel them during the day, they creep up and demand our attention at night. 

We can’t sleep, and we feel irritated because we know we need to sleep.

But sleep won’t come. The more we try to sleep and fail to do so, the more frustrated we become and the loop of exasperation continues, round and round…

Do you know how this feels?

I do!

This is what I do when I get overwhelmed by my emotions at night:

  • I get up. I don’t stay in bed because it only perpetuates anxiety and frustration.
  • I make myself a cup of herbal tea, wrap myself in a warm blanket and contemplate.
  • I actually love these peaceful, quiet moments, when everybody is asleep. The world itself is sleeping, and I can watch and listen to what is going on inside my body and mind.
  • Everything looks so much more peaceful, and I would even say beautiful, kind of enchanting maybe. Sometimes I stay in that meditative state for an hour or two, and afterwards, the body and the mind get quieter, more peaceful, and I’m ready to sleep.

Be gentle and kind to yourself – especially now, because these are exceptional times, and we have never had to encounter anything like this before.

If you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, fed up and angry with what is going on:

That is also OK. That’s how you feel right now.

You are managing the best you can at this moment.

Be kind and gentle with yourself.

Rest, be, allow yourself some comfort, love, attention and acceptance.

If you need some tips on how to nourish yourself, please click here to read my blog on this : https://marzenapenfold.com/what-can-you-do-to-nourish-yourself-today/

And when you are ready to acknowledge your emotion, I invite you to also read this blog : https://marzenapenfold.com/emotions-are-the-language-of-our-souls/

And remember

BE KIND TO YOURSELF!

With all my love ❤️
Marzena

What Can You Do To Nourish Yourself TODAY?

In light of recent developments, when we are surrounded with so much change and uncertainty, we need, more than ever, to find ways of looking after ourselves.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Again — I’m stating the obvious — You’re your main priority. If you don’t look after yourself, you will not be able to help others in need, especially at the moment.

2. I sincerely encourage you to limit the amount of TV and social media. News is designed to create angst, fear and nervousness. Some of us are addicted to news, but it increases your tension and stress levels. By all means, be informed, but if you can limit watching the news and scanning social media to once or twice a day, you will notice a GREAT reduction in your levels of stress.

3. Drink water and eat well. Avoid junk food — it drains your energy further.

4. Give yourself time to rest, to reflect, and nourish.

Read, meditate, do yoga, gardening, journaling, listening to music, drawing, painting, etc.

It is a perfect time to go inside yourself, to be more aware. Spend some time recharging yourself, to create a self-healing, soothing and nurturing environment.

5. Exercise, move your body — this is ESSENTIAL!! Try a little bit daily to get yourself started. Even just 5–10 minutes a day to start with. This will help to ground you, reduce worry and anguish.

6. Sleep! At least 8 hours a day. Rest as much as your body needs, so you can recharge yourself for the next day.

7. Last but not least: Help others. Call your friends/family, support others who might need you, in whatever way you can. 

Please feel free to share your self-care practices….

With all my love ❤️
Marzena

P.S. I’d love to hear from you. I’m curious if something resonated or spoke to you.

What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Ever Received?

I remember there was a time as an adult when my self-worth was very low.
Around that time, my father had a number of disagreements with my young son. On one occasion, he had treated my son in a, particularly bad way.

Although at that time I wouldn’t have defended myself against my father, I leapt to the defence of my son. As a mother, I would not allow anybody to hurt my son, I would have fought for him no matter what.

Later on, I was recalling this incident to my counsellor, and to this day I remember myself saying: “I don’t mind being mistreated by my father, but I will never tolerate him doing it to my son.”

And I still, all these years later, clearly recall how my counsellor responded.

She asked me:
“WHY DO YOU THINK THAT YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE RESPECTED?”

WOW! How simple and powerful THAT was. I realised then how little value I had for myself. I also deserved to be treated with respect.
It was the most profound AHA moment for me. It changed my life.

THAT WAS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED.

This new understanding has significantly helped my life turn out for the better.

Because They Are Our Parents, It Does Not Give Them A Licence To Disrespect Us.

WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE TREATED WITH LOVE, RESPECT AND APPRECIATION.

With all my love
Marzena

Less Is More

Are you constantly stressed, not having any time to yourself and being soooo exhausted?

This is a very challenging subject, especially nowadays, but I have noticed that many of my clients complain about not having enough time, about being constantly busy, exhausted and stressed.

More money, a bigger house, more time spent at work, more activities, more chores, more friends, more parties, more going out — and so on…

And you end up feeling totally exhausted, unable to enjoy it all, or to spend quality time with your loved ones or with yourself.

And you feel terribly unhappy, rushed, stressed or depleted.

Do you really need more and more?

How about less, but mindfully.

Have you ever wondered why you are doing it all?

What is the point?

Please question everything you believe in, everything you have been taught, especially those thoughts in your head. (To read my blog about thoughts in your head, click here.)

I invite you to tune into your wonderful mind-and-body, and ask yourself a question.

What do I need right now?

Do I need that at all?

Why am I doing it?

Or maybe… who am doing it for?

Just be aware of what you really want or need right now.

And go from there.

Try this new approach: if something does not feel right, then pause, feel it, and let it go.

Do less, sense more, be more aware, mindful.

You will never know what you really want if you don’t start questioning yourself, your actions and your motives.

You might not know the answer right now, but it will definitely come to you at some point.

When you are ready to BE with the question, the answer will unfold itself.

“LIVING THE QUESTIONS

MOVES YOU INTO THE ANSWER.

A MORE MINDFUL, PURPOSE-DRIVEN EXISTENCE.”

-Deepak Chopra

Would it be much better if you were TO LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE, the one you want to live, not a version of somebody else’s life?

You might encounter a lot of resistance from yourself — and especially from others. It may be challenging at first, but it will be worth it.

This way, you can reclaim your authentic power, and start acting from that place of knowing, from that place of integrity.

AND LESS WILL BECOME SO MUCH MORE.

With all my love Mx

Why Do You Like Helping Others?

Photo by Artem Bali

Why do you like helping others? Have you ever wondered?

This question might sound very strange to you, but it’s valid.

I invite you to ask yourself the following:

“Why do I like helping others?”, and ponder on it. Notice how you, your body and mind react.

Some reasons you want to help others might be:

  • You feel guilty if you don’t help them.
  • You want something back in return.
  • It will make you feel important.
  • You want people to need you.
  • You are afraid of saying NO.
  • You want to avoid working on your own problems.
  • You are running away from something.
  • You want others to be dependent upon you.
  • You don’t know when to stop and let them learn how to resolve their own problems.
  • You are afraid of them.

Do any of the above resonate with you? Maybe helping others at all cost is not what is needed.

Caring about others needs to come from the place of being FULLY FULFILLED YOURSELF. Giving without expecting something in return, without any tag attached to helping.

Helping others requires discernment; what does the other person really need right now?

Is it possible that by helping them we don’t allow them to grow, to learn their own lessons in life?

“NEVER GIVE FROM THE DEPTH OF YOUR WELL,

BUT FROM YOUR OVERFLOW”

 – RUMI

Automatically saying ‘Yes’ to helping others can cause more harm than good – both to yourself, and to them.

I remember my adult son asking me for help, and I refused him. It definitely wasn’t easy. My heart was breaking, but I knew that it was the best decision, the only one I could have made at that moment. Believe me, it would have been much easier to have helped him, but I had to say NO because I could see that he needed to take responsibility for his actions. Me helping him would have had a detrimental consequence for him.

“TAKE TIME OFF TO GIVE TO YOURSELF,

 IN A SENSE TO FILL YOURSELF UP TO FULLNESS,

TO WHERE NOW YOU CAN OVERFLOW IN GIVING.”

–  JOHN GRAY

I invite you to consider:

What kind of help, if any, is required?

Or

Do I have the capacity to give at this given moment? Maybe I need to look after myself now?

With all my love,

Marzena