The Well

Archive for January, 2011

Feeling Enough

by Andrew Shaw on Jan.21, 2011, under Recent Posts

“I’m not skinny-enough. I’m not popular-enough. I’m not smart-enough. I’m not strong-enough. I’m not pretty-enough. I’m not successful-enough… I’m not insert-your-own-adjective-here-enough.”

There is a growing mental health epidemic in this country; a crisis of self-esteem that originates from the feeling, “who I am, is not enough.”  This all too common thought is bringing a great number of diverse people into therapy offices or the self-help aisle at the local bookstore, looking for a way to feel better about who they are.

What’s particularly tragic about this self-statement, “I’m not enough,” is that too often, this equates to being unacceptable and unlovable.  Because I’m not good-enough at this or that, others won’t love me.  Or, in order to get approval and love, I must be more.  This idea becomes deeply engrained in our minds.  We form an image of who we should be, how we should look and sound, what we should be capable of.  We give chase but can never quite catch up to the image, never feel satisfied, never feel that it’s enough.

The great secret, one so many of us have forgotten, or never learned in the first place, is that who we are truly is enough.  We are acceptable and worthy of love right now, as is, without needing to earn it or provide further proof. 

Let this idea take hold and grow. Let go of unattainable expectations and allow yourself to be as you are.  Embrace and celebrate the beautiful in you.

  • Close your eyes.  Take a few deep mindful breaths.  Repeat the following words a few times to yourself; who I am, is enough… I completely accept and love myself just the way I am.
  • Through out the day, be more aware of how you’re treating yourself and notice your thoughts.  Are your self-statements harsh or overly critical?
  • Try practicing loving-kindness towards yourself.  See if you can gradually integrate more compassionate and accepting self-talk.
  • Give yourself permission to be imperfect and make mistakes.  Look upon imperfection as a natural part of life and mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.

 

Be Well

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New Year, New Day

by Andrew Shaw on Jan.07, 2011, under Recent Posts

I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.  ~Henry Moore

Eat better.  Exercise more.  Get up earlier so I don’t feel so rushed in the morning.  Meditate consistently.  Let go of worrying over the small stuff.  Be patient.  Spend more time with friends.  Find a better balance.  And so on, and so on.  How many times, at the beginning of a new year, have I uttered these same statements? 

I really dislike the idea of making “resolutions” because of the pressure and expectation that creates.  And really, if I want to live a better life, that takes resolution throughout the whole year, not just at the start.  I guess that’s why, even as I roll my eyes at the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, I still take time to think about what I’d like to recommit to.  I like the idea of returning to a better path to wellness; of returning to the things I know will bring me fuller health and happiness. 

Rather than setting up massive plans and goals for the entire year, and then feeling disappointed and frustrated with ourselves for falling short, we can look upon New Year’s more as a symbol, representing each new day we have to get it right.  Every day offers us a fresh opportunity to be our highest self, to lead the life we desire, and to set into motion the kinds of actions and behaviors that will bring us, and others, greater health, joy, peace and well-being.

  •   Let the new year be a reminder of new beginnings; a fresh start bringing the opportunity to do those things that are good for your mind, body, heart and soul.
  •   Remember to think in terms of each new day’s resolution, not the year’s.
  •   Start each day with a few moments of reflection about the way you want to be today, the way you want to live your life today, and how you can be your best self today.  And then, with this powerful purpose, go out into the world and do your best to live it.

Happy New Day.  Be Well.

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