For better or worse, the holidays are over. We are now inundated with messages about change and self-improvement, often with an emphasis on diet and exercise. There is so much pressure to be different. You know, new year, new me. I find myself struggling to push back against the narrative that I must change something about myself to be worthy, to be accepted to be enough.
What if you leaned into who you are even more?
What if instead of committing to changing into this new person who goes to the gym 5 days a week and only eats kale salads, you become more you? What if you leaned into who you are even more? What if you tuned into your mind and body to more intuitively meet your own needs? Does you body want to move? What sounds good? Does your body need rest? Maybe take that nap. Is your body craving some sweets? Get what you really want. Are you craving connection? Reach out? Do you need some alone time to recharge? Hide in the bathroom? (As an introvert I highly recommend hiding in the bathroom during a social function in which you are feeling overstimulated.)
We are self regulating machines.
There is deep wisdom in our bodies and minds. We are self regulating machines. The problem is we’ve often lost touch with our needs. Fostering a deep trust in ourselves takes practice, patience and time.
How dare I ask for my need to be met? These were some old old messages I had been taught and boy was it hard to do something differently.
While I was in grad school I realized that I was really good at ignoring my needs. I didn’t know what a need look, felt or sounded like. I only met my own needs accidentally. I set out to figure out how to identify my needs, food seemed like a good place to start since I had many opportunities to try. I started to notice a pattern, at dinner time I’d often offer several options for dinner to my partner. I honestly thought that I felt equally interested in each option I offered. However, after my partner chose I often noticed either feeling excited or disappointed. Before offering the options I started to become curious about which option would make me feel excited. Then one day I decided just to ask for the option I wanted without offering options. When I tell you I was scared, that’s an understatement. How dare I ask for my need to be met? These were some old old messages I had been taught and boy was it hard to do something differently. As luck would have it my partner was happy to meet my need. This was the start of my need identification journey. A journey I’m still on to this day.
Let’s all work on becoming more of ourselves this year!
Here are three simple but not easy steps to tuning into your needs and meeting them.
- Take your time to slow down. Check in with your physical body and your emotional state. Be curious about what is present for you.
- Pick one area of your life to practice tuning in. The skills will naturally generalize to other areas as you practice.
- Once you do something to attempt to meet your need really check in. Do you feel satisfied? Was there something else that would have felt better? Did something stop you from doing what you really needed?
The more you practice the above three steps the more natural that process will become. Let’s all work on becoming more of ourselves this year!
If you would like some support with becoming more of yourself the ladies at Thrive SLO have your back. Schedule an appointment on-line!
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