There was a time in my life that I allowed myself to be taken advantaged of.
I gave and gave and gave until my emotional tank was on empty and my needs were neglected.
I had assigned myself the role of being a Rescue Martyr, and held this role with great pride.
You see, I was seeking approval and I became a people pleaser. I stifled my voice, ignored my needs, and continued to wear the mask of Happy Abby.
Upon deeper introspection though, I realized that this kind of giving was not coming from a wholesome, authentic place.
How did I know this?
Because I felt completely drained.
Healthy giving shouldn’t make you feel drained. It should energize you because it flows from spirit, not from ego.
If you’re a caring, empathic person like I am, it can be very easy to take on the troubles of the world, when it is not your responsibility to save everyone.
I was not Happy Abby, but I sure could pretend to the world that I was with big smiles, and saying the all the right things. Inside though? I felt invisible, and quietly resentful until one day my discomfort built up until I found the courage to say No, and set healthy boundaries for myself.
I learned to nurture myself, love myself, and fill myself up with divine love, instead of seeking love externally.
Now when I give, it comes from a healthy, whole place, without any unconscious agenda or expectation.
And when I begin to feel depleted in any way, I listen to what my inner guidance is trying to communicate with me through specific tension I may be feeling in my body.
I know what it’s like to allow a fictitious story of the past to subconsciously govern my life, patterns, and motives. And it’s hard.
I believe in the power and purity of selflessness however, it can be difficult to dismantle the ego and discern whether our giving is coming from the ego (in some subtle form of seeking validation or approval), or purely from spirit.
Compassion is a full circle that starts within, and then extends outwards.
We must learn to demonstrate compassion to ourselves first, in order to give from in a healthy, pure, whole way.
Is your giving out of alignment with your Spirit? Here are 3 signs to watch out for:
1) You feel completely drained in the body.
What an incredible vessel that we have in the body. Your body is always communicating with you. If you find yourself constantly fatigued and exhausted, your body is trying to tell you that you need to nurture yourself a little more.
2) You find yourself becoming quietly resentful.
This happens when you start pointing the finger and blaming others for not being appreciative. When the truth of the matter is that you are actually angry with yourself for not honouring your own needs and expressing it outwardly to others.
3) You find yourself feeling disappointed A LOT.
Disappointment usually occurs when some expectation has not been met. And expectations can create a lot of suffering in your life if they’re not managed. When you give without expectation, it just feels good from the heart, and you’re not attached to the outcome. This isn’t a game where you play for points, this is about the purity of giving to share kindness, and to share your joy with someone else.
There is joy in giving however, let’s make sure that we give ourselves the same compassion from a healthy, whole place.
Now over to you: Do you enjoy giving with your whole heart? Or have you found yourself burnt out from ignoring your own needs?
I’d love to hear your key takeaways, and share with the rest of the community on the blog.
Or, need advice? I’d love to hear from you!
Have you ever gone through a difficult, season in your life and thought that you’d never experience joy again?
Guess what? We all go through various seasons in life, we’re human.
The reality is, life is going to have its ups and downs.
Stuff comes up, situations happen beyond your control, plans get derailed, and that’s just the way life is.
We are often more upset about how things are unfolding, because on some level we feel like we have lost control.
Yet it is in these moments that you must strengthen your faith-muscles and trust that all things work together for your highest good, even if it makes you feel out of control.
It is your belief in something greater that will light the direction of your path and keep you feeling safe, loved, and secure at all times, even when things don’t make sense.
You can experience joy even in uncertainty, however, joy is something you generate from within.
When you experience a feeling of joy and elation, you are tapping into your real self and your connectedness to the divine universal energy of love.
One of the fastest ways of experiencing joy is by dwelling in a state of thankfulness in your heart, and reminding yourself of how good things really are.
You can also sustain the feeling of joy by relishing in the practices that feed your soul.
Here are 4 tips for experiencing joy in the midst of uncertainty:
1) Relish in the simple things.
I’m a lover of simplicity, and always have been.
What are some of the simple things that bring you joy?
Is it taking a walk in nature? Writing, listening to music, or enjoying a nice dinner with the ones you love? Whatever it may be, find absolute pleasure in the things that bring you joy, and make time for them everyday. This can create a sustainable state of being; the simpler the better.
2) Maintain a daily spiritual practice.
A daily spiritual practice involves any activity that brings you into a calm, meditative state and keeps you connected to your soul. This can happen by simply walking in nature while taking long, deep breaths, meditating, listening to your favourite music, or lighting a candle to bring you into a zen space.
It is any activity that keeps you connected to the core of your being. I’ve found, through my own personal experience, that having a daily spiritual practice has helped me to check in with my internal guidance while keeping me rooted, and more importantly, it makes me feel supported.
3) Make ‘thank you’ your daily mantra.
A thankful heart will always position itself to receive more.
Gratitude is one of the fastest ways to shift your state from lacking to abundant. A daily gratitude log is a great tool to remind yourself to appreciate what you have, and spins your focus in a positive way. This can help ease the weight of your fears and anxieties.
Gratitude gives a nod to the Universe that says, “hey, I’m actually okay, thank you.”
4) Service heals – Give.
There is something so beautiful and cathartic when you can give generously, with pure intention. When you help someone else in need, it helps you take your mind off of yourself and your problems. Help someone in need, and watch how fast your mood changes.
I’ve test driven these practices in my own life during moments of the seemingly impossible and they work!
Living in a ‘I’ll be happy when…’ mentality can leave you feeling frustrated because you’re living for some indeterminate time in the future.
Experience your joy by living fully in the present, and working with what you’ve got right in front of you, right now.
I hope this message empowers you to remain in joy no matter the circumstance around you.
Have you ever looked at your mile-long ‘To Do’ list and felt your entire body tighten up with anxiety?
Having experienced this before, I had to put my own advice into practice, and listen to what my body was telling me. I needed to allow myself to have some downtime (phone off kinda downtime), to restore my energy.
Self-care is so important. Your life has a pulse and a rhythm.
It’s important for us to remember to get off of the treadmill of life on occasion, and slow down.
Sometimes you need to take it easy a little, and nurture yourself.
I love to work and I enjoy being productive.There’s something beautiful about consistency and keeping momentum.
However, there’s a natural ebb and flow to be mindful of, and sometimes there is a need to press in, and sometimes there’s a need to fall back. It’s up to you to respect that ebb and flow, and honor yourself in that process.
There are times when we get caught up with the ‘doing’ and less with ‘being’, and the result is exhaustion.
When we’re in ‘being’ mode, there’s no pushing; things fall together, we’re more balanced within, and aligned. Thus we fall into a natural state of flow.
‘Doing’ mode means living too much in the future, so we push. You end up putting more on your plate, which takes a toll and depletes your energy in the process.
And while the ebb and flow is necessary, we must find that delicate balance and dance between making it happen, and allowing things to happen.
Sometimes ‘busy-ness’ forms a distraction that drowns out your inner guidance that is whispering that we may need some rest.
I learned this valuable lesson in the Executive Search business where I’d be working on a deal to meet monthly targets. But the more I pushed, the more resistance I experienced.
I can recall getting frustrated because I kept focusing on hitting the future target, that I was blinded to all of the signs in front of me that were telling me to fall back for a bit, and not to force the deal.
The moment I detached myself from the outcome, though, and took a step back, the deal always came together.
Sometimes the life lesson is to let go of attachments and allow things to unfold the way they will.
Final thought: It’s ok to work diligently towards your goals (whatever that may be), but every so often, it’s good to check in with yourself in order to allow divine guidance to lead the way.
Over to you: Have you ever experienced being mentally and physically exhausted? And if so, what did you do to replenish yourself?
Or, need advice?
I’d love to hear from you!
Please feel free to share your heartfelt comments with the rest of the community on the blog so that we can support you.
Final thought: I’ve learned that the Universe has a miraculous way of expanding time for you if you listen to the guidance.
Rest easy, you can slay later.