Usually when one hears that word, we think of giving to another which is wonderful. Yet, if you only give to others without taking into account your own body, mind and soul are you truly able to give from that beautiful, wonderful space in a whole and unconditional way?
Think about your relationships at work and at home, with co-workers and people you just meet as well as children, partners and friends. Do you ever give and then feel resentment or anger later? Do you ever wonder why others aren’t giving more to you? That somehow no matter how much you give, you don’t feel you are receiving enough?
If we are honest, we have all felt that way at times… some of us more than others. What many of us grew up believing was “selfish” is just exactly what we need to do in order to BE there for others around us in an even more powerfully loving and giving way.
The really crazy part about the word “give” is many of us “give” but what we are doing is setting up a conditional contract without even letting the other person know. “I will do this for him, but he better do this for me or it means he doesn’t love me or he doesn’t care etc…) That is NOT very giving in my book. But it is often used as a way to “prove” one’s worth so it becomes more about ego and not at all to do with give. If I show how “giving” I am others will see that I am “good” or “nice” or “right” or better than others.
So you may recognize just the slightest bit of yourself here (I know I do, even though I don’t want to admit itJ), so what can you do?
My answer might surprise you…
Start giving to yourself! All the love and nurturing and caring that you want from others and maybe you give to others with the unconscious hope that they will give back to you… Start giving all the love and nurturing and caring to yourself. Love yourself up! What does this mean practically? What feeds your soul? What boosts your energy? What makes you feel serene and calm? What makes you feel all yummy inside?
Whatever that is for you is what you can do. Stop waiting for someone else to take responsibility for you and start giving to yourself. I just now that if you try this… you will give so much to those around you. First of all you will be modeling loving oneself to everyone around you and second you will be giving from that yummy fullness of who you truly are (in mind, body and soul) and what a beautiful gift you are!
Share how you give to yourself below with others so that we can all be inspired!
What does freedom mean to you? A year ago, when I was traveling in France, I broadcast The Dr Laura Ciel Show from abroad on this very topic - FREEDOM
This was not my best show due to technical difficulties, but the discussion is very good.
So on this Independence Day in the United States, our 4th of July holiday, this word pops into my head again. What does freedom mean to you? And how do you create a sense of freedom within you and in your world?
I spent 20 years in a marriage where I didn’t allow myself to be free. I wasn’t honest about what I needed and I didn’t show up as me. I was playing the role that it seemed everyone else wanted me to play. And I did it quite well, until my mom died and I realized that we only have this one moment. There is no guarantee of another moment, or year or years.
This was the gift my mom gave me at the same moment I experienced the pain of losing such a loving and compassionate mother. Imagine the freedom in this. Suddenly you realize that you only have this one moment. How do you squeeze the most out of this moment? What gives this moment meaning?
I started realizing that I needed to make some changes in my life. I needed my moments to have meaning and purpose. I needed to be me and stop waiting for the right time to show up. Sadly, no matter how hard we tried, this was not possible in my marriage and we divorced.
Getting divorced was NOT the way to freedom for me. Those of you who know me a bit more and know the journey this path to divorce took (not a pretty picture), might think I am crazy for saying this, but the reality is that I needed to find freedom within me first, or it could never show up in relationship. I was told I was selfish and maybe you think the same thing.
This is what I know: We all must stand up for ourselves if we want to be able to stand up in a relationship with an intimate partner.
For me, standing up for myself was part of what I needed to do in order to create the sense of freedom I needed within me. This inner freedom that I have now created means taking responsibility for myself and not blaming anyone else. It means being honest about who I am and what is important in me. It means allowing myself to reconnect with my passions and listening to my intuition.
It also means not taking it personally when someone else judges me and not taking responsibility for anyone else’s path.
This is a daily practice for me and it is the basis for much of the discussion on The Dr Laura Ciel Show because I believe that you all also yearn for more freedom. You may not be able to control people and events around you, but you always have control over your own thoughts and actions. What would it be like to feel free within yourself?
When my private clients come to work with me, there is often the “presenting problem”. This is what motivates you to ask for help. It is part of my job to look beyond that crisis and see what you are asking for. What I often sense is a desire to be free of self-limiting thoughts.
Finding freedom within requires you to take responsibility for your life, all aspects of your life and really be honest with yourself. This is scary… but so worth it!
For all of you in the world, no matter where you are… I hope you continue to develop your own sense of inner freedom. As we all do this, it will start to be reflected in our world.
Post below and share with others:
- How do you create freedom in your life?
- When do you feel most free?
Think about what you want more of in your life. Is it joy, happiness, laughter, peace, fun? Is it touch, connection, love, purpose? Whatever it is that popped into your mind first, take a moment to imagine what your life would be like if you had more of that permeating through your daily activities. What would life be like? How would you feel? What would you do differently? How might your work and personal relationships change?
Now, before taking too long to think about it, answer this question: Why isn’t there more of that quality in your life?
Did you include another person in your answer? Maybe your mom didn’t do something when you were young, maybe your partner isn’t giving you what you need, maybe you are facing a very tough crisis or situation.
One of the areas I will touch on in my book is how I use to crave more joy and more peace in my life when I was in my 20-year marriage. For a very long time when I thought about it, I would get angry and blame my ex-husband for doing or not doing the things that I thought would bring more peace and joy in my life. “If only he would…” I would say in one form or another.
What I have learned, both through my training and my own personal journey is that if I want more joy in my life or peace or any other quality, it is up to ME to bring it in. Blaming my husband at the time for not having enough joy or peace in my life, may have seemed right. He did often get angry and he always needed to be in control. He was almost always stressed and he often took it out on me and the kids. If only he changed, it would be better. Right? Wrong! And it only took me 20 years to figure that outJ
Two things to remember: First of all, you are responsible for your own life. No matter your history or current situation, you always have a choice on how to handle it, right now. I have had guests on The Dr Laura Ciel Show talking about some very tough situations and each time I hear someone new speak about challenging times in their life that they have overcome, I realize that the key is in how we respond to the stuff that is out of our control. Let go of what you cannot control and focus on what you can.
Secondly, if you are not willing to bring these qualities that you crave into your life, why are you expecting someone else to? This is tough and may sound harsh. Believe me, I have struggled with this myself as have many of my clients. You want more kindness in your life? Check in with yourself and see if you are truly being kind to yourself. Or, are you criticizing, demanding, and judging what you do? Guess what? If you are, you are inviting more of that in your life. There will be less kindness and more criticism, judgment and demands until you choose to be kind to yourself.
After four years of separation and two years of divorce, I can look back on my married life and see how I hurt not only myself but also my ex-husband. I was waiting for him to do what I was not wiling to do for myself. I wanted him to be more joyful and peaceful and made him responsible for the lack of those qualities in my life. Now… I still hope for him that he finds more joy and peace in his life. The difference is that I no longer expect him to do it FOR ME. I decided to do it for myself.
Even now, with my ex wanting to fight over and over again about money or the kids I remind myself that it is not his responsibility to make me feel more peace and joy. It is mine. I can choose to get sucked up into his drama (and believe me, sometimes I do), but I make a conscious effort to let him BE in his drama and I consciously choose to make decisions that lead to more peace and joy in my own life.
So… back to the question I asked at the beginning. What do YOU want more of in your life?
The clearer that picture is and the less you blame other people or situations for the lack of what you desire AND the more you can consciously make choices that reflect what you really want, the more it will flow into your life. It truly will. Feel it within you as clearly and as fully as you can and you will see your world around you shift and change to reflect even more of that quality in your life. It starts with you.