Making time for yourself, gifts you with more to give to others

By Adie McDermott

Does your fear of not being enough, of being judged, rejected or disliked stop you from creating your most beautiful art, being authentic, expressing you true self and living a life you long to live? And….do you not have enough time to create or do things you love and light you up because you are always pleasing others? 

If you said yes to either of both of these things, you are certainly not alone.

 Women have a habit of saying yes to everybody that needs them, then having no time for themselves, to do things that bring them joy and light them up? When actually to this quote from Katie Reed “Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you”

Giving all your time away to others is one of the most common blocks to creativity and as a recovering co-dependent and chronic people pleaser myself, I am intimately familiar with giving everything to others and disregarding myself and my own needs.

In the past, self-care seemed selfish and doing things I loved all for myself didn’t even cross my mind. After many incidences of hitting rock bottom, picking myself up only to have it happen again, I finally discovered saying yes to everyone else was actually saying no to me and my own self-care, and that it was up to me to do something about this.

It is possible to say yes to yourself and still be loved

Here’s a few things I discovered along the way: If you are not used to it, it takes extreme amounts of courage to say no to others and to give to yourself. Others cannot fill your emptiness void, only you can. When your personal feelings of security, self-confidence and self-worth are based on the approval of others, it makes you very unwilling to disappoint someone, or put yourself in a situation where you might make others angry, or hurt their feelings…..but it is possible to do this and still be loved.

Believe it or not self-care is not selfish!!!

Here’s what I would like to share with you……Believe it or not self-care is not selfish. If that means saying no to others and yes to yourself, then that is totally ok. You cannot give anything to anybody if you are so drained you have nothing left to give. You can only take care of the world, everyone you know and everyone you love when you take of yourself first and so therefore setting boundaries that uphold your own self-care is not only a self-compassionate act, but an act of love for everyone else around you.

Being compassionate and loving to others does not mean giving all your time away, being a pushover or a doormat. Saying no to things that are not OK with you does not make you cold-hearted or an unkind person.

Boundaries allow us more time for ourselves, they also allow us to give more and be more compassionate to others

Infact according to Brene Brown a leading researcher in this field, the opposite is true. And she says…. “The most compassionate people I have ever interviewed over the last 13 years were also the most boundaried.”

Boundaries not only create respect and say this is not OK with me, they allow us to be our most generous, loving and empathetic to others. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend watching Brene’s eye opening boundaries interview

Let’s again briefly revisit your creative why. Why do you enjoy creating, what joy does it add to your life? I am pretty confident it is more than just making pretty art. Is it to nurture your innate creativity, to find creative confidence and to develop trust in your own abilities, to express yourself authentically, to take time out to relax and nurture yourself, to find meaning and purpose for yourself outside of your family unit, to relax and be completely alive and in the moment, and discover more about YOU and what lights you up and give to yourself instead of giving out all the time?

These things are all worth saying no to other things or other people for, right?

To be clear, I am not suggesting that doing things for others necessarily makes you co-dependent or a people pleaser like I was. Giving yourself away can happen to any giving, sensitive person. Highly sensitive, empathetic people are most at risk as they don’t just feel compassion for others, they feel the feelings of others as if they were their own. Empathy and kindness inspires their actions and understanding and it is what drives their need to help out.

The problem is empathy without your own boundaries set in place leads to self-neglect.

There is a lot of evidence, that unhappiness in life and even most forms of depression, anxiety and substance abuse come from having unmet needs, not a chemical imbalance, disease or a biological problem. And that you, yourself, can choose to do something about them.

I am also certainly not suggesting that you should give up doing things for others all together. That would be selfish. I am suggesting however that YOU are also worth doing things for, that you need to make time for yourself so you have more to give to others, set boundaries, and find a healthy balance between giving and receiving.

Just knowing all this is acceptable and that it is ok to ask yourself  “What are my needs?” “How much of my time, energy and resources do I need to meet them?” “What do I genuinely want to do for others?” “How much of my time do I want to give to helping others meet their needs?” has really helped me……….and I hope it helps you too!

Listening to yourself is the first step to giving yourself love

In Recreate Create Again we learn through the projects and creative philosophies how to be more self-expressive, courageous, self-trusting and self-loving, how to create more time for ourselves and how and why to set boundaries.

In Whimsy and Magic  we give your inner child some serious loving, learn how fill your life with joy using gratitude, how to fill your cup so you have more to give to others and connect you to your forgotten joys.

In Wild and Free, we learn how to let go of control, our fear of failure and need to perfect everything and trust ourselves, our intuition, the creative process and the process of life.

In Creative Synthesis, we learn how to bring everything together. How to create beautiful, authentic and unique art we love making, that comes from our heart and sole not our mind and how to take all the previous listening and create a life you love living everyday.

You can take all these courses now at a reduced rate, through the ‘Whole’ creative wellness membership.

How can we make more time to do creative  work and nurture ourselves? 

Say YES to yourself! Set BOUNDARIES!

 Be clear about WHY you want to fit this into your life, then MAKE A COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF. Why it beneficial to you to not only make something pretty, but take time out to relax and nurture yourself, be totally free to be and to express yourself authentically, play and explore without rules and boundaries, be completely alive and in the moment, nurture your innate creativity, discover more about YOU and what lights you up and give to yourself instead of giving out all the time?

IS ‘TIME’ A BLOCK? It takes courage, self-expression, vulnerability, confidence and trust to do creative work. All these things are scary and all these things can bring up resistance. Question in your writing journal, is lack of time a block to doing this work? Another way that one of your limited beliefs is keeping you safe, stopping from doing this or stopping you from living your best life?

TAKE the TIME FOR YOURSELF, or show up for yourself by sneaking every moment you can to create. Set aside some time in your schedule each day to work in journal, eg 20 mins directly after dinner. If that sounds daunting, think about it like this – all of those random moments throughout the day that you spend messing around on your phone, on social media or searching the web, you could be doing a quick doodle or adding a layer to your art instead. A 20 minute chunk of time is great, but it really doesn’t matter whether it’s 5 minutes here and there, or 2 hours at the end of your day. Momentum will build, the more you do it…….the harder it is to actually stop!

Dedicate a SPACE in your house that you can use to make art, where you (optimally) can leave all your materials out, or where you can store a few basic materials and get them out quickly and easily.

Put down your BOOK and pick up your pencil, paint brush or marker. It is healthy to love reading, but it is the time it takes up in your life that is detrimental to creativity. Try not reading anything for a week and see how much more time you gain.

Set GOALS. If goal setting is a motivational tool that works for you, I recommend working with an accountability buddy to set goals and then stick to them. You can also work 1on1 with me, Adie to set goals and work through blocks that come up for you.

SURROUND YOURSELF with others doing the same thing. This is good to normalise what you are doing, for sharing yourself and getting new ideas from others, as well as for motivation. You can do this here through one of my creative memberships.

 Happy creating and please, above all else, be kind and giving to yourself. You are worth it!!

To try creating something for yourself check out my classes, holistic online courses and creative wellness workshops. Join my creative facebook community to connect with like mined others, try out my FREE mixed media ‘gratitude’ project or watch me make an artwork and learn more about the healing power of creativity here.

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