Today, Rachel goes deeper into the tools provided for the Sleep Challenge in last week's newsletter. She shows how the tools are useful when beginning or improving ANY habit, and gives a call to action about the importance of keeping the promises we make to ourselves.
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Welcome to The Self-Centered Woman Podcast.
I am your host, Rachel Hart, and I’m happy to be here with you and doing this format for the very first time.
Actually, for this podcast, it is not one that I I'm not used to, though it does remind me of the “Self-Centered” woman group that Reconnected to Life ran for quite some time a few years ago, which was women meeting once a month on a call and discussing some kind of topic as it relates to being “Self-Centered”. So this format is going to be a little like that.
On the other weeks, you'll listen to interview style podcast with myself and a guest as it relates to The Four Seeds of Self-Care in all the ways that those guests are being “Self-Centered”. And then on these weekly, or I should say, bi-weekly podcasts, we’ll dive a little bit deeper into what it means to be “Self-Centered”.
So again, being “Self-Centered” is all about being dedicated to the consistency of your self-care practices. And I've developed The Four Seeds of Self Care, which is a no brainer; eating well, sleeping well, meditation/prayer and exercise. And that frequently practicing these activities is going to increase your brain's optimal functionality, and you are going to be better able to accomplish your goals, foster more meaningful relationships, and better connect with your community.
Obviously, to do that, you need to devote time to yourself. And always, during our women's groups, we would start by getting “Self-Centered” with just a quick breathing exercise. So get “Self-Centered”. Sit still wherever you're at, even if you're in the car, just allow yourself to follow your breath. Allow the hustle and bustle, the stress, the anxiety of the day, to just fall away so that you can focus on these little nuggets of information that you will then be able to go and implement throughout your day. So deep breath in.
Two more times.
And last one.
I needed that because I came into my closet to do my podcast and shut my finger into the door and said the F word really loud. So that's just how I pictured going into this podcast. (Laughs) Alas, we don't get to choose, but we do get to choose how we react. And after I did say the f word, I decided to calm down and make it a great show.
Anyway. So, and the people that are following the newsletter, if you're not, go ahead and get connected at www.reconnectedtolife.com. If you did follow the newsletter, we had some good information on there about sleep. So this week, we are challenging all the “Self-Centered” women out there to really take notice of their sleeping habits. Because I don't think we give credit to how important sleep is for our, not only well being, but just our mood, and how we relate to our significant others, how we relate to our children, how we relate in our job.
And teachers come to mind. It's like if you're a teacher and you are not getting a good night's sleep, and then you go into a classroom and take care of other people's children, whose job it is for you to create that character and facilitate their learning in a way that's enjoyable and meaningful, and you have not even given yourself the opportunity to get the rest that you need to be able to endure what is absolutely a challenging, overwhelming, under paying job, you’re already going in there, stressed out. The least you can do is to give yourself some sleep.
And that's just one example.
That's just one example of the responsibility, the identities out there that really will benefit from a better sleep schedule. So in the newsletter, we talked about, um, kind of a metric in how to really start developing not only a sleep habit, but good habits in general.
So wanna just go over those really quick. And first thing, obviously, is to Look, when we're talking about sleep schedule. We said, what is my sleep schedule? How much am I getting? How many hours of sleep are you getting? What is your schedule? What do you do before you go to bed and you're lying, 90 % of you, if you don't say you go on your phone, and that alone is basically one of the worst things you can possibly do. And I am also guilty, but there's enough research to show what that blue light is doing to us as far as messing with our circadian rhythm.
So, um, it's really something that you've got to get a hold on or at least develop some kind of balance with. As a homebirth midwife, I am on call all the time, so as much as I would love to keep my phone in another room, it is occupationally impossible. And I say that because I understand, you know, there's variations, there's variables to everything. I have a baby who is sleeping in the other room, who I have the monitor on. That light from the monitor, I know masses with my sleep. Luckily, he's old enough now that I don't need to stare at him every time I get up to go to the bathroom. You know, I can kind of tuck it in to make the room darker now, but, um, that's a perfect example of just looking.
What’s going on around you that is infringing on better sleep habits? Are you watching TV before you go to bed? Do you have unnecessary light? Do you have unnecessary noise in the room? How much are you getting? Now, this is also very debatable, because there's people that swear that you need 8 hours of sleep. For me, if I get too much sleep, and 8 hours, I think, for me, is too much sleep, then that has basically ruined my day. I'm good on six to seven, I think. And I have spoken with women who need ten. So this is not, none of this, nothing about being “Self-Centered” is a catch-all. It's just not. So while you get the information, you need to take the information and go do the things that work for you. But the first thing to do is notice your own body. Notice your environment.
What is your body telling you? If you're getting 8 hours, are you feeling great? By the way, everybody doesn't have to have a problem with sleep. Some of you are doing amazing with sleep. Some of you have realized the importance of sleep. If you have, share it with other people. It's part of being “Self-Centered, to give to other people the wisdom and information that you have learned by integrating it into your own routine. It's part of being the light and helping others to ignite their life. So listening to your body, is it enough sleep? Is it too much sleep?
And then Learning, learning about sleep, learning about, even what is a circadian rhythm. Why should you get up with the morning light and go to bed as close to darkness as possible? Obviously, that's not happening in winter. But you know what I mean, um, why should you do those things? Take the time to educate yourself, even if it's just one fact about sleep. And by the way, this specific podcast relates to all of the seeds of self-care. So eating well, sleeping well, meditation and prayer, and exercise, these things can be applied to all of those. The more that you're teaching yourself about anything, the more you're going to want to implement it.
If you don't know, you don't know what you don't know, right? And also, that's why some people say, I don't wanna know! And I get that too, because there are plenty of things that I wish that I didn't know, but you can't un-know the things either. And ultimately, we do wanna know. We just don't wanna deal with the discomfort of what knowing means, which is that you're gonna have to change. Something has to change, because now you are up against some friction with yourself. And the more you know, that's just life's way of showing you what direction you need to go to live the happiest, the most satisfied life that you have. And you've only got one of them. So you might as well just go ahead and get uncomfortable. Get uncomfortable to get happy, to get peace.
Next, talking about Reflecting, and that is specifically journal, take notes. Put it in your notes, whatever. But write it down. Take the time to write it down. You would be so surprised what happens when you are putting something on paper, when you write out an unconscious thought, a stream of consciousness thought.
I first learned about doing the Morning Pages through the book, the Artist Way, and I did Morning Pages for years. And just going back and rereading even what you've said, you're like, oh my God, I just said that. Or it leads to an even bigger thought, or an idea of, oh, I need to go tell this person this, or it it leads to connection with yourself, potentially with other people, but also with wisdom of how you need to proceed to integrate the habits that are gonna be healthiest for you.
So we are looking, observing ourselves, listening to our body, teaching ourselves something about whatever habit it is that we're trying to begin or improve upon, reflecting on all of that.
And then we're going to implement, and we're going to record and observe what happens.
So, Renew. What happens when I allow myself to implement the messages my body is giving me about any of the habits that you're trained to start or improve upon?
And then this one, this is a big one, and that's Resist, because inevitably we're gonna get to the moment where we wanna quit, where, oh, I just don't feel like doing it today. Or, oh, well, this person called, and then I had to sign this paper, and then blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and all of a sudden you're back to your same old excuses, doing the same old stuff with your same old life.
And if you're happy with that, that's fine. But I don't believe that you truly are. I believe that we're truly happy when we're maximizing our potential. I believe that we're truly happy when our relationships are as healthy as possible. And I don't believe that we get there without taking care of ourselves first. And nobody said it was easy, but I promise it's worth it. I've spent the last, you know, what's great about this statement is that I've lost count. I was reading this book, and I'm totally I've said it more than once. The 5AM Club. Robin Sharma is my current mentor/guru. Obviously, um, not ahead of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but thank you, God for putting Robin Sharma on this Earth. 5AM Club has changed me. It just has. And if you've ever had a book like that, you know how exciting it is, because you can feel the change from the inside out. And if you have any of those books to recommend, please do, um, send me an email or whatever. Cause I wanna know what's the next great thing that I wanna read. I'm obviously, I mean, I'm not even going to any other book right now because I'm just so into it. 5AM Club really caused a message within me to say, okay, enough is enough.
And it had to do with my overindulgence, shall we say, and so I have been totally sober since July 18. And I said, I'm gonna do 66 days. Because Robin Sharma says that it takes 66 days to install a real habit. And I've heard that before, but I've never actually done anything for 66 days. So I decided this is what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna go all in. And for me, my personality is more like if I decide, and I hope you'll come to this too, if I decide I'm gonna do something, I set a date, I get all prepared for it, and I know that I'm gonna do it, and I know that I'm going to do it because I'm not going out like that. I'm not making a promise to myself and breaking it, I'm not declaring it to my family that I'm gonna do these things and three days later, I'm in there making a martini or eating a piece of cake or whatever it, is that we've said we aren't going to do.
When it comes to why you feel the way you do about yourself, It's because of the way that you behave. It's because of the choices that you're making. You can go declare something to someone, and then three days later, you're doing the exact opposite of what you declared that you were going to do. You actually made a declaration. What does that say about your own self-respect? What does it say about what your word means, not only to yourself but to other people? If people see that you can't even keep your word to yourself, why should they trust you? Why should they believe that you're gonna do anything else that you say you're gonna do when it comes to them? Why should they rely on you? That's a big deal. Sit with that.
That's what being “Self-Centered” is about; starting to sit with the shit that you don't wanna face. And that's me, too. However, back to what I'm gonna tell you is that I am on day.. I don't know what, okay?
And so now let's go to the next part of this list, which is to Let Go and Rest. Celebrate your achievements! Give yourself grace where you still need improvement. But if you have improved, if you can see the slightest bit of improvement, please find a way to celebrate that, and not by going and doing the thing that you said you weren't going to do. By finding a new behavior, a healthy behavior, by doing something with your children, by being the example, to celebrate yourself because you're worth it. And so for me, the celebration is that I lost track of what number day I'm on, because my productivity, my satisfaction, my relationships have been through the roof when it comes to successful, that I don't know that 66 days is gonna be long enough, because I don't ever wanna stop feeling this way.
Even my lows haven't been that low. I started my period this morning, and I've been in a lot of, like, period build up pain. I don't know. I think I'm getting ready to start menopause. Oh my God, but whatever. Um. The point is that hormonally, I used to lose my shit two weeks before I, um, started my period, And whenever I ovulated, it seemed like I was just a bitch all the time. And now I understand, while, yes, chemically, there are components to why we do the things we do and hormonally, there are reasons we behave and feel the way we feel, that when we fortify ourselves with habits that are healthy for us; eating well, sleeping well, meditation/prayer and exercise, we really do mitigate the times where we go off the rails.
We really do. It's real. It's real.
And I hope that you will spend time, long enough, on yourself to get to that place where you start to taste that. Because when you start to taste it, you realize that it's better than any ice cream, better than any birthday cake, better than any margarita, better than any clean house, better than any child that has just won five gold stars and got named God knows what, because they're the smartest person on Earth, and you're living vicariously through them. I know because I know, by the way, not because I know better. And I've tasted it. I'm tasting it right now. And I don't wanna go back. I want 66 days to turn into 666 days. I don't know if it will, but right now. that’s the plan.
And you know how we stay on the plan? By being accountable, which is why I'm authentically telling you what I've been through, what I'm going through, and the possibilities of what happens when you start to taste the progress. It's a snowball effect.
It's there for the taking. It's been here all along.
You just need to say yes.
You just need to resist the nonsense once and for all.
I remember talking to a guy when he came in. His wife was a client of mine, and I struggled with getting up early for years and years and years and years. And I remember telling him about it because he woke up early all the time like it was no thing. And I'll never forget, he said, you'll do it when it's a must. When it’s a must for you, you’ll do it.
And not too long ago, somebody gave me a little novelty gift, a little cocktail glass. What is it you know, that you put down on the counter so you don't get your counter wet? What the heck are those things called whatever? You know what it said? It said, don't worry, I'm sick of my shit too. And I laughed, and I laughed, because how many times do we go around and around saying, tomorrow I'll do this, this time, I'm gonna do this. I'm not gonna yell this time, this time, I am going to finish my workout. This time, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, and, and then you don't, you don't make good on your own. Promise to yourself, which makes you a little bit sick to your stomach, makes you wanna vomit, makes you sick of your shit.
And I just wonder if you're sick of your shit yet, and if you are, I just wanna be that person to tell you that there's a different way. And the whole wide world has been waiting for you to say, I'm done. Enough is enough.
I want to really live my life. I want to experience the moments of joy and connection, and even compassion, and even pain. I want to feel it all because I'm here for, but a moment. Tomorrow is not promised. And we can get too overwhelmed with all the things that we have to do.
But we just need to start, and we just need to start with those simple acts of self care, those simple acts of love, they're true. They're healthy. They will not fail you.
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Build me up so I can build you up. It's what we do when we're accountable to each other. It's what we do when we believe in one another. And when we believe in one another, we truly change our families, our communities, our world.