The importance of stopping brain Shame
Today’s blog is going to be a completely different from my typical blog. I want to explain what it’s like to work with me as a Coach. I typically get several emails a week asking questions about my coaching style, how sessions with me work, and what people can expect. I absolutely LOVE working with women who are ready to change their lives! Typically, the clients I work best with are people who have experienced some level of a traumatic event in the past, they are women who don’t take spectacular care of themselves, and women who are hard workers. That doesn’t mean that every one of the clients I work with matches these categorizations, but these are just the common characterizations of the people I typically work with. My clients are consistently surprised and pleased with how down to earth and practical our sessions together are. In each session, the client walks away with an action plan of things to take them closer to their long-term goals. I have had many clients tell me that they find it easy to talk to me, to open up to me, and connect with me.
When I first began working with coaches I typically paid for many services that I never received. It was just such an anxiety-producing process for me to show up and allow people to help me. I suspect that for me, showing up and receiving these services triggered the worthiness in me, or lack thereof. I remember not feeling as if I was worthy of their time. Let me assure you very frankly, that you ARE worthy! And you will leave our sessions changed. I have worked with many coaches through the years for many different reasons. Some I have struggled with, and others were easy to connect with and helped me in great ways. I feel that my time working with other coaches has taught me a lot about how to be a great coach. It has also driven me to make sure I deliver the highest quality products and services for my clients. So you don’t have to go through some of the struggles I have in the past.
Do you know that gut-wrenching nervousness of getting ready to get on the phone with a coach or healer? The clients that I work with typically acknowledge that during our first session together, and then they tell me that all of that is gone. Most of my clients talk about how they feel as if they walk away so much calmer and more centered after our sessions.
The results of working with me sometimes look all over the map in terms of changes and success. Typically, my clients find that working with me: lowers their stress, encourages them to take action, increases their self-care, they begin choosing themselves and are more easily able to identify their own needs. The one response that I always get from clients is that they feel so valued and acknowledged because of our sessions.
There are so many misconceptions and objections that come up when people are looking at working with me. I thought it would be useful if we dispelled some of those common thought processes now. These include:
- “I don’t have the money”: I am not like most coaches (in so many ways this is true). As such I currently don’t charge any more than I charge for my in-person therapy clients. Even the person who struggles with money the most can likely find $20 a month (which boils down to 5 a week) for my group coaching program. As a person, I tend to massively over deliver, so I’m constantly making sure I’m giving people enough content and their needs are being met.
- “I’m Not Sure You Are Qualified to Help Me”: I am one of the most qualified people I know to help you. I have had a very successful psychotherapy practice for over twenty years. I have a clinical hypnotherapy certification, I am a “Certified and Reciprocal Alcohol and other Drug Counselor (CRADC), and I have a certification in the Emotional Freedom Technique. I have extensively studied Shame, Feelings, the Subconscious Mind, habits, and behaviors. I’m confident that every client I have worked with felt like their life was better because of our working together.
- “What If I Can’t Get Better”: I could have literally made an entire blog about complaints or objections that relate or boil down to not feeling worthy of being coached. Obviously that blog would be forever long. But common variations of this same thought include: I’m not worth your time, I am not capable of making a commitment, I’m not sure I’m ready, etc. Let me just assure you that NONE of these are accurate. I know and believe that you can get better, I know you are worthy of the time we would spend together (and I’m okay that you are not convinced of it’s truth yet), the only commitment you need to make is to show up and do the things I teach and encourage you to do… and when would be a better time than now? Allow me to work my magic and you just show up and do the work, it’s really that simple.
- “I Don’t Know How To Make Goals”: I can’t tell you how many people I have worked with who when we first started didn’t know how to set any goals. Let me be perfectly clear with you for a moment: YOU AREN’T EXPECT TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS RIGHT NOW! I mean that very literally. In the cases of people who can identify goals, we typically stick to their agenda through the coaching sessions. For those who are not necessarily able to identify specific goals we begin with me educating them on how their brain works, how habits are created and formed, as well as how to change those habits. Just simply teaching these things helped them to change in many positive ways.
- “You don’t charge as much as some of the others, so that must mean you are not as good.”: That’s not how it works at all for me. I keep my prices the same for everyone because that’s what allows me to feel good about the services I am delivering. I have worked with Coaches, Physicians, Attorneys, and College Professors. I keep my prices the same for all of them because it feels really good for me to be able to charge a price that makes sense to me. It also helps me to make sure I’m not getting “full of myself” or becoming arrogant. When I started out in the Coaching world, I made a promise to myself that I wanted to make sure I was easily accessible. While other coaches may charge enough to pay your mortgage each month, I’m more focused on the value that I deliver every time.
- “But THAT coach has written a book and is a published author – so they are better then you – Right?”: This objection is actually more common that you would imagine, and not actually very accurate at all. I have been published in Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, and a few other places. I also have a book that is being edited currently that I have written. I’d love to encourage you to actually get to know a coach (even if it’s not me) before you commit to working with them. One of the coaches I worked with in the past had a book published. That didn’t help her to deliver the promises that she made, however. It just meant she knew how to articulate herself well. I am not sure being a published author actually makes you a good coach.
- “So how do I know that you are up to date on knowledge and tools that are relevant to me today?”: This is a great question! I am constantly doing continuing education to make sure that I am in touch with the newest information that research has to offer. I do more education and training each year that most therapists that I know. Many people ask why I do so much training, and my response is typically the same. I love learning and always want to make sure I am prepared to help the clients I work with. I absolutely LOVE being able to help people. More research is being published every day about more modern ways to help. By staying up to date it helps me to be able to help you better.
- “I have been through a lot of trauma in my past, and the people I have worked with before didn’t seem to understand me, or get me. How can I be confident that you are different?”: I have absolutely been in a similar position. When I was still living in the middle of my trauma’s I couldn’t find a therapist to help me truly heal. As a coach I have studied the Central Nervous System and how that impacts trauma issues, I have developed a deep understanding of how Shame impacts the ability to heal through the traumas we experience, and I have studied how the subconscious mind plays into healing from traumas. I won’t lie to you and tell you I know with a million percent certainty that I can help you heal…but I will tell you that I can help you improve where you are at. No one deserves to live with the impact of having survived a trauma forever. On top of that, due to my trauma past and all of the training and experience I have had – I am very good at connecting with my clients and meeting them where they are at. Then leading them in a compassionate way to where they want to be and their goals.
- “My last coach didn’t deliver on their promises, and then disappeared. Is that going to happen with you?”: I wish I didn’t understand this one as much as I do! I also wish I hadn’t experienced it so many times. I think people have the best of intentions when they commit to coaching someone, but I don’t think they are always equipped to deliver those promises. I have been a very successful psychotherapist for over 20 years. My reputation is built on me showing up and doing the deal with my clients every day! I can promise you I don’t disappear and I will still be here even if you need to take a break for a while. I show up when I say I’m going to show up. It’s really important to me that you understand that I’m invested in you!
- “My last Coach just kept saying the same thing over and over again. I never felt like they understood. Will that happen with you?”: I want there to be no confusion. I’m very human and will make mistakes. However, I do a lot of checking in with the clients I work with to make sure they understand the material I am presenting to them, to make sure they know how to apply it, and that it’s relevant to their lives. I literally have so much material that even for those people who struggle to set goals for us to work on, we don’t just sit and talk about the same thing every time. We will also not spend very much time on your past. Because while it is a relevant piece of you, we can’t change it! And because we can’t change it I prefer to focus on those things we can change, such as helping you achieve your amazing future.
I hope this has given you a better picture of who I am as a Coach. I would love an opportunity to connect with you and see if we are a good fit. I am so grateful to be a part of so many people’s journey.
Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach. She helps people to remove the shackles of Shame and step into the life of their wildest fantasies. Learn more about working with Jenn here: https://www.jennbovee.com/take-action/
I have been getting this question a lot recently. Trust me when I tell you that it’s a valuable and important question. My philosophy is that once we know what it actually looks like to heal our Shame, it becomes more manageable. We can begin to measure our own progress and imagine our own healing; it frequently empowers people to create the change necessary to heal their own Shame.
I want to reiterate that Shame is that feeling or sensation that destroys our ability to connect with other people as well as robs us of the feeling of being worthy of connecting with other people. One of the best feelings and sensations that we regain is that sense of connection. Not just with other people but with ourselves as well.
I would love to be able to sit down with each and every one of you and have a direct conversation about what Shame has robbed you of from your life. However, I’m not sure that would be helpful in the form of a blog. I tend to notice that even the mere word of Shame typically triggers people feeling and experiencing the Shame all over again.
I hope this blog serves as hope for you! I hope that it inspires you to find a way to move forward with your healing journey. I absolutely believe that human beings don’t deserve to live with, or in, Shame. I long to experience a
So what does it look like to have healed your Shame? There was a point in my life where I could not even imagine what my life would be like if I was actually free from Shame. Looking back, I’m not even the same person I was before. Today I KNOW that I am worthy of love and I settle for nothing less. So what does healing Shame look like? The following are areas where I have noticed my clients healing themselves:
Finding Your Voice: I was literally talking just this week to one of the clients I work with about how she has suddenly found her voice. The best part is she is not afraid to use it at all. When we discard the shackles of Shame we begin having an opinion on things and subsequently feel a right to be able to express those opinions. It’s a very freeing concept in the middle of the journey. However, at the beginning of the journey it feels a bit overwhelming. When we have lived a Shame filled life for so long, we slowly begin to loose our voice. For many of us we have lost the ability to have preferences or wants, let alone have opinions. When that begins to change we will absolutely celebrate.
Knowing Your Wants, Needs, and Preferences: I’m sure many of us have had that experience where someone wanted to know our preference (or what we wanted) and we just came up blank. It’s a bit different than just not having a preference. It’s the absolute inability to form a decision, because you just don’t feel worthy of having a need or want. At that point in our journey, preferences seriously just feels too arrogant. Once we begin clearing the damage that Shame creates, we slowly begin to find ourselves again.
Claiming Your Worth: As you begin to heal your Shame issues, you will find that you no longer settle for relationships that don’t bring you happiness or joy. You will begin to not tolerate unacceptable behavior and will not allow yourself to be put down. Even things that are seemingly no big deal, such as being the butt of other people’s jokes or being talked down to; become absolutely unacceptable and not tolerated. You will (sometimes not so slowly) find yourself choosing YOU and standing up for YOU in many situations. It will be a remarkable sight from where you started.
Consistently Choose YOU: This is by far my favorite measurement of growth and healing! When people begin choosing themselves things begin to shift and change for them in many different ways. Many people who have lived a lifetime or a lifestyle of Shame consistently reject themselves. Sometimes choosing you means asking for what you need. Sometimes choosing you means requesting that a restaurant fix an order that wasn’t to your specification. And sometimes choosing you just means taking a breath and slowing down enough to not have to push yourself with such a force. YOU get to decide what choosing you means for you, that’s part of the beauty of it.
Cultivation of Positive Supportive Relationships: As we begin claiming our worth, many times our friendship and support circle change as well. Being prepared for the reality that your circle will likely change could save you from the anguish in the middle of the process. It is perfectly okay for you to develop a healthy, supportive, and loving circle of support and friendship. I would love to encourage you to give yourself permission to discard anyone who doesn’t support you in a healthy manner.
Development of Self-Love and Self-Care as a Lifestyle: I’m a huge proponent of this one looking different for each and every one of us. What self-love looks like for me is different from what it looks like for you. How you apply self-love is different for you versus your neighbor or your best friend. I think you get the point I’m trying to make. I will no longer engage in those ridiculous debates of “this X thing isn’t self care”. Mostly because what that really communicates is that YOU are wrong for using that for self-care, but I am superior because I do self-care correctly. I’m a firm believer that you are the expert on you, therefore you don’t owe anyone an explanation about what you choose to do in an attempt to commit to a self-care or self-love lifestyle. Experiment! Have fun! There are literally no rules in this one for me.
This is not a black and white architecturally cemented plan of what healing Shame looks like. These are just the top six things I have noticed in the clients I have worked with that are aiming to heal their Shame issues. I’d love to hear back from you about what you are noticing as you are healing the Shame you have experienced in your life.
Jenn Bovee is a Shame Coach who works with people all over the world. She helps people to eliminate what is standing in between them and their perfect life! Jenn would love to invite you to check out her Living Out Loud Community. Learn more about it here: https://www.jennbovee.com/living-out-loud/
I can’t even begin to count the amount of women I have worked with over the past 20 years who have experienced sexual shame. The difficulty in identifying sexual Shame is that it manifests differently for everyone that experiences it. Some people can’t create sexual fantasies in their mind. Other people can’t orgasm through sex or masturbation. Some women can’t get wet, while others can’t stay present during sex.
Sexual Shame is one of the biggest topics that most people remain silent on out of embarrassment, insecurity, and guilt. When people experience Shame regarding their sexual preferences, desires, needs, or wants it increases their overall Shame, It also increases that sense of disconnection. Many women spend decades experiences the ramifications of sexual Shame.
In my experience, many people are unintentionally Shamed in regard to their sexual issues. Part of this is because human experiences rarely match the myths that are in the world today. Some of the many myths out the re include: men always have a higher sex drive than women, women aren’t supposed to enjoy sex, women don’t have sexual fantasies, men think about sex more often than women do, and women don’t like casual sex as much as men do. All of these thoughts are inaccurate and untrue.
When we’ve experienced long-term Shame around our sexuality, many women experience the following issues: a lack of being able to ask for what they want or need sexually, a lack of being able to orgasm, a lack of being able to stay present, a lack of ability to enjoy sexual interaction, and a lack of overall pleasure. Sexual Shame comes from many sources, albeit most of them are unintentional and unknowingly contributing to the Shame we experience. Those sources include: Parents, teachers, media, school, friends, peers, and legislatures.
The problem with Shame is that we don’t talk about normal Shame because it’s uncomfortable and for many of us even hearing the word Shame is very triggering. I could spend days upon days talking about how the Shame begins and how it’s perpetuated. However, I suspect it’s a better use of my time (and yours) to begin outlying a way to heal those Shame issues. My suggestions include:
Give Yourself Permission To Experience Pleasure: When we give ourselves permission and even encourage ourselves to experience pleasure things begin to change for us. Many times we have bought into the belief that we don’t deserve to experience pleasure or aren’t good enough to have pleasure, and those beliefs are not helping you. Many of the clients I work with benefit from using the affirmations, “I know I am worthy of experiencing sexual pleasure in my life.” Find an affirmation, use EFT, use hypnosis and give yourself permission to have pleasure.
Increase Your Sexual Pleasure Confidence: I’m going to be really honest with you for a moment. The first time you experience sexual pleasure (especially after having that stuff locked down so tight) it can be terrifying. Know that going in and prepare for it. Have a partner who you can talk to about the potential for this intense reaction. After wards, I encourage you to reflect on the massive power associated with your sexual pleasure. FEEL that power and that release. Commit to it and keep repeating it until you are extremely confident.
Eliminate Archaic And Outdated Beliefs: This one may require more work on your part. It’s crucial that you begin to explore which beliefs you hold around sex, sexuality, and pleasure, that are serving you compared to those that are harming you. When we are constantly reinforcing that we don’t deserve to have good sex, it’s going to be next to impossible to experience good sex. When we carry beliefs such as "women don’t orgasm", we are going to experience massive blocks to orgasming. Identifying which beliefs are not supporting your desires is a crucial part in making change.
Normalize Your Needs, Wants, and Desires: I’m at a point in my life where very little shocks me anymore. I talk to the clients I work with regularly about the importance of identifying their sexual needs, wants, and desires. Once we begin to understand and recognize those, I think the natural next step is to normalize them. This goes hand in hand with eliminating archaic and outdated beliefs. If you long to have sex with someone of the same gender, and you hold beliefs that you will go to hell for that; perhaps it’s time to replace the thought of going to hell with a positive and supportive thought. If you long to have consensual sex with more than one person ,I want you to know that’s okay and it happens ALL THE TIME!
Communicate Those Needs, Wants, and Desires To Safe People: When I’m working with people to teach them Shame Resilience, one of the concepts we often talk about is that not everyone deserves to hear your Shame stories. A very similar belief resides here as well. Not everyone deserves to hear your sexual needs, wants, and desires. I would hope that the people you are engaging with sexually are worthy of hearing these things, but that’s not always a given. I encourage my clients to test the waters and confirm to themselves that the people they are sharing with are safe and healthy people to share these intimate details with. Begin communicating slowly and openly and go from there.
Explore Your Desires: I want to give you permission to create a very rich and appealing fantasy life. Part of how we grow, heal, change, and evolve is by exploring what we enjoy and what we don’t enjoy. I’m always going to encourage you to make sure everyone involved has consented a hundred percent, but beyond that play and experiment! Figure out what you really like and what you don’t like! And know that you don’t owe an explanation to anyone. This category reminds me of that young adult who hates carrots. When pressed for a time he tried carrots, it turns out he has never consumed them. Upon trying the carrots it turns out he loves them. Many things cannot be ruled out as a pleasure until we have either tried them or considered them.
I’m a big fan of living a Shame Free life! I think when we commit to developing Shame Resilience, at some point we are going to be bound to apply it to our sex life. Many of us are still living under the rules and obligations that it’s not okay to talk about sex or pleasure. Those things could not be farther from the truth. If you want a safe and private place to go to talk about sex or other personal things consider joining here: https://www.jennbovee.com/living-out-loud/
Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach who is teach people all over the world about how to develop Shame Resilience. She begins with teaching people how to implement Self-Care and Self-love and allowing them to step into the life of their fantasies. Learn more about Jenn here: https://www.jennbovee.com/take-action/
Many of us have experienced Shame from multiple sources for not having a loving relationship with ourselves. We need to stop that behavior.
For a long time in my life, I kept a running tally in my brain about what I had done wrong, where I had failed, and how badly I had messed up things in my life. I suspect the real reason I kept that list is I was so desperate to protect myself from being blindsided by someone else’s criticism that I was desperately clinging to every wrongdoing I could even possibly think about doing.
In all honesty, even just looking back that was absolutely exhausting! And the reality is you can never be prepared for every single complaint from every single person in the world! It just doesn’t work that way. Over the last 20 years, I have worked with numerous clients who have the same or similar habits and behaviors. The problem is holding on to these frustrations and resentments towards ourselves put us at war with ourselves. That’s not only not healthy, it’s actually fairly dangerous. I was looking at research a few days ago that says holding a resentment towards ourselves actually has the potential to increase inflammation.
There are so many myths running around about forgiveness. Some of the common ones I have heard from clients include: If I forgive that makes what they did okay, there’s no way I could possibly forget what they did, or I don’t want to let them off the hook. I want you to know that I hear and validate each of those statements fully. However, that’s not how I approach forgiveness at all.
My working definition of forgiveness is: “Giving up the hope of a different or better yesterday”. I’d love to show you how to put this into practice. I absolutely believe we can put the past in the past. I also truly believe that many of the clients I have worked with (based on what they tell me) are no longer living lives that are ruined by their past. Your future is yours and it’s up to you to create the future that you desire and long for. My recommendations to allow you to leave the past in the past and create the perfect future for you include:
1. How Important Is It Really: This is a great filter to run your experiences and thoughts through. Before you decide to be upset about something or beat yourself up, ask yourself how important it really is. Will it matter a year from now? Will it matter in ten years from now? Is it worth losing sleep over? When we begin to run our experiences through this filter, it empowers us and gives us more control. It doesn’t mean it’s not okay for you to be upset or hurt, it just changes the outcome of your experiences.
2. Don’t Take It To Bed: Do you remember that old saying about not going to bed angry? That’s literally my suggestion. Many of the clients I work with, myself included, have a lower quality of sleep if they go to bed angry or frustrated. My experience is when we go to bed (or even to sleep) with residual issues or emotions that are unexpressed, it creates a carryover effect for the next day. We wake up less than well rested, we are already on edge, and we are just carrying that crap from yesterday around with us.
3. Practice Intentional Gratitude: I mean this very literally! I would love to see you begin practicing gratitude over each and everything. The great stuff, the mediocre stuff, the crappy stuff, and the downright awful stuff. I have found that when I aim to be intentionally grateful for everything that I experience in my life it creates a massive and instant shift. In his research about how to heal the brain, Dr. Daniel Amen talks about how just focusing on three gratitude’s each day creates a better quality of life in three weeks.
4. Communicate Your Thoughts Clearly: Even if you are living alone, on a desert island, communicating your thoughts and experiences clearly is so crucial. Even if you are only communicating it to yourself! Write it out, speak it out, sing it out, or paint it out. I really am not concerned about how you communicate or even what method of communication you use. If you live alone, journal your thoughts or feelings out. If you are in intimate relationships find a way to communicate with those people in your life. You will find so much freedom when you find your voice.
5. Take An Accurate Inventory: An accurate inventory is done on a consistent basis. If you try this philosophy and it daily is too much, back it down to once a week. Let’s set you up for success. The key is to leave emotions out of the equation and to carefully not delve into morbid reflection. When grocery stores take an inventory they don’t beat themselves up for running out of tomato soup. That would be absolutely silly, right? When we are taking an accurate inventory it typically consists of: what went well, what we could improve on, and where we need to grow. I also value being able to assess if there’s anything I need to clean up. Do I need to apologize, do I need to make an amends and do I need to do something to help someone? It’s an absolute shift in focus.
6. Forgiveness Starts With Us: This is such a challenging concept for many of us who have spent our lives beating ourselves up! When we use the definition I provided earlier, “Giving up the hope of a different or better yesterday,” I think it takes the people and situations out of the equation. When we begin practicing radical forgiveness towards ourselves it allows us to be human without the risk of being abused by ourselves. Forgiveness also clears up the garbage that we are carrying around so we can make room to begin loving ourselves.
I sincerely hope you found these suggestions beneficial. I am officially launching the Self Love Adventure. If you want to increase the amount of love you treat yourself with, you will want to join us. Learn more about it here: https://www.jennbovee.com/self-love
Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach who is dedicated to helping people overcome the impact of Shame.
Unworthiness and lack of self-care over time put us at war with ourselves. I absolutely love working with people who have declared war on themselves because they are the people who make a complete 180! They are also the people who are typically willing to challenge your suggestions every step of the way. Removing the self-hate programming from your life is not an instant procedure.
I’m committed to this process for the long haul. In the end, I hope that you fall madly and deeply in love with yourself. And if you keep reading these blogs, keep signing up for the initiatives, and give it a try I suspect that you will find that you have learned to love yourself. Perhaps it will happen as subtly as it did for me. Literally, one day I noticed that I no longer cringed when I saw my reflection. And as I checked in, sure enough, the self-love was happening!
The difficulty for many people is how to go from hating ourselves, beating ourselves up for every movement, and constantly critiquing every little thing we do, to suddenly (and seemingly randomly) just loving ourselves. That’s too big of a leap for many people. So let’s start small and make the journey worth every step of the way!
My goal with this blog is to empower you to naturally and easily stop the self-hate. Because once that process is complete the power of self-love begins to slowly increase. And sooner, rather than later, you find yourself deeply in love with yourself!
Maybe you don’t full out “hate” yourself! Maybe you are just your own biggest critique. Perhaps you are only trying to prevent yourself from being blindsided by other people’s complaints. It’s possible that this is just a learned behavior, a method of keeping yourself safe. However, it’s not effective and it’s truly not helping you! Allow yourself to resign from the committee dedicated to beating the hell out of you.
Regardless of if you find yourself 100% on the hating yourself bandwagon, read through my suggestions and see if there’s any room at all for you to apply these tips. If you can at all benefit from the suggestions, apply them! None of us are beyond self-improvement.
Here are my recommendations to ditch the self-hate with ease and grace:
Stop Looking For and Expecting the Worst: When you expect and look for the worst-case scenario, that’s exactly what you find. Do you want to feel like the world’s biggest piece of poop? Probably not. When we stop looking for the worst, we begin to allow ourselves to experience and find the opposite end of that spectrum. Everything is not always going to be all rainbows and sunshine, but things can change if we allow them to. What we look for we find, and when we start making room for positive experiences things begin to shift for us.
Implement Effective Boundaries: Sometimes we need to tell others, and ourselves NO. By establishing effective and healthy boundaries, we begin to release the need to overcommit ourselves and subsequently beat ourselves up for not being able to follow through. Boundaries don’t make you mean, selfish or self-centered. Boundaries are actual a movement into loving yourself and choosing yourself.
Forgive Easily and Intentionally: My favorite definition of forgiveness is giving up the hope for a different or better yesterday. I absolutely love the concept of intentional forgiveness. It implies a certain gracefulness and ease in forgiving. The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, the next time someone hurts your feelings, and the next time someone doesn’t keep their commitment to you the instant action is to forgive them. This translates nicely towards ourselves as well. Can you imagine how that would feel to have your default be to extend grace towards yourself rather than harshness?
Celebrate Failure: I mean this one very literally! Every single thing that you fail out, I literally want you to celebrate it! This may sound strange to many of you, but I would like you to hear me out. When many people experience failure they perceive it as being the end. What if you changed your perception to failure only signifying you discovering a way that didn’t work for you? Which therefore allows you to get closer and closer to achieving your actual goal.
Embrace Resting: One of the most rewarding things I have ever done is to schedule a nap into my workdays! This is literally one of the best things I have done. I’m not talking about sleeping 15 or 18 hours a day. But rather than going and going and going and continuously pushing through things resting is many times a great reward. Resting can include eating a nutritious meal or making sure you are hydrating properly. I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Use the Weapon of Gratitude: When we begin using gratitude as a part of our first line of defense, everything begins to shift. One time I had decided to begin practicing intentional gratitude. I had everything set up so I could succeed at this. And the day it was supposed to start I woke up with a puking migraine. I remember thinking that puking in between my clients was not what I wanted to be grateful for. As I was driving home, I made the decision that I was going to be grateful that my body felt safe enough to communicate with me, and that I was grateful my schedule was flexible enough to allow me to go home and rest. This was a huge shifting point for me. I really encourage you to do it!
Imagine it dissipating: Check in with your body and find the place where the lack of love resides. It’s a fairly simple process, just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and ask your body where the lack of self-love resides in your body. Then take a few moments every day and imagine or pretend that it’s growing smaller and smaller. Until eventually it’s no longer there at all!
I long to empower each and every human alive to fall in love with themselves. To believe in themselves so completely and so unapologetically that nothing can interfere with that love!
Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach who empowers people to step into the life of their wildest dreams. Jenn would love to invite you to join The Self Love Adventure. Sign up here:https://www.jennbovee.com/self-love
To be completely transparent, if you would have attempted to talk to me about the correlation between self-care and finances a few years ago, I would have told you that you had lost your mind. I would have even argued that finances have zero part in self-care! Thankfully none of you did because I would have been both arrogant and wrong. There’s such a strong correlation between self-care and finances. I actually am actively involved in my finances now because it IS a form of self-care for me. A few years ago my husband and I were having a discussion about financial stuff. I told him how unfair it was that he can see everything about my accounts at all times, but I don’t have the ability to see his stuff. He asked me if I knew why I didn’t have the ability to see his accounts, I surmised it’s because he’s a control freak. He informed me that it was really him trying to protect me because if I saw how low his accounts sometimes go, it would create massive stress for me. I know I’m not alone in finances being a trigger for stress (and sometimes trauma), right?
In my personal history, many years ago, anytime I experienced any financial stress I would stop paying all of my bills and I would stop spending money. Now to the logical mind, you may already see the error of this way of thinking. However, in my mind, I was trying to protect myself. We all have those special quirks about our financial story, coupled with the lies that we have told ourselves about money and spending. And trust me that was built on a house of lies!
My finances used to be a hot mess in all sincerity (not unlike other areas of my life!). And what I have noticed in hindsight is that the more I worked on healing my relationship with self-care the more some of these other areas came to be healed as well. One of those areas was absolutely finances. I now approach my finances from a very proactive role and like to be aware of where my money is going at all times. Being an active participant in my own financial life is a form of self-care. I hope this helps you to feel more empowered in your financial life as well as to put you in a position to create a financial self-care routine in your life. My recommendations are as follows:
1. Remove Temptations to Miss-Spend: I don’t go walk around the mall, or good smelly places (lush, bath & body works, etc.) because my restraint is minimized when those amazing smells are in play. If you struggle with overspending places literally don’t go there! We live in a day and age where you can literally have the groceries brought out to you at many grocery stores. I wouldn’t walk around Starbucks with a loaded Starbucks app either for the record. (Unsweetened iced teas are my weakness). If you know something is a weakness for you, take control and set yourself up for success.
2. Be Mindful of Your Purchases: The way this looks is different for everyone. For some people, this is exactly why they balance their checkbooks. For others, it’s why they check their online bank accounts so frequently. My recommendations are to budget before you spend. I had a friend who wouldn’t make any unplanned purchases before thinking about it for at least 24 hours.
3. Set Priority Money Aside First: I mean this very literally. Every time I get money in I look at where my medical account expenses are going to be this coming week as well as put some of the money into my tax account. In a perfect world, I would also set aside money for vacation, massages, etc. But on average I typically focus on medical expenses and taxes. My recommendation is to find what your priorities are and focus on them. Many years ago I was very far in debt. I created a sheet that was on my bulletin board where I tracked every single payment. You have to find a method that works for you, but let’s take some action.
4. Monitor Your Accounts: I have preached this one to my clients forever! And yet, I recently realized I was paying for two services that I’m not using at all. We all have the greatest of intentions. However, if you are paying for a service that you haven’t used in more than three months my recommendation is to freeze it or stop the payments.
5. Create Financial Goals: Having financial goals is a form of self-care because it allows us to be proactive. I literally only pick one goal at a time. My current focus is on paying off the IRS. Once that is completed then I will move on to the only credit card we have. Having financial goals allows me to have a sense of purpose. It also allows me to feel as if I am not just floating along from bill to bill, trying to keep my head above water. Set small goals! Remember it can be to either save money or pay off bills, totally your call!
6. Take Control – (pay bills early or on time): I am most comfortable if we are paying our bills early. When we pay our bills right on time or late, it creates stress for me. In the end of December, I got sick and lost track of where we were on our bills. Nobody died, nobody got evicted but this created tremendous stress for me. I have found that if I review the bills due for the week on Monday and get them paid then, things go a lot smoother for me.
7. Communicate: I have learned that communicating about my finances puts me in a position to take better care of myself. Recently, I was in a position where I didn’t have the money to pay a friend the money I needed to. I emailed her before the payment was due and explained the situation. I told her if it was a huge deal I could figure something out, or I could pay it a few weeks later. She opted to skip this month’s payment. The lesson in this for me was: when we communicate about our finances and financial needs people typically meet them gracefully.
I’m a huge advocate for the concept that anything CAN be self-care. If it’s self-care for you, then that’s phenomenal. Self-care can be different for everyone and look different for everyone. Introducing self-care into your financial world creates a whole new level of care for yourself. When you are practicing financial self-care it opens the door to increasing yourself love and worthiness.
Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach who is in the process of releasing the Self Love Initiative.
Stay informed of what she’s doing by going here: https://www.jennbovee.com/free-self- care
We all use rituals every day. I’m curious to know your rituals of self care.
When you are living with grief and loss it can make the holidays stressful. Check out Jenn’s tips for thriving!
I remember as a child, watching my mom work endlessly and way beyond exhaustion so that we could all enjoy the Holidays. In my family, we celebrated Christmas and I think she was up until at least 3 am on Christmas eve and up by 7am on Christmas Day. She would be doing the last minute things that the rest of us hadn’t thought about or didn’t pay attention. I’m not sure if it’s like that in every family, but I know there have been a few Christmas’s that I’ve been up a little bit too late wrapping presents and what not.
As the holiday season approaches, the obligations and activities you engage in likely increases. For many people they need to prepare their own home, prepare some food for at least one event, and grab some gifts. That doesn’t include multiple family get togethers, work holiday parties, and other activities. If you have children the list of things you need to do likely increases, and includes: school holiday parties, school music programs, and gifts for the teachers.
Regardless of the expectations, obligations, or activities that you are engaging in during this holiday season I want to empower you to be able to engage in some very realistic and healing self-care. I have watched for decades as people just toss their self-care aside in an effort to be able to show up for other people. (I’m not going to address the inherent difficulties with that philosophy in this blog.)
Please also understand that in my experience, anything CAN be self-care. Sometimes for me, self-care is taking a nice hot bath and just letting go of all the stress. Sometimes self-care is eating that cookie that my body has been begging for. And sometimes self-care just means not having to explain or answer to anyone. My recommendations are as follows:
Prepare things in advance: I literally have all of my Christmas cookies baked (and have had them cooked since before Thanksgiving). I picked nights when my pain was way down, my energy was up, and I had the time to dedicate to baking. And I did that for several nights in a row until we had enough to achieve my goals. I literally use this philosophy a lot. I make bigger meals for my family on nights I don’t see clients because I have more energy.
Outsource What You Don’t Enjoy: Last year at Christmas time my daughter had most of her gifts wrapped at Amazon. I loved that concept! I really enjoy wrapping presents even though they don’t always look perfect. Can you even imagine how freeing it would be if you just outsourced things you don’t enjoy? If you don’t enjoy baking cookies, then buy some or pay someone to cook them for you. If you don’t enjoy shopping for gifts use Amazon. We need to stop engaging in things that don’t bring us joy.
Breathe: This is one I would love to encourage you to begin experiencing very regularly. Set the timer on your phone (microwave, desktop, etc.) for 45 seconds. During this time simply focus on how it feels to experience the air coming in through your nose and out through your mouth. That’s all I want you to do, just experience yourself breathing.
Check In With Your Body: I think this one is more difficult for those of us who are busy people or have experienced trauma. It’s important to just check in with your body and notice where you are holding stress. My recommendation to my clients is to just take 15 seconds and scan their body and notice how their body is feeling. It’s about making yourself a priority.
Stretch: I understand that we are all very busy, but you are worth it. I’m not talking about doing Pilates or yoga (although I do recommend both of those activities regularly). My recommendation is to just move your muscles, let the blood flow through them, and (again) check in with them.
Doing Your Best IS Enough: You can NOT be all things to all people. Realistically speaking, you cannot do it all alone, no matter how often you play a superhero in your head! It’s okay to say no, it’s encouraged to set limits, and you are better served by taking care of yourself first! When we take care of our self first, it helps us to be able to take care of others.
Hydration: I know so many people that only drink enough water so that they don’t develop migraines. Many doctors recommend we drink half our body weight in ounces of water each day. Drinking enough water helps us with so much in so many areas: hydration, energizes muscles, moisturizes the skin, and helps your kidneys.
Sleep: This is such an important one, specifically around the holidays! I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I have personally skipped sleep in the attempt to “get stuff done.” The reality is that when I do stay up late and try to get some stuff done, it is never done with the same quality as when I’m fully rested. Sleep has amazing healing benefits such as: decreased inflammation, increased mental clarity, improved clarity, and increased creativity.
I love being able to empower people to take better care of themselves. I think it’s a conversation we need to start while people are still in elementary school. That way, by the time we are in adulthood, it’s become a habit. I’m curious to know what your self-care habits are.
In the meantime check out my Self-Care Initiative. It’s designed to empower you
to establish the habit of Self-Care. Learn more about the Initiative here:
Is it easier for you to build your walls or destroy those walls?
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