Here at Jennasis Speaks we are here to support you in whatever journey you are on. To learn more about yourself and isolation watch my FREE masterclass.
As women, we wear so many hats and have so much responsibility—often juggling six balls in one hand, while cooking dinner and helping our children with their homework in the other hand.
Under the weight of these demands, many of us are not great at self-care and truly don’t take time to make self-care a priority. Whether this is us finding time to exercise, get adequate sleep, hire a coach, enjoy a book club, enjoy a hobby or learn a new skill… we can’t seem to consistently do any of these things for ourselves.
While we may genuinely want these things, they almost always get put to the bottom of our priority lists each week. Too often, we give away our time to others without thinking about the impact that has on us.
But there is, indeed, an impact… one that compounds over time until it can’t help but be felt, and deeply so.
The cost of self-neglect
When we reach this point, we often feel alone and that life overwhelms us with commitments. Our sense of self gets lost in running errands, trying to date, picking up prescriptions, balancing friendships, working out, caretaking elderly parents and/or children, making meals, cleaning the house… and the list goes on, endlessly.
Sure, many of us do believe in work-life balance. But for most, the “life” part of responsibilities consumes our self-care. We may find a moment to shop on Amazon, quickly go purchase a new pair of shoes, squeeze in our hair appointments (between soccer drop off and soccer pick up). But we have lost the way of true rest.
I’m raising my hand here, too! Even with almost all adult-aged children, I get bogged down with life tasks where I often surrender the joy of rest, of just being, of finding ways to truly self-care.
The biggest reason? I feel guilty when I rest.
I feel guilty when I order the food that I prefer or choose a movie that my family “endures” because it was mom’s night to pick. I feel selfish when I choose to enjoy the things that I want to do, because I’m thinking that takes away from my family, friends, or work.
But I have begun to change this cyclic thought pattern from one of selfishness to one who embraces holistic self-care: mind, body, spirit, and soul.
Because you can’t pour from an empty cup, as the adage goes.
Instead, I think we need to be asking ourselves different whys.
Why do we give away pieces of ourselves to everyone around us and do a disservice to our own hearts, souls, physical bodies, and/or mental health? Why are we quick to help and serve others, even when it disallows us to rest, to enjoy the quiet, to walk without having to catch up with someone? Why do we allow others to talk to us with condescending voices, name calling, and disrespect?
Some of us feel like we are completely whole and feel supported in our circles of friends and within our communities. But perhaps there are still areas within us that we might hide. We’re not living openly from our true power and healing, and this leaves us feeling isolated, alone, afraid, paralyzed.
Others of us feel like we are completely alone and have no one to share our true selves with. We feel locked down and want to hide from our trauma, pain, and wounds within.
Regardless, it’s time for all of us to take a peek into our hearts, into our souls, into our minds to assess where each of us are at on our journeys.
I am writing this because I, too, have dealt with—and still, on many levels, continue to deal—with these feelings of guilt, stress, shame, and unworthiness. But through this past decade, I have made a commitment to heal, to grow, to reach, to address, to give, to be… and that is my hope and desire for all women.
How do we start?
- Awareness is a key. We cannot change habits or wounds that we are unaware of. Self awareness is a gift that gently shines a light on the areas of our lives where we have the opportunity to grow, heal, and become empowered.
- Courage is a key. We have to find the ability to press past our fears in order to bring truth to light. That is where healing begins.
- Community is a key. When we surround ourselves with people who are like minded and on the same path of healing that we desire, we find support and acceptance.
I saw a quote on Instagram last week from a woman that I went to high school with. She wrote, “That ugly part of your story is going to be the most powerful part of your testimony.”
How do these words hit you? Is your instant reaction a scoff and a ‘yeah right,’ or is your reaction one where you are raising both arms fully in the air and saying ‘yessssss’?
I hope it’s the latter. Now is the time to bring light into the dark places of our hearts and souls that we hide not only from others, but also from ourselves. We all have light, hope, beauty, strength, and power within us… and it’s time that we allow these to shine through us and on us, to be a beacon of light and joy to those around us.
We as women have the power to be a catalyst for one another. One flicker within our hearts can turn into an ember, if fanned… with that ember evolving into a small flame, that flame becoming a fire… until that fire takes hold, burning strong, and a movement is born.
Such a movement flows with hope, with forgiveness, with joy and laughter, while walking in the fullness of our calling as a courageous being … and do I now dare say a courageous warrior?
It is time, ladies….it’s time to arise. It’s time to reclaim or true selves and unleash our voices. It’s time to link arms and step into the lives we were created to live, together. It’s time that we women build each other up and support one other in our trials and tribulations.
Let’s not ‘exist’ alone in the dark anymore.
We all know our dark side. Women can be catty and mean. We can cut someone down so quickly with eloquent jabs; we know how to invoke shame upon each other.
This must end.
We need compassion, understanding, and kindness. We need to demonstrate this to others, no matter what journey or path they’re walking upon. We need to let our light shine through.
Let’s take time to peek into our hearts and see where we are on this journey of healing and wholeness.
How is your soul?
The isolated soul: Are you feeling alone, unworthy or hiding your wounds?
Do you identify with any of these words: separation, segregation, remoteness, loneliness, seclusion, inaccessibility, quarantine, unworthiness?
- Separation – the action or state of moving or being moved apart.
- Segregation – the action or state of setting someone or something apart from other people or things or being set apart.
- Loneliness – sadness because one has no friends or company; the quality of being unfrequented and remote; isolation
- Seclusion – the state of being private and away from other people.
- Inaccessibility – the fact of being very difficult or impossible to travel to or to reach
- Quarantine – a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed; to impose isolation on (a person, animal, or place)
- Unworthiness – not deserving effort, attention, or respect.
The year 2020 has been a year unlike one that any of us have ever known. We have been separated, isolated, quarantined. We have had to to deal with our family issues, life issues, mental health issues, physical well-being—alone or mostly alone.
The state of this season of life compounds the loneliness and unworthiness already eating away inside many of us. We don’t touch, we don’t connect, we isolate ourselves for our safety and the safety of those around us.
But the deeper type of isolation that I am talking about goes much further than what the Covid-19 pandemic has forced upon us.
Those of us who (pre-Covid) already dealt with issues of isolation, hiding, depression… who separated ourselves from those around us due to fear, lack of time, lack of confidence… have all the more been put into a vacuum. We are alone with our thoughts, our feelings, and the poisonous words that scream aloud in our heads to isolate us.
Does any of this sound familiar? Do some of these words squeeze around you all too tight, fitting like a glove for the past year, the past several years, a decade—maybe even your lifetime?
We hide, we avoid, and we put our walls up for self-preservation. This is our normal, and it has served us well in order to protect ourselves from being hurt again. We wear masks that hide our true emotions and feelings. We cover ourselves inside of heavy armor so that we feel brave to face the world.
But isolating ourselves also leaves us lonely, trapping our true selves within and cutting off meaningful connections with others. To be alone is to be in a downtrodden state of mind.
Recommendations to get out of isolation:
- Find a trusted friend to begin to confide in
- Take a walk and deeply listen to the whispers within your soul
- Loan a book from library to begin reading on things that gently challenge your well-being
- Start a dream board
The thriving soul: Are you in a powerful place? Fully alive and living in a sanctuary?
Do you identify with any of these words: Refuge, shelter, safe haven, protection, immunity, place of safety, safe house, safety?
Refuge – a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.
- Safe Haven – a place of refuge or security; temporary refuge given to a persecuted person or group.
- Shelter – a place giving temporary protection from bad weather or danger.
- Sanctuary – a place of refuge or safety.
- Protection – a person or thing that prevents someone or something from suffering harm or injury
- Immunity – protection or exemption from something, especially an obligation or penalty.
- Safe House – a secret place for sanctuary or suitable to hide persons from retribution, threats or perceived danger
- Safety – the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury.
Many women find themselves truly alive after pursuing the hard work to overcome traumatic past and harmful choices. We’ve found self-forgiveness and moved our lives forward.
I ask you to gently look in the mirror and ask yourself: is this truly you? How do these words hit your heart as you read through them?
Women who are on this path continuously seek out emotional and psychological healing. The pursuit of true freedom from our trauma calls to us like cool refreshing waters. We find ourselves curious, joyful and excited about living our true, authentic, and unabashed selves.
We recognize in ourselves and also in others the beauty within our hearts, the song in our spirits, the dance in our steps, and the laughter upon our lips. There is a portal in our souls… one that is bright, open, warm, and eager to learn more! We use our breath as a healing and calming mechanism, finding our peace and calm through deep inhalation and exhalation.
I recently connected with a dear friend of mine who has walked alongside me this past decade as I have been on my healing journey. She shared with me the beauty, the light, and the joy she saw within me—and I discovered how easily I was able to see the beauty, the light, and the joy that was within her. I have found that the law of attraction works when women step into this healing path… we automatically begin to find other women around us who are healing along the way too.
I love being completely open with other women by sharing my story, but only if and when I trust that their motivations are pure; that they are in a place of deep compassion, listening and learning. I find my walls coming down, and I am then more willing to be further open and vulnerable—and ultimately, readily receive feedback about my blindspots.
We as women need gentle, but direct truth-tellers in our lives—both women and men—who will speak the truth in love because they deeply have the best intentions towards us.
When we find ourselves in this state of being of openness, we already realize that we are far from perfect. We also recognize that perfection is not the outcome that we desire. We acknowledge our pain, our shortcomings, and the lies that still try to rear their ugly heads up at us. But we are aware of those shortcomings … and we are eager to adapt, to heal, to grow, to learn and to change.
As we heal, we uncover deeper areas within us that no longer serve the woman who we want to be. We are able to address these issues, let go more quickly and heal much more deeply.
The level of joy, of hope, and of courage is now contagious to those around us. We are a beacon of hope, we are a beacon of light, we are a confident, unapologetic woman warrior. We are secure women who have the banner over our heads that says, “Ego Satis.”
I am enough!
Tips/Recommendations to Stay within A Sanctuary:
- Stay vulnerable and go deeper into your healing
- Continue to challenge and evaluate your triggers
- Make self-care (body, soul, spirit) a daily priority – if you don’t, no one else will gift you this
- Be honest with yourself and others
- Read books and listen to podcasts that continue to fill your soul
The in-between soul: Do you waiver back and forth?
Are you a woman who feels fully alive and invincible one day, like nothing can hold you down… only to wake up the next day with feelings of unworthiness, loneliness, and burnout? Are you some days courageous, pushing through the veil of fear; yet the next day curled up in a ball and unable to move one foot in front of the other?
Many of us live in this mercurial, back-and-forth cadence, like the swaying of a ship upon high waters. When we are courageous, nothing can stop us; we feel impregnable. But when we are fearful or dealing with shame, feelings of “who am I?”, “why me?”, “I am unworthy?” set in.
This turbulent, unpredictable state of being can be the most unsettling of all. It’s also one of the most common spaces for women to find themselves in.
When we are in this space, there are the highs of feeling invincible, like nothing can stop us… until the pendulum swings to the lowest of lows—feeling alone, depressed, and like a failure. These negative feelings are then compounded as we add on immense guilt for the drastic shift, as we struggle against the insurmountable pressure to perform and fake it. We shame ourselves because we are fully aware that we “can” be in a good state of mind, but we can’t seem to maintain it… and it must be our fault, something lacking or wrong for which to blame ourselves.
Yet the dichotomy of emotions that arise can be found within any woman at one time or another. They are the natural result of being multifaceted, living, feeling beings. Knowing this, my desire and hope is for us women to demonstrate deep compassion towards ourselves.
We are all on our own journeys of healing and living and being. We often demonstrate deeper compassion towards others on their walks of life than we do towards ourselves. Yet why would we not show ourselves the same compassion we’d so readily give another during a trying time in their journey?
It is during our in-between moments that we need to focus this compassion with intention. We can begin to identify the positive behaviors that we want to deepen, grow and maintain, as well as identify the triggers that cause our souls to plummet downward so easily and quickly. As we notice causes and patterns, we can start searching for the people, resources, activities, and therapies to help us alleviate them—and thus alleviate the constant, crushing, back-and-forth tugging on our souls.
While a deeply personal journey, outreach to others to help us along the way is critical. If together we can imagine a world where women align with other women—locking arms in unison and in power—we can more easily achieve a sense of stability. When we connect with others, we unlock our hearts and break down the barriers that shame, failure, disappointment, and trauma keep us trapped within.
When we share and hear the stories from other women, we recognize the courage and beauty within that woman—and it may bring out a little more courage and beauty within us. The sharing of stories within a safe and loving community, allows each of us to open up a little bit more and it births a deep desire within us to move further into relationship, authenticity, truth, healthy conversations, and beautiful connectivity.
Tips/Recommendations to get out of the in-between:
- Continue to surround yourself with women of hope, light, and commitment to transformation
- Journal about the parts of your heart where you feel courageousness and also the areas where you know you need deeper healing
- Ask a friend to gently share with you some potential blindspots or roadblocks in your life
- Do something courageous today to strengthen and build that muscle
- Stretch your imagination to see what could be possible
How will you care for your soul from here?
No matter what state your soul is in, it’s time to stop neglecting its care; to reclaim and restore your true self. Neither our pasts nor our mistakes determine our future. Our commitment to healing, growth and transformation through humility, grace, and peace is what determines our future.
What’s more, we as women have the power to impact a shared future. A commitment to empowering each other, to encouraging each woman around us is a powerful catalyst to helping each of us realize the powerful woman she is destined to be.
This is what I envision a women’s movement to be. Will you join me in this commitment, on this journey of like-minded, soulful women?
In this movement, we as women build each other up, rather than tear each other down in pettiness or jealousy. We create space to forgive ourselves and those around us for the bad choices and trauma that was bestowed upon us, or that we bestowed upon ourselves. This movement is populated with women who have fiery hearts and warrior spirits, who unite together to gift our daughters, our nieces, our sisters, and the next generation a better world than that in which we are currently immersed.
If you can imagine it, if you can dream it, if you can see it through your mind’s eye—then you can manifest itself.
The change starts slowly today. More comes tomorrow. Transformation occurs in the years to come. But come it will—a world that can be realized faster with more women to join together in building its reality.
Through collective vulnerability and the deep desire to heal, we will each help guide and mentor other women around us to go from a space of isolation to one of courageousness. We will share our stories of pain and shame. We will also demonstrate deep listening and compassion so that other women can step through their veil of fear and come into the light of healing, voice, choice, strength, courage, community, and power.
Yes, we will all still have our bad days and our self-doubting moments.
But when we find ourselves standing alongside each other within a community where we are loved, accepted and valued for who we are; where the truth pierces our hearts quicker and we are able to come back more quickly to the place of wholeness—then women warriors, courageous souls, and fierce lovers are found.
It’s a lifetime journey to find collective healing… collective voice… collective vulnerability… collective joy. And it will be the ride of a lifetime—a ride where laughter is rediscovered, shame is broken, and worthiness is reestablished.
I cannot wait to know you, to support each of you and cheer you on as we collectively walk this courageous journey, arm in arm and with voice crescendoing, together. I cannot wait to connect with you, to hear your stories, to listen with compassionate ears, heart, and soul.
I can not wait to accept you, just as you are. I can not wait to be in this women’s movement together.
As I watch each woman step into and courageously choose to heal and peel off the layers of pain and trauma, I know it will only help me to become more courageous and committed to deeper healing within my own life. I find deeper courage to go into the dark places of my soul that still need to heal and come to the light when I watch the courage in you shine. And I hope to do the same for you. That’s the beauty of a shared movement.
Let’s do this together. Let’s transform ourselves, transform each other, and transform this movement into a sanctuary for soulful women together.
Yes… that means I am talking to you!
Here at Jennasis Speaks we are here to support you in whatever journey you are on. To learn more about yourself and isolation watch my FREE masterclass.