I had a plan for this week. I was going to talk a little about self-care and do a list of stocking stuffers to pamper the moms in your life. While gift guides are great and we all need to take care of ourselves, I wasn’t feeling compelled to put it together. Right now, there is something more important in my heart. It is still a form of self-care, but it’s not the tangible measurable kind. It’s the kind that you feel in your heart and soul. It’s the kind that helps you feel at peace and at ease with yourself.
Today I want to share an amazing strategy for working on self acceptance. Some people say these things are flaws, imperfections or quirks. I prefer to see it as your uniqueness. It’s the stuff that makes you who you are. The stuff that makes you like no one else. The stuff that makes you interesting!
Last weekend, Rosebud really wanted to paint, so I decided to let her paint while I worked on Instagram posts. By the time she was done, there was paint everywhere. It was all over her, her tray and dripping off the paper. It was the kind of painting I couldn’t keep. I lifted it to put it on the counter to dry and the paint poured off. It upset Rosebud, but it went straight to the trash. Honestly, I was bothered by the mess. It took me forever to clean it up and while I know messy play is important for kids, I hate dealing with it. I clean up after kids all day at work. I don’t want to do it here too. It’s not fair to Rosebud, but it’s a fact. I do set up messy play opportunities for her, but they are few and far between.
The No Paint Mama
My anxiety about clean up goes through the roof and I hate feeling that every time. At first, I started thinking about what a failure I am as a mom. How my child needs this and maybe I’m depriving her of something, but am I really or am I too focused on the shoulds and coulds. In that moment, I decided to embrace the fact that I’m not a messy play mom. I told one person on Instagram that I’d be the no paint mama.
When I thought about it, Rosebud enjoys many forms of sensory play like water, the rice bin, kinetic sand, play-dough,, water beads, shredded paper etc. She does drawing, water colors, gluing, cutting and decorating with stickers, so she gets plenty of exposure to arts and crafts. Even after all that, why was I hung up on the paint? She doesn’t need to do messy finger painting every day to be a well rounded child. Those voices popped up in my head. Those annoying shoulds.
What They Tell Us
Then today during a coaching call, I had this amazing break through. This is why I love coaching so much. We were talking about marketing strategies for my business and how to make the best use of my time. I told her how I felt I was making the most of my time by using Instagram, but there are the shoulds. The experts saying that you need to be on all forms of social media and be doing all things. You need to post videos, write blog entries, send out a newsletter, create podcasts, schedule multiple posts on every platform etc.
In real life, this is too much for one person. This involves hiring tasks out. While this is possible for a successful business owner, you can’t always do this when you are first starting out. I need to simplify, so for now I am focusing on one social media platform. While so many people recommend Facebook for this purpose, I had to choose the one I’m having the most fun and best interaction with. Even if it goes against the advice of the so called experts who don’t know me or my audience. I need to follow my own path.
Living in the Present
My next battle with the shoulds was about creating a marketing plan. The experts say to create a 60 or 90 day marketing plan. While this works great for sales, tracking income etc, it wasn’t working for me with social media marketing. I have a 90 day plan laid out in a spread sheet and you know what? I used none of it. You might be wondering why. It’s because I need to create content around what I’m feeling in that moment. What am I struggling with? What can my audience relate to? How can I be the most authentic?
If I’m focusing on something from three months ago, I may not be feeling that way today. Everything surrounding children and motherhood change so fast, that I have to scrap my plan. This is a metaphor for motherhood, right? Nothing goes as planned. As soon as you have something figured out, it changes.
Speaking of metaphors, that is the strategy. My coach asked me what I took away from our sessions, but she asked me if there was one image that I could hold in my mind that embodied everything I’ve learned. It didn’t make sense at first, but the first image that came to mind was a fluffy white cloud floating along in the sky. The more I thought about it, a girl floated on top of the cloud. As I explained the cloud metaphor to my coach, it started to take shape.
I am embracing my uniqueness and every cloud has its own shape. Clouds are floating. The wind is carrying them, but they have an energy of their own. They are not listening to the other clouds, they are on their own path, reaching their own destination. Their shapes may change over time. They may rise or fall. They may come together to touch other clouds or break away on their own, but in the end, they have their uniqueness. Isn’t that why we look at them? Isn’t that where we find the beauty?
This strategy isn’t an easy fix. Accepting yourself is life long work. It changes from day to day. I see it like creating a sculpture. Each day, you chip away and get one step closer to where you want to be. The beautiful sculpture starts to take its shape and then is revealed over time.
What is Your Metaphor?
What do you need to embrace? What is your image or metaphor that can help you accept your beauty? Your uniqueness. The things that make you interesting, authentic and wonderful. If you need help with this process, let’s jump on a
discovery call. I’d love to help you celebrate your uniqueness.