The February brief was both an introduction and a call to action. The action is to be aware of our words and conduct towards each other, and to strive to be supportive of one another, especially women. Jane Barr Horstman and Associates, woman owned and staffed almost entirely by women, was founded, not only on the principle that all our clients deserve white glove service, but that we are a team, working together.
As a team we can accomplish more, reduce stress and celebrate success exponentially. The sum being greater than its parts. But this does not diminish the value of each part and that is what I am sharing with you today. The value of your time, your wisdom and your health is of paramount importance. And although you, like I, probably did not grow up with many examples of self-care, the time has come when it cannot be denied. This is not a mild suggestion that you schedule a massage once a month. This is a rally cry that you shift the way you perceive your life so that taking care of you is of supreme significance.
When it came to devotion to self, my mother’s only example was her devotion to the church. She cared for me, my seven siblings, our father and her mother with little time to herself. For my father, Kelly’s Bar was the refuge. A well-established and accepted behavior for men of his generation. I, not being one to sit still, either in church or the classroom, opted to expand my idea of self-care. In 1974, as an 18 year old, I was inspired to book a Holland American cruise to Bermuda with two girlfriends. While on that cruise I enjoyed my first massage. It seemed like the most luxurious thing I could do. Think Kim Bassinger and Sean Connery. And then watch them here. It may out seemed out of character, but as I grew older, I realized it was essential. Caring for myself is essential. Caring for yourself is essential.
The goal now is to shift our ideas of what that looks and feels like so that there is not the guilt of spending time/money on ourselves and there is not the additional pressure of scheduling, yet another activity into our day. The way we perceive our value is directly correlated to the ease in which we dedicate time to ourselves. If we, as individuals, honor our basic needs, the need to recharge, regroup, release, we add worth to our families, community and teams.
To take good care of ourselves we need to be aware of ourselves. We can learn to listen when our bodies say we have worked too much, not slept enough or been around toxic people too long. Once aware, without blaming or shaming, we can take steps to prioritize our actions. It could be as simple as getting outside and do five minutes of deep breathing or it can be as drastic as giving your two-weeks’ notice. You have to take care of you.
Off and on, throughout my life, I found myself putting others first. At this point, it is critical that I put my needs at the top of the list. Sleep, exercise, meditation and travel take precedents over most things in my life. Almost every morning, without fail, I take the time to read two chapters of The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down, by Haemin Sunim, a book that brings great peace into my life. In turn, I am healthier, happier and more constructive in my relationships and as a CEO.
I encourage all of us to explore ways to care for our health, value our time and honor our wisdom. When we do, we naturally produce joy.
Here are a few articles on the subject:
CEO, Jane Barr Horstman & Associates