Hi, I'm Brigitte
I once thought that any from of taking care of myself was a complete act of selfishness. While raising my children, working, running the household (and I do mean running/controlling), I was in a state of utter self-neglect. I was always at least ten pounds overweight, overwhelmed and under-nourished physically, mentally/emotionally and especially spiritually. I was dry, parched and thirsty. I needed to be watered so that I could thrive, blossom and grow. My roots were slowly shriveling.
“Self care” meant buying the occasional latte, the rare mani-pedi, or savoring the seldom solitude that was usually in the bathroom. I experienced a tremendous amount of GUILT if I dared to purchase myself a new outfit. But mostly, the guilt came from not so much the spending of MONEY on myself, but more so the spending of TIME on myself.
I spent most of my days focusing on the needs of others, over-giving, over-involved in the lives of my children, and overworked. I lived my life from a To-Do list (which by the way I now see as somewhat lazy and totally non-creative). Scattered, unfocused, ungrounded, rushing from one task to the next. I literally feel like I have amnesia around the time between the years of 25 to 45. I know there were fun times, and I do have scattered glimpses of those times, but I was so busy and caught up in planning the next best thing that I wasn’t even there.
Not being present in my own life. The Goddess was in deep hibernation.
I either felt anxious, flat, numb or fearful much of the time.
I had no idea what I loved, enjoyed, desired, dreamed of or even what would feel good to me.
Then one day I read a book from Oprah’s Book Club: The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav. The Goddess in me began to slowly wake up. Really, really slowly.
This would be the beginning of a delightful, delicious, frightening awesome trip; my very own heroines journey, the adventure of a lifetime. I devoured self-help books, podcasts, online programs, womens retreats, therapy, became certified as a Life coach and Health coach, dove into Yoga and meditation, became a Yoga teacher, hopped on the Leadership train at my job, journaled my way to clarity and it was fantastic.....................and exhausting.
Seriously, on the way to finding myself, I ended up losing myself in the search.
Until finally I just kind of realized one day, wherever it is I am trying to get is not OVER THERE. I knew that whatever I was searching for was already inside of me just waiting to be awakened. Yes, all of the things I did to get to where I am have served me well. Not as the destination but only as a pathway to the place within that gently whispers "wake up my dear, the world needs you".
Fast forward to today.
First I must admit I’ve come to kind of hate the term “self-care”. For me it feels overused, impersonal and screams of massages and nail appointments . The term I use is “Goddess Care”. I actually tell my loved ones I am unavailable because "I am Feeding My Goddess".
This comes from my years of studying the great women of history; the goddesses and angels, both earthly and ethereal, the saints and the sinners, the women who changed the trajectory of our world with their wild, rebel hearts. Using the power of their Reverent Love, Holy Rage, Prayerful Patience and all of the qualities the Feminine heart displays, women have a special place in changing the world. No more so, no less so than men. Just different. The Fierce Feminine…. is ……unstoppable.
Therefore, I use the term “Goddess Care” to honor all of the historic heroines that came before us.
Now I mostly give from my saucer, my overflow. Whatever is left that spills out of my full cup into the little plate there to catch the spillage belongs to everyone and everything else. And I know that when I fill my cup first that everyone around me benefits. For me, filling my cup can take anywhere from 5 minutes to five hours to five days, weeks, months, and anything in between! The tricky part is to not let it get empty. Keeping it mostly full means I don’t need 2 days or 2 weeks to replenish.
Now I mostly rest when I need to, my solitude is a non-negotiable, My To-Do list is a Might-Do If I Feel Like It list. I’m okay knowing that I can’t please everyone, and that everyone can’t please me and that everything won't get done. Instead of not knowing what I love, there are so many things I love to do, so many adventures I want to take, that I can easily get caught up in analysis-paralysis because I don’t even know where to begin.
Now I mostly love my body and mostly take great care of her. I care for my mental/emotional needs and my spirit is usually bursting at the seams, ready to explode with the love that I feel for the people in my life. All of those special souls I’ve known, not yet known, and those whom I’m destined to cross paths with eventually in this lifetime.
I describe my life now using the word “mostly” for a reason. I want to be clear that I don’t always get it right but now I am able to recognize when I need to course correct. Usually I can do that fairly quickly these days. But there are those times when my life, with my high pressure job, and all of the normal ups, downs, twists and turns that we all experience come up and I lose my way for a time.
But then, I remember…….and I find my way home. Again and again and again.
I’ve managed to do this through simple practices and principles that I love to teach; routines and rituals, and some structure and systems, that support me to be the best version of me. It's not magic but feels magical. It's not necessarily easy but it's simple. It’s this that brings me back. Back to me as the Awakened Goddess that I dare to be.