The Dangerous Myth of Selfishness

There is a dangerous myth that time and energy spent on knowing ourselves, on self-care, on expanding back into wholeness, is selfish — that it takes away from the contributions we are making to the world (it takes time and energy, after all).  I think the fear is that we will stop wanting to make all the sacrifices we are making for the good of others, and instead just focus on “getting what we want” — which is all about, um, money? vacations? chocolate bonbons? sleeping in?

Now, I don’t know you (or maybe I do, but as I’m writing this for my website, I don’t know that I know you), but I do know myself pretty well by now, and I’ve witnessed the journeys of a lot of other people who’ve worked with me, and at this point I am willing to say quite confidently, without knowing you, that if you have read this far on this website, you are a person who is never going to stop caring about creating good things in the world.  Never.  No matter how much self-reflection you do, no matter how much you learn about what makes you feel good and happy, no matter how clear you get on how to take care of yourself, you are never going to stop choosing to do good.

Because one important part of what makes you feel good is doing work that makes something in the world better.  You don’t have to give that up in order to come home to other parts of yourself.  In fact, knowing yourself more fully and living in ways that nurture more of you will support you in showing up more powerfully as you do your good work.

And here’s another thing.  There are things that can keep you from being able to keep doing the good work you want to do.  There are health issues; there is getting so drained, or so emotionally twisted up, that you start getting rigid or inattentive and stop doing a good job; there is getting so burned out that you have to stop the important work you are doing altogether.  I know.  I’ve dealt with all those things in my own life.

Doing the work we want to do over the long haul requires that we take care of ourselves.  It requires that we stay attentive to how well the work we are doing connects to our deepest selves, how well it nurtures and energizes us, how well it lets our gifts be present in the world.  It requires that we make changes if the work we are doing is mostly draining, discouraging, anxiety-producing, frustrating, or if it feels like we can’t be the people we most want to be when we are doing it.

Sometimes those need to be big external changes — a new job, a new career, going back to school, leaving a relationship or workplace.  But often, what is required is big internal changes instead.  Those often take more courage, but they are worth it.  Because when we bring our best, most authentic selves to what we are doing in the world we are far more inspiring and effective than when we are slogging through the mud of resistance and confusion that comes of setting important parts of ourselves aside, sacrificing them for the cause.

Want to connect to the parts of you you’ve let slide away? Want to find ways to bring your whole self to the world?  I’d love to facilitate that journey with you.

So how do you know if I can be helpful to you?  There are many powerful and useful ways to do this work (indeed, you’ll find links to some of the ones I’ve used to support my own journey and draw on in my coaching work on my Resources page) and, if you like what you’ve been reading here, odds are good that working with me would be a good support for you in this process.

If you want to jump right in and explore coaching, please contact me to set up a free 30 minute phone call where we can talk about what you are looking for, and what I bring, and do a 15-20 minute coaching process on something you are struggling with to see if we’re a good match.

If what you’ve seen here so far feels useful, but you aren’t wanting coaching right now (or maybe ever), you might want to subscribe to my eNewsletter, Perspectives, which will bring you articles and reflections to support your journey as well as announcements of workshops, groups and other opportunities.

You can also explore the tools and articles on the website, listen to pod-casts of three different hour-long workshops, and look through the Resources page for other ways to support you in your own self-discovery process.

Please contact me if you have questions or want to explore working with me.




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