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Do you put your own needs after every one elses?

Have you ever heard of the burnt chop syndrome? It’s based on the  on the metaphor that if there are three good pieces of meat and one burnt one the person with the burnt chop syndrome will give the others the best bits of meat and keep the burnt one for herself every time. This is a metaphor for how many women operate in all areas of their lives. In other words, they often make themselves the lowest priority the majority of the time. Reality check! We are now grown women and if we don’t look after ourselves no one else will. Our health and happiness will suffer. We have physical emotional and spiritual needs that must be met. We must build a friendship with ourselves ad attempt to fulfill our needs so we can have fulfilled lives.

Women will often make themselves the lowest priority the majority of the time. This is recipe (no pun intended) for burn-out.  This was definitely the case for me.

After about 10 years of saying yes to every single thing that people asked me to do my health really started to fail.  I became chronically tired and even struggled for energy on my wedding day.

I knew I had to do something different or I was going to develop permanent chronic fatigue syndrome. So I went on health kick and basically became a health food shop junkie – trying out every health food on the market. I decided to become vegan also.

Improving my diet made a huge difference but it wasn’t quite enough on its own to fully restore my health.  I also needed to change mentally.

As I said when I was really struggling in life I’d always put everyone else’s needs before my own. If someone asked me to do something for them, I would automatically make this top priority on my list, even if my own health and well-being needed attention. This was due to insecurity and a desperate to be liked by everyone.

However, this was a deadly habit that really contributed to the level of burnout I found myself at. The reason I found it hard to say no was because I could not stand the guilt I’d feel at the disappointment of others. But,

I needed to learn to care for my own health and needs before I helped others.  I needed to realise that disappointment is a normal part of life and we all need to let people down at certain times.

When I finally started saying no to things and started staying home from some events when I was particularly tired and saw what a difference it made to my health, I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

My energy crisis made me realize I had to change how I lived.  I knew I had to learn to speak up when I felt my rights had been disrespected or I’d simmer away with resentment and that affected both my health and happiness.  I knew I had to learn to say no more and I knew I had to look after me better. So I did and that is when everything started to improve.

So what about you? Do you have some lifestyle habits that aren’t serving you? Are you ready to change them?

If you like this article please share it and stayed tuned for the rest of the article and vids in the series. For ones you may have missed please visit honornewman.com/blog.

 

 

How we often wearing a mask that all is well when it is not

For fear of being judged by others women often put on a mask that says to the world that everything  is going brilliantly when inside they are suffering and sometimes to a serious degree. They are afraid that when people see who they truly are they will reject or abandon them. They also fear judgement, when really they are their own harshest critic. This is a true tragedy as a woman’s biggest strength is her vulnerability. This is how she connects on a deep emotional level with others and where true intimacy can occur.

Wearing these masks can be isolating.  Let me tell you a story about Ms Perfectionism.  Ms Perfectionism lived in this beautiful house that was neat and clean and decorated lovingly. She was always welcoming to her guests and had freshly baked cookies ready and waiting whenever they visited.  Her friends all loved her, as she always had a listening ear for them and was always so well frankly ‘nice’. However sometimes, when Ms Perfectionism had had a friend for a longer period of time for some inexplicable reason to the friend, they would become frustrated with her.  And feel resentful and jealous which felt really out of character for them.  What was happening to these friends was that they were subconsciously reacting to the things going on under the surface with her friend. They were feeling beneath her mask and into her deep insecurities about needing to be liked and accepted and flawless and they were actually finding it frustrating to not be able to get behind these defences. They were also on a level tricked into thinking her life was flawless and finding it hard to be friends with someone without any seeming vulnerability- which is the level that we connect on for intimacy.

You see if you are wearing this perfect mask all the time you can’t let anyone in! Yes it protects you, like a huge wall, it makes you lonely. Self-acceptance is required so you can allow yourself to be flawed, knowing that you are still amazing.

Love Honor xx

If you like this article please share it and stayed tuned for the rest of the article and vids in the series. For ones you may have missed please visit honornewman.com/blog.

 

 

 

Do you repress their voice and bottling up distress?

I’ve written a lot about assertiveness and this is because it is such a big issue in our culture especially for women. There are so few of us that seem to be able to be effectively assertive in our relationships and this creates a lot of problems. Assertiveness is about being able to set boundaries, say no and talk through conflict in a healthy way. I hear a lot about from women about how they are struggling to speak up for themselves in life especially with a difficult person or bully, often a family member that cannot be dealt with through pure avoidance.

So why do we struggle with this as women?

Well there are a few reasons. One is how we have been socialised – to be peace keepers, to please everyone and to keep them happy. And if we don’t fulfil this role we are risked being shamed as a ‘bitch’.

The other reason I think may be due to our feminine nature which can communicate quite indirectly as opposed to masculine bluntness/directness.  This means sometimes our communication can be too subtle for some people to recognise.  So we need to learn in some situations (especially with men!) to communicate in a more blunt and direct way to get our point across.

However to be assertive we first need to understand what we want. This requires us to listen to our own needs, wants and emotions. Things we can often bury in busyness and looking after everyone else.  It requires some time and quiet reflection and some self -acceptance of – yes I feel this or I want that, and that’s ok!!!

Being assertive will improve your inner strength and self-confidence (and health) because you make a conscious choice about how you are going to respond to a person or situation, either verbally or through actions, rather than being at the mercy of your own annoyance.

If you like this article please share it and stayed tuned for the rest of the article and vids in the series. For ones you may have missed please visit honornewman.com/blog.

Love Honor xx

Practicing detachment in relationships

I recently ended a marriage of 13 years. This even was a shock to me. I was hoping we would get to old age and be grandparents together. My parents are still together so that has always been my model. I don’t have a blended family model or a single parent model etched deeply into my consciousness. I just knew it was over. Run its course. All that. And a huge part of me is totally okay with that. Ending it has made me realize I was too dependent on this relationship for too many things. And since I have started dating I’ve had to learn that detachment is really important. Because during this process you never know if it is going to be the last date, or the last text or whether you will ever hear from or see that person again. This experience helps you separate out your happiness from what others do and to simply receive the gifts that they give you from that interaction. Let things flow in and out without gripping on. This has been a great exercise. This could also be transferred into longer term relationships as a way to really prevent taking the other person for granted – they could be out the door tomorrow. Likewise it stops you relying on them too heavily emotionally or otherwise.
I ‘ve realized I personally need lots of outlets and sources of fulfillment so I don’t get too dependent on any one thing or relationship because who knows how long it will be around. And then there are the nights where you have to sit with the aloneness. Sometimes this is beautiful and welcomed and other times it feels really deeply ,sucky. I think I’ve been afraid of loneliness but I’m realizing it passes and it is so important to tolerate it to be a self -fulfilling person. I’m also just constantly amazed by people – each and every one has so many gifts to offer.

Illusions in life

I’ve come to realize lately that there are a lot of illusions in life. The illusion that security can be found in relationships and jobs etc. and that we can protect ourselves from pain through living a comfortable life with a steady job and a long term partnership. Even if we live comfortably, underneath this comfort, there may be dissatisfaction with the lack of passion.  Or some life event may hit us out of left field and blow all our ‘security’ apart – something like a breakup, an illness or death etc.   Or things simply change and they don’t fit together well any more.

The only real way to live is passionately and wholeheartedly, and humbly and a lot of the times more vulnerably than we may comfortably like to.   And sometimes things are so frickin’ painful it is unbearable and we don’t know how we will ever get up again.  And it is this feeling we try to avoid, but in reality we really can’t. It is true though that life can feel so incredible at times and at others it feels too painful for us to handle.  But I think the truth is – that LIFE. That is the reality underneath all the illusions. Don’t you just wish someone had told you that right from the start? How huge the highs and lows of it all can be? Don’t you wish someone had just told you the TRUTH!!

So as a psychologist I can tell you how to cope better with lows but at some point it is up to you to understand this and find your own way through it because no matter how well you function psychologically there is pain in life. There are also and anxiety and fears.  These are realities we can’t avoid.  And no one can really, truly tell you how to cope. You have to find your own way.

This brings me to the concept of control – we all love to feel in control but the reality is we can’t always be. There are a lot of situations where we don’t have nearly as much as we would like and it can be a real challenge to sit with this.  However if we can there is real beauty in that.  It opens us up to the spontaneity of life and the sense of adventure about the possibilities that can open up to us.

 

An article about passion, sex and vulnerability

Passion:

I’ve been thinking a lot about passion lately. It all started when I went to this business training seminar that was designed to help participants unlock their inner magic and communicate that with the world. Well for me it really worked. By going through the processes I felt more aligned with my destiny than ever before.  It was like a light bulb had been turned on inside my whole body and I was on fire. I thought wow! This is what people are missing out on in when they trudge away at the grind.  That’s really sad.  This passionate energy that was unlocked I have to admit was fairly overwhelming because it was so strong.

Honestly I did not really know how to cope with it and realized it’s not really something any one talks about.   I was lucky enough to have some great conversations with people about it and they felt inspired by my honestly and vulnerability in opening up to them about it. The thing about passion is that it is also sexual energy and that’s where all the taboos still are. It is funny that even in this day and age there as still so many of us that aren’t open about sex. I feel society has such strict proscriptions about how we should express this energy and to veer from this engages extremely harsh judgement which makes it so difficult for people to be honest about what they are experiencing or struggling with sexually.  So if we can’t talk about sex how do we talk about passion? And fulfillment? And reaching our destiny? As I believe they are interlinked.What I realized was that what I was experiencing was purely and simply the life-force.  Which kinda seems to me to be what everyone should be experiencing if we are truly living?

Vulnerability

Why are we so afraid to be vulnerable with others when that is where true connection lies as we show our real humanity?  Why do we all wear the mask? To stop being hurt? But when does the mask change from being a protector to a self- made prison? We need to take it off sometimes to experience intimacy with others.

I know I have a wild self; it’s a part of me that needs to run naked through the forest and howl at the moon sometimes. It can be hard to give that part of me an outlet in this clinical, technological culture.  We all have that part of ourselves whether we realize it or not.  Once we tap into it we tap into an incredible power within ourselves which can feel overwhelming as we are not taught how to handle it or channel it.  We are all fundamentally animals with deep and primal parts to ourselves. It needs positive outlets which I think will be unique to each person.

What about you? Are you in touch with your wild, passionate self? Or would you like to be? Let me know you’re thoughts…email me on honor@honornewman.com and we can have chat.

 

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