Moving from the bottom of “The List”

Over the years, working at a deeply personal level with clients, we have become acutely aware of how much people undervalue themselves. During our debriefing after a soul retrieval, we discuss the soul pieces that have returned to be integrated and how they may shift and change a person’s life. One of the toughest changes for most people to embrace is when they are challenged to take time or do something for themselves on a routine basis.

We both seem to always be amazed at how our domestication and socio-religious training teaches the individual to have close to zero value of self. We see this most clearly in a large share of the women we work with. Their pattern is to “do” for everyone else and spend no time taking care of themselves. They have been well trained to place themselves at the bottom of “The List”. They see their personal value based on how much they are able to DO for others. This is how they determine if they are a good friend, wife, mother, employee etc. The question of “So Joan, what do you do to take care of Joan?” is often met by stammering or simply silence as they ponder and respond with “Well, nothing. By the time I take work and take care of ______ there’s no time for left in my day for me.” And the conversation moves on to “Okay, but who takes care of Joan?” followed by more silence. One of the simplest reminders we use is that we are human BEings not human DOings. Another common reminder is “if you keep doing __________ for them, how are they ever going to learn to handle it for themselves?” followed by “I never thought of it that way.”

Men or not immune to this pattern, but generally have a more material pattern for determining their self worth. We’ve all seen the bumper sticker “He who dies with the most toys wins”. In our consumer society, we are saturated with continuous messages to buy “things” whether we need them or not. Today’s advertising is mainly geared around ego and sex appeal. Almost all advertising is designed to show you just how good you will look and/or feel if you own ________. The general population is so trained to buy “things” then buy new “things” to replace the old “things” that this pattern puts into place the cycle of having to spend more time working to pay for all the “things” they have bought and buy more “things”. All these “things” make them stand out and feel more important, but leave few resources of both money, time or energy to invest in themselves. They fall into that human DOing, with not time left for BEing. They fall prey to patterns excesses, of unhealthy eating and drinking, as well as lack of rest and not knowing who they truly are. Then, when something happens, like our current economic situation, and some of the “things” go away, they totally lose their sense of value along with their “things”. Now, women are not exempt from this pattern. We see a lot of cross over in both areas.

So, today we offer you a challenge … to move YOU toward the top of your “List”. We won’t say “to the top” yet, as that would scare off many from this important challenge. Take as big a leap or as small a step as you choose (just remember to step just outside your comfort zone). Learn to become “self-ish” (for self) in a positive way. This can be a real challenge as those around you will certainly let you know that they are not getting their usual share of your attention or resources, but persist. Change is tough on all who are affected but the rewards are great. Whether it’s for five minutes or five days, keep moving toward the top of your “List”. You can always see things more clearly from the top….

Your new mantra is “I am a human BEing, not a human DOing.” And the final and most important reminder…. HAVE FUN!!!

Until next time….

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),

Gary & Debbie