Being a woman is such a magical experience, isn’t it? We have intuition and instincts that can shake this planet. We inspire response to our presence wherever we go. We are tenacious and beautiful and gifted with earth shattering talents and abilities.
And therein lies the rub, I think. We nurture, we care, we give and we give. We have to fight for our self care to take priority, as we get so busy with the sharing of ourselves, we can somehow find ourselves completely frazzled in the midst of it all.
Chaotic, this women’s life is! Kids to dance or football practice, relationships to nurture, chores like laundry and grocery shopping. And that doesn’t even include our need to shine our light in this world via our work, our careers, our purpose driven passionate endeavors.
How then, do we accomplish this day in and day out? With a smile on our faces and in our hearts? (well, mostly)
I’m a mother, an actress, a writer, a director, a producer. I also enjoy painting, photography, and taking long baths. As I write this, my washer chimes in the background, it’s time to transfer the load to the dryer. There’s reality for you! I’m also preparing for a weekend in Los Angeles, where a film I’m in is premiering—yes, that means red carpet appearance. I can’t remember the last time I did a full makeup regime, or my hair wasn’t thrown into a quick ponytail. I work from home, so these things tend to take the back seat to everything else.
I created, produced and starred as the lead character in my TV show a few years back. I remember (mostly) working on set upwards of 12 hours, then coming home to my family, who needed me to be present for them.
On just one of those days, I had to fire a crew member for touching a woman inappropriately, my investor showed up and insisted I give her all my attention to answer questions—totally reasonable, except that meant I didn’t get to eat that day and was still shooting six more dialogue heavy scenes—there were wardrobe issues to turn anyone’s hair grey, one of our makeup girls was perpetually late and needed to be let go, and I received news that we were short on funds. There’s a day for you. Yes, they were all like that. For 28 days straight. Somehow, I came out the other side.
When we first got married, we moved five times in three years. Then we had our first baby and moved twice more before we found a home we would stay in for five years. During that time, we had another baby and renovated the house top to bottom.
When it comes to a chaotic life, I’m sure we all have stories similar to these. Those times when it feels like everyone is reaching at us for something, and we risk the danger of losing ourselves to the constant demands. I know I did for years.
Take a deep breath with me now, and receive the joy that comes from knowing we can handle all this, these frantic days, these challenges, like the Warriors we are built to be. We can conquer and we can still be whole when we squeeze out the other end of any given situation.
I smile to myself when I hear people use yoga to ground themselves, to stay calm. And exercise. These are perfect solutions, yes! I use them myself. Daily even. A healthy diet and consistent exercise are a solid foundation for a healthy mind.
But I think we can all agree, we’re going to need more. Because those hurricane moments don’t allow us to take an hour long break and do some stretches and luxurious breathing exercises. Or go for a 5K run. We’re already strapped for time, and if we had half an hour, we would take it in the bathtub with a glass of wine. Am I right? But nope, the kids are hungry, they’re not dressed for practice yet, and they’re cranky because they don’t like what you made for dinner tonight. Oh, and you should have had them in the van three minutes ago. And underneath it all, you feel guilty, of course, because your boss needed you to stay that extra half hour at work, the one you’re clearly missing now. And somehow the kids are paying for it.
How can we enjoy this “Magical Female Experience” in the midst of all this? I used to hear my mother count to 10 in the kitchen. I think she still does. For her, that quick exercise grounded her and allowed her to regain her sanity (mostly). I do the three deep breaths, the brain thinks more clearly when we feed it oxygen. Again, I believe the key to finding—and maintaining—peace in this life reaches deeper within us.
Once we explore this key within ourselves, we can use the quicker ones in the moment. For me, I need to come from a strong foundation within myself in order to be peaceful, or lucid at bare minimum, in the crazy moments.
Peace must come from within. When it does, it is not contingent on our surroundings or circumstances. We need to take the time, make the effort, to find a state of being that stays with us always. I believe we are all unique on how we find and how we maintain this. For some it’s prayer, for some meditation, for me, it’s a deep knowledge of who I am, and what that means to me and to this world. For me, it’s loving my me in this moment, embracing the perceived failures as opportunities (ugh, that’s hard so again—mostly), and this is a big one, controlling the voices in my own mind. You know the ones. They attack, they lie convincingly enough to persuade the pope they are truth, they push my heart to my throat and my confidence somewhere near the planet’s core. These voices need to be interrupted. When I hear them, I’ve learned to say “Quiet. I interrupt this message and replace it with….” and then I do it, out loud if I have to, I replace the voice with what I should be hearing.
I also try to laugh! Yes, a willing sense of humor is a huge win! Did you know children laugh over a hundred times a day and adults only less than 20? I think us adults could use a few more laughs. Now a laugh is only as good as the peace we hold within ourselves. But it sure is a great stress reliever!
Imagine yourself now, looking at those outstretched arms of need and want (figuratively, mostly) and you don’t know what to fix first. Well? Here's your chance to give this a try. Go ahead. Laugh! Look at them all and say you don’t know where to start. From a kind and gentle heart, not anger, and see everyone suddenly take a step back and see you. Yes, see you. As a human being. With limits. You may even find some helping hands now in the place of the grabbing ones. No promises, but miracles happen right?
Jewelle Colwell Boldt is an award winning actress, writer, producer and Certified Life Coach. Find more on her blog, theArtofOnward.com which specializes in Betrayal Trauma, PTSD, CPTSD, Depression and Anxiety, written in her compassionate voice with advice on how to heal, build inner wholeness, and move forward at your own pace, one step at a time. Jewelle writes from the heart as she shares from her own personal experiences toward recovery to inspire the journeys of others.