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Me time

Time to stop the wheel

manuelita otero


When I was in school, my mom would congratulate me for doing well, and she would tell me how smart I was.  My reply was always the same: “I am not smart, I study a lot!”  And when someone would say how pretty I was, I would smile politely and say “thank you” but inside I would think that they were just trying to be nice.  What were they seeing? Were they blind?  Years later I finally realized that it was me who was blind. For some reason, I felt I was not good enough. It was hard for me to receive compliments and also hard to say nice things about myself… I would think “that is not right, is it? To be saying how special and how beautiful I am?”

There is pressure for women coming from every front. We want to be wonderful moms, sexy wives, faithful friends, good citizens, healthy women, productive workers, and caring daughters.  These are just a few of the roles we play each day.  Often when we try to do it all, we forget who we are and what we really want.  

Do you ever feel like a hamster on a wheel? Moving at the speed of light to get everything done but feeling you never get anywhere?   And we know it!  We continually talk about needing to take some time to relax, or to do what we like, or to face certain issues that we know are affecting us, but we never seem to get to them.  We just don’t take the time to slow down, to get off the wheel and just stay still.  I wonder what we are waiting for? No one is going to do it for us!  

Do we want to spend our whole life trying to keep up? Or do we want to enjoy where we are?  I know it is not a tough question, but if we are honest, we know that to be able to really enjoy our life we mustknow who we are and love ourselves. 

Have you ever seen those women who glow and you just can’t tell why?  Yet, others look beautiful, may have the most amazing outfit, but something is missing?  People may call it the “it” factor, I like to call it the “you” factor.  When you know who you are and how valuable you are, it shows.  I am not saying you or everything in your life is perfect, but you are happy, enjoying the moment along with the mess and the imperfections. 

It's time to take a moment for ourselves.  It's time to close the magazines with all the “how to” advice and diets that promise perfect bodies, it's time to ignore the books with the 10 simple steps to achieve anything and everything.  It's time to have an honest conversation with ourselves.

I tell my daughter that when she feels she is lacking flow and when things are just not clicking, to get her journal out and write.  Start by asking questions which will lead to more questions which eventually will lead to answers and yes, more questions.  It's a great way to be truthful and really find out who you are, what is bothering you and what are you missing.

Do you want to get started?

Make a decision: Do you really want to start living your life to the fullest? If you are serious about it, once you make the decision, nothing will stop you.  We can be very determined once we make up our mind.  Decide to get to know you, to listen to your inner child.  Dream big and do fun things. Decide to love all of you, imperfections and all.  

Be good to yourself: Think about this… Would you talk to your friends the same way you talk to yourself? If not, why? Be kind, be patient, be good to yourself.  I will give you some news: You are not perfect, neither am I, no one is! Don’t let great technology and awesome filters make you think otherwise, and don’t think that everyone lives in those perfectly decorated homes in which everyone is always smiling.  Those are just commercials selling a dream.  Trying to reach out to be our best, is much more fun and motivating than wanting to attain perfection, which is impossible!  Check your standards in all the roles of your life, are they realistic? Or are you basing them on magazine covers and society’s values? Why are you allowing others to dictate how you feel about yourself?

Stop complaining and do something: Sometimes we expect for things to change, but we keep doing the same things.  How do we suppose our attitude will improve if we spend the only time we have for ourselves with group of friends complaining about our children, about how busy we are, and criticizing our neighbors? How does that make us a better person?  

I loved this advice from the book Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung:  “Don’t just wait for your negative feelings to pass; complaining will not change your life. Change your thinking and let go of limitations you impose on yourself.”   

Getting to know ourselves is a very exciting journey that will change our perception of things.  We are amazing, interesting, talented and beautiful women. It's time to decide the direction we want our life to take. 

By Manuelita  @manuelitaotero