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Honoring Yourself First

One of the ways I Honor Myself is by walking on the beach. My biggest tank filler is to hike the trails down to the ocean at Torrey Pines State Beach. Breathing deeply in the ocean air, hearing the sounds of birds singing, waves crashing, and seeing all the natural coastal plants. Springtime is especially beautiful with the wildflowers in bloom.

Tank Fillers and Honoring Yourself First are taught in Alison Armstrong’s on-line course Being Extraordinary as a Woman. While taking that course I received tremendous clarity on what fills my tanks. Women have many tanks to fill, for we have many people in our lives we want to give our time and energy to.

I have my sleep-tank, I need 7 and 3/4 hours each night and if I go more than two nights with less than that amount, I start de-compensating. Drinking water, sex, time with friends, learning new things and reading books are some of my other tank fillers. Other than a good night’s sleep, exercise is the next most important tank filler for my well-being. In fact, my husband Rob will even nudge me if I haven’t walked in three days, he knows, like I do, that my less than best self comes out when the endorphins aren’t rebooted.

When the covid-19 virus hit the US, many things started to quietly close and then our Governor gave the orders to shelter in place on March 19th 2020. All the beaches closed! OMG where do I go to fill my tank? The beach is my Happy Place, what now? The rains started the next day and I felt depressed, closed in and now what?

When the clouds cleared, I kept hunting for some way to get as close to the ocean as I was allowed to. I needed the ocean walk to fulfill me, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Rob was patient, loving and encouraging while I struggled to find my space. The walk around the neighborhood filled my need for exercise, but not the emotional and the spiritual tanks. The ocean walk is a trifecta tank filler for me!

Finally, I discovered a pathway across the 2-lane highway from the ocean. I could smell the ocean on my entire walk, feel the westerly breeze coming off the ocean and I was delighted. When I am through with my walk, I go over to the fence that keeps me away from the beach and BREATH DEEPLY and watch the waves crash on the shore. On some days I even lay down in the sand by the fence, close my eyes and I almost feel I am laying close to the shoreline.

Clients have recently shared that they are either becoming angry and frustrated, snapping at their loved ones or just plain defeated, exhausted and have no energy. Whenever I ask them how they have been Honoring Themselves, it always turns out they are Honoring Others First.

They started to realize they didn’t ride that bike, paint that picture, read that novel, write in their journal or have happy hour with their friends on Zoom. Finding themselves doing most the family meals and almost all the household chores.

Like an engine light that comes on in your car when the oil is running low, anger and frustration are the warning signals you have not been Honoring Yourself First. Apathy and depression may be another signal.

These clients recommitted to doing the things that fill their tanks and setting up a family meeting to divide up the household chores.

Are you frustrated, angry or feeling apathetic? Great your engine light just lit up. Now discover what fills your tanks and find ways to fill them. We may need to dig a little deeper or hunt a little harder during these challenging times, but don’t give up on yourself and find your happy.

For more information on Alison Armstrong’s online courses go to www.understandmen.com

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