All posts by Dr Mary Pritchard

Respecting Your Own Boundaries

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

If Universe has been trying to teach me a lesson lately, it is this:

Don't get me wrong; after working on codependency, people pleasing, boundary setting, and keeping promises to myself for several years now, I've come a long way. And yet, the creation of the very thing that I wanted to give to you – The Well Nourished Goddess telesummit – has tested my boundaries on many levels. From scheduling calls with speakers that are 16 hours ahead of me, to technology issues, to learning to ask for help and letting go of my inner control freak, my boundaries have been tested on more than one occasion over the past few months as I've prepared for the summit to launch. Yet, for each of these little universal tests, I am grateful.

I like to tell my clients that healing occurs in layers, much like peeling away layers of an onion. We peel away one layer and we get all excited because we think we finally tackled the issue. Then a day, a week, several months, or even several years later, it reemerges again – that issue we thought we dealt with once and for all. But this is just a deepening of the lesson, a deepening of the journey. Although it may be painful, I still welcome it. You see, if life was always easy, if it always flowed smoothly, we would never grow, we would never heal, and we would never learn.

Over the weekend, I found myself pondering this question: How can I teach women to set better boundaries for themselves, to take exquisite care of themselves and put themselves first if I'm not doing it myself? The answer, of course, is: I can't. Gulp. Time to practice what I preach and take a dose of my own medicine.

I've been reading Danielle LaPorte's latest book White Hot Truth. In it she asks this question:

In other words, when you show up for everybody else but not yourself, do you feel full or do you feel depleted? If you feel full, awesome. Keep on doing what you're doing. But if you feel a little depleted, as I have lately, it's time to do things differently. (No, don't judge yourself about why you're not able to do as many things as you usually are able to do or why you're more tired than usual. Listen to your body and heed its cycles and rhythms.)

So what am I doing? I ended up engaging in an exercise on boundary setting that I would like to share with you. I hope it serves you.

If you too are struggling with boundaries around giving away too much of your time and energy and feeling a bit depleted, I have some suggestions for you.

  1. Figure out what it is that you actually want – I'm talking about on an hour by hour, day by day experience. The past few weeks have taught me exactly what I don't want. I don't want to respond to frantic emails, texts, and messages while I'm trying to do my morning yoga. I don't want to be up until bedtime checking Facebook just in case somebody's having a problem. That's a sure path to insomnia. Figuring out what I didn't want it was the easy part. It was figuring out what I wanted that was a little more challenging.
  2. Get out your calendar, literally – I printed out a blown up version of a week-long calendar. I then armed myself with a bunch of little Post-it notes and wrote down everything that I needed to get done that week on those notes. Some of the things were day-specific; others could be done any day just as long as they got done. This process made me be very discerning about how much time I had, how much time I thought everything would take to accomplish, and how much time I actually had to get things done v. the time that I had allotted for myself to do each of these tasks. (See today's video for more information.)
  3. Set your “working” or “available” hours – what times are you available for other people's priorities and what times are you blocking off for yourself? – Hint: get a little greedy here. Give yourself a little wiggle room and a little more breathing room than you think you're going to need. That way, when and if life inevitably happens, you're not taken too far off track.
  4. Attach your sticky notes to your calendar and see what happens – if you run out of room on your calendar, it's time to get even more discerning about your priorities, or more realistic about how much time things will actually take. You may have to make some tough choices and take some things off your plate for this week because you simply don't have room for them now that you're giving yourself a little more of your own time. Fight the urge to take away your own time that you've scheduled in. You will think about it, but please don't do it. You'll regret it. I promise. Breathe. This is just an experiment. If you don't like how it goes this week, there's always next week to try again. 
  5. Do a daily and end-of-week reflection on what went well and what didn't, and from there you can decide what you want to do differently next week. 

I'll keep you posted on how my experiment goes. I'd love to hear how yours goes. If you'd like to learn more about taking better care of you and setting healthier boundaries with people in your life and around your own time, I invite you to join me for The Well Nourished Goddess online summit where I've got 21 guest speakers talking about just those topics. I hope you'll join us.

 

Learning to Love Yourself Like It’s Your Job

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

I've been reading Danielle LaPorte's new book White Hot Truth. In it, she has a chapter entitled, Love Yourself Like It's Your Job. I thought to myself, “what a great way to put it.” 

On my journey back to self-love and body love, I have learned that loving myself needs to be up there on the priority list – preferably in the first spot. Why? Because: 1) it's my job to make sure I get my needs met and 2) I cannot serve from my reserves or I get really [sick/ depleted/ exhausted/ angry/ bitter/ resentful/ insert word or emotion that describes you when you've been over-doing and over-giving]. 

That is why I am so excited about today's podcast episode, where I talk a little bit more about my journey back to self-love. It is a journey, a path that I am continually refining. I hope it serves you.

If you want more self-love and body love, I invite you to join The Well-Nourished Goddess on-line event. You can sign up here: http://TheWellNourishedGoddess.com.

 

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Loving Yourself to Fullness

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If you’re like me, growing up you learned that your value/sense of self-worth came from your accomplishments. Did you get straight As? Were you the best on your sport’s team? Did you lend a hand whenever possible? Did you say “Yes!” whenever anyone asked you to do something for them?

Although I love putting my “best foot forward” and I love being of service, I’ve learned in my 40+ years on this planet that when I place my self-worth in the hands of external validation (e.g., getting that promotion, meeting other people’s expectations, checking everything off my to-do list for the day), two things consistently happen: 1) it’s somehow still never enough, and 2) I get drained/ depleted/ exhausted/ and eventually sick.

It wasn’t until I was 40 that I began to realize that this is no way to live my life. I had to learn how to fill my own cup and somehow create my own sense of self-worth, independent of anything I did or did not do.

The trouble was: I had no idea where to start. I had to create my own roadmap, so to speak. It took a while, but as I walked along my path, I realized that, for me, there were 7 key steps to loving myself to fullness:

  • Step 1: Stop Comparing Your Body/Intelligence/Success/etc. to Everyone Else – You are not them, you are you. Only YOU know what you need and what it will take to get you there and this step empowers you to stop measuring yourself against someone else’s standards.
  • Step 2: Figure Out Who You Are (and Who You Are Not) – And no, don’t ask someone else the answer to this question. This is all about who YOU want to be and who you don’t want to be.
  • Step 3: Figure Out What You Need and What You Want – In order to LOVE you and take care of you, you have to be you. That means not only figuring out who you are, but what you NEED and what you WANT out of life, as well as out of each day.
  • Step 4: EnVision What You Want – Once you’ve figured out who you are and what you want, and have stopped trying to live someone else’s dream life, you’re ready to tackle the next step: creating your dream.
  • Step 5: Get Comfortable in Your Own Skin Again – Want to love yourself and live your dream life? Start by loving the YOU that you are now as well as the life you have now.
  • Step 6: Heal Your Own Self-love/Self-worth Issues – To truly move on to a place of self-love, you have to heal the things that have kept you from moving forward.
  • Step 7: Take Exquisite Care of You – Take responsibility for making sure your needs are met so you can love yourself into fullness every day.

 

I discuss each of these steps further in today’s video. I hope it serves you.

If you are ready to learn how to fill your own cup and love yourself to fullness, I invite you to join us for The Well-Nourished Goddess: The Art of Sacred Self-Care. 21 experts all talking about how they show up for themselves on a daily basis despite their responsibilities. We would love to see you there. You can join us here:  TheWellNourishedGoddess.com.

I’m Asking You to Show Up for Yourself

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

Dear beautiful, fabulous, wonderfully–talented goddess,

I have a question for you:

I know that you're busy. I know that life sometimes feels a bit overwhelming. I know that you have so many roles, responsibilities, and obligations. I know that sometimes you just wish you could run away from your life. I know that sometimes you doubt whether you're good enough to handle it all or good (insert appropriate inner mean girl rant) enough period.

I know the days/weeks/sometimes months go by before you even start to consider your own needs. I know that sometimes you skip meals and forget to eat because you're just that busy, or maybe sometimes at the end of a really long day, you dive headfirst into the Ben & Jerry's ice cream just because it seems like a good idea and it seems like a comfort. I know that sometimes you wish you could just have more control over your life, or just fewer things on your to do list. 

I know that sometimes you just wish you didn’t have to be the one who has to take care of everything and everyone. I know that you dream of vacationing to exotic destinations and, maybe sometimes, dream of what it might be like to just run away and stay there and have someone take care of your every need for a change.

Here's what I want you to know: you are beautiful and wonderful and absolutely perfectly imperfect just the way you are. I wish that you could see yourself as I see you, rather than judging the woman in the mirror yet again. But I know that you don't always see things that way. Sometimes you see yourself as flawed, broken, or needing fixing. Sometimes you just wish it was your turn to catch a break, a good night’s sleep, or whatever it is that your heart desires. And I know that sometimes you feel like that's never going to happen.

I'm here today because I have a favor to ask of you. It's a favor for me and, really, for you. Here's what I know: you are absolutely worthy of your own time, your own care, your own nurturing, and that your dreams do matter. So for today, and preferably all of your days, 

I'm asking you to take care of yourself and fill your own cup before you fill everybody else's. I'm asking for you to just once put yourself first. Because here's the deal: if you don't take care of yourself and put you first, you won't be able to show up for all those that you serve. Your kids need you, your parents need you, your siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, family, friends, clients, and colleagues need you. We all need you. But we need you to be you – not the drained, depleted, overspent version of you. We need you to be the best version of you. No  – I'm not judging you for not showing up for yourself. I'm writing this to myself as much as anyone else.

But I want to you consider this question: What would life be like if you started living that way – serving from your overflow and not from your reserves? How would you be better able to show up for yourself and for others?

Here's the deal: you have permission to be who you are. And here’s my wish for you: one of these days, maybe not today, I hope that you're in a place where you are finally ready. You're ready to claim you – all parts of you – no matter what you actually think about those parts – good, bad, indifferent. Because when you can do this, when you can learn to claim, accept, love you for who you are just as you are right now in this moment, then you have conquered the last frontier. Nothing can hold you back. Because you see, once you realize you're the one that's been holding you back all this time, you're free.

So I'm asking you to show up for yourself. Five, 10, 15 minutes a day. (Check out today’s video for some ideas on how to do this.) Try it and you’ll realize the feeling of showing up for you is addicting. And may I repeat: you’re worth it.

If you are ready to show up for you, I invite you to join us for The Well-Nourished Goddess: The Art of Sacred Self-Care. 21 experts all talking about how they show up for themselves on a daily basis despite their responsibilities. We would love to see you there. You can join us here:  TheWellNourishedGoddess.com.

What Has Been the Most Important Lesson You’ve Learned on Your Healing Journey?

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I recently had a client ask me about the most important lesson I've learned on my journey to reclaiming body love and healing my eating disorder. This was a tough one that I had to give some thought. 

But what it came down to was this: my journey to developing an eating disorder started when I found out I had endometriosis and couldn't have children. Thus, my eating disorder was a form of self-punishment. I developed an eating disorder, in part, because I blamed myself for my infertility. Because I blamed myself, I didn't see myself as a loveable person so I wasn't taking care of myself or my body. In today's podcast, I walk you through the biggest lesson I've learned and the steps I took to start loving and taking care of me again. I hope it serves you.

 

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Sticky Note Challenge!

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

Yellow  leaf of a reminder on a white background

In honor of September, my birthday month, I always like to do something for you to give back. This year, I'm doing 2 things:

  1. I am bringing back the sticky note challenge
  2. I am hosting The Well-Nourished Goddess Online Event

Why? Because the most frequent questions I get asked are: 1) how do you learn to love and accept yourself, and 2) how do you make time for yourself in your busy day so that you don't feel stressed/overwhelmed/exhausted/depleted and can actually show up for your loved ones from a place of love and gratitude rather than bitterness and resentment? The sticky note challenge should help with the former and the telesummit, the latter of those two.

One of the first things I started doing on my journey back to self-love and body love was the sticky note challenge. Will it solve all of your problems? No. But these simple little sticky notes will make a huge difference.

Have you ever heard of Operation Beautiful? The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other people to find – notes that would brighten their day. Something like, “You are Beautiful.”

I want to use this idea to create sticky notes for ourselves. Why? Because brain science research indicates that negative messages are perceived as 5 times more powerful than positive ones by our brains. So we need to surround ourselves with positivity to survive day-to-day life!

For the next month, I challenge you to make a different sticky note each day. Ideally you would make several sticky notes that contain that phrase each day and put them places where you (and others) will see them. Places like your wallet, purse, office cubicle, stairwell, bathroom, a random aisle at Walmart, etc. As a psychologist, I know that the more we see certain messages, the more we start to believe them. So these notes will have a dual purpose: they’ll help you feel better about yourself and they will help others feel better about themselves as well.

Here are the rules:

  1. head over to my Facebook page or my Well-Nourished Goddess free Facebook group to find the sticky note of the day or just look on the blog under the Category Goddess Inspirations or the September 2016 archive (feel free to create your own inspirational messages if what I posted doesn't resonate with you)
  2. write out your own sticky note and put it where you can see it during the day 
  3. write out sticky notes for others and let them be surprised when they find them, and
  4. take a picture of your sticky notes and share them on social media with the hashtag #stickynotechallenge

I love sticky note month!

Explore Your Passion and Purpose and Reclaim Body Love

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments


Reclaiming Body Love can sometimes feel overwhelming. I get that. A listener recently asked me to share my top 3 tips/things I needed to do to reclaim body love. This was challenging, but I managed to narrow it down to three!

  1. I had to stop the comparison game – for me, this meant enacting a media ban and shying away from people and situations that I knew would trigger me for a while. I also had to replace my negative self-talk with positive self-talk.
  2. I had to focus on why I am here – big picture Life Purpose stuff – rather than on the things I didn't like about myself or my body.
  3. I had to learn to love and accept all of me for who I was.

 

In today's podcast, I walk you through all three of these steps. If you want help on #2, I invite you to join my 5-Day Explore Your Passion and Purpose challenge. You can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheWellNourishedGoddess/ 

Stay tuned for more on #3 next week!

 

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Finding Your Passion and Purpose

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I recently surveyed my Facebook group and email list and asked them what they were struggling most with. The number one answer was finding their passion and purpose. It’s a big question; one that stumps many of us for a few reasons:

  1.  We are often told in childhood what other people think our purpose should be and we head off down a path that may not be our true purpose – for example, my father wanted me to be a judge, so I did a brief stint in law school while I was working on my PhD (I quickly decided law school was not for me). My mother, on the other hand, wanted me to be an artist. I ended up being a Psychologist, which surprised both of my parents!
  2. We often face societal expectations about what is or is not appropriate for us based on our gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or other labeling – For example, I learned that women should be pretty, know how to waltz, host a dinner party, and raise the kids. I also was told that, as a post-sexual revolution woman, I could do anything I set my mind to as long as I worked hard enough for it. I know a number of women who were raised with these dual expectations (you can be a great mother and a great President and do it all with a smile!). Unfortunately, I think these dual expectations led to a generation of women who felt “not enough” if they couldn’t manage to do it all (and who can really do it “all”, let alone do it all “perfectly” anyway?). In my 20s and 30s, I had the success at work part down, but often felt “not enough” when people learned that I didn’t have children and, in fact, couldn’t have them. It was though I felt I had to work harder to make up for my infertility (it makes no sense on the surface, but, subconsciously, that’s exactly what I did – pushed myself at work harder and harder until I dropped.)
  3. We think that once we find our true Purpose and live it, we’re done and everything will always work out as we want it to. – I firmly believe that we all have a Purpose, one thing that we were meant to do. However, I don’t believe that: 1) our destiny is set in stone, or 2) our Purpose won’t ever shift. We are not static be-ings, and life isn’t perfect. I think if we set up expectations on the notion that once we find our true Purpose, we will never have another problem, then we are setting ourselves up for failure. That might seem harsh, but hear me out. I see too many women (and men) who are searching for that one thing that is going to make them happy/ successful/ rich/ finally feel like they have “arrived.” They invest so much time and money into programs/ certifications/ advice from gurus hoping someone will tell them what to do and that this program/ certificate/ advice will be the one key that will unlock their door to happiness/ success/ wealth/ etc. I’m not saying that there aren’t some great programs out there and great coaches  (I, for one, love coaching my clients!). There absolutely are and maybe you do need help to get to where you want to go. But here’s the deal: it has to be where YOU want to go, not where someone else told you that you need to go to “make it.” If you follow in someone else’s footsteps and use their “formula for success/happiness/wealth/etc.”, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would for you. Why? Because it has to feel like you; it has to resonate with you; it has to be in alignment with your Purpose, not theirs. If it does, awesome. Go for it! But if it doesn’t, maybe you should spend some time checking in with you on what you really want (more on this in the last paragraph)…

I think Meagan Ruppert put it best when she said: 

Translation: I can’t tell you what your true purpose is, but you can. You asked for my help in finding your passion and purpose, in knowing what is truly in alignment with your Soul's calling, and I will help you. I invite you to join my Facebook group and take my 5-Day Explore Your Passion and Purpose challenge. This is 5 days of reflection prompts, Facebook lives, and support from your Sisters on your path. Will we solve the world’s problems in 5 days? Probably not. But, you will likely gain more clarity on what it is that you are meant to do right here and right now. You’ll have my support and the support of your Sisters in finding what it is you need to make your goals happen. Then, I encourage you to re-do this challenge at least once a year, if not once a quarter, because, life happens, circumstances change, and as you evolve and grow, your Passion and Purpose usually grow with you. You can do this. We are here to help. Join us for the 5-Day Explore Your Passion and Purpose Challenge here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheWellNourishedGoddess/

Don’t Mess with My Imperfection

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

I was talking with a client the other day who was struggling with moving forward on a big project at work. Why? 1) She was afraid she'd somehow “mess it up,” and 2) she was afraid that people would then judge her for her “imperfect” product.

As my business coach likes to tell me, “Imperfect action is better than no action.” I think this advice can be applied to reclaiming body love as well. Sometimes our inner critic takes over and prevents us from moving forward.

In today's podcast, I talk about what to do when your inner perfectionist is getting in the way of you taking forward action. I hope it serves you!

 

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