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028: Getting SELF-ish and Putting Yourself First

Introducing Damaris Carroll


So welcome to another episode of boss talk. I am your host La'Vista Jones and today I am joined by my guest Damaris Carrol, welcome to the show, Damaris. Thank you for having me. It's an honor for me to be here. I'm so excited that you're here and just about the conversation that we are going to have today. Before we dive in, I want to tell our listeners a little bit more about you. So Damaris is a creator and implementer of effective plans to optimize DEI in employee engagement in organizations, the Damaris creates maintains and supports training programs to enhance employees performance, DEI management needs analysis, team training and executive leadership bias training with over 15 years DEI space demurrers has become a subject matter expert in di organizational change management. Damaris is also an advocate of victims of human trafficking with previous work and policy change and community culture shift with local nonprofit organizations and law enforcement. Damaris is also a wife and a mommy to three boys.


And she loves to travel, traveling to different countries. And she has been around the globe from Liberia, Africa to San Diego, California. And this chick speaks Spanish, Portuguese, English and is currently learning French and Japanese like what?


Like I was telling my assistant just this morning, I'm trying to learn how to speak Italian. But I was telling her it's, it's because like my mom is Italian. And when my great grandparents immigrated through Ellis Island.


When they got here, they stop speaking Italian, they stop speaking Italian, this is not uncommon. Yeah, Italian foods, so they could assimilate in American culture, right. So like, my grandparents don't have to speak Italian. They never, you know, had the opportunity to teach their children. So like my mother and her siblings don't have to speak Italian. And so what I'm like four generations removed, right? From not really knowing or have any of that connection with that culture. And I've always just kind of had this,


this drive, or this desire to like know how to speak it. So yes, it's very grounding, right? When you can speak the language, it adds another layer of just knowledge and cultural experience.


It's very fun. Yeah. So yeah, English is my third language, by the way. So it was probably the hardest for me to learn. Because English is hard, right? Like, yeah.


Have like just picking up reading. And it's just like, Yeah, this concept is actually quite confusing to explain to a four year old, a five year old, a six year old, he's trying to understand why. words to say, but they sound different. Why is this? And it's just like, Yeah, I don't know. I have to use context clues forever. What is happening here,


shout out to every teacher, especially if teaching English is


the one that they are responsible for in the classroom. Like, we bow down to you, hats off to you, kudos to you, you deserve pick up my money.


Because it is hard. It is a hard, hard language, like I've been speaking in my entire life. And still, it's like, the F like, what? Like,


there's, there's just so much there's so many exceptions to the rules. And I can't even imagine being in a class with like, 30 different kids, and then you're trying to kind of figure out everybody's learning style. And then some kids may be from America, some kids may not. And that adds an extra layer. And I'm like, I think better you than me, because I can do it. Exactly, exactly. So not to derail our conversation.


Because we did not get on the mic today to talk about


speech. But you know, it's an interesting language. It's such an interesting thing, no matter you know, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, but it does tie into our conversation today. It does, it does in a way. And so we'll get to that. But one of the things that I ask every single guest before we just kind of dive into the interview is I want to know how do you personally define being a Boston Maris?


For me, it's very simple. It's managing myself.


My own version of a boss is owning


My self is owning every part of me my thoughts, my feelings, my actions, good or bad, that to me and doubling down and being okay with making mistakes, and we're celebrating my victories, with, you know, being in the moment that for me, I've created that definition of a boss, this is me, this is all of me good, bad or indifferent. I'm coming through the door, and I'm sitting at the table, and I show up, that's my boss.


I love it. I love the confidence in which you, you shared that. So it took a while.


And you know, I think that that is also going to be baked into the conversation that we have today as well. So, and I think you already know this, but for me, boss is an acronym that stands for battling overwhelmed with systems in self care. And so during the show, I get the pleasure of having candid conversations with other bosses like yourself, that have faced in battle moments of overwhelm in their businesses and life, specifically by leveraging systems and practicing self care. So with that demerits, are you ready to share how you are walking out your boss talk? I sure am. Alright, let's dive into it. So I want us to spend our time together talking about getting comfortable, being selfish, when it comes to your self care. And as your friend and as an unofficial kind of coach, if you will, right, I think that you have evolved so very much in this area. And so I really wanted to get on the mic and have this conversation with you. So first off, I know that you just returned stateside from a fabulous vacation. So welcome back


to like your routine, and like, you know, your normal life, she was sharing with me Off mic that she had butler service while she was away, and now she's at home, like, who's gonna make my dinner?


Right, I'm gonna do the stuff for me. And welcome back to reality reality show that was part of that was part of my self care. I love it. I love it. So, you know, we have a personal relationship. And I know you've been really working really, really hard to unlearn some of the negative behaviors associated with self care and learning what it really means for you to practice self care. So just give us a little insight about that journey, what that journey has looked like for you, oh, my gosh, it's been like a 40 year journey. And, you know, just trying to figure out who I am.


Because it all starts obviously, you know, when we're kids, we are attracted to things that are familiar to us. And that started with my parents, the simple conversations and or the lack of conversations I had with my parents, our culture, the language,


and the belief system of what was instilled from previous generations, even to my parents. My mom was


one of 12 children. And my dad was one of 21 kids. Yeah, so they different families. And it was very difficult. My mom had to me, she had a couple of miscarriages, so she had to deal with some of the cultural backlash of not having a huge family, extended family, and it was kind of difficult. So we saw a lot family was very, very big, right? And within that, we learned to be self LIS in a different way. We grew up Catholic. So there's the religious part of selflessness that we learned submission as a female,


as well as a woman learning to be submissive and learning to be docile. And I say that in context of how I grew up, not necessarily in the correct context, but going out there and learning to be smaller,


not understand they are not taking the time, everybody had a role to play, nobody had individuality. Everyone had a role. And everyone's role was based on previous generations. It wasn't necessarily based on an individual, it was just based on who you were, your place in the hierarchy, whether you were born male or female, which family you belong to. So there was just a lot of pressure. I was first generation here. So there was a cultural identity issue that I kind of worked through, where to you, you know, we talked about before, generations losing culture and losing language, so we were so directly tied. We weren't allowed to speak English in the home. And then my mom wasn't necessarily a dominant figure. She, you know, whatever my dad said whether she agreed or disagreed, that's what we went with. She wasn't necessarily an advocate of, was the word that I want to look for assurance, didn't really latch on to confidence. So she did not instill that my mum was not a confident person. So we kind of fought a little bit in that space, because that was very vocal. And my dad was very much the person who let me know that it wasn't going to get me very far, me being a dominant person or speaking up was not going to get me married, it was just not going to give me the career that I wanted. There was a huge focus on education, which was good compared to, you know, but I had to kind of do that on my own. So once I kind of explored the world, our education system was terrible. I started really struggling with who I was versus all of these other roles that were placed upon me, being you know, the first to go to college and then being a girl being the oldest of the girls and being in this large family being removed now going to college, who am I the education to, I think a better I grew up poor. So there was all of these different identities inside of me. And the only thing that I was being told is


do for others do for others do for others. And that's how I get better, is just doing so much for other people that it kind of counter acts all of the doubt or all of my insecurities, right? Because if people think I'm a good person, then I must be a good person. So other people's validation was how I perceived my value.


Believe it or not, so if I was a good friend, how much can I do for you? Right? Could I be that good friend, if I was a good daughter, I was more obedient, I was able to do all of these things. My ability to be a good girlfriend or be this was based on what I could do for someone. But again, it was their definition of who I was supposed to be. I was supposed to be smart, or this or that. Right around, oh, my gosh,


I promise you right when I hit 2122, you know, had the, oh my gosh, I'm 21. And I'm in college. And, you know, I'm living my best life. I was just kind of like, I don't even know what best life


is, you know, I was always someone else's problem. And people always used to tell me how I should feel, what I should think. If we were experiencing something, I would end up feeling however the other person felt because I didn't know how to own how I felt or my own experiences about it. So if something like if we were out at a party, and somebody had fun, even if I didn't, I'd be like, yeah, that was fun. I might have not had fun, but because they had fun. It was like, I didn't want to be the odd person out. Right. So I didn't, even those little things like that. They go okay, yeah, yeah, it was fine.


You know, because I didn't want to have to explain why I didn't have fun. Or, you know, I don't want to be the goody two shoes, or this or that. Yeah. Was that fine?


Oh, my gosh, and probably around after I started having kids, I had a couple of miscarriages, and that takes a toll on you. Yes. Psychologically, I think it does something to your psyche. There's this void, where you trying to kind of figure out


what guilt is, and how to release something that's out of your control.


It's a process any time


it is, it is a process, right. And, you know, I when, when I have gone through it, you know, in, like I said before, like we know each other off of the mic. And so I've experienced three miscarriages. And one of the ways I describe it is like something


within you dies, when that baby dies, right? And so part of I think, like the healing journey that happens after a loss like that is trying to to put the pieces together and figure out who you are in this new iteration of yourself because you'll never be that person that you were prior to ever again, like it's impossible. Yep. It is. It is. And I've had a lot of sexual trauma when I was young, right. So there was a lot of sexual identity issues, not identity but more of the sexuality and sensuality of myself. I was very reserved


and very shocked. And after, you know, I was told because of the trauma that I couldn't have children. So me having miscarriage also reinforced something that I


That kind of reinforced my own feeling of I'm not good enough to be a mom. I'm not good enough to be worthy of having children. Even though I desired it, it wasn't happening. And it makes you question again, your validity, right? And so forth of like, why not me, some other friends that I was extremely happy for were having children. And I was feeling guilty of feeling the way I felt. And again, kind of going through that same process as I did. You know, when I was younger, I have taken on someone else's feeling, but not only my own.


So that's, that's selfless, right? I thought that was very selfless, I can't own my own feeling, because I need to have yours to be happy for you and do all these things for you. Because then, if I'm happy for you, then you tell me, I'm a good person. And now therefore, I am a good person, you know, so listening to you say that, right? And,


and I feel like this is maybe even taking your turn from how I even thought our conversation was going to go and it's fine. It's fine. Because, you know, it's all about having, you know, authentic, you know, conversations candid conversations. And I have to tell you, that


there are a lot of similarities in our background stories. Right. You know, you talked briefly about, you know, sexual trauma that you've experienced, I have as well, right, you know, I won't go into the details, but just know that we have similarities, right. And we've, you know, talked about some of those things. And it does, like it does start to change, and deeply affect the way that you feel about yourself, right, you know, your feelings really aren't valid, what you need, what you desire aren't really valid.


You know, so all of these things kind of, you know, play,


play together, right in your mind. And it's like, oh, well, I might be tired, or I might feel like I need this or I might feel like I need that. But like, my needs are like beyond secondary, right? Like they come last compared to like anybody else that's in my life. And so I have to say, though, like listening to you talking about, like, your miscarriage experience. I think that for me, that is when my self care journey, I think became real for me if that makes any sense. Yeah, I think that for the first time, probably in my life, right? Because I was raised to, you know, the good girl is quiet, you don't ruffle feathers, you don't really speak your mind. Because that would be rude. You kind of go with the flow, you keep your head down, you work hard, and you do the stuff you're supposed to do. But like, you don't do things to be seen, right? Like, you're here, you do what you're supposed to do you go


it's not your role, it's not your role to be in the spotlight to speak up to say things.


You know, those kinds of things, you know, if you're upset, you kind of hold that in, because, you know, if you share like that might really upset the other person and like, what they feel, what their needs are like, those are primary, right? Like, those are not important. And so I think, you know, kind of taking all of that, like, with my upbringing and things like that, you know, I never was the kind of person who was like, Okay, I'm gonna fight with you, or I'm gonna be like, Okay, this is how I'm feeling like, it was just like, You know what, you do something to me, I'll take it, figure out what I need to do. Like, what did I do to make you upset? What did I do to, like, push her button, right? Because again, like, that other person is the primary person. And I think that after my first miscarriage is maybe the first time ever, that I feel like I owned my feelings. Right? So listening to you, like, oh, you know, I wasn't able to feel this or wasn't able to express that. And it's the first time that it's just like, you know, right now, I'm angry, and I'm kind of angry at everybody. And if you talk to me, or you say something to me, like, you might catch one, because


I'm gonna say what I feel right now. I'm gonna like, I was unfiltered, like, my emotions were raw, they were right at the surface. And I shared what I felt and it's like, if I was upset if I was angry, if I was irritated, if I was like, whatever, and it was like, the first time I felt like, my needs mattered to me if you if they didn't matter to anybody else, and if I needed something if I needed, you know, this or if I needed that, like, that was what I prioritize, and it was just like, oh, like there's something to putting myself first and finding my voice in using my voice and standing in my truth and taking up space and saying I am here the


To the things that I need, and I'm going to give them to myself. And I kind of don't care if anybody else has a problem with it.


Yeah, I think we all have that breaking point. I think everyone I know becomes unfiltered when that breaking point happens. And you need to kind of be okay with being unfiltered.


And not feeling bad about being unfiltered. Because that's, that's, that's where the acknowledgement comes in. That didn't happen for me when I had the miscarriages because I ended up having Tarkin and Isaiah.


After, and it would, again, I went straight into mom mode, right and doing everything above and beyond and still playing that role. The self doubt was doing too much.


Where I kind of ended up being like my mom, in a way and I remember telling myself that my mom, she's so this and so that I never want to be that I remember my dad just kind of like you know, you don't show, don't cry, don't show weakness. I was hard for a long time and I was angry all the time. I didn't realize how much chaos I lived in, I would go through these extreme of extreme emotions, where I cried all the time. And I felt so vulnerable. But I still didn't own them.


It just happened and or these anger moments of just these short fits of the body.


And it was, I wasn't manageable. But I still didn't own it. Right. I still didn't say this is how I feel it was the world placing


the world circumstances that made me be this way. So I didn't write about that. And I think it was, you know, my marriage was up and down, up and down. And it wasn't until probably COVID happened and affected us all a little bit differently. Lee


that I got to a breaking point. And it was I was at home with the three kids most of the day by myself handling everything working 1214 hour days, I was overwhelmed at work because I just kept taking on projects because George Floyd happening in the space that I do was just being another person. And it was a lot. And Tracy at the time was a baby, he was two. So we had no daycare. And my husband started his own business. And I put a lot on my shoulders, not really realizing,


even with saying, hey, I need this, I need that, again, people told me that I was being selfish, or that I needed to reorganize all my entire life, to be able to fit all of these things that my role required. But it was based on everyone's definition of what mom, Wife, Daughter worker was employed was.


And I remember sitting there one day, I just really was about to quit everything. Like I'm quitting my job, quitting my marriage. I'm quitting everything, but my kids. And I just remember having this mental nervous breakdown, this coming to Jesus moment. And I had a dream. My grandfather was one of those people who was very dear to me.


He kind of appeared and was like, that's enough. And I remember waking up with this, like overwhelming feeling, like what does that mean? What does this mean? It's enough and enough of what and I started to panic, because I've never really felt that way.


And I remember going to church. I was born again. And I remember going to church and we go to the same church and hearing pastor talk about you know, you can't be lukewarm. Are you all in or are you not? And then really questioning my belief system?


How much do I actually believe in not just God but myself? I don't trust myself. So how can I trust God to do what you got to do for me if I don't even trust myself. And at that point, that was my breaking point. I just remember sitting there and it felt like the world disappeared. I just remember I was angry. I was angry. I was exhausted. I was tired. I hadn't slept for like weeks. I literally had slept maybe a total of like seven hours in two weeks. I went and called the therapist and went to a psychiatrist and I said I need help. I went to my doctor and I said I need help. It was so bad. My doctor took me off of work on short term disability for eight weeks. So she's like there's no way you can function like this. This is not it's not only not healthy, like this is a life or death for you. I had never experienced a medical issue to that extent. And I remember her writing me a prescription for like sleeping aids and she's like you need to sleep. I'm just looking at her like I had kids in the house. I don't know who's gonna watch these good


And again, questioning myself like, I can't put myself first still, because I have so much responsibility. And I just decided at that point, that was my breaking point where I was just so angry at everyone, I was even angrier that like,


I can't do, like, this is not fair. I'm a good person, I've done good things, and why am I here. And that was my breaking point. And that's when I decided for myself just like that, it really was like, I don't care what I have to do. I don't care how much I have to pay. And when I even took money out of my 401, because I was like, I need to put myself first. I don't care what I have to do, I pulled money, which was I don't find it, I talk to a financial planner.


Got it. But for me, it was single handedly the best decision I could do, it allowed me to get the help that I needed, without having to worry about how am I going to pay for it. I gotta do this, I gotta do that I decided to take the time off of work. I was overloaded, I was, you know, in the process of like, do I want to get promoted, you know, making all this money. And it was just a lot of expectations of me. And I was burnt out, I was burnt out and I just said, um, you know, it was frowned upon to take time off from mental wellness. It is very frowned upon, you can break a leg, you can have a kid, you can do a lot of stuff. But you can't, you can't be crazy.


You know, and I just remember like, No, you can't take care of you. So mental health is not a thing. It's very taboo and taboo by saying time, we start to talk about mental wellness. But what we don't talk enough about is time. People heal differently. People need different amounts of times. And I think sometimes we try to judge people, or put them in this box of what we think is a good timeframe for people to heal from whatever, depression, anxiety, whatever they're going through at that moment, and you can't you can't do that. And it's a different journey for everyone. But I decided to take the time off. And I remember having a session with you when we talked about self care, because the one question you asked me to this very day, okay, that I still practice is what is your love language. So my love language is quality time. But all my quality time they give you we spend time. So how do you do that for yourself? And I was like, what?


That kind of defeats the purpose of quality time, if you just kind of looked at me you just like a therapist, and you just kind of like I'm just gonna let you figure this out for a second. And remember having that conversation of like, what do you do for you to express your self love.


And I was stuck in that space for so long. I heard the question. And I remember doing the little things here and there. Okay, sure. I'll go get my nails done after I do all of these other things. I will go eat lunch after I do all of these things. Kind of like a reward is of Yes, prioritizing, right? So I did not realize, like, wait, I'm still not really taking care of me. I'm still flooded, and overwhelmed. And even within that reward I was still doing for others. And after that moment, I had to set some things, set some priorities and boundaries. And I remember talking to the therapist and saying, I don't know how to do this. I don't know how not to put my foot down. I don't even know what self care is. I really don't understand what self anything is. And the idea of having to walk through healing my past. And then what were you told about yourself, I decided to do EMDR therapy, trauma therapy. And it's really all about uncovering some things that could have blocked you but also how you perceive yourself. So part of it is when you think of a memory or when you think of a thing, whatever that may be a phrase, what is it that you think about yourself? So whether it was you know, as a mom, I was always taught that this is the phrase, you know, but what do you wish you would tell yourself you are and so the same way like if I looked at a past traumatic memory, I felt unsafe, insecure, small. What do you wish you would have known that I'm going to be okay, so I was telling myself I'm okay, I'm okay and repeating these affirmations. I started to


Create a toolkit of resources, tools and a cadence of how I'm going to do this because there is no way was so overwhelming to think about self care, there was so many options, so many things I was trying to heal, I was trying to figure out, do I put my marriage first, my marriage is on fire. My kids are struggling. But how do I do all of this? And it started with, I can't do any of that, until I figured me out.


And, and that sounds so weird, because had you asked me about a year ago.


The whole notion of putting your mask on first, like I hear you hear you hear it.


But I did not necessarily know how to do that. Because in my mind, well, if some if my children are struggling, that's my responsibility.


You know, if my marriage is struggling, that is my responsibility. And I forgot, and those that I said, if I am on fire, I am responsible for me. And I can't show up for anybody. And I had to learn and learning meant affirming myself daily, I do the I am app, right, interrupting my negative thoughts. So it pops up randomly. I listen to affirmations throughout the day on whether you do to do a podcast or I do title, Apple, you know, I find affirmations. And it's just these little bits and pieces, like two minutes, one minute, 30 seconds of people just saying you are enough, you are more than enough, you come more than prepared, you know, like all of these things that jar and interrupt my negative thinking. And I had to start there, that was just something simple. I created a three, three daily tasks. That's it. I said, if I do nothing else today, I do something professionally, I do something personally, and I do something for my home, I just do one thing. And there were days where I was like,


take a shower. That was my personal thing. Take a shower today.


For home.


Hug your kids. That's it. I thought I had to be so overwhelming. But I had to start so small to make it achievable, and practice. And that took me weeks and weeks just doing three small things. And every time I tried to do more, I pull myself back. Nope, that's it. Just do that. Anything else. It's just great. Just do that, I started to write and speak my thoughts. So I would just record it sometimes.


When I couldn't type fast enough, I learned to just be okay with single words. That was hard because I like to write. And I like to give details of contracts. And sometimes I'm just a man.


Just angry. That's it. And that's it. Yeah, that was it. And there are times where I didn't even know why I was feeling the way I was feeling. My whole life. Everyone has always told me that I needed to know why I felt the way I felt. And there were many times where I had no idea why I felt the way I felt. And therefore I couldn't own what I was feeling because I didn't know why I was feeling that way. So I did not understand that those two don't have to be mutually exclusive. Only how I feel is the beginning stages of trying to find out what was causing that feeling. But until I owned it.


I had no clue. So I dismissed it. And when you dismiss it, it doesn't go away.


It just kind of gushes resolved. Yeah.


Ignoring it does ignoring it. Yeah. Yep. And there were times I don't Yeah, where the feeling was so overwhelming. I remember in therapy getting this box, right, this visual box, it was this imaginary box where if I'm feeling overwhelmed, I would put this in a box to address it later. But knowing that it's in the box, it's not going anywhere. And I needed to take care of this. And then as I continued to go to therapy, I also started joining the support groups, you know, with the women doing Sister Circles going to do marriage counseling. I did marriage counseling online as well with this black love and marriage group which is absolutely phenomenal. And most of it was based on relationship workers' personal work. So it's really digging through who are you? How do you show up? And what do you do for yourself? So again, it was reaffirming the Me Me Me Me Me right. I need to own me. I need to take care of me and I really need to begin putting my boundaries up. That was the key pivotal moment of




myself care is really being the boss of me. And putting my boundaries up and saying, I'm not checking email past this time. I don't care who's telling me what, whatever whatever's needed. I am when I have my door closed. Nope, you cannot come in my room telling my children like, I need 30 minutes. I'm learning to communicate better with my kids and saying Mommy needs some time. You know, when this door is closed? Give me 30 minutes, and then I'll come back out. There's nothing on fire. Can you do that for me? or learning to say no, no, not not at this time. I'm not doing this at this time. And that was difficult because being a people pleaser, you don't want to make people upset. But then it's not on me. You know, as I know, I need to set my boundaries because I if I'm a good friend, if I'm a good wife, if I'm a good mother, if I'm a good person, me saying no, is actually the best thing I could do for you.


Because if I show up halfway or not all of me and authentically and passionately, then I'm doing you and myself a disservice. So then do you want mediocrity?


Maybe, you know, then for me, it's me starting to reevaluate my friendships, me really starting to reevaluate the relationships I've had in my life to determine is this really worth pursuing? And that was really difficult for some relationships had to end in some relationships had to come through season. And that didn't have to be a whole full conversation. I just stopped communicating it just kind of like, Okay, that's cool. I'm still respectful, putting my boundaries in and saying, No, you cannot talk to me this way. Or Nope, I will no longer do that. And that was a huge shift for people. Once I started saying no, because they were so used to my yes, they benefited from my trauma, by me constantly saying yes, and nobody really taking the time to say let what are you okay, can I take care of you? What can I do for you? So I had to do that for myself. So I want to ask you, you know, you talked about,


you know, one of the aspects when you were dealing with everything, like at work and trying to juggle everything that people were like, you know, stop being selfish, right. And so I think that one of the common


excuses, if you will, that I hear, especially from women, that either don't know how, or are not comfortable practicing self care right now is, I don't want to be selfish, right? Like the idea of self care seems selfish. And


I've written about it, I wrote about it in my newest book that you know, self care is selfish, right? Like we see like the little means like self care isn't selfish. Self care isn't selfish, and I call myself an S. Because it is selfish. It is self care, it is the care of yourself, right? And just kind of listening to you just share your journey and the evolution of you really digging in through all of like this mindset stuff, cultural stuff, childhood stuff, relationships, stuff, traumatic things that have happened to you that have helped shape, you know, how it is that you view yourself that you you know, treat yourself that you interact with yourself.


And seeing you come to a place where it's like, no, my needs don't matter. My ideas don't matter. My thoughts don't matter. To a place where it's like, no, no, I have these boundaries in place. Now. I have things that I do. I have these routines that nourish me and feed me, because I'm me, right? Like, not because I'm trying to win, like Mother of the Year Award, or I'm trying to, like, go down in history as like the best wife, like have the nation's right, it's a Ferris


needs to be okay. And so I'm going to take care of demerits. And if the marriage has a need, if the marriage feels this way, if this is what's going on, I'm going to address that for myself, simply because I need it. Right. Yeah. And so, you know, I often say that you have to give yourself permission to use your own time and energy and resources to take care of yourself. And so I love to know,


what you feel like your greatest takeaway is from learning how to let go of that guilt. And that pushback, right? Even like, you know, even like from your own thoughts, right of like you unlearning some of these things as you have embraced, being selfish in your own self care journey.


That's selfish ends up being selfless, right? For me, and I say that because my belief system is very important to me. It does provide me hope


grounding. So if I look at the second commandment Love others as you love yourself, I think it's that second part that I started to focus on that my takeaway is, how do I love myself? There is no way I can serve anyone without serving myself first


book demerit.


Seriously, I write about that, right? Because I think that we kind of miss that point that love your neighbor, as you love yourself, you have to have some sort of foundation of self love in order to reflect that to other people. Yeah. And I think, too often we're like, we would do this for our neighbor, we would do this for our friend, we would do this for a co worker, we would do this for somebody in our family, we would never talk to them a certain kind of way, we would never, you know, do these kinds of things. But when it comes to ourselves, like we talk crazy to ourselves, like the negative self talk, needs, we, you know, put ourselves at the bottom of the, you know, priority list, like, oh, that can wait, I can wait to rest. I'll sleep later. I'll do this later. And like that later, never comes. Right. And so I think that is, you know, the greatest foundation for how you actually do treat other people like it has to start with yourself, which is again, why I say, oh, like those memes that like self care isn't selfish. Like, that's cute. That's cute. But I don't think that it holds the merit. It


does actually rooted in the truth. Like, right self care is about yourself. It is selfish, and that's okay. And you've got to let go of the guilt around, not, you know, prioritizing yourself, like, you have to be okay, simply because you need to be okay. And you if you're not okay, it's okay. You know, and I think what part that I missed in the beginning stages, and that I know now is


how others treat me is based on how I treat myself.


Because the more I start, and it took practice, and I just started practicing talking to myself positively, I just started practicing. doing one thing before I did anything else. Before I look at any body in the home, I'm going to do this, before I address anyone, I am going to do this for me, or after, you know, before I go to bed before I need to do this. And in doing those small little things and practicing. It allowed me to develop the courage and the boldness to learn to say no to someone else. And that's how I started to really unwind that negative self thought, because to your point before we aren't, we can be very self deprecating. We won't question others or anything like that. But we'll do it to ourselves. And I started to think of myself, well,


I am if I am God sorted, right? And I'm validated based on who he says I am, then why would I


treat others better than I treat myself? Like, what does that even look like? Like that? That makes no sense? Why wouldn't my question someone else? Or why wouldn't I put a boundary for someone else that I would do for myself. So it's like that, that's when I started to realize that I was living my life way backwards. And I started to separate myself and isolation sometimes can be good for you. And in the proper context, right? As you're starting to do certain things, I started to remove myself from situation and people that didn't kind of feed into what I was trying to accomplish for myself. And it was simple, like, am I feeling good? I'm not gonna go or I'm you know, and I just started really isolating myself until I started to get better at practicing. And consistency is key. I started to get therapy and sort of going back to spiritual counseling, I started reading more like I started feeding myself with things that validated my own self, well be how I thought about myself, how I speak to myself, I started learning new language, through therapy of what I was thinking, and how do I own myself, like, why are you upset? I talk to myself, sometimes I'll be like, You know what, I'm really angry now. And I'll walk through the house and I know my husband's like, there she goes, again. I really, I really push right now. I can't believe that this is it. And I'll talk about it out loud. Sometimes. I said, Okay, I need a few minutes. Let me process what I'm feeling. And then I'll let you know. And you know, their conversations, you know, even in a healthy marriage where I say, you know, it's getting a little heated and we set the ground rules, this is what we cannot do. And somebody steps out on lines like you know what, end of conversation and I had to be okay with that. Like, you know what, end of conversation and walk away and people will push back and you the good thing about that.


is that they will remove themselves.


They will remove themselves from your life and from situations like I just don't want to deal with her anymore. And that's okay. I had to learn to be okay with being alone, I had to self soothe. I had to learn how to love myself enough that the right people are still around and the right people are coming into my life that really affirms now my ultimate goal is, let me tell you what I'm not going to do.


That's my favorite thing. Let me tell you what I'm not gonna do like this is this is not what's gonna and it's not perfect. Let me reintroduce you to


and it's not perfect, and it's okay. And I just there are times where I revert back. There's no these like that. And I'm like, You know what? I messed up.


I got I call it I got in the cage. I got in the cage. I let them rattle my cage. I messed up. Yeah. And then I take that what did I learn from that? What was it that one thing that triggered me to get back into that cage? And that's where I put my focus on. Right? It's it the way they spoke to me, is what they said, did it trigger something for me. That's where I start, you know, my next journey and then try to deal with that issue. I try not to overwhelm myself with too many issues. And it's okay, today isn't nothing day tomorrow. It's just this one thing. And if you keep repeating that day, after day after day, allow yourself to cry, allow yourself to be angry, vocalize a scream, you know, take a shower. That's one of my favorite things I started and I think you had told me that I put it in my shower. I write my affirmation and like it's dry.


And I do that and I just write something solid, something visual. That kind of jars me when I go into the shower to take an extra minute or two for myself. Yeah, and affirm yourself to speak those truths to yourself, I think absolutely important, especially because, you know, I'm one of those where words of affirmation is definitely one of my dominant love languages. And so I have stuff written all over my bathroom mirror, I have stuff like all over in my office. Words really mean things to me, they hold deep meaning and so I surround myself with words that build myself up. Yes, it makes me feel good. So speaking of feeling good, now that you are focused on prioritizing yourself, and you've gotten comfortable being selfish, yes, having that focus on yourself.


That reaction, how do you feel compared to


how you used to feel relieved? I'll be honest, my gut. My first is I'm so relieved. I didn't realize how chaotic I lived. And now I'm so relieved that I'm not in that space. Because I feel so much more at peace and so much more in control


in what I can, because I ultimately control my reactions and my emotions. And I get to decide how I want to use it. So that's like my ultimate boss. Like I'm relieved. I'm not hurt anymore. Yeah. I like I like the real me. And this is this is this is me, everybody.


I'm so glad that I've been able to stick around and meet her. Because she's she's pretty amazing. She


didn't mares in closing? What advice would you give to a listener that is currently struggling with prioritizing their self care? What's just something that you would say to them to maybe help motivate them to start off on their own evolution journey to get selfish and put themselves first, you're worth it. You're worth every single dollar, thought, word, spirit, all of it, you are worth it. Every piece of you good, bad or indifferent, is worth it. Don't put yourself last because you were designed to be first.


I think that's a great way to end the show. So thank you, my dear friends so much for being my guest today and just sharing so openly about this evolution of self that you have gone through. I am so effing proud of you. I don't know like, I am so so proud of you. And I know that like this, like even as good as this is this is still like just the beginning, right? Because, as you said, like you've got this toolkit now of resources and you know, things that you can do and you know, things that you can pull from and rituals that you can engage in and coping mechanisms that you can rely on. And it's just like it's only gonna get better


Ah, I'm excited. I'm even more excited for what's to come. I have an amazing support system.


Amazing coaches to hold me accountable. So do yourself a favor if you haven't coached with Mrs. Jones over here. It definitely if you don't know where to start, I cannot tell you what a better foundation than it is to have her in your corner for sure. Thank you, I love it.


So before we sign off those that are listening, tell them how they, you know can connect with you or follow you. Especially, you know, if they're interested in that di work that you're Yes. How can they I am on LinkedIn. You can look me up on LinkedIn, even if you're interested in di mental wellness, I focus a lot on that with our organizations, personally on Facebook and Instagram. I try to minimize that. But if you're really please message me, send me a Facebook Messenger or Instagram messenger. Let me know your thoughts. You know, if you're struggling with something or you had, you know, this, this moment of like, oh my gosh, go with that gut feeling. If you feel like you need to reach out do it. Don't Don't put that away because it was meant to happen. I'm open and available. I'm an open book. These are those is things I share. And there's things that I don't feel like sharing, and that's okay. But if I can help any woman or any body because it's not just women, but anybody that is going through this or it's just at that moment of like, oh my gosh, what do I do?


Please reach out, the best decision you're going to make for yourself. Love it.


Again, thank you friend. And so for those that are listening, make sure to check out the show notes at the real boss for any of the tips and resources that were mentioned during today's show. And I am confident that something that was discussed today has resonated with you and is challenging you to make a shift to do what you love without sacrificing yourself to do it. So until next time, be sure to subscribe to the show and continue to battle your overwhelm with systems and self care and get selfish. Yeah, and a butler service.


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