My daughter had foot surgery last week and while recovering, we watch more than our fair share of the television show “What Not To Wear,” in back-to-back episodes.
I have to tell you, I get really hooked on this show. It has a great set-up. Friends and family nominate someone in their life – who dresses abominably – to be the subject of the show. The hosts of the show surprise said Abominable Dresser and offer her $5,000 to bring her entire existing wardrobe to New York and take part in the hosts giving her a total make-over. She has to throw away her clothes and buy a new wardrobe with the guidance of the hosts. She gets her hair and make-up redone and then reintroduces herself to friends and family back home.
That’s the basic plot, over and over again. You’d think it would get boring. Yet each woman has a particular clothing issue that is intriguing (if not appalling) and their personal stories are relatable and captivating. When you watch it over and over again, you get really clear about the over-arching issues plaguing all of the women who’re there to get a new lease on life.
The episodes we happened to watch that day were oddly all focused on women who were professionals and also Mothers. Yet the “I’m a Mother” aspect was at the crux of their “what not to wear” syndromes.
Baggy t-shirts with “I’m a Mother and I’m TIRED” emblazoned on the front, running errands in hospital scrubs (despite the fact that the woman in question did not work in the health care industry!), and no time to care for skin or hair.
I’m a Mother myself – although my children are now adults. (success!) And I found myself wanting to reach through the television screen and have a heart-to-heart with these women. They didn’t just border on being annoying – they were full blown “Mother Martyrs.”
“I don’t have any time to take care of myself because I have kids.”
“I can’t dress well because I always have vomit on my shoulder.”
“Just picture me with three kids hanging on my legs and you’ll know why I can’t.”
And throughout each of these programs, here are the common denominators:
- I hate my body.
- I dress this way to avoid being “the center of attention.”
- I figure if I don’t try I can’t fail.
- I’m too busy taking care of everyone else to take care of myself.I don’t have any idea how to take care of myself.
The primary “takeaway” I get about Mothers – and about people generally – is this:
You must be the caretaker for yourself first and for others second.
There’s really no way around it. This is “Step One” in cultivating an individualized, healthy, and independent YOU. It’s also “Step One” in cultivating an individualized, healthy, and independent CHILD, SPOUSE, and EVERYONE ELSE. Hum …. do I smell a Win-Win Situation here?
So since we love to see how our Numbers can assist us with every issue we might encounter in our lives, let’s look (briefly) at SELF CARE by Life Path Number
What Not To Wear . . . by the Numbers
One Life Path: In a nutshell: You’re all about leadership, individuality, independence, creativity, and achievement. Your sense of self care resides in your ability to get out of your head once in a while, exercise for proper release of all that energy you’ve got going on, and carving out relaxation time where you can connect with other people.
Two Life Path: In a nutshell: You’re all about diplomacy, serving group dynamics, love, and are a mediator. Your sense of self care resides in your ability to get to know yourself as an individual, coming to terms with your emotional sensitivity, and excavating yourself from taking things personally and being a doormat for others to walk on.
Three Life Path: In a nutshell: You’re all about creative self-expression, communication, emotional sensitivity, and joy. Your sense of self care resides in your ability to express your emotions and set healthy emotional boundaries, tap into (and act upon) your creativity, and stop putting the needs of others above your own.
Four Life Path: In a nutshell: You’re all about systems-building, process, security, stability, and knowledge. Your sense of self care resides in your ability to practice flexibility (both physically and mentally), not becoming a slave to your work, and getting out of your own way (look and act outside of your box).
Five Life Path: In a nutshell: You’re all about freedom through self-discipline, adventure, fearlessness, and versatility. Your sense of self care resides in your ability to reign in excessive behaviors, focus on healthy routines, and balance your emotions.
Six Life Path: In a nutshell: You’re all about nurturing, responsibility, home, family and justice. Your sense of self care resides in your ability to accept yourself and others without meddling or controlling, to take responsibility for yourself, and allow others (and yourself) to make mistakes (without it being the end of the world).
Seven Life Path: In a nutshell: You’re all about spiritual seeking, truth, data analysis, and intuition. Your sense of self care resides in your ability to get out of your head, cultivating you sense of higher power and purpose, and allowing yourself healthy time alone.
Eight Life Path: In a nutshell: You’re all about money, power, control, authority and achievement. Your sense of self care resides in your ability to take time to relax (you can be a workaholic), exercise for stress relief and general health, and carving out relaxation time that feels light and fun.
Nine Life Path: In a nutshell: You’re all about humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, spirituality, and giving. Your sense of self care resides in your ability to as for help and support when you need it, practice forgiveness on every level, and understand that you don’t have to carry the woes of the world on your shoulders.
I found watching these episodes of “What Not To Wear” extremely valuable in reminding me not only what not to wear, but also what not to think and what not to do.
And it offers a window into how easy it is to slip into a “consciousness coma” when we choose to usurp the power of others in our lives and feel as though we have to take care of everyone else.
The kicker is that usually no one is really asking us to do this.
And – truth be told – it’s downright patronizing and enabling to believe that we need to control whatever our loved ones do, don’t do, think, and how they behave. Chances are there’s someone in your life who feels the same about YOU; that you can’t take care of yourself and make proper decisions without their interference – er, input. And how does that feel to you?
So it’s a great time to simply bring some consciousness to the ways in which we can all make some small efforts to concentrate and act upon a healthy sense of self-care. We’d all be shocked at how much influence we have when we’re doing it and taking care of ourselves, not simply telling everyone else what they need to do.