We play many roles and wear many hats. This has become more and more obvious to me in the last few months in Manila, let me tell you honestly. Wife, mother, employer, partner, in-law, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, blogger, supplier … it feels like there’s always so much happening, and there is no sense of peace and calm. Something is pulling me in one direction or another and I find I’m always overworked, tired, cranky and stressed. It’s really not the best way to live out life on a daily basis, particularly with kids around.
As Life Coach Pia Acevedo-Nazareno made the #SoMoms reflect one Saturday morning (during our second #BetterMe session), if I strip away all of the roles I play in my life, who am I?
Who am I really? And more importantly what do I value? Coach Pia asked us to prioritize the four things we value and one by one she slowly took away each piece of paper, until we were left with one. I looked at it and asked myself why I chose to keep that. I found it quite hard to choose which one to let go of first, because to me they were all important. And yet it hit me: I realized if I just prioritized the value on the last piece of paper that I held onto, it would affect everything else that I let go of. That was quite a powerful realization of how I should be living my life out. Furthermore as a mother, it’s important (imperative?) to be able to live out my personal values as an example to my kids. It becomes increasingly important because both are girls and they emulate me more than I know.
The topic of our session was Building Healthier Relationships. Essentially the main take-out was: The quality of my personal relationships is determined by my ability to live out my personal values. How aware am I that I am living this out on a daily basis? I have to keep asking myself that. How do you know if you’re aware of your APV (or Awareness of Personal Values), or are living out your personal values ? Here are some daily indicators:
- You’re not judgmental of others’ feelings, thoughts or actions;
- You have and observable state of patience and restfulness;
- You have low stress levels; and
- You have an observable behavior of nurturing self and others.
The other good thing is that Coach Pia always leaves us with concrete and practical steps to moving towards this healthier state. Healthier relationships actually stem from being rid of Negativity in my life (and as a mom “in transition”, I can see there is a lot of that in my life!). There are three points to note:
Ultimately the goal is to have healthy relationships in all the 5 Aspects of one’s life: Self, Family, Work, Social Life and One’s Sense of Purpose. It’s important to start by taking a look at how inflated or deflated these 5 balloons are and identify concrete steps to take from there. Again: Are my personal values reflected in each of these five aspects of my life? There is much for me to do, and much to think about.
Coming home to Manila has been a hard transition. I still find that it is on a regular basis, and I know I’m far from the kind of life that I want for me and my family. There’s a lot for me to work on and I do realize that one of the largely deflated balloons in my circle of five is myself and my sense of purpose. I have to work at detaching myself from my role as mom (largely inflated) and build towards having healthier relationships in the other parts too.
I’ve started limiting my interactions (or cutting of altogether, as much as I can), with the people who bring out the negative energy in me. If they don’t make me feel like a better person, then I shouldn’t make time for them. It’s not easy, especially because sometimes I’m expected to be around them. But Coach Pia is pretty clear about how to handle this, and all I need to do is practice.
It also starts with clearly knowing what I value and prioritize and living them out. Everything else will follow. Thankfully I’m now more self-aware and conscious about these things that I confidently say I’m taking (baby) steps in the right direction.
Slowly but surely it is getting easier to accept being back home. I will say that a lot of it has to do with what I’ve learned from these seminars that are so generously sponsored by Unilab. It’s great to find companies that believe in such a cause, because ultimately it affects the kind of society we live in and what we aim to build for our kids. By showing such support for life-changing talks such as these, they’re really living out their core values.
I’ll be the first to say that I’ve a long way to go. But that’s the good thing about these #sessions. I’m more conscious and I know I’m definitely working towards being a #BetterMe.