Are We Naughty or Nice?

      Today we welcomed Christine Green, author of Authentic Spirituality, to the set to answer the question for women of "are we naughty or nice?"

      We were trained to be nice:

      • As little girls our play time was frequently cramped with restrictions like don't yell, don't jump around, don't get dirty. BE NICE.
      • As we move into early adolescence, girls become confused. What should I say, how should I dress. What should I do to be liked?
      • As teens we look to the media and pop culture. We want to fit in, be popular. We copy the look in magazines, copy the behavior of celebrities.
      • As women, identity is lost. We worry about what others think about us. We often:
        • Don't ask for what we want because of what other people might think.
        • Give away our power and independence to others in order to be liked.
        • Spend time taking care of others and neglecting ourselves.

      Over the years, we've learned to appease.
      There are three pitfalls of being nice:

      • Denial - we deny our emotions and our thinking. It can be difficult to recognize the alcoholic husband, abusive boss, or disrespectful child. We want to be needed. We deny our pain and often intuition.
      • Lack of boundaries - trying to make everyone else happy is terribly time consuming. Everyone else's life takes priority over our own. When we fail to identify our boundaries we make decisions that cause pain and suffering.
      • Suppression - suppress our feelings, our wants in order to make everyone else happy. We suppressed because we believe it's not nice to ask for what we want.

      Is it ok to be naughty?
      Naughty is a self-imposed judgment.

      • When we move outside our (often self-imposed) comfort zone, we feel naughty. Taking time for ourselves, going on vacation without the family, pursuing our own goals, all feel like we are being selfish and naughty.
      • We feel naughty and defeated when we've failed to meet a deadline, achieve a goal.
      • Reading the book, 50 Shades of Grey, takes us out of our comfort zone with our sexuality. It feels naughty to fantasize about the sexual adventures of Anastasia and Christian.
      • The message in the new movie, Hope Springs, is that it's ok to have those fantasies and to share them with our husbands.

      The brain doesn't know the difference between what is imagined and what is real. We have to check our perceptions.
      It's time to give ourselves a break on our self-imposed limitations and judgments. Time to learn how to be good to ourselves.

      Five steps to being good to yourself:

      • Set boundaries. Give yourself permission to say no. Say no to some, is saying yes to ourselves.
      • Asking for what you want. We've learned how not to ask, don't want to be a burden on others. Time to step up and ask.
      • Resist the need to compare. When we compare ourselves to others we risk losing our authentic self.
      • Develop gratitude. As we acknowledge and give thanks for what we have and who we are, our spirit, mind, body is strengthened.
      • Take care of the soul - spend alone time. It allows us to replenish and regain our authentic self.