A Woman to Woman NEW YEAR Resolutions: Wants vs Needs

A Woman to Woman NEW YEAR Resolutions- Wants vs Needs“Kat, what is your New Year’s Resolution?” a friend asks over lunch. “Mine is to give up cigarettes and sugar” she says, while shaking a packet of sweetener substitute into her coffee.

“Mine’s to not give up anything and to put myself first,” is my answer. “Then I’ll refocus on implementing the difference between wants and needs in life.”

My friend stops stirring her coffee, peers over her sunglasses, and asks, “What do you mean by that?”

The concept of “care-giver first” and the difference between want and need were clearly alien to her. For the longest time they were to me, too.

Crisis can re-prioritize your life.
These concepts introduced themselves during radiation therapy while battling breast cancer recurrence. The side effects of emotional emptiness were more severe than treatment burns in some women because they were unaware of the importance of soul self-care.

Unfortunately burn-out is an equal opportunity state of emotion that affects men, too.

Statistics show that women worldwide are the main care-givers in life who share unconditionally until there is nothing left. Their inner well runs dry. Lately, an alarming pattern of self-induced emptiness has emerged during these uncertain economic times.

Part of the problem is not distinguishing between wants and needs.
Families have many wants, and care-givers try to meet those wants as needs; a terrible burden to carry. Care-givers are burned-out from giving so much of themselves to those who want more than is available. The result is nothing left to give to people who truly need help, including themselves. Weak emotional boundaries crumble under the weight of want. Medication and psychotherapy fills the void and dulls feelings of frustration and failure.

When the spirit suffers the body cries out with symptoms of dis-ease. Listen to yourself.
Breast Cancer Authority Blog New Year 2016Now is the dawning of a New Year. Here are three resolutions that are antidotes to emptiness. They are written as choice-affirmations that complement and empower the people who choose to live them.

  • “I will choose to love and embrace myself.”
  • “I will choose to put myself first and give myself permission to be number one in my life.”
  • “I will choose to build strong defined boundaries using the power of “NO!” as a tool.

Saying “no” to others is difficult because care-givers love to please, and will go without so others may have more. Some of this is care-giver conditioning. It may be time for retraining.

Recondition yourself. Say “Yes!” to you, which can automatically so “No” to imbalance.
When going through chemotherapy, my psychotherapist armed me with a powerful mantra as an aid through the uncertainty of treatment. “You are number one. No one and nothing is more important than you.” She was right! As a cancer hotline phone counselor and mentor, that mantra is still important, today. How can an empty counselor give to others?

Fire up your heart with self-love. You want to be embraced but need to hug yourself first.
Intention powered by the flame of loveThe importance of the mantra was even more evident during the Stitch-n-Bitch (as we liked to call ourselves) radiation therapy group. Women who had been the sole care-givers of their family were suddenly discarded when circumstances shifted and they needed care. These women said that without the love and devotion of their lovers or significant others, they were nothing. They lacked the power to survive.

Breast Cancer Authority Blog New Years 2016Their chances for a full recovery were challenged by their depression and feelings of emotional emptiness. Our little group spent hours discussing wants versus needs. So deep were these discussions that the nurses, radiologists and counselors listened in and took notes.

We came to some profound conclusions.
We want others to love us, but we need to love ourselves. We want a big beautiful house, but we really only need a roof over our heads. We want to eat in fancy restaurants, but we just need nutritious food. The lists of wants versus needs were endless. Realizing the difference between them, however, was the first step in becoming emotionally, physically and financially fulfilled. Trying to meet the endless demands of keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ is expensive on so many levels. The reality of trying to keep up with Reality TV can be emotional and financial bankruptcy. Understanding this truth is the first step to teaching it to our family.

Putting reality into practice will help us, as care-givers, become aware of our limitations.
It has been easy to fall back into old habits and become lax in practicing what that little group preached during those difficult times, so many years ago. Now, it is time to put want-versus- need back into daily practice.

When something seems enticing, the question will be, “Is that truly needed, or just wanted?”
This New Year, focus on inner-balance. Embrace being kind and forgiving to you first, then practice good-will toward others. As you step out of your comfort zone it might feel odd, which may be validation that you are creating a new empowered habit. Seek out and join a community; a “sister-hood of women” (or men), as your support system. Their strength will keep you from feeling alone during times of despair and their resources will help you meet the needs of your family and friends.

Here is an example of an empowering statement to repeat that can help you settle into this new habit. “When my body is fatigued, I will rest. When my soul is tired, I will meditate. I will surround myself with things I love like positive friends, pets, plants, music and fragrant candles while immersed in healing waters from a bath or shower.”

Too many of us have lost a part of ourselves and are experiencing a void. Enjoying your favorite things will fill your soul with joy.
As with the Chinese yin and yang, which are seemingly opposing forces bound together, intertwined, and interdependent in the natural world, we are complex creatures comprised of body and soul. These two diabolically different parts must be in balance as a duality for complete health of body and mind. Like yin and yang, male and female, your body and soul are a dynamic equilibrium duo. If one disappears, the other must fade as well, leaving emptiness.

When one part of self is full it flows into the other.New Years 2016 on Breast Cancer AuthorityIt is time to face forward into a New Year of balance comprised of yin and yang, love and self-love, and forgive mistakes we cannot change. We can learn from our past to build a positive future. The good news is a sisterhood or brotherhood of women and men is only a phone call, post or tweet away to help you refill yourself with the love you deserve and NEED.

Balance yourself. Take care of your soul and it will take care of you . . . then help others.

Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos Breast Cancer Authority ContributorKathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos is TV Producer/Host of Wicked Housewives On Cape Cod and Author/Lecturer of the International award winning, bestseller, Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing which promotes Dream Therapy, patient advocacy and connecting with Inner guidance for success in health, wealth and relationships. Learn more @ AccessYourInnerGuide.com
(all photos are owned by the author)

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2014 New Years Resolutions – Want vs Needs

Breast Cancer Yoga Happy Bew YearShifting into 2014 Green Wood Horse
NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Want vs Needs

By Kathleen  O’Keefe – Kanavos In part one of this blog we discussed   New Year Resolutions, the  Chinese New Year and wants vs needs tied into the shift of consciousness taking place in the world.

Now is the dawning of a new year with a shift toward consciousness and self-awareness.   I’m ready to make the shift into personal responsibility. My first New Year resolution will be to allow myself to love, embrace, and always put myself first. I give myself permission to be number one in my life. How can I possibly share with others if I am empty? I want to be embraced by others but need to love myself first.

During chemotherapy, my psychotherapist armed me with a powerful mantra to help survive the uncertainty of treatment. “You are number one. No one and nothing is more important than you.” She was right.  Years later, as a cancer hotline phone counselor and mentor, that mantra is still important.  If charity begins at home, and home is where the heart is, then an empty heart cannot give anything to anyone else.

The importance of this mantra was even more evident during my Stitch-n-Bitch (as we liked to call ourselves) radiation therapy group. It broke my heart to see the care-giver suddenly discarded when their circumstances shifted, and they needed family care.  These women felt that without family love and devotion they were useless. Their chances for recovery were challenged by their depression and feelings of emotional emptiness. Our little group spent hours discussing wants versus needs. We want a beautiful house, but we only need shelter. We want to eat in fancy restaurants, but we only need nutritious food.  We want others to love us, but we need to love ourselves. The list of wants versus needs is endless. Realizing the difference between them may be the first step in avoiding emotional and financial bankruptcy. When I see something enticing, I’ll ask myself, “Do I need that, or just want it?”

In 2014, I will focus on inner-balance by being kind, and forgiving to myself.  I will seek out and join a community “sister-hood of women” who can be my support system. Their strength will keep me from feeling alone during times of despair, and their resources will help me meet the needs of my family and friends.

When my body is fatigued, I will rest. When my soul is tired, I will meditate, and give thanks for all that I have. I will surround myself with things I love; my husband, friends, pets, plants, music, and fragrant candles while taking a warm bubble bath. While I care for my body my soul will soar.

Like the Chinese yin and yang, which are seemingly opposing forces bound together, intertwined, and interdependent in the natural world, we are complex creatures comprised of body and soul. These two diabolically different parts must be in balance as a duality for complete health of body and mind. Like yin and yang, male and female, body and soul are a dynamic equilibrium. If one disappears, the other must disappear as well, leaving emptiness.

Too many of us have lost a part of ourselves and are experiencing an emptiness of being. The two faced mythical King Janus, patron of the new year, had two faces for an important reason; one to see the past and one to see the future. Although we too can also look in both directions, we tend to focus and judge ourselves by past events that cannot be changed. It’s time to face forward into a new year of balance comprised of yin and yang, old and new, need and want.  You can learn from your past to build a positive future. The good news is that a sisterhood of women is only a phone call, blog, website, social media site, magazine or tweet away to help refill you with the love you deserve and NEED.

Balance yourself. Know you needs. Embrace the new shift taking place in the new year. Take care of your soul and it will take care of you . . . then you can take care of the wants of others.

BIO: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos, Intuitive Life Coach, survived three breast cancers, wrote SURVIVING CANCERLAND: Intuitive Aspects of Healing (Cypress House, Jan 2014) http://tinyurl.com/p7cjfxa  websites: http://www.survivingcancerland.com  & Access Your Inner Guide, Hosts Living Well Talk Radio, Cancer Q&A columnist- CapeWomenOnlineMagazine,  Dream Queen columnist-Wellness Woman 40 & Beyond,Blogger for BreastCancerYoga.com, YourDreamIntrepretation.com, WakeUpWomen, PATHEOS; R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation Hotline Counselor. Represented by Steve Allen Media

Western & Chinese New Year Resolutions: Want vs Needs

Chinese New Year For Breast CancerBY: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos, Intuitive Life Coach, survived three breast cancers, wrote SURVIVING CANCERLAND:

Out with the snake and in with the horse. Western New Year Resolutions and Chinese New Year Celebrations go together like peanut and butter. They herald in changes filled with hope for the world and all its inhabitants. Our New Year resolutions help us focus on personal improvements while the Chinese New Year gives us insight into animal personality types that are reflected in world events, improvements and people.

According to the Chinese calendar, 2014 is Year of the Horse and it will arrive on February 4, 2014 in China Standard Time, January 31st, on Western calendars. Chinese New Year is also called Spring Festival and Lunar New Year. Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality.

The horse birth years are 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, and 2002. If you, or someone you love, were born in horse years the personality traits you display are those of being cheerful, skillful with money, perceptive, witty, talented and good with your hands.

2013 was a year of the snake and a challenging time for many of us. Fortunately, the year of the Green Wood Horse promises to be better because the Green Wooden Horse is a symbol of spring and renewed life.

As a friend and I were having coffee at a café the discussion of New Year Resolutions and the difference between need and want was discussed.

“Kathy, what’s your New Year’s resolution?” the friend asked, “Mine is to give up sugar.” she continued, while shaking two packets of sugar substitute into her coffee. “I’m starting tomorrow.”

“Not to give up anything, and to put myself first,” I answered. “Then I’ll refocus on the difference between want and need in my life.”

My friend stopped stirring her coffee, peered over her sunglasses at me, and asked, “What do you mean by that?”  

The concept of care-giver first, and the difference between want and need can seem alien. I learned about these during radiation therapy ten years ago while battling breast cancer. I still see the side effects of emotional emptiness and burn-out in women who are unaware of self-care concepts.

Women are natural care-givers. Many give unconsciously and unconditionally until there is nothing left to give. Consequently, their emotional-well runs dry. Lately, I’ve see an alarming pattern in my friends during these uncertain economic times. Part of the problem is not distinguishing between wants and needs. Families have many wants, and the care-giver tries to meet them as though they are needs; a terrible burden to carry. Women become burned out from giving so much of themselves to those who want more than is available. When there is nothing left to give, the result is medication, and psychotherapy to fill the void, and dull the feeling of failure.

In part 2 of this blog posted next week, we will discuss the new shift into consciousness and self-awareness and what it means to you.
BIO: KathlKathleen O’Keefe-Kanavoseen O’Keefe-Kanavos, Intuitive Life Coach, survived three breast cancers, wrote SURVIVING CANCERLAND: Intuitive Aspects of Healing (Cypress House, Jan 2014) http://tinyurl.com/p7cjfxa websites: http://www.survivingcancerland.com & Access Your Inner Guide, Hosts Living Well Talk Radio, Cancer Q&A columnist- CapeWomenOnlineMagazine, Dream Queen columnist-Wellness Woman 40 & Beyond,Blogger for BreastCancerYoga.com, YourDreamIntrepretation.com, WakeUpWomen, PATHEOS; R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation Hotline Counselor. Represented by Steve Allen Media

 

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