Let’s face it, even in a culture where narcissism and self-obsession are common complaints, the reality is that many of us struggle to feel ‘good enough’ or worthy of being happy. Crazy, right? Taking care of everyone else comes naturally to most women, but taking care of our own health and our own hopes – there’s a lot of guilt going on there…
This is where Shannon Bindler comes in. Shannon is the wellness-minded, life-loving, shoe-fiending mama behind Get Up Girl, an organization that helps hundreds of women out of doubt and into their dreams through empowering coaching programs and retreats. With all those retreats and all this coaching, she’s learned a thing or two about what keeps women from their own happiness and how to overcome a few of those common hurdles.
The Chalkboard Mag: Let’s start at the beginning. What are empowerment retreats all about?
Shannon Bindler: A goal without a plan is just a wish. Women come to me with wishes, and they leave with grounded, realistic action plans.
TCM: You’ve worked with hundreds of women in retreat and coaching settings — what trends do you find in the realm of self-care (or lack thereof)?
SB: Lack of self-care is something I work on with every client! If you want to write a book, find love, start a business, a successful blog, etc., it all starts with taking care of yourself on all levels (spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally). If someone is nurturing all of those areas, things are usually working phenomenally well for them.
TCM: Have you ever struggled with putting everyone else first at the sake of your own health and happiness?
SB: Most women struggle with putting others’ needs first, especially moms. For me, self-care is at the top of my priority list. If I am taking care of myself, I have the energy and inner peace to be the mom I want to be. Whenever I notice myself snapping at my daughter (or husband, friends, etc.), I know it’s time for me to create some space and focus inward. It’s an ongoing practice, not a one-time fix-all.
TCM: Most frequent problems you see holding women back from clarity and their fullest lives?
SB: People have a lot of limiting beliefs about “success.” Somewhere inside they believe that they are not good enough to attain their dreams.
TCM: Why do women so often struggle with guilt when it comes to taking care of themselves?
SB: A lot of people assume that self-care is being indulgent when it’s quite the opposite. Taking care of oneself shouldn’t be used as a reward, nor should it be the opposite – withholding it as some sort of self-punishment. It’s an essential practice that sets the foundation for a happy life – which is my definition of success!
TCM: What’s your best advice for what’s often called mom-guilt?
SB: Take care of yourself, so you can take care of others.
TCM: Your best lesson you’ve learned from leading empowerment retreats?
SB: The majority of us believe we are NOT good enough for one reason or another. All of us are good enough, even if we’ve done bad things.
TCM: At what point in your retreats do you most often see breakthroughs and/or most women finally “clicking”?
SB: When a person gets that the only thing stopping them is a lie that they’ve tricked themselves into believing.
TCM: What’s your Rx for taking care of yourself?
SB: Practice it daily. Just like working out, it’s something that needs to be done often and with regularity. If something is up in my life, then it’s a direct reflection of something going on in my inner world.
TCM: Your personal mantra?
SB: Use everything for your uplift-ment, growth, and learning.