A Conversation with Dr. Gertrude Lyons
In this uncertain time, there’s one thing I know for sure. We have to make a conscious effort to share the love. And the first step in spreading love is to start with yourself. Who better to chat about that with than my long-time professional and personal mentor, Dr. Gertrude Lyons?
For those who may not know, Gertrude is a life coach, motivational speaker, and mothering revolutionary who has dedicated her life to challenging traditional notions of motherhood and giving space to women to address their dreams and fears and learn the truth about what it really means to mother. I recently had her on “Rock Your Joy” to talk about the difference—or lack thereof—between self-care and the concept of mothering.
First things first, I believe in living a healthy life full of joy (hence the name of my podcast), and something Gertrude helped me realize not all that long ago is that inner joy comes from self-empowerment and inner strength. Because she had the same epiphany. During her consulting career, Gertrude uncovered a reality that many of us have noticed, but not acted on: supporting others is much easier than taking your own advice. Thus began her own journey of self-love, self-learning, and the exploration of self-mothering.
Because believe it or not, we are ALL mothers. No matter if you have children or not, women constantly give birth to ideas, nurture our communities, and mother ourselves—which is precisely where Gertrude and I went deep on the show.
So what does it really mean to mother yourself?
Self-care is a concept that can be explored in many different capacities, whether that be through healthy living or treating yourself to the things you love. Now, more than ever, Gertrude is spreading the good word that women need to allow themselves to fully enjoy taking care of their own needs. “Self-care” sounds self-explanatory, but in order to get the most out of it, we have to truly be present. For example, if you’re getting a manicure or massage, be present. Enjoy the sensations, and remember that this is your time and you deserve it, 100%.
These stressful times mean that we are all experiencing feelings that we have never felt before. We have to give ourselves time to really feel them and to be with them. The unpredictability of this new era can be stressful for everyone, and that stress can stir up unfinished business from the past. Allow yourself to process every emotion that comes your way because everything that you’re going through is valid.
Women care and hold a lot within themselves, but we have to think of the world and ourselves at the same time. In loving—and mothering—ourselves first, we’re able to bring joy to others.
Naturally, toward the end of the episode, I asked Gertrude what brings her joy and how she taps into that feeling. Her answer surprised me. She said that the first thing that comes to mind is matching the extent to feel sadness with the extent to feel joy. Sometimes acknowledging sadness allows you to feel joy and live life authentically. You have to let yourself feel the full range of emotions to really let yourself revel in joyful and beautiful things.
I couldn’t agree more.
To hear our full conversation, listen to the episode here. And to learn more about mothering yourself in the service of finding your joy, discover Gertrude’s story and coaching programs at www.drgertrudelyons.com.
Until next time, mamas, stay safe, and stay true to your emotions!