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Episode # 584   Cynthia James - Take Care of #1 - YOU!

About The Episode:

Do you find that you take care of everyone around you before attending to your own needs? Do you feel guilty when you do take time for yourself? My guest on this episode of The Inspiration Show and creator of the Women Awakening Community, Cynthia James, talks about ways you can start practicing self-care and making sure you’re healthy and thriving before taking care of anyone else. If you’re ready to find a daily practice of self-care that nourishes you, then don’t miss this special episode!

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Episode # 584 Cynthia James - Take Care of #1 - YOU!

NL: Hi everyone. My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is The Inspiration Show. Today on the show, I have a very good friend of mine, my special guest, we’re going to be talking about self care. So ladies it’s time to listen up because it’s time for us to start taking better care of ourselves and my special guest is going to tell us all about that. But before I introduce her, I just want to remind you once the show is over, don’t forget to click the link below this video so you can download the free ebook version of my bestselling book “Never In Your Wildest Dreams”. So please help me introduce my very special friend Cynthia James. How are you Cynthia?

CJ: Hi.

NL: So great to have you here. Now we are talking about self care for women. Now there seems to be, what is it about us that we put everyone else first and don’t seem to be able to look after ourselves. What do you think is the phenomenon behind that?

CJ: Well, you know what (inaudible)… it’s actually the way that we are have been taught. To put others first. You know, until the early 1900s, we really, we’re really property and so we’ve been made to feel guilty if we take care of ourselves first. We’ve been made to feel that we lower the vibration of our families and our environment if we take care of ourselves first. But the truth is it’s the flipside. If we take care of ourselves first, we lift the vibration of our lives, our families, our relationships, and it’s a hard one to learn because we’ve taught people how to dance with us, we’ve taught people how to be with us, and they expect that we will put them first.

NL: Yeah. Because you know, I think it’s the thing too. What we do know is that we bring in with us into this lifetime, in our DNA, a lot of our programs and behaviour styles from 3 generations back. So I can see how we kind of bring this in. So what got you interested in really being like an advocate for women to take better care of ourselves?

CJ: Well, you know, it’s interesting because I come from 5 generations of women who were abused and traumatized and had no concept of self care. And the whole thing about historical trauma being in your body is true. And at one point I thought, you know, I do not want to continue this pattern for my children and so I better learn how to love myself, I better learn how to take care of myself and how to honor myself. And so I started this journey of education, I went to a spiritual psychology, master’s program, I did all of these stuff, and then I started noticing that people started coming to me, women started coming to me saying “Okay, I want to know how to do that because I want to make a difference but I’m not making a difference now because I’m stuck in my mind and I’m stuck by taking care of other people”.

NL: Right. And so where, like where do women even start? Like, especially if there’s someone watching the show right now that goes you know, “Well, I’m a mother first, you know, and I’m a wife and I’m a care taker, and I’m all these kind of things, like, how do I even start looking after myself? Where do I begin?”

CJ: Well you know, the first thing, for me, the first place is some kind of a practice. Whether it’s a spiritual practice of meditation or whatever or it’s yoga or it’s the gyp, something that’s for you. And I want to say to every woman that calendar that you have is for you too, it’s not just for everybody else, it’s like you practice consistency by putting yourself on the calendar, even if it’s just one hour a week to start, because what I had to learn the hard way, and this is what I want to tell you, your body is an extraordinary computer. And if you do not take care of it very long period of time and it will begin to break down and that’s what happened to me. My adrenals went crazy, and I wasn’t sleeping well and I was pushing and trying to make things happen and my body said okay I’m going to sit you down until you pay attention to me.

NL: Right. And that’s the thing. We can actually get quite ill when it’s long, like you know, because I don’t think it’s just the physical thing and you find this, I mean, I’m guilty of this all the time, adrenals always going, high cortisol like rushing, burning the candle at both ends, I think I’ve always been this way, but it’s also the mental, it’s the mental degradation that we do to ourselves as well, don’t you think?

CJ: Mental and emotional.

NL: Yeah.

CJ: No, because when you’re that tired, when you’re not functioning from a place of center and alignment, then you can’t process well, you can’t make great decisions well. You know, because you are running on empty and that’s what I discovered, it’s like I was producing and I was successful but the cost was that I wasn’t always the nicest person to be around and I wasn’t always making decisions for the long view of my health and well-being.

NL: Yeah, absolutely. Alright, let’s get back to daily practice, so what does that look like?

CJ: Okay, so for me, like this morning, I have a day that’s non-stop. So I got up this morning, I have a meditation practice, I mean a spiritual practice where I meditate and I read and I journal, but I got outside for 20 minutes because I knew I needed to move my body before I sat in a chair all day doing whatever else I’m going to do. So it doesn’t matter what it looks like, what’s important is that you find out what lights you up. It could be reading, it could be listening to music, it could be you know, I will dance around my house, I will put on music and dance around, it doesn’t matter what it is but that it’s something for you. And you can start with as little as 5 minutes to just be about you.

NL: Yeah. No I know, I actually have a list and I call them daily success rituals because what happens is that these are things that make me feel good and they put me in this higher vibration and the longer we can stay in that higher vibration which is the vibrational match to abundance, then the easier it is for us to be able to manifest what we want. So my things, good things like walking my dog Bella out on the marina. You know, I love driving in my car with the roof down, like I live in California where it never rains so I get to take the roof down very often. And it could be something just as little as a centering exercise, you know, depending on what time, how much time I’ve got, and what I can do, what I feel like doing. Because sometimes you’ll go through the list and like “eehh I don’t feel like that, but I feel like doing this”, you know, so I think that’s also a really good hint as well.

CJ: And I want to throw in about meditations, because some people can’t just sit, some people can’t just sit and go in to meditations, so I created this moving meditations for people so that you could, so that you can move with music and affirmations in your head while you’re going through your daily work practice, whatever.

NL: Okay, so we’ve got daily practice which is you know, finding time everyday to do some kind of self care whether it’s a bubble bath or whatever it is that you want and so let’s say that we’ve got someone watching the show that really has, does have some health issues. You know, what are some of the things that they can do or what they can look at to be able to move through those kind of situations as well?

CJ: Well, first of all, I’d say Mind Movies is a great thing. I would say that you know, listening to meditations, guided meditations is great. Just allowing yourself to do stream of consciousness writing where you just write your feelings because a lot of times there’s things in layers that when you just write like that, you journal like that, those things come out and you can address them in a different way.

NL: Absolutely, that’s awesome. So I think part of self care is also learning how to put ourselves first. And I know you mentioned this earlier in the interview so how do we do that? Like how do we put ourselves first when we are in a relationship or we are you know, and we have a family. What does that look like?

CJ: First thing I had to learn was that No was a complete sentence that I could say no and it will be okay and I wouldn’t, everybody wouldn’t leave me and I’d be destroyed. The second thing is to get clear about what I wanted. I mean, we’re not trained as women to get to what is it that we want. It’s like we’re wanting to know what everybody else wants. So getting clear about what we want and then articulating that to people, to our relationships, to our spouse, or our children, or whoever and then asking them what do they need so it begins to be a dialogue of self care and so they are not surprised when you say I can’t do that today because I’m doing this for me. It opens that portal.

NL: Yeah. Well, I think that’s why Mind Movies is so powerful because you know the mind movie itself, yes, it’s a fantastic tool, but the most powerful part of a mind movie is the process of getting clear about what it is that you want. Because then you find that a lot of women specially if we’re this, time of our life, we kind of lost a sense of ourselves. Like we’ve lost our identity a little bit and we’ve kind of get lost in the roles that we play, do you find that?

CJ: 100% you know, because you got societal roles that are trying to define us, you’ve got familial roles that are trying to define us, and then you got relationship roles that are trying to define us and so that’s why it’s really important to get clear about who are you, you know, when I got divorced many many years ago before I married Carl, I discovered, I didn’t know what I wanted, I didn’t know what I liked, I had no concept of taking care of myself and so I went on hiatus from dating and all these other stuff, just like Who Am I and what do I want.

NL: Yeah. Well that was my story as well, when Glen and I broke up after 18 years of marriage.I remember that first week, I’d be walking every morning, just walk outside in San Diego, along the water, just to get myself to feel good to face the day, and I was like, you know, “Who am I? Like I don’t even know who I am without him, it’s been Glen and Nat for so many years” and then by the time, that was on Sunday we broke up and then on by the time it’s Thursday, I’m like “wait a minute, Who do I want to be?” like… (laughter)…I have all this freedom to go I don’t have to answer to anyone, I have a successful business, I have an amazing platform, I have choices. So I’m like “Alright Nat, now is the time to get excited and think about who do you really want to be”. Because you know, even as strong as most personality as I am, I still lost myself in that partnership. So what are some of the things or advice you can give to women who are finding themselves at this crossroad, they don’t have to be going through divorce but you know there is some, this seems to be a transition time for a lot of women, you know, maybe they are separating, or maybe their kids have gone off to college, or maybe they’re changing careers, how do they go through or what would you recommend that they go through as that self inquiries to figure out who do they want to be?

CJ: Well, the first thing I would say is to find out what lights you up. What are you passionate about, you know, what makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning. I would also invite them to look at what are the pain points, what are the places that don’t support you so that you can start moving away from those and start moving in to your passion and the second thing is look at whose around you and look at what they’re saying and doing. Is it uplifting? Or not? Because you want to be in the vibration of people that get you, that see you, that want to support you, and want to nurture you. Those 2 things alone will shift a lot of things because everything becomes about choice.

NL: Yeah. Absolutely. And I was, I did the same thing, like I went through all, because I remember, towards the end, Glen and I were having, you know we were travelling separately or having time apart, and I remember, I’m really enjoying doing certain things that he didn’t know, I’m like I get to do that stuff all the time now, this is (inaudible)…( laughter)… and you know, I was honestly, I was using that marriage or that relationship as an excuse because I was afraid to step in to my greatness and step in to my light. And some like “Uh, well, you know, I can’t outshine my husband so I need to you know”, and you know, and that was just crap, it was, honestly, it was just a cop out. So you know, being able to like I said, you don’t have to be going through a separation but you could really spend this time now going through this transition and this second part of your life and the other thing to is like if you’ve been in a relationship for a long period of time, you know, and this is what I realized with Glen and I, our parameters of how we operated in our relationship were the same from when we were in our 20s. Never evolved in to, you know, because you do, as you get older you change, you become a different person and so that was you know, part of our demise that we never really talked about that which is something that I learned. So having those, I love it how you talk about having these conversations, opening up this dialogue because you know, things change overtime and having new rules where both people in the relationship or in the family is being served, I think is a great way to do that. Now I know that you’ve got an amazing community Cynthia and you’ve been working with a lot of women. Can you share a story of someone that you’ve worked with that you know, you’ve seen this change when they really started to go Okay, self care is now what I’m really focusing on and how that’s made a difference in their life?

CJ: Yeah. I had a woman, was in my, one of my classes, and she stood up and she talked about that she had a vision for creating a place for people could come and be nurtured. Right after that, her husband made his transition off the planet. And she, so the work we did was first of all, dealing with the grieving but then it was like, how do I take care of myself so that I can take care of my daughter and then I can put energy in to this thing that wants to be birthed through me. So the incredible thing is as she begun to take care of herself, what came through her was the vision of a spa that she has now opened and is one of the most unique places I’ve ever been and it’s all been about teaching people to take care of themselves in little increments and nurturing themselves and it’s extraordinary because what she did was she used the pain that she was in and the willingness to love herself to create a space for others to do the same.

NL: Yeah, that’s amazing. Cynthia, thank you so much for joining me today. Now if people want to connect with you and join the women awakening community, how can they do that?

CJ: You go to and there’s a link that says for women and there’s a lot of free videos called Woman Awakening where I interview people like you who are amazing. Who’ll just remind us of who we are.

NL: That’s amazing. Cynthia, thank you so much darling. It’s always a pleasure chatting to you.

CJ: Happy to be with you.

NL: Awesome. So guys, I encourage you, please let’s share this video and let’s get the word out. You can do that by clicking the facebook and the twitter share buttons on this page. Now you can either click the banner to the side or the link underneath this video to go directly through to Cynthia’s website, that’s And after all of that is over, if you click the link below that, you can download the free ebook version of my bestselling book, Never In Your Wildest Dreams. So until next time, remember to live large, choose courageously, and love without limits. We’ll see you soon. 

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