In my world of self-development, it is easy for people to get caught up in fancy-pants healing. We do sound baths, take all these oils, have giant gem collections, and frequency machines. Often, what so many of us are missing, is some good blue-collar back to basics self-care.
The definition of Self-care has become twisted up. Self-care is not just about the weekly massage and manicure – although that can be included. What most healers, counselors, and social workers don’t tell you, is that a lot of the time, self-care can be absolutely awful.
First and foremost, taking care of yourself means doing all of the adult-ing that you might not want to do. This includes eating right. Paying your parking tickets. Making sure you did your laundry. It means asking for help when you need it. It includes being painfully honest with yourself and your loved ones about what you need and where you want to go. It means vulnerability.
Taking care of ourselves means more than just feeling good. It means setting ourselves up for success in every way. This is especially important to maintain during periods of high stress. When you are no longer living on planet earth, but instead planet “my friend died” or “I have cancer” or “my depression is really acting up”, your system and foundation of support and self-care will already be in place. You will have built safety nets to catch you.
Self-care, eventually will lead you into self-love. This is a deep sense of worthiness. It is not narcissism or indulgence. It is not about “I deserve…” It is not about blame or “poor me…” It is about “What do I need to maintain balance?” and what do I need to learn about myself? Self-care is about knowing yourself. It is about protecting your soul territory at all costs so that you do not betray yourself. It is a deep honoring and love of who you are.
Learning to love you is an initiation experience. The territory is deep and inner. You do this on your own and in your arguments with god. It is your capacity to face and love what is light and dark within your soul. The shadow of this is the dark night of the soul. It is when your shadow becomes too much and starts to swallow the light. To move through a dark night, prayer, and rigorous asking of interior questions become essential. A spiritual guide is highly recommended for those on that path.
So dear ones, take care. Before most of us get to the love part, we start with the care part. A few places to focus on your self-care:
1. Physical health
- What does your diet look like? How are you eating?
- When is the last time you got that weird skin thing checked out?
- Schedule those appointments!
- Energy work and body work
- Are you seeing a therapist? Should you be?
- When’s the last time you cleaned out your garage?
- Backed up your computer files?
- Bought flowers?
- Took your car in?
- Are you budgeting?
- Do you have a savings started?
- Debt need repaid?
- What books have you forgotten to return?
- Favors you owe anyone?
- What’s that tough conversation you need to have?
- That friend you keep forgetting to get dinner with?
5. Career and life purpose
- Do you volunteer?
- Are you happy with your job?
- What about that art project you haven’t started?
- Schools, trainings, you want to do?
Go forth ☺