Yes I know, I'm talking about Self Care again...
There's a damn good reason why this topic is hot on my radar and fuels most of the work I do in the world though...
My journey has been touched so profoundly by the daily ritual of making time to stop, linger in stillness, connect in and give back, that I have declared it my mission to inspire and empower women everywhere on the gifts of a regular Self Care routine.
I feel called to a purpose greater than myself and am ready to light the flame and fire-start a revolution...a new feminine paradigm where 'rest' isn't a dirty word and Self Care is something that we grow up seeing as a natural, normal and extremely healthy part of a well-functioning, evolved and balanced society.
With all the buzz around Self Care at the moment (and for good reason - looking after our needs is the most loving act we can offer ourselves), I thought I would jump in and share a little bit about what I feel Self Care isn't...
There is a LOT of information out there right now about Self Care.
The what, how, why and when is covered in detail on many blogs and websites all across the
internet - I even talk about it myself here!
It is great to see this issue getting the attention it rightly deserves.
Unfortunately, like any good thing done to extreme, I am also seeing a bit of a back lash.
Too many women are looking outside themselves for wisdom and the answer to a question that they can only find within.
We all know that social media can be a wonderful tool for connecting to distant friends, for authentic marketing and for promoting events that change lives...but when it is also creating stress due to comparison to another's Self Care practise (by this I mean thinking that a 3 hr morning routine is not only doable but also sane and realistic for most - and yes this is a real example), then something is seriously off key, out of whack and not at all in line with the essence of what Self Care truly is.
When the practise is starting to summon thoughts like 'I'm not good enough' or 'I can't do Self Care' (I'm not surprised! Not many of us have the luxury of 3 hours every morning to lush it up - though how cool would it be if we did!), then it's time to re-access, realign and rediscover what it means for us to nurture and nourish our beautiful feminine self.
So below is a list of what I believe Self Care isn't...
+ It's definitely not rigid or routine.
I do advocate for taking time every day, but let it be spontaneous and aligned with how you feel 'in the moment', not just doing it to tick something off your 'to-do' list or because you think you should; or because someone else said it's good (and I'm sure it is - for them!).
+ It's most certainly not 'over-riding' your system.
Having a regular exercise routine, for example, is good for you (we all know that), however if you are being a slave to the morning 5a.m alarm when your body wisdom is telling you that you're bordering on exhaustion and one morning off for some more sleep would do you the world of good, then which do you think is Self Care?? Sucking it up and getting up anyway, or honouring your body's knowing and getting some more rest?
+ It's not worrying, caring or even concerning yourself with what anyone else is doing.
You are a beautiful soul having a unique journey...there isn't anyone else on Mother Earth at all like you. So why would your way of caring for yourself be the same as anyone else's?
Of course there will be similarities, but the key is to find out what turns you on and then bring more of that into your day.
+ It's NOT about giving yourself a hard time.
I think we already give ourselves enough crap don't you?
Who hasn't had of a moment of self-sabotage this week? (I applaud and bow down to you if you have surpassed this tiresome road block).
Hold yourself with kindness and compassion like the gentle hands of a mama holding her newborn - each day, each moment is different from the last sister, so go easy.
If you have a day where things don't look exactly as you would like, then that's ok. Take a few deep breaths, re-calibrate and start again tomorrow.
+ It's not the latest trend of fad.
Things are moving so fast in the world now...what was new today is old tomorrow.
Trends come and go (and some of them are definitely keepers), but some of the simplest and most joyful ways you will discover to nourish yourself will have nothing to do with the latest superfood, cleansing routine or advice from the current popular yoga guru.
It will most likely be simple, honest and true to you...like a gentle walk on the beach.
Rather than just leaving you with a whole bunch of ideas about what Self Care isn't, and maybe also feeling a little lost as to where to now, here's an idea of what Self Care IS for me.
+ Frequently tuning into the antenna of my very own inner wisdom and beginning to listen deeply...sometimes it takes a little while to find the right channel due to all the other noise being broadcast, but when I do, the message comes through loud and clear.
+ Carving time out of every day to find a moment to be still, even if all it can be is 5 minutes.
The quiet allows me space to hear what's trying to come through.
+ Heeding the insight that comes through from my intuition, and adjusting, re-shuffling and coordinating life to flow from this place.
+ Doing something each day that brings me joy, fills me up and connects me to my authentic self.
+ Putting my needs first so that I may show up in life as the fullest, most abundant and juiciest version of myself - from here I can nurture, help and serve others without the burn out.
Whether you love to swim naked in the ocean, sit in silent contemplation or soak in a soothing hot bath - the what will look as different for you as it does for me.
The best part of it all???
The adventure of discovering what it means for you, and in the bliss of embodied action.
Reflect on what you LOVE and then call this in to your life each and every day.
Life will be an ever flowing river of blissful moments, deeper connection and true Self love when you truly honour your goddess given right to some tender loving care...
So what isn't Self Care for you?
What have you discovered about yourself and what you love when you take some time to go within?
I'd love you to share in the comments below so that we may all grow from each other's insights.
Until next time, may your days be filled with an abundance of lasting joy.