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Self-Care: What It Is, What It Is Not

Self Care

Last updated on February 28th, 2021.

Create deeper nourishment and self-actualization.

It all starts by looking inside and being brave enough to do what it takes to ignite your InnerSpark.

What’s your reaction when you hear “self-care?” Be honest. My introduction to this concept granted me a chuckle and my harsh inner critic quickly whispered something like, “Yah, it’s for those weak people who can’t handle life; I can push through anything. Just buck up and put my big girl panties on and push through anything.”

Well, that old paradigm has cost me my mental, emotional, and physical well-being on numerous occasions.

Self-care is not for the weak…

See, contrary to my former beliefs, self-care is not for “weak” people and it’s not reserved for times when you “can’t handle life.” Self-care is in fact for every single living person on the planet! And by practicing self-care consistently, we’re better equipped to handle whatever life throws our way. Self-care is not selfish, which is what I consistently hear from so many clients and used to think, as well. It’s selfless, actually. By ensuring your needs are met, you are more authentically and powerfully showing up for your life. Think about that for a moment and reflect upon past experiences.

What is self-care?

Self-care, according to my own, working definition, is mindfully developing the practice of asking yourself in each moment, “What do I need right now? How does this (whatever I’m doing) feel and how can I feel even better?” Perhaps I need to adjust my posture at the computer to show some love to my scoliosis back. Maybe it’s taking a deep breath because I am feeling stressed and forgot how to breathe momentarily!

Plainly, it’s tending to all levels of my being – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual – and ensuring deep nourishment for each. This deep nourishment at all levels yields my most vibrant self and I am better able to live in the moment and respond to life as it unfolds, which is where the magic truly happens.

At the physical level, it’s fueling up on wholesome, real foods, moving my body, or ensuring enough sleep. At the emotional level, it’s being aware of my feelings and the messages they hold, connecting with my support team, and noticing where I’m not allowing myself to lighten up and enjoy! Mentally, it may look like knowing when I need to wrap up my never-ending task list for the day and head outside to play with the dog or tend to my garden. And, spiritually, it’s communing with nature and sitting in meditation to reconnect and recharge, or reading texts that quench my spiritual thirst.

Do this now:

Make a Nourishment Plan for yourself. Think of this as your new daily diet that goes waaaay beyond just food. Divide sections into physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Fill in each section accordingly with activities, people, feelings, needs, dreams, goals that feed and support each aspect of your being so it can thrive.

Does an area have you stumped? That’s a clue that it needs more attention.

For me, it’s usually my emotional body. I am a recovering type-A who can easily turn into a poker-faced intensity junkie who “enjoys” pushing through things. Ways I reconnect with my softer, emotional side are to partake in creative activities such as getting my fingers into some paints or oil pastels or by dancing.

Commit to developing a simple, daily practice of checking in with yourself and asking, “What do I need?” Take it a step further by actually honoring the need! As is the case with most things, this gets easier and more intuitive with time, trust me.  You are a multidimensional being and it’s important to honor this and not ignore certain areas by overemphasizing others.

December 21, 2021 – February 2, 2022 (The Void Archetype): The Void is a place of formlessness that is in-between worlds. It’s a cocoon, a chrysalis for becoming and potentiality. It is the womb of The Mother. It’s a place of total rest for repairing, healing, restoration, and rejuvenation, before our re-animation. Is it time for you to rest deeply, Dear One? Are you feeling burnt out and unclear? Partner with The Void and re-establish your sacred spiral flow.

Connect with me through social media, email, or my podcast, Subtle Medicine!

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