The dance of self caring swirls endlessly around us all, and as we care for ourselves, we can care for others.
I think that self care and self love often get misconstrued as selfish, or misunderstood as being primarily about manicures and bubble baths- both of those are good- they’re just not the whole story. I call it “exquisite self care” and sometimes it will feel everything but exquisite.
I believe that self caring is actually a fierce opportunity and ultimately necessary to grow, change, and love in mature ways.
It involves telling and hearing “microtruths“ (those tiny things we’d often rather avoid saying- or hearing) from ourselves and others, and doing things we sometimes don’t feel like doing, in order to GROW.
Growth is messy and doesn’t always feel marvelous or easy. As we navigate all of our feelings, we will encounter the opposites of self caring, and the difficult passages of self destruction- and self care is especially valuable there too. We are all doing the best we can at any given moment, and there will be many regressions and setbacks along the way.
And when you add in the sheer maintenance involved in ongoing exquisite self care, it’s truly amazing that anyone can actually do it, and keep doing it.
And so, we stumble and flail and forget and remember, and forget again. That’s why it’s called PRACTICE.
As we approach the NEW year, know that the time for self caring can seem to get scooped up by outside activities. What’s a way that you can create some time for practicing your own self caring? Let me know and we’ll uplift and remind each other.
I’ve been setting reminders for doing what I call “tiny yoga”- 5 minutes at a time, and am loving how easy it feels.
Self hugging is one of my primary self caring tools.
To receive the full benefit, set a timer for a minute or two, and wrap yourself up in a big hug and hold yourself fully and deeply. Kiss your arms and shoulders as you say endearing and loving words to yourself. I know, it sounds funny or self indulgent, and it REALLY WORKS to create endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals in your body.
If you’re feeling particularly scared, anxious or alone, you can rock back and forth while hugging yourself and say out loud, “I’m right here, I’m right here” over and over until your nervous system calms down.
Be willing to stop, quit or give up sooner- without guilt.
We are all often scurrying around doing many things, with no thoughts of self caring until depletion occurs. All of a sudden we feel tired, hungry, thirsty or crabby. By then, it’s challenging to apply self care. If you can stop sooner before depletion occurs, you’ll be able to rest, breathe and resume your activities in good spirits.
If you can practice resting without guilt, that’s even better.
Apply appreciation and love LAVISHLY.
David and I play fun games often like “do you want to talk about how much we love each other?” And then we each speak a fast list in detail about how much we appreciate and love the other. If one of us doesn’t feel like offering, they focus on receiving. We also play “great job” where we each appreciate the other in detail for all the tiny and large things they’ve done or been recently.
Both of these games can be played soulfully solo as well.
Let me know one of two of your self caring practices and I’ll add it to my ever growing library.