Becoming Super-Powered through Self-Care
The truth is we live in a world of chaos; we’re all in constant flux. This isn’t a bad thing, but it requires that we focus on consciously creating balance in our lives. For all of the outward forces pulling us (Yang energy) we need to draw inward (cultivating our Yin). This is how we replenish our Power sources. Self-care is key, which is best as a practice, because it's the small things, done consistently, that become the big, powerful, transformative things.
If we are always out playing the hero in the world (taking action, doing good, trying to keep up with the latest happenings, taking care of friends, family, work, and everyone else) we can get caught in the subtle downward & outward spin-cycle. You’ve probably experienced yourself feeling run-down, and maybe used things to cover it up, or ignored it… but, sooner or later, we can have a major break-down.
If you’re a real Type-A, perfectionist, overachiever like I was, you’ll have such a breakdown, in less than 3 years into your career! Um, wait, actually, if you are Type-A, I know what you’re thinking, and that was just a joke - do not consider it a challenge.
All kidding aside, my recommendation is to have at least one of the following as a part of your daily Self-Empowerment routine. It’s certainly the best way to start your day, but if you could only fit it in before bed, then make that your time. It’s also ideal to save at least 1 special day a week (I call it my Self-Care Saturday) where you plan 1 big treat for yourself (a massage, a long bubble bath, etc).
Now, on to the juiciness…
“Hello Body. Hello Heart. Hello Mind.
I know life can be frantic, challenging, chaotic,
but I haven’t forgotten about you!
Tell me, how are we doing?
What do you need?"
- Simply, time spent alone in Nature
- Deep belly breathing (4/7/8, anulom vilom or nadi shodana, etc.)
- Traditional chanting, metta or loving-kindness, heart-centered, mindfulness -- find what works best for you!
- Stream of consciousness (a form of meditation)
- Daily reflections (morning and/or evening)
- Gratitude List
- Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi
- Functional training and intense cardiovascular exercise, like running
- Ecstatic dance (even if you’re home alone, put on your favorite jam, close your eyes, and let go - move and shake and jump and stomp, like nobody’s business - my recommendation for this is “Inner Bloom” by Rufus, it’s got a great build-up and it lasts 10 minutes)
- I slather myself, all over, in coconut oil blended with my favorite essential oils, after every shower
- Ask your partner or friends to give you a 10-minute shoulder/back massage
- Make an appointment with your favorite massage therapist: try relaxing shiatsu, deep-tissue, or fascial Rolfing
- Light some candles, use oils, make it slow and sensual
- If you don’t have a partner, learn how to truly make love to yourself
- By picking out (or growing) your own fresh food, putting your love and care into the preparation, and then savoring it, is an awesome way to feed yourself, on all levels
- If you don’t know how to cook, take a class; if you don’t have time, find at least one day a week (like a self-care Saturday) and carve something out, because it is uber important
- Also known as sensory-deprivation therapy, I find floating to be a magic bullet cure-all (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually)
- It is my personal favorite for a deeply meditative and healing experience that you give to your self
- The time for being ashamed about this is behind us!
- These private sessions are a time for you to share with another person and reflect - without judgment - which can be hard to find, especially with people who care about us
Now, here's my Authenticity Moment:
For a long time, when people told me to take care of myself, I thought it was just a saying. "How do I take care of myself? Relax on the couch?" I didn’t know there actually was a meaning and a practice that you could put into those words. I learned with self-care, we get back in touch with who we are and what we need to feel our best and be our highest selves - its through our food, our thoughts, our emotions, our relationships, and our spirit. It’s not all about doing, achieving, and living up to what other people think. Taking me-time allows us to shine our brightest - and when we’re shining, the world will shine back.
I think this was a pretty extensive list, but tell me about your self-care practice... Is there something I missed? Something new you’d like to try this week? What’s your favorite?