I used to have a list of “self-care” items on my bathroom mirror. Here are a few of them:
Gargle coconut oil
..... and the list went on.
In fact, it went on so long it kind of wore me out. It was a lot to keep up with. Then, something I heard shifted everything. I was in Florida visiting family and had tuned into Oprah and Eckhart Tolle’s most recent program. As I walked down the street listening, Eckhart said “your only spiritual ritual or practice should be living in the moment.”
It was like a weight was lifted from my mind and body! “How perfect! How simple! How easy!”
So, I decided to lighten up on myself care perfectionism and instead focus on the NOW.
Two funny things happened...
I enjoyed my list of self-care routines (and numerous other parts of my day) because I was actually experiencing them.
I became very uncomfortable. In other words, it wasn’t all that fun all the time.
As I practiced the idea of literally being in the moment as I walked across the room, brushed my teeth, or spoke with clients/family/friends, I also became more in the moment when choices came across my desk, when decisions needed to be made, and when I was present with my feelings...and those just aren’t as fun as bubble baths:)
The thing is, REAL SELF CARE is about REALLY taking care of yourself at a deeper level than moisturizing. It’s serious stuff because it’s the stuff that will support you in creating the change you desire. When you do the work and incorporate a sense of structure and discipline around the work, where we land is new territory—- a place where we stop getting the same results from the same old ways of living... and that can be scary.
What is not working in your life right now? Is it your job? Your relationship? Your well-being?
What if you became so engrossed in the moment that you really had to BE with the questions about these areas of your life and not escape to the spa or the restaurant or the mall? For me these sometimes became avoidance mechanisms cloaked under labels of self-care.
I’m not saying any of the examples above are bad... but aren’t they much more enjoyable and fun once you make the tough choices and wake up to your life in an intentional and conscious way.
A good friend put it perfectly... she said “I’m just done with repeating the same patterns that lead me to the results I don’t want.”
Making choices for long term satisfaction versus short term fun are not easy. It takes focus and commitment... and that my friend is true self care.