It’s the first day of 2015…Happy New Year!! It may seem odd that we’re still counting down to 2015 in this series of ten blogs when it is now 2015, but here’s the thing…we’re not seeking perfection and the idea is to be mindful every day of how we’re consciously living full lives. In this light, today’s blog is about Self Care.
But first…here’s what we’ve been through so far:
10 – Setting Intentions
9 – Expressing Gratitude
8 – Wandering in Nature
7 – Playing with our Passions
5 – Law of Attraction and Ritual
So I thought today would be a good day to talk about self care because we’ve just been gifted a brand new year and how can we do great things and be good for anyone else if we’re not taking care of ourselves.
I actually believe that one of the more unselfish things to do in life is to take care of yourself and follow your dreams. This world could use people who are living fully and are truly embodying and sharing their authentic selves.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.” ~ Mary Oliver
This is one of my favorite quotes. And then there’s Carl Jung. I’m completely obsessed with Carl Jung; the man was a genius. His contributions range from archetypes to dream work, synchronicity to individuation and so much more.
Last year I was encouraged to pick one word to focus on, one word to anchor my intentions to. The word that I picked was “Individuation”…which basically encompasses and celebrates that there will never be another me or another you ever again and the responsibility, opportunity and life journey that comes along with that is perhaps the meaning of life.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” ~ Mark Twain
“Today you’re alive that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you.” ~ Dr. Seuss
Self care can mean so many things so much so that what you really need to start with is a nap and a massage. Actually, I do count both of those as self care if that is what you need to do. To take it further I like to reflect on the state of my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. I’ve started adding cultural and social as categories too.
I meditate and/or journal on each of those areas periodically. What have I done to care for myself in each area? What new things am I trying or pursuing to grow in each of these areas? Do I feel balanced or am I scattered or pulled strongly towards one area now.
It now makes so much sense to me that when I started to shake things up emotionally and mentally with wanting a change, my spirituality grew stronger and my physical aspect made some noise. Most people I know who have made big life changes have had to care for something physically with their bodies.
I think each of these facets of our Selves are integrated and influence each other, for example something emotional manifesting in a physical way. So I like to notice what’s going on with me in these areas and also have practices for nurturing each aspect and for balancing them.
I have learned in this that physical touch is really important, especially for parents bonding with their babies, but for all of us throughout our lives. We can connect in many ways, but there is something very transformative, loving and necessary about human touch.
This could be going to get that massage, getting a hug from someone or even cuddling with an animal. Touch is calming, soothing and makes us feel seen, connected and loved. Everyone stop what you’re doing (as soon as you finish reading this) and go get a massage. This is your permission.
I think self care also includes taking a look at relationships. Who are the big players in your life? Where are you supported? What are the values you share with those in your lives? How do you let people know what they mean to you? How do you receive from and also tend to those special people in your life?
Here are just a few ideas in these areas (and of course these things can overlap):
Mental – meditation, listen to a podcast, read, write/ journal, study something
Emotional – laugh, cry, smile, listen to music, create something, dance
Physical – meet with a naturopath, go for a bike ride, take a bath with candles, nap
Spiritual – do yoga, perform a ritual, wander in nature, gratitude practice
Cultural – do something new, be creative, plan a trip, host a foreigner, go see live music
Social – meet someone new, write a letter, attend a conference, join a club
With all of this self care, soul work and personal development you are doing, it’s important to celebrate it. It is encouraging, fun and impactful to continued progress when we acknowledge our journey and accomplishments, reward ourselves and celebrate.
And now time for a restorative, self-care induced full night’s sleep. Thank you for tuning in to this series of blogs on personal development practices for an inspired and adventurous new year.
As I said, I think the greatest form of self care can be to go after your passions without restraint. I am currently running a kickstarter campaign based on pursuing my passions.
The campaign is focused on writing and publishing a book about my transformative adventure from Corporate America to a life designed around passions and also includes an interactive guidebook to help those wishing to make their own personal changes.
If you like what you are reading, please consider backing my kickstarter.com called: Let’s Go on an Adventure! and please share too.
I have 4 days left in my campaign, all or nothing!
You can read more about my story at erinkmac.com and continue to receive this blogs by clicking the ‘follow’ button.
Thank so very much for coming along on this adventure.