I say RADICAL because self care is often mistaken for indulgence and as such, gets overlooked. It is “radical” to realize that self care is CRUCIAL to your ability to do your work in the world and while also being an amazing partner, parent, and leader. Self-care is a gentle and consistent acknowledgement of what your mental physical, emotional and spiritual needs are.
We tend prioritize everything above our basic self-care needs. We compromise how we eat by making poor choices out of habit, “convenience” or a need to numb. We stop moving our bodies in nurturing and joyful ways. Sleep and other necessary selfcare practices get put into the “luxury” category. This is completely backwards because without a functioning and enriched mind, body, and spirit we can’t truly show up for ourselves much less anyone else.
The core self care tenants are
1. How do you feed/fuel your body?
2. How do you move your body?
3. How are you resting and rejuvenating your body?
4. How are you calming and feeding your mind?
5. How are you cultivating a connection to source energy or spirit.
Committing to and seamlessly integrating radical self-care into your life is vital for you to be able to live out your Dharma or life’s purpose and truly be who you are meant to be.
When things become challenging or we experience a massive upheaval or shift in our lives, it is easy to question or doubt who we really are and what our life’s purpose is. If I am no longer this person’s wife, actively parenting, or at this particular job, then who am I and what is my life about?
By identifying your true nature, uncovering your passion and discovering what brings you joy, you embrace your true Dharma or life’s purpose. From this space, whatever you do feels natural and easy. All that you allow yourself to receive feels gratifying because it came to you as part of a fulfilling and directional path.
In order to create a big shift or transformation, there must be a keen awareness and acceptance of all that is as it is right now. What we resist will persist. Unconditional acceptance is a practice of mindfulness and leaning into what may feel uncomfortable so that you can heal and let it go. This is about being present in every moment and saying yes to all of it so you can gracefully move through it. We often tend to numb that which we don’t want to face with food, alcohol, overworking or simply denying it all together. The fact is, suppressed emotions will compound and then combust -usually at the most inopportune times. The most effective way to get past your obstacles and difficulties is to gently move through them without self-judgement. We must give permission to and allow the baggage to rise to the surface if we are to let it go.
Your heart is the power center from which all good things come.
Your heart and your na’au or gut are the means through which you connect and receive communication from source. When your heart is broken, aching, or weak, the life force, prana that is your birthright gets suppressed, congested, and blocked from flowing freely. Things we once enjoyed become lackluster, life feels dim, and even the normal everyday tasks feel daunting and virtually impossible to tackle. The baggage, the negative emotions, limiting beliefs, and fragmentation weigh the heart and mind down and prevent us from allowing the energy from source to come down into the physical realm. So to release all the baggage and learn how then to also navigate our negative emotions in the day to day of our lives becomes the key to creating the life we love. Forgiveness and and release work are important. And just as important is learning how to navigate your emotions in the moment.
Big changes and life transitions can create isolation and make us feel entirely disconnected. Whether it is relocation, a new job, loss, divorce, or any other life altering shift, our sense of connection to a community gets rocked and comes into question. Where do we fit and with whom can we feel an authentic sense of connection to as we navigate the myriad of emotions that come with change? Even if our families and loved ones are in close proximity, we can often feel like we are alone. Human beings are hard-wired for connection. Without it, we perish. We thrive within community and aren’t meant to go through life alone. If you look at the places in the world where life expectancies are highest, there is a huge emphasis on community. Additionally, we must take part in and give back to our communities. The more that you give from a place of compassion and joy without obligation or expectation of something in return – the more you will receive. This part of healing often gets overlooked. Who we are and what we are meant to do in this life is to love and be of service. So, how are you giving back?
In our uber masculine, high-achieving and goal driven society the feminine energy of creation has taken a back seat.. Whether you are a man or a woman, chances are you’re not tapping into or expressing your divine feminine energy in a consistent way. As human beings we have both masculine and feminine energy within and we function best when they are in harmony. We have the masculine drive, action, ambition, and achievement side down yet, we’re missing so many opportunities to tap into the nurturing, restful, and creative side. When was the last time you allowed yourself to be in the creative energy? Whether it is writing code, gardening, painting, sculpting, writing, dancing, or decorating your home -you must allow this energy to be cultivated. CREATING is in our nature, and we are meant to have periods of absolute bliss while nurturing that creativity and embracing down time as well. Life is meant to be relished and enjoyed.
What are you doing each day to increase the joy factor in your life? Most people never stop to ask that question and identify it much less live it. When asked what gets you out of bed in the morning, most people do not respond with an answer that has anything to do with what brings them joy. When you dread work, loathe going to the gym, or even tackling your day-to-day life tasks, your energy gets zapped and you vibrate at a low frequency. You begin to attract more of what you dread because that is the energy that you emit. To heal, manifest our heart’s desire, live into our Dharma and live FULL OUT we must tap into the things that make us light up from within. Who are the people and what are the things in your life that bring out the best in you?
Everything you do is a SPIRITUAL ACT. Whether it’s walking barefoot in sand or grass, petting your dog, staring at the ocean, going for a hike, or dinner with your girlfriends -the first step is to identify what cultivates the positive emotions for you.
It is not enough to know what brings you joy. You must commit to DOING it every single day as part of your spiritual practice.