Updated: May 29, 2020
There is a lot of attention today around the concept of self-care. Running a hot bath, taking a vacation, going to a yoga class or taking your dog for a walk…all of these things are touted as positive actions you can take each day to improve your emotional and physical health and wellness.
The trouble is, while all of these things are great, we often don’t make adequate time for them. Sometimes we even struggle to really let go and enjoy ourselves while we are in the act of doing them. This happens even when we know that caring for ourselves helps us. Why is that?
Frequency and routine are important for many things. Just ask the doctor you hire to deliver your baby, or the mechanic you pay to fix that funny noise your car is making. We trust these helpers we use and need every day, because they have practiced what they do and they have done it with enough frequency to be better at it than you.
We want the best in other avenues of our life, and we are more than willing to spend the time or exert the effort for many other things. If you have ever tried to choose a movie Netflix, make a large financial purchase like a laptop or car, or help someone you care about; you know what it feels like to give something your attention and energy.
Why is it then, that the ultimate act in self-love, taking care of our own selves, so often falls to wayside?
YOU also have to be on that list of things you put care into if you want to live the life you wish for.
Awareness of the importance of self-care isn’t a guarantee of actual practice. Establishing a habit and routine are helpful, but they can take time to get going. Some science suggests that it can take over 2 months to create a new habit.
So…while those gym memberships are lapsing and you can’t remember the last time you flossed your teeth, I would suggest a change in perspective.
Instead of trying to make yourself do all the things you already know are good for you, like exercising, practicing good dental hygiene or spending more time with your family, begin to take a few moments each morning when you wake to ask yourself what you need today.
This doesn’t have to be a long or complex process and there shouldn’t really be any thinking involved. Just like if you were to ask someone else a question, if you are doing it right, you should simply be listening, just being totally present to what they are saying. Then, afterwards, you can start the thinking on how or what should be done to accomplish those things.
Just sit quietly and peacefully taking a few deep, centering breaths in and out.
Ask yourself:“What do I need today?” Or maybe “What do I need in this moment?” If you are prepared to listen to and then act on the response that comes, you will have taken a massive step forward in your personal spiritual self-care practice.
Spiritual self-care is taking care of the whole of you, the part of you that is bigger than your physical body’s need for movement and rest, deeper than your mind’s need to process thoughts and feel emotions; the you that is more than the sum of its all parts. Looking at a photo of you or talking to someone who knows you about you, are ways of seeing and understanding you, but they are not you. Spiritual self-care takes its best form when you integrate all parts of yourself, by becoming deeply honest with what you truly need.
From this balanced place, the right life choices, dietary decisions and healthy emotional attitudes are much clearer and easy to undertake.
When you get quiet, and you know probably somewhat what this feels like for you, you can directly tune-in to the whole and true self that knows the answers to your big questions and what to do to help you feel well. You are always of course connected to this part of you, because it is you, but the busyness and stress of daily life can easily force us to become disconnected.
Try a short time with this daily practice, to see if it fits well for you. Our experiences may be unique but they are also often universal. If this post moves you, please share it! Reach out in the comments and let other readers know your perspective. This is how we all BLOOM together.