This week for the promotion of “The Declaration of You” were talking about self care. Check out all the other wonderful artists and bloggers sharing about this on the TDOY website or facebook.
Ok I’m going to be reeeaaally honest right now, and let you know that I am, or was … ok, maybe I still am, a self help book junkie! I think I have read hundreds of how-to books, and I can devour a book in a couple of hours, ready and excited to implement my newly acquired skills.
Some of the titles go kinda like this… how to manifest a man, how to rebuild your body, how to lose 12 pounds in 12 days, how to parent a strong-willed child, how to build a better blog, how to have amazing passion in your marriage, how to set boundaries, how to say yes to opportunities, how to reclaim yourself after divorce, how to be a single girl, how to juice, how to eat only kale
how to, how to, how to. Why then, with all this knowledge, am I not the most perfect, most successful and most happy person on the planet? I’ve spent years thinking that with all this info, and challenging myself to be better, I was practicing self care. Don’t get me wrong; working out, eating right, pursing our goals, learning and growing … They are all good! Good! Good!
But at the age of 47, self care has a whole lot more to do with emotional health and wholeness than ever before.
Self care today for me means to just STOP. Stop pushing, stop hustling, stop striving to be better, and to just give myself a freakin break! Take two seconds to love me right where I am; in my pajamas, 20 pounds overweight, grey roots needing a touch up, paint under my fingernails and feet in so need of a pedicure my heels could kill someone. Just love me! Breathe! Laugh! And be Grateful!
I am learning that with all the self help info that I’ve gathered, and that is now sitting on the shelf, that I was searching; searching for an emotion, a need, a feeling, a feeling that I thought allllllll the self-help books would give me. That feeling or need is simply acceptance;... because I didn’t lose 12 pounds in twelve days, I couldn’t manifest a man when I wanted, I didn’t walk gracefully through divorce and I really, really hate kale. I somehow felt that I wasn’t strong enough to make everything happen the way that all my books had said that it should… and therefore, was not good enough, unsuccessful, and even lazy! I almost chuckle now writing this because I know better!
Accepting me and being thankful for all that I am and have to offer is not easy in a society that lets us know at every turn we should be thinner, smarter, sexier and healthier. However, I do my best to practice it daily, and I use the word practice because it doesn’t come naturally for me. I know for me, when I pay attention to my emotional self care, I have the strength to combat all the voices coming from everywhere telling me than I am not enough.
I usually have a running list in my head of the things that need to get done for the day (and a physical list too), what my diet should look like, what I need to work on creatively, what I need to do at the gym… etc, etc. When I take the time for my self care, it’s like I give myself permission to stop the lists, stop the to do’s, and relax, wander, breathe and enjoy things (me) just the way they are.
I will continue to read my books, try new trends, work out, eat kale, learn new things and work at accomplishing my goals; but I am also mindful everday that I need to slow down, love me (just as I am) and accept my awesomeness to truly take care of the whole me. What emotions are you desperately searching for? What are you doing to find them? And are you taking time to care for them? Remember, we (myself included) cannot expect anyone else (or the newest self help book) to meet our emotional and physical self care needs, only you and I can do that!
It takes a conscious effort to make your self care a priority and my hope for you is that you honor yourself enough to take the time to breathe and love yourself … right where you are, just as you are!
Lots o hugs=Shawn
print available on my etsy shop
“The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s Blog Lovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. Learn more – and join us! – by clicking here.”