Self-care is your right!
Think about what you value most in life… Perhaps it’s a healthy wellbeing, perhaps it’s making your family feel loved, or perhaps it’s living a life of freedom by being your own boss… Whatever you value most, these values come from deep within you, from your higher Self. By our “higher Self”, I mean a self-relationship that embodies our deepest values, our firecest passions, our highest integrity and our deep authenticity toward others. In other words, your higher Self is however you feel the most like yourself when you are at your best on all levels - body, mind, and spirit. Cultivating a healthy relationship with your higher Self will allow you to pursue what you value most in life so, in a way...what you value most should be YOU! Your values, your passion, your gifts make you so unique and special that your sheer value to others is worthy of the highest form of self-care!
What resources do you deserve to embody your higher Self and give your gifts to the world? Are you giving them to yourself? For most of us, embodying our higher Self and giving our gifts to the world requires us to align our body, mind and spirit, which is no small task. A great deal of self-care is required.
Self-care is a non-negotiable requirement for us to be in a healthy relationship with our higher Self and its purpose to be of service to others. And yet, we don’t always prioritize ourselves enough. We get caught up in the day-to-day, in making ends meet, in thoughts of, “I should be doing something productive” while feeling selfish for taking an hour to sit in the sunshine in the park and just BE. We act as if we don’t have valuable gifts and talents that need to be nurtured and cultivated through self-care if we are ever going to give the gift of our value to others. Instead, we get caught up in self-maintenance, doing just enough to get by and keep ourselves functioning at often minimal levels. In doing so, we don’t acknowledge that we are of such unique value and worthy of such a healthy, high-functioning and fully embodied relationship to our higher Self that we struggle to even imagine how to justify a weekend-long silent retreat or a day of ignoring “adult responsibilities” to commune with nature and remember our inner voice that connects us to our deeper nature.
I’m here to tell you that not only is self-care your highest priority and in your best interest, it’s in the best interest of others as well because they are waiting to receive your gifts! More than a priority, self-care is your right...nay, your DUTY to yourself and others. Self-care means it’s your responsibility to take care of yourself like a highly trained professional athlete who needs a hot tub for recovery just as much as a hard workout, the best nutrition, and a team of coaches.
Self-care is a non-negotiable component of living your purpose in this world. You are of such unique value that you alone are worthy of, for example, forming an entire company or a brand around. Think of the resources required for that! That’s how valuable you are! If we are going to give the gift of ourselves to the world, it’s time we started acting like it and resourcing ourselves, accordingly.
In what ways can we nourish and take care of ourselves? The first step is taking the time to do so. If we are going to embody our higher Self and our gifts to others, we must take enough time to cultivate this embodiment. Believe it or not, it is an act of service to others to take time for yourself. Read that again.
Specifically, what forms of self-care do you need to help you embody your highest Self? 10 hours of sleep? Daily hugs from loved ones? To feel truly seen and understood by close friends? Frequent solitude in nature? Connection with your body through yoga? A sense of community by performing on open mic night? The laughter and silliness of creating mischief with your nieces? A silent retreat? A day at the beach? We are worthy of all these forms of self-care...all at once! We deserve to be high-maintenance because it affirms how sophisticated our value to others is. Read that again.
Personally, my form of self-care can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee and a view in the morning… For me, a cup of coffee is my time to look out the window and envision the goals of my higher Self, to affirm my value and self-worth, to listen to my inner voice and get creative about discussion topics that will be of value to others. In this way, my morning cup of coffee is sacred “me” time. I can make that one cup of coffee last an hour… ;)
Another form of self-care I enjoy is yoga. Yoga means advocating for ourselves, for our bodies, for balance and for aligning body, mind and spirit. Our bodies deserve the dedicated time to find stillness and center. Aligning with our higher Self through yoga can change our very actions for the day or the week, helping realign us with our higher goals.
Here’s a fun self-care fact in the present moment: As i sat here writing this, I suddenly stopped, looked up at my self-reflection at the window and said, “Why aren’t I enjoying a glass of wine while I write? Why aren’t I enjoying Life to the fullest right now while I embody my passion?”. Self-care can be that simple! :)
Relationships are the biggest way I relate to life so my self-care involves taking the time to cultivate nourishing, supportive relationships. This involves deeply listening to others, taking an authentic interest in them, holding space for them but also asserting my interpersonal needs to feel understood, as well. I enjoy being a sounding board for others but along the way, I need a mix of nourishing support and solitude.
I’m an Enneagram #2, which is a “Giver”. I enjoy helping others but sometimes I get carried away with it until I deplete myself and burnout. This means that having good boundaries is one of my highest forms of self-care, even when it includes saying “No” to others.
Being in relationship to others as one of my highest forms of Self involves using my Voice to express my authentic opinion and connect with others. This requires nurturing as well. For example, I took all day yesterday to visit SF, feeling the sense of community, the connections, the diversity and appreciation for what makes each of us unique, the shared values….
Self-care is a non-negotiable component of living in this world because this world takes so much from us. Toxic relationships can drain us, bad bosses and landlords can have us clinging to survivalism anxiety, unforgiving jobs and grueling schedules can leave us burnt out. Even supporting our friends often involves a noble suffering of compassion but it can emotionally drain us all the same. Simply being in relationship to others takes energy, time, patience, understanding, and sometimes an emotional toll. All this all creates the need to recharge, to re-align with our highest self and make sure we are acting in service of our own highest good, even as a service to others. It can be a harsh world out there and if you didn’t know it, you might think it’s designed by those who think you can’t support your own self-care, you can’t invest in yourself enough to cultivate your own value into an entire company or brand. Yet, these are simply all the reasons that justify your right to near limitless self-care.
So are you giving yourself all that you can to support your higher Self and your goals? What might be holding you back? Perhaps you’re struggling to perceive or feel your true value to the world? If so, start by simply exploring more of who you are: your story, your values, your passions, your purpose and what makes you feel like your best self. I promise, you are SO worthy of all the self-care there is. While you’re at it, these elements of yourself can become your own personal brand! ;)
What forms of self-care do YOU practice? Let me know in the comments!