I want to acknowledge that we are, as a collective, grieving the upheaval of a reality that once was and the void that we find ourselves currently in. Right now more than ever, we are nudged from all directions to take good care of ourselves.
When I started my journey of self-care more than fifteen years ago, I remember being completely out of alignment with the mind, body and spirit. I was more than determined to dedicate time and commit towards various self-care practices to overcome feelings of anxiety, disconnection and malaise. I had a regimented approach and thought I would find much success in this process.
To this day, I vividly remember years of feeling more confused and often drained after trying various methods and techniques towards self-care. had failed miserably. And I became cynical about self-care as I wasn’t seeing evidence of the fruits of my labour.
Do you find yourself experiencing a similar challenge with self-care?
Even when consistently following your self-care practices you are often left feeling worse than when you started?
You are not alone.
To understand the core challenge towards self-care, it is paramount that we first understand what CARE means.
For that, it helps to disengage from the theoretical understanding of self-care for a minute to avoid conceptual mental discussions.
And address what is alive in our body when we tune into the word CARE.
What feelings arise within when you read/hear the word CARE?
What sensations do you observe in your body?
When I tune in now, my body responds to feelings of warmth, gentleness, tenderness, kindness, nurturing and a whole lot of compassion. But these were not the same feelings when I first started on this journey. Back then, my body’s response to care was constriction, rigidity, over protection, suffocation and lack of freedom.
If I had known then how my body was reacting to care, I would have adopted self-care methods that addressed these feelings without dismissing them. I wouldn’t have forced a set of guidelines towards care that many practitioner’s claim will work for the general public.
Observe the feelings that arise within you.
Maybe they’re the same as mine, maybe they’re different.
It is important to recognise and honour your body’s individual response in this moment.
Accept your feelings.
Trust your feelings.
Self-care begins here.
Identifying organic response to your needs through curiosity better enables you to practice self-care.
Question is how does one identify their core organic responses?
There is only one way.
That is by maintaining absolute, complete, undivided presence to the sensitivity of your emotions in any given moment.
When you are fully in tune with yourself – listening, watching and observing while simultaneously interacting with the world outside you, you INTER-RELATE. From this place, there is no me versus you and your needs gently integrate with the environment you are in, without any push or pull.
I invite you to be fully present to the sensitivity of your emotions.
Feeling anxious? Ask your anxiety what it needs from you.
Feeling frustrated? Let the frustration speak to you on how it can find peace.
Feeling confused? Listen to the confusion so that it can unravel the true message it holds for you.
Feeling fearful? Hold your fear like a child until it begins to feel safe within you.