Practicing Self Care
Self care is the act of choosing to live well because we know we deserve to and the experience of connecting with and realising that we are worthy of taking care of ourselves in every aspect; how we direct our thinking, how we respond to ourselves in our everyday lives, how we treat ourselves physically and emotionally, how we take part in the world, how we take care of our spaces, our relationships and how conscious we are of turning towards and tuning in to our inner wellness.
When we make effort, take responsibility, focus our attention and time on enjoying and expressing our innate wellbeing, we live well. Seeking inspiration on how to explore and express our inner wellness whilst allowing our own wisdom and intuition to guide us allows us to practice self care holistically as we operate from our most natural desire to experience peace, health, presence, wholeness, self love, purpose and enjoy a sense of balance and harmony in all areas of our lives.
Self care is holistic, it includes being aware of the way we think, act and express ourselves in all areas so that we can become more of who we really are, led by a reverence for ourselves and all life and inspired to honour and express the wellbeing that exists within us.
Self care is not extravagant, indulgent or selfish. Acts of self care sustain our health and improve our connection with our wellbeing in every area. Self care practices positively impact us emotionally, mentally and physically. Mind, body and spirit work in harmony with each other and we feel balanced when we take care of every aspect of our health.
Self care is really the act of checking in with ourselves and allowing our intuition to guide us in what we notice we need or would find helpful in the moment and doing it. Self care is about supporting ourselves so that we are able to live in alignment with our truth and less from unhelpful conditioning and programming, particularly that which tells us that taking time to nurture and look after ourselves is unnecessary or in some way wrong or immodest.
We function best when we treat ourselves well and respect our own needs and healthy desires. Reflecting on any blocks we have to experiencing and demonstrating self care can allow us to gently uncover unhelpful beliefs and ideas about worth and deservedness that make us feel uneasy about taking care of ourselves, as we consciously affirm that we are innately worthy of self care and that anything that tells us otherwise is misguided.
We all practice self care to some extent every day with basic acts that keep us alive and functioning and taking them a step further so that they also support and take care of our emotional, physical and mental needs and desires allows us to not only do what keeps us surviving but also what keeps us thriving. As we reflect on how we think about and treat ourselves, we might also consider in which areas we are comfortable practicing self care and expand that feeling into those areas in which we have been hesitant to do so, being open to uncovering why this has been the case if we feel guided to.
We have all heard the phrase, you cannot pour from an empty cup and in order to be our best selves in the world we must operate from health, we must take responsibility for feeling well because when we are centred, focused, present, calm, peaceful, happy and feeling healthy and whole, we are truer expressions of the loving and intelligent energy that lives and guides and surrounds us and are able to take care of and treat others better as a result.
There are many forms that self care can take. Anything that we do that enhances our experience of wellbeing and is a positive input in our lives qualifies. Self care is not selfish, it is essential. We are able to offer more when we are feeling full. Meeting our own needs personally or by seeking out support in doing so sees us taking responsibility for our health which is empowering and even enlightening and in some cases might remove the burden of our care from others when we have innocently and misguidedly placed it on them.
Self care is the best way for us to practice love because when we show ourselves kindness and generosity, we naturally feel inclined to do the same with others. As we come to realise that self love is a facet of Universal love, we see that self care is necessary for a healthy, balanced world.
Practicing self care means to provide what is necessary for our wellbeing, to take measures to maintain it and interest in looking after our own needs. Caring for ourselves well is holistic, it is as much to do with the thoughts we entertain, how we talk to and about ourselves, the experience we create for ourselves, how we process it, how we show up in the world as it is about physical wellbeing.
Self care is noticing how we are feeling in the moment, observing the experience we are creating for ourselves via our interpretation of events, circumstances and situations and doing what our spiritual wisdom guides us to in order to take care of ourselves psychologically, emotionally and physically. When we are aware of how we are thinking, our perspective, our mindset and our inner dialogue, we are aware of when we need to to turn towards self love and wholeness, clarity and peace and allow ourselves to be guided to take action to feel well.
When we invest in the thinking of the limited mind, operating from limiting beliefs, on some level we experience a state of unease. No matter how low level this might be, if it is continual rather than momentary, we feel the effects of it. If we are practicing awareness so that we see when this is happening, we take care of ourselves by choosing something better, by centring ourselves in self love, self worth, harmony and health, letting them guide us and creating a new experience.
We demonstrate self care at a fundamental rather than surface level when we refuse to invest in thinking that directs us away from peace. If we are creating a state of stress, we are the audience of our thinking and the recipients of the feeling it creates and energises. This is not to say we do not need to address or deal with challenging situations and events but that we notice what experience of them we are creating for ourselves.
In the moment we find ourselves caught up in thinking that does not feel good for us, no matter how justified it may seem, we get to choose a better feeling direction, we get to choose to turn towards self love. As we make this our habit we lessen the power that we have given our previous reactions to life, reactions we once innocently created in the belief that they would keep us safe but that do not lead us to live in fullness, health and happiness and we create new ways of being that do because we know we have the option to.
We can practice self care by making the choice to operate from clear mindedness and return to peace, truth, neutrality, an empowered state of being and creative and innovative thinking in the moments that we feel far from them. If we need help in doing this, self care is finding it. When we care enough for ourselves to refuse to engage in familiar thinking and energise familiar feeling, we open up to and create new experiences, new behaviour and we practice our commitment to prioritising health, healing and happiness in all areas.
When we live from a conscious desire to practice self care we are present enough to notice when we start energising unhelpful ideas and are able to direct our attention and focus away from limiting beliefs that create feelings of tension and stress that it has become our habit to react to, identify with and act upon.
As children we sought to be loved and accepted. As adults we find that self love and self acceptance are always available to us within and will guide us to recover our sense of wholeness, restore our awareness of our inner health and relax into exploring new ways of being. In the space of self awareness, self love and self acceptance, we begin to experience self trust, allowing our innate wellbeing to guide us in navigating past belief systems, behaviour and suffering. As we practise caring for ourselves in this way, we access our ability to enjoy clear, helpful and new thinking and we practice self care by pausing as soon as we remember that we are able to when we find ourselves caught up in unhelpful familiar thinking and identifying with and acting upon the feelings it creates.
What is familiar does not need to lead us once we realise that we are able to think and feel and act differently in every moment, that we have the creative power to imagine and create new experiences for ourselves. That rather than default to past belief systems and behaviour in the moments we are less conscious, we can retrain ourselves to operate from our capacity for clarity, refusing to invest in and energise past patterns, creating a new framework from which we operate at all times.
Every time we choose to think and speak to and about ourselves in ways that feel good to our highest expression of self, we promote wellbeing and we feel it. When we look at how we are feeling in order to assess how well we are thinking we get to choose a new path that leads us out of discomfort, back to harmony and health. This is self care at the greatest level.
When we realise that the thinking we invest in and energise is experienced by us, felt by us, informing and influencing the way we experience and take part in the world, it makes sense that we choose the most beneficial approach available to us in creating our reality. One that aids us in uncovering and discovering our innate worth, health and happiness and being informed by our inner wellbeing in the way we consider and practice self care.
When we become more aware of our true nature and less interested in a familiar yet limited understanding of life, we naturally begin to reflect on the way we treat ourselves and as we do, on the way we respond to and treat others.
When we are connected with the love and kindness and compassion within us, we uncover more of our wellbeing and are inspired to expand and evolve. We become interested in how we might support ourselves and improve our own lives as well as those of others, holding space for Universal growth. This allows us to be centred, calm and understanding of our own needs as we take care of and support other people, guided to keep ourselves well and safe so that we know when we need to pull back, set boundaries, say no in order to maintain our connection with our wellbeing, intuition and wisdom.
This can cause inner conflict if the limited self is used to finding fault with our attempts to move away from what is known, pointing out our failings so that we stop trying new things and return to the familiar. When we say no to other people in order to give to ourselves, the programming that tells us we are selfish and unworthy can kick in and we can start to feel uneasy about doing what our intuition and instincts are guiding us to. We may even receive criticism and rejection from those we are refusing in some way which the limited self might claim as evidence of our wrong behaviour.
If we can remain present when any of this happens, reminding ourselves that we do best when we feel well and that we deserve to feel well and can feel well, we will notice that if we are feeling anything other than clear and creative in our response to life, that this is okay, that we have what we need within to process, release and move on from our feelings without identifying with them and that we can see through unhelpful conditioned thinking and reactions to allow new options to be known to us. Every time we do this, we strengthen our trust and faith in ourselves as well as our resolve to reprogramme the subconscious mind to operate from a more beneficial belief system.
Supporting ourselves will at times take priority over caring for others. When we model healthy, self supporting behaviour, we encourage and inspire those who are open to it to begin prioritising their own needs and taking responsibility for their own experience. When we identify a need for rest, space, health, support or maintenance in any form, when we love and care for ourselves by meeting our needs, we operate from a state of wholeness and security that sees us able to live and take part in the world better. Any ideas that we have that tell us opposite can be let go of, moved on from and when they arise we can refuse to invest in and identify with them in order to care for ourselves so that we might better care for those around us.
There is nothing wrong with making sure that we are well, clear, happy and connected before offering ourselves to others and when we operate from wellbeing and allow it to guide us in saying no to other people when we need to say yes to ourselves, we have more to give. We take care of our needs from the space of loving kindness, innate grace and compassion that inspire us to offer our time and effort to others when we can and we are rewarded with a greater sense of energy, peace and joy to share. Be wary of any philosophy, principle or theory that claims it is virtuous to deny healthy pleasure or that it is right to forsake joy.
We are healthier expressions of ourselves when we take time for self care and any teaching, claim or belief that suggests otherwise can be let go of because how can we treat others well, with true grace and kindness, if we don’t treat ourselves this way?
Self care is the practice of keeping ourselves well in every area. When we have begun to care enough about ourselves to choose a new way of directing our thinking, we take an active approach to looking after ourselves on every level and we feel secure, safe and unconditionally loved because of it. Once we recover our sense of wholeness, practicing self care is a natural state of being. We notice when we are not being considerate of our holistic health and we take action to route ourselves towards it, demonstrating self care by being conscious of how we are experiencing and engaging in life and how this affects us.
We can tune in to our needs by noticing how we are feeling in the moment and what we are focused on. Are we listening to wisdom, are we clear minded, are we nourished on every level, well rested, centred, responding to life in the way that makes best sense despite the preferences of the limited mind? Paying attention to how we are operating in the moment helps us to gain insight into our mental, physical and emotional states and needs and how it best suit us to respond in the moment.
Acts of self care do not need to be grand gestures that take a lot of time, cost a lot of money or require large amounts of energy. Taking care of ourselves through small everyday acts that we can easily and enjoyably incorporate into our routines encourages us to treat ourselves kindly without giving time to unhelpful ideas about how we should or why. Changing our routines as we are guided to no matter how beneficial and enjoyable they have been in the past allows us to continue caring for ourselves as our needs change and we are guided to look after ourselves in new ways. Likewise, giving up doing what we think we should to be well when it doesn’t work for us allows us to find out what will.
We can trust our intuition to lead us when we feel uncomfortable about change, understanding that if we feel unclear when we give time and energy to thoughts that tell us we are doing something wrong because we are moving away from what has become habitual and familiar that we can once again centre ourselves in self love and self trust and have faith that the answers we are searching for will become known as we explore new practices and action.
Taking time to reflect on self care can help us to uncover anything that is preventing us from loving and supporting ourselves as we deserve to so that we are able to experience truth, health and happiness and let go of what prevents us from expressing the wellbeing, love and joy that exist within us, that are always available to us and that are our birthright. Spending just a few minutes contemplating what we might do for ourselves during the day to demonstrate self respect and self love can help us to take action to celebrate and care for ourselves in ways that boost our sense of self esteem, self confidence and self trust and may already be acts we do readily and regularly for others.
Self care is a natural consequence of self love which is innate to us all and the result of discovering who we really are and releasing the beliefs and ideas that have kept us from feeling able to realise or worthy of connecting with our wellbeing so that we can align with and live from a state of grace and health.
Reflecting on whether and how we practice self care can help us to gain insight into any blocks we have to self love, self consideration and self nurture and allow us to move beyond them into an expression of true wellbeing. Uncovering any resistance we hold in place to loving and looking after ourselves is an act of self care in itself, allowing us to remember our worth and discover ways of supporting ourselves that recover our sense of health and happiness as well as strengthen feelings of self respect and self connection.
Discovering who we really are in all our glory leads to self forgiveness, self appreciation, self support and self celebration. When we recognise our innocent misunderstandings and see beyond them to who we really are, it follows that we begin to practice self care as an act of respect and thanksgiving for ourselves and the energy of life and loving intelligence that powers, guides and surrounds us.
Journalling our free flowing responses to the questions that follow can help us to release our blocks to self care and experience the relief that comes from allowing ourselves to feel good and taking time to nurture and maintain our sense of wellbeing. Return to these questions to remember and reconnect with self love and self support any time you feel as if you are neglecting self care, turned away from your natural inclination to love and support yourself or resistant to making the changes you know you need to, investigating what is holding you back from looking after yourself as you deserve to, turning towards the truth, health and happiness that exist within you and remembering the love and joy innate to you that are your birthright.
What act of self care might I do for myself today that will connect me with feelings of health and happiness?
What act of self care would I enjoy more than this but feel unable to do for myself?
What thoughts come to mind when I consider doing this for myself and how do I feel when i believe them?
Where did I pick up these concepts and why do I invest in and energise and identify with them?
How do I treat myself when I feel whole and secure?
How do I take part in the world when I feel healthy and loved?
Why would I think it a good idea to deny supporting myself in living this way?
Why would I think it a good idea to deny the world this connected, whole feeling, supported expression of myself?
What meaning have I assigned self care?
How would I encourage someone I love to support themselves easily and happily?
What acts of care do I do for others on a daily basis?
Why would I not deserve my own appreciation, kindness and support?
What act of self care will I commit to today?
How will I deal with any thinking about and feelings of unworthiness?
How can I strengthen my understanding that I am deserving of self care?
How can I support myself as I rediscover and return to self love?