Updated: Mar 4
These past couple years especially, there’s been a lot thrown around about the term self care. “Practice it!” they say! But what does that term even mean anyway? How do we practice self care? It truly seems like the practice of self care is as unique as each individual is unique, therefore there is no one right way to go about bringing the art of self care into our lives. One thing to consider is: how we can avoid stepping out of our lives to practice self care and rather, how can we practice bringing self care into our “already-life.” This is a very radical step! In other words, we can access radical self care by nourishing our hearts and by tending to our five senses while we notice what’s alive and present in our lives as it already exists day to day. What are the ways we can slow down and relax into our own hearts, stay present, and really notice what we are tasting, touching, smelling, hearing and seeing? How do we bring beauty into our lives? What beauty already surrounds us? These are acts of radical self care.This is how we practice.
While we look to tending to our five senses, we can allow ourselves to be greatly honest with our feelings. Perhaps putting up compassionate boundaries is more important on a given day than taking a relaxing bubble bath. Tending to what we truly need is one way that the practice of radical self care can expand our time. The more we get comfortable with saying “no,” the more we might notice people around us are totally ok with that ‘no.” How is it that we can really be with ourselves… the parts of ourselves that are also scared, hurt, angry or feel alone? These are parts of us that can be healed by not abandoning ourselves. We can ask the crucial question: “How do I Be With Me?” We can avoid big decision making when we feel like we’ve fallen off our center, and instead, ask ourselves what is needed, in this moment? Radical Self Care is starting to show up for yourself. All of you! This form of self acceptance is the key to true self care, because it is sustainable and will build a sense of inner spaciousness over time.We want to be mindful to follow the expansion; in other words, look for where in our lives there is expansion instead of contraction. Do what expands you while you look for wherever there is open space in any situation, and then move in the direction of that spaciousness. Let the first thoughts of your day be ones of gratitude, even for the tiniest of things in your life that you love. Gratitude is an excellent antidote for irritability. This will inevitably expand you, and this is the practice of true radical self care.
Sometimes we feel stuck or stagnant, and even the thought of self care can be annoying. This can occur when we shut down our intuition, feel too stressed or overwhelmed, or when we are experiencing a lack of self acceptance. Blame and shame are very dense energies and they can create a lot of inner stagnation if left unresolved. Barriers to self care are common, and nothing to ultimately fear. So how then, do we find our way back to ourselves if we notice we feel stuck? One thing to keep in mind is that it is totally ok to start from exactly where you are. Honoring your current reality is vital to self awareness and self acceptance. Self Care should ultimately feel good and have a lasting positive impact on not only yourself, but ideally your family, friends, community and the world at large. When it does not harm another, whatever is good for you will benefit those you love and care about. If it works, do it! Give yourself permission. Keep in mind that what might be self care practices for some could be damaging for others, so tuning in to what works for you is essential. For example, a 5 mile run might be exactly what the doctor ordered for one person who needs to move excess energy through their body… but might be very depleting for someone who is always on the go and feels guilty at even the thought of resting. Stay true to you! And don’t forget that our work isn’t necessarily self improvement but rather self acceptance. Whatever we are doing, wherever we are, can we ask ourselves, “how can I relax here?” This is a powerful practice, and one that is radical in that it takes courage to trust in the energy of receptivity. We can allow ourselves to receive help from others. We don’t have to “do it all,” and we certainly don’t have to do whatever it is, perfectly.
Here are some helpful links about Radical Self Care to share! And remember, there is no right or wrong way to tend to yourself.. Be Radical! Be Brave, Be True to YOU. In this way, you will stay in good health, ease and wellness as you move through your very beautiful best life.
- Nyn Grey, Community advocate