What if self-care wasn’t optional? What if there was a health requirement to know your body so intimately that you knew the exact preventative measures needed to feel your best?
An article posted in the Harvard Business Review does a beautifully heartbreaking job of explaining how self-care has turned into a pursuit of reaching “perfection”. It addresses the question asking if we are actually committed to being healthier or happier or more committed to achievement and accomplishment?
When I work 1-on-1 with my coaching clients we look deep into their motivations in life. We explore what the ego thinks it needs to be happy and compare that to what the essence (heart) is calling for. I want to share with you the entry point into self-reflection and self-care.
Noticing where you are.
Being able to tell the truth about where you are in any given moment is harder than it sounds, it's self-care at its core, and it’s the place I start with every single client.
1. IT UNCOVERS YOUR HURT.
Telling the truth about what you are experiencing takes practice. I know.. I know.. you think I’m crazy - but it can be a lot harder than it seems when we are dealing with a psyche that is designed to repress and deny things that are painful.
Let me share an experience from hosting my first international retreat. I had paid a lot of money to book a beautiful location in Tulum, Mexico and I had put the word out on my Facebook page and sent a few personal invites. I had 2 people signed up at the time and I wasn’t sure what else to do to promote the retreat. I was starting to feel panicky as the retreat dates got closer. I kept trying to keep my spirits up by thinking positively and smiling my way through it but inside I was tense and uneasy. Then one day I sat on the edge of my bed and, in an act of surrender, I let this huge wave of doubt wash over me. I stopped trying to convince myself that it would all work out and let myself feel the fear of it not going how I’d hoped.
The truth was, I felt afraid. I was filled with self-doubt that it wouldn’t work and I’d lose a lot of money and be embarrassed as a result.
2. IT'S EMPOWERING.
When you know where you stand you can OWN it. When you can acknowledge where you are, without judgment or resistance, you have the opportunity to deal powerfully with the reality of the moment.
As soon as I noticed and told the truth about being fearful and insecure, I felt relieved. Like all the energy I’d been using to keep those feelings at bay was liberated and available to me. I could stop pretending to be positive and actually look at the situation in a clear way. I began to consider what would happen if no other people signed up for the retreat and just 2 people came. Acknowledging my fear gave me the opportunity to tap into true confidence. Even if things didn’t go exactly how I might have wanted them to, I would be proud of having gone for it.
3. IT IS ULTIMATE SELF-CARE.
Instantly my energy was renewed. I had reclaimed for myself what is of most value - the richness of my own human experience. Being able to own and open to life is like tasting something delicious for the first time. It allows for the fullness that makes our lives so very sweet.
This exercise can be tricky to do on your own (because of that self-protecting psyche I mentioned earlier). I would love to support you in walking through it. You can book a consult for this exercise here.