“Your subconscious mind is paying attention to how you treat yourself.”
A Tick Box Exercise
Do you measure self care by what you’ve done or how you feel? It matters because self care is not about ticking things of a list. It is about how it makes us feel.
A number of years ago I used to treat self care like a tick box exercise.
- Yoga – tick
- Walk – tick
- Read – tick
- Meet a friend – tick
- Early bed – tick
It’s about how you feel
Spending your substance
Measures of self care
Here are a few patterns relating to self care. Do you recognise yourself in any of these?
Only when we have toSadly many of us only tend to our self care when we have to. We wait until a dribble remains in our cup. Then we have an early night, say no to dinner out, squeeze in a swim or a walk and off we go again. The problem is this happens repeatedly, it’s boom and bust, a yo yo existence which never fills us up.
Running on EmptyAnother version is to run on empty. Like watching the low fuel light we pray we’ll get wherever we’re going. Then we plan to stop for a refill. This weekend, that half day next week, or perhaps we are hanging on for the next holiday. It’s not satisfying and it doesn’t work long term. Invariably the breaks never come.
Topping upThen there’s the topping up type of so called self care. Like shoving a fiver of fuel in every other day we grab a wee sit down for 5 mins, declaring how knackered we are. Then we leaping up and get on to the next task. We feel tired all the time and have to do a lot of pushing through. Although never empty we never full up either.
Flat out of FuelYou do not want to reach this place. It’s the dead end, literally for some. Our poor bodies, like the planet we live on, can only tolerate so much before they give up. We recognise it around us. The affects of climate change leading to eco-system collapse.
A planet under stress
What a lesson
What feels good?
Do I really need to write this section? We all know, right? We know what makes us feel better. We know that consistent, compassionate, care and concern for ourselves is where it’s at. This is Radical Self Care.
It’s not the wee top-up when, quite frankly we’ve already gone too far. It’s the stuff we do that fills the cup and leads to that incredible flow of our surplus into the world, a world that needs our excess. It’s the place where we feel amazing. Joy bubbles up from within, our passions burn, we feel enthusiastic, engaged and alive.
What stops us?
It’s not a case of resolving to do better anymore. That’s old hat. Now we need to address what lies beneath, why we don’t do it, what stops us practicing self care all the time.
- Why we can’t care for ourselves better?
- What makes us put other’s needs before our own?
- Why we feel guilty if we look after ourselves first?
- What drives the continual doing?
The world doesn’t need any more martyrs who run around doing all the time, people who collect strokes for all their good works while slowly falling apart. It doesn’t need anymore of us worn out, worn down, overwhelmed and done in with it all. It’s time to stop pussy footing around. We need to practice Radical Self Care, NOW.
Joy, passion, energy and enthusiasm are the rewards that await us. This is what we can share with the world, the surplus that flows when we fill our own cup first.
“Your job is to fill your own cup, so it overflows. Then, you can serve others, joyfully from your saucer.”