Its the dark of the moon and I am weary. Each stair I climb to my room feels like a mountain. A mountain that dares me not to cross. The thought of rest leaves me both with a longing and a fear. What will I find there, in that place of rest?
Sitting on my bed my hands reach for the oil of basil and I ungracefully yank off the lid. My exhaustion has made me messy and rough, as I reach for the diffuser my hand knocks my tea. I mutter words under my breathe equally as rough and heavy as I feel. Watching the oil slowly drip into the waters below, my thoughts spiral. The heady scent of basil washes over me and out into my room giving my mind a moment of respite. I say a quick prayer to the spirit of basil, quick because I can manage no more. I ask him to help me to empty, to help me let go of all that no longer serves, to help me to surrender to what is. I watch basil, his samurai warrior spirit enter the room and take up space, sending tingling sensations through the cells of my body.
Ripping off my crushed velvet leggings I pull back the covers of my bed. Sitting, I sink back into my pillows feeling the softness and tenderness of my sheets against my skin. My bed, the refugee I constantly seek since becoming a mother. Holding my tea close to my face I take a slow conscious breathe, allowing the brewed herbs to wash over me before I take my first gentle sip, some of the held tension in my body leaves me as I exhale with an audible sigh. Placing the tea back down, I pick up my book and attempt to read a page before I involuntarily start to sob. Raw emotion rises in waves racking through my body. My mind runs to catch up with my emotions and when she manages to reach them the pleasure of release consumes me. My heart gently whispers, It’s been so long since we’ve been here.
Gratitude for this quiet moment of self care washes over me, tears of exhaustion and happiness rushing down my face, like an annoitment from the goddess herself. My tears become blessings of water, liquid to heal my weary soul. I finish my tea, and I sleep.
The term ‘self care’ is thrown around a lot in the personal development and healing world. It often tests up during my healings as support for clients. I ask the glorious woman or man sitting before me the question “Do you have a self care practice?” The usual response “I sometimes go for a massage.” Or “what do you mean?”
Massages are wonderful but they are a tiny part of what I would consider self care.
Self care is saying no when many people want you to say yes. Self care is doing things your way when the world tells you ‘that’s not the way things are done’. Self care is protecting and ‘caring’ for all parts of yourself mental, emotional, physical and energetic whilst living from the passion of your heart.
Self care is not just a monthly massage, its a daily choice.
The choice be true to your needs, the choice to focus on your priorities, the choice to practice love. Whether those priorities are your business or children Its the daily management of what comes in and what goes out of your life that becomes a self care practice.
We live in a culture that by its very nature creates physical exhaustion. We are always ‘on’, striving forward, hitting targets, reaching goals, our lists are endless and our minds are busy. We have forgotten the natural rhythms of this earth. We have Forgotten that the moon herself is not always full, as I write this she is currently dark. Nature teaches us there MUST be times of rest.
For me reclaiming my ability to care for myself took small baby steps. Sometimes I got it ‘right’ and sometimes I got it ‘wrong’. I no longer strive for balance but I do strive for harmony. Self care is the practice of loving yourself. There are many reasons we stop loving ourselves or struggle with the compassion we need to love ourselves well. To have the ability practice self care, to truly mother ourselves is a true sign of reaching adulthood, and spiritual maturity. Without this ability the way we care for all others, our children, our partners, our friends, will always come from a place of lack. Life will feel too full, unfulfilling, out of control or simply empty.
So today I ask you, what is your self care practice?
Journal Questions to uncover your self care blocks:
What did rest look like for you growing up? ( Think back to your childhood Did you witness your mother resting, did she give herself permission to say no? Was your home busy and always active? Did rest happen but not in a truly regenerative way?)
How is the story of your childhood playing out in your life now? (Have you followed your mothers or fathers patterns? Have you done the opposite. How do you feel about setting your own boundaries?)
When do you rest and practice self care? ( does this feel like its enough for you? How could it be better?)
Where do you neglect yourself and your needs? (Why are these areas harder than others for you?)
When you hear the term Self care, how does it make you feel? (Where do you hold this in your body? What story is your body telling you?)
Id love to hear back from you. Where are your blocks? What is your story? What can you do to commit to a better practise of self care?
Blessings and Love Amanda