Are you ready to be a rebel? Will you live in self care?
Self care is a highly used term that has lost its luster in many arenas. I use self care as an umbrella term to describe whole person wellness and recovery, tending to basic needs as a way to cultivate and sustain vibrant living. The term might not be a favorite, what it represents is gold.
Self care is not always popular. It can feel rebellious, even dangerous, especially when many around me are not prioritizing their own basic needs. Meeting my needs can inconvenience others. Sometimes taking care of myself means going against the grain, even defying what others rule as necessary. Learning that my needs are not always going to jive with society at large, or those closest to me, has been an ongoing challenge and initiation. The truth is that there will be times when others are going to disapprove of me taking care of myself.
When wanting to be liked, approved of, cheered on and respected feels like a need rather than a want, doing what others will deem as okay has come before practicing vigilant self care. When I practice consistent self care, I benefit and the opinions of others become less important. This has seemed counter intuitive and intimidating to practice, yet experience shows that the more I take care of myself, the more I am able to authentically be with others. Being authentic leads to success.
Have you experienced this, too? Letting the fear of others’ opinions dictate what you will or will not do is a habit. Identifying what customized self care looks like in your own life will clarify how to better move ahead in holistic living.
A few examples of self care that may or may not feel rebellious include:
Standing versus sitting in a meeting.
Using designated lunch hour to walk outside instead of tending to extra paperwork.
Showing up to the massage appointment.
Rescheduling a trip to stay close to home and rest.
Wearing a lipstick shade that’s not on your approved palette because it brings you joy.
Asking for help.
Saying what you love about yourself out loud.
The examples go on and on.
When self care feels rebellious, it might just mean you are on the right track. Have supportive structures in place to stay accountable and explore how self care might feel rebellious without being dangerous. There is definitely a difference and having a coach or therapist by your side will provide valuable perspective in this process. To know what self care means for you in any moment, take a moment to check in with yourself. Ask these questions to decide whether to move ahead with a self care choice or to hold back:
If no one was going to judge me, what would I choose now?
What does my body need right now?
What does my creative self need right now?
Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired?
What do I need to do next in order to empower myself and those around me?
What example am I leading by right now?
Create your own self care blueprint with the questions above and continue adding to the list. Knowing the self and what it needs to be healthy and live optimally comes with attention and awareness. Go ahead, be rebellious. Practice self care.
In the Flow,
Do you want to change a habit?
You need this information.
A habit is something that happens over time, often unconsciously. Habits meet needs. Over time what was helpful initially might become unhelpful or even harmful, this is when change becomes necessary. Avoiding change and continuing habit patterns that are no longer supportive can feel like living on auto pilot.
Auto pilot is a mysterious and powerful thing. How often do you catch yourself doing something without remembering how you got there or when you began? In order to change a pattern first the pattern itself has to be noticed.
Becoming mindful of what we do makes space for change,
space for empowered choices to be made.
To get started, become mindful of daily routines, such as doing the dishes or washing your hair. Look for simple patterns that don't require much thought. These will be the best to notice and begin this inner dialogue process. Start by talking yourself through the action: I am letting water touch my hair. I am pouring the shampoo. I am lathering the liquid. The shampoo is turning to bubbles on my scalp. I am rushing. I am feeling small bubbles of rushing in my chest and on my scalp...
The practice is simple and profound. You might be surprised what is active that you have not seen before applying this mindfulness or noticing practice. There are circular patterns in the tiles of the bathroom shower; I have four freckles on my hand; the flower outside the kitchen window is blossoming. From this mindful and aware state, shift to other patterns that hold more of a charge than shampooing your hair or clearing the dishwasher, those with more noticeable emotional responses. Name the action, step by step. Name the thoughts and emotions as you observe and witness visual details. I notice a feeling of anxiety as I move the sponge across the yellow plate. I feel frustration and confusion. I think they are judging me.
Being objective, becoming the observer of the experience, is one way mindfulness can be made tangible. Separating personal identity from present experiences offers space for observing what is happening internally and externally. When thoughts and feelings go unchecked, they can take the lead, keep habits going that are not serving you. You are not your emotions. You are not your thoughts. Seeing the thoughts and emotions from a place of noticing without judgment (or the intention to be be objective) allows a more holistic perspective to be seen and new empowered decisions to be made. Choice can be shifted when the details of a pattern are seen. Likewise, observing emotions with this technique helps to see how they are present and held within unconscious habits. Noticing what is happening on the physical plane makes understanding what is happening in all other parts of self accessible. Emotions, thoughts, motives and desires become clear through being present and in the moment.
Integrating new patterns in meaningful and helpful ways happens when witnessing, observing and other mindfulness techniques are put to practice. Consistently. Make health, wellbeing, and satisfied living possible. Try this out and see what shifts. Challenge the auto pilot and turn old habits into conscious choice.
What are you wanting to shift?
Start with mindfulness (& repeat often),
Darcy Helene Meehan
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas