Be care full.
How are you careful with your self?
What are your self-care routines?
A few weeks ago my answers would have been vague, but I have been working with a reiki practitioner/coach who has been gently persuading me to structure my day in a more strategic way so I can accomplish more of my vast list of ideas and to do’s. I usually let my day evolve organically and this has been a great way to take the time that I needed when I was in rest and recovery mode after my surgeries and immunotherapy treatments. I am moving more into renewal mode now and I have a business that I want to get off the ground and I have some great ideas to grow my blog writing.
The great part of working with Joanna is that she builds self-care into her business routine and considers it part of her job. Imagine that. It makes so much sense. How can you help others in a holistic way if you are not helping yourself first and keeping yourself strong? I knew that intuitively, but I never equated it with being a part of business. A little thought adjustment like has made a big difference.
Pencil in self-care
About six weeks ago I carefully penciled in self-care into my calendar in the mornings. This is when I usually boot up the computer first thing and check email and twitter and make sure nobody needs me or has mentioned me or has posted anything of greater significance than my own self-care. (Brakes screeching). This has been and continues to be an struggle to reprioritize myself above my online life. I can come up with many reasons why it is good to be online first thing. I struggle with that.
What & Why of self-care
The other thing I struggle with is trying to figure out what self-care means. What do I actually do when I am in my self care mode? I have in the past done morning pages which are recommended in The Artists Way by Julia Cameron as a way to tap into your creativity. I have in the past meditated for 20 minutes which is recommended in every Deepak Chopra book as a way to tap into your inner guidance and healing. I love to take a walk everyday and have been good at doing that. I live within walking distance of the library, a natural grocer’s store (where I buy all of my fresh produce),and a river walk (walking next to water is healthy for you). I struggle with which were the most important, I wanted to do all of them.
My friend Cheryl Dolan posted this TED talk by Shawn Achor, the happy secret to better work on Facebook. (I probably saw the post first thing in the morning when I should have been doing self-care.) The talk is funny and fast and mixes storytelling with science beautifully, which is my favorite flavor of zip. I screen grabbed one of the slides at the end as he talks about the five activities that produce lasting positive change.
Be Your Own Shaman
Different day, same message. I guess you just keep getting messages until you get it, because I have also just read Be Your Own Shaman: Heal Yourself and Others with 21st-Century Energy Medicine
Early on Deborah King explains how healing yourself and healing others are inextricably linked. Later on the the book, the chapter “Beyond the Five Senses” she details activities you can do to awaken and tap into your own healing power beyond your five senses.
To get this kind of clarity, she suggests the following five practices:
5. Being of service
This list overlaps heavily the one above from the Ted talk, so it gave me confidence that my ideas around self-care weren’t too ambitious and one activity didn’t outweigh any of the others.
I still struggle with structure and consistency, but I no longer struggle with the why of self-care and the strategies that work for me. I’ve started a twenty minute timer, 20 minutes of journaling, 20 minutes of meditation, a quick list of gratitude and a plan for an act of kindness in the day. I am careful to plan an errand around a walk, and now that spring is upon us, a bike ride.
How about you? I’d love to hear what works and any tips for consistency would be helpful.
Photo: Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/67932791@N00/3411361042