If you’re like me, taking care of yourself has a tendency to fall to the bottom of the list. Even when you create space for it, something else comes up, you prioritize someone else’s needs and down the list it goes. Learning to love myself has taken effort. It started with forced self-care. The whole “fake it until you make it” thing. I didn’t know how to “self-care.” I didn’t even really know what I liked or what made me feel good.
My journey to truly loving myself started with attempting to care for myself. This is around the time that self-care started to become a thing. It was in all the magazines (back when magazines were also a thing.) Face masks (not the kind that have taken over our lives today), cucumbers over your eyes, bubble baths, massages – images of all these women self-caring and looking blissful. It all looked great. Except, I didn’t have the desire to do any of it. I was too tired and didn’t really feel like I deserved it. And who really had the time? I forced myself to do it anyway.
I started with the suggestions in the magazines. I tried all the things and realized some of the most powerful self-care tools were very basic. I learned sleep is the ultimate self-care. It was the first thing I really gave to myself that felt like a luxury. Later I would learn how much sleep is a necessity for health, well-being and longevity. After decades of 4-5 hours a night, it’s amazing what 8 hours of sleep can do. If a little more sleep made this much of a difference, what else could I try?
I started changing my diet, exploring different foods and learning a lot more about our natural rhythms. I read pretty much every self-help, health and well-being book popular at the time. This exploration led me to many teachers, guides and mentors over the years. It led me to overhauling so many areas of my life and discovering the multiple modalities that I now teach.
My practice these days has evolved to honoring my own natural rhythms and daily rituals that stay at the top of my list. I still believe in candles, massages and chocolate. Those magazines had some things right. You have to treat yourself, whatever that looks like for you. It’s the act of putting yourself at the top of the list, holding yourself sacred, and intentionally giving yourself what you need. Even if it’s just a good night’s sleep.
Love & Light,
Pick one thing to do for yourself everyday for the next 7 days. Journal about the experience. After 7 days, try another. After a few weeks, work to develop a self-care practice so you have a tool belt you can pull from when you need it. Get to know what works best for you.