What’s your self-care plan? Are you happy and content with it? or are you beating yourself up for not being able to make a plan or keeping up with it? or maybe you think you can do better in this realm? Is this subject making you feel guilty and shameful?
Self-care is one of the self-beating categories of mine and here is its mantra “I suck at self-care”. Well I have enough evidence to back up the hypocrisy: I don’t apply sunscreen unless I am going to beach in the middle of summer and now I have pigmentation on my face. I don’t apply day cream, night cream, eye cream (even though I have them all in the drawer of my dressing table) and now I am noticing some wrinkles on my face. I rarely wear makeup or even lipstick even though I enjoy looking at my friends who always wear a subtle makeup and look shiner than I am. I never do fancy stuff like coloring my hair and I rarely do mani-pedi or apply nail colors. I don’t apply moisturizer or body lotion and I have dry feet. I don’t go to spa and massage and these sorts of fancy self-care stuff and have rare salon visits. I am a girl but I am not sexy and girly enough because I’m not that comfy with dresses and high heels. I have always preferred jeans and jerseys and simple casual outlooks. Even though I love to be stylish and fashionable, I don’t put the required time, money and effort to develop my unique style.
Occasionally, my “suck at self-care” story pops up and then I feel guilty and it triggers my “I don’t know how to do anything” story and I go downward into a shame spiral. In these situations, my chest is tight, my stomach is churning and my berating is shallow and I like to hide and numb. My drugs of choice are: sleeping, food binging (I may end up eating all the junk food in the pantry), losing myself mindlessly in social media and the last resort is watching the most ridiculous TV programs like reality TV shows.
Can you relate or am I the only person on Earth who is experiencing this? I bet I’m not alone!
I believe every time we are triggered (in any way), right there is a Holy moment. Right there, in that story, is the growth potential. But we have to be brave enough to choose to sit with the hot mess and the pain and the restlessness rather than escaping it by numbing. We can choose to embrace the story as uncomfortable as it is, and salute it into our heart to begin the conversation with it. I know It’s f* hard. I have tried almost all my life to avoid it but the Truth is we ain’t going nowhere hitting the snooze button. There lies our chance to take our lesson and bring that story into light.
In my case after finally choosing to sit with the hot mess (I have to confess I tried to escape it, yet again, for a couple of times but then I dragged my ass back on the chair with a hot aromatic herbal tea, to soothe myself a bit and do my work!) I realized I have the best self-care plan! The only thing is that it’s not fitting into society’s box as well as my own limiting beliefs about a good self-care plan! Media, advertisement industry and society are feeding us a whole bunch of junk!
Here is the proof: I meditate and do my breathing exercise in the morning then make a notorious smoothie for my breakfast, cook homemade meals, do some sort of self-reflection in the evening and express my gratitude couple of times per day. I also try to feed my soul by asking her what does she need? and I pay attention to connect and land in my body. In addition, I feed myself with good books and programs and have a vision to serve the world.
Isn’t it the best self-care plan? It’s the inside-out beauty plan, isn’t it? To feed ourselves nutritious food, to dedicate time to buy fresh veggies, fruits and high quality unprocessed groceries to make healthy delicious homemade meals, after all we are truly what we eat!, to allocate time to connect with ourselves and landing in our bodies rather than hovering above it, tangled in our mind, to nourish our soul and getting to know what really really really makes us happy. Of course it’s possible to put that time and money in buying beauty products, fashion accessories, doing mani-pedi or in salons and spas. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying doing these things are bad or unspiritual or anything like that. I love all these things. But we have to be honest with ourselves: we have a certain amount of time and money and we get to choose how we are gonna spend them. We have to PRIOTRIZE and be realistic that it’s not possible to do everything we want so we have to pick the ones most dear to our heart and important for us personally then let go of the rest with a happy content mind and heart.
Bringing mindfulness into what we are doing make all the difference: from being self-critic and shame/guilt-inflicting to being grateful and content with our choices and accepting where we are standing. We can remind ourselves that everything in our life is our choice and that’s probably the only thing we have full power over so we can adjust and course correct all the time. There is no mistake! Yogi Amrit Desai put it beautifully “Exist in perpetual creative response to whatever present”. That’s what brings us joy on a daily basis and here is the proof of it: whenever I live my life from this state of mind my life is filled with joy and meaningful synchronicity and whenever I drop out I experience suffering. You are most welcome to experience it for yourself.