04 June 2008

Embracing Extreme Self-Care

“It takes courage to demand time for yourself. At first glance, it may seem to be the ultimate in selfishness, a real slap in the face to those who love and depend on you. IT IS NOT! It means you care enough to want to see the best in yourself and give only the best to others.” ~ Shale Paul

“If you are not taking care of yourself; body, mind, and spirit, the people in your life don't get the best of you, they get what's left of you!” ~ Lorraine Cohen

Our end of May Meetup gathering was about embracing extreme self-care; extreme being doing it intentionally and on purpose. As women, we tend not to take care of ourselves, putting everyone else’s needs before our own. As member Lynne stated, we are more about “embracing extreme self-neglect.”

Though the weather was a bit gloomy, we all made the effort to fully embrace who we were created to be: women of passion and purpose, though sometimes that may look a little murky. To get clear on what our intentions for self-care are, we began with a self-care intention guided visualization. One of the ways to take care of ourselves is to stay in the present moment. This is difficult to do if you are prone towards worrying about the future and fretting over the past. This behavior leads to fears, stress and anxiety. When we catch ourselves in one of those mental spaces, we must remember. One of the main reasons we get out of alignment with who we really are – which includes ignoring our self-care – is that we have stopped remembering.

Remember what? Remember who we truly are. The opposite of remember is not forget – it is dis-member. We have become dis-membered beings, scattered here and there, masters of multi-tasking. In order to pull ourselves together again and become whole, we must remember. What we are remembering is a feeling – the feeling of being whole and present. The visualization exercise took us back to a time when we did feel whole and present. We held that feeling and created symbols around it to bring it to mind when we most need it.

I shared with the group the three self-care practices that they can do on a daily basis in order to maintain a sense of peace and wholeness.

1. Set your self-care intention. Always begin your day intentionally. Remind yourself of your self-care feeling.
2. Three things you are grateful for. Start small, start with the basics: health, home, nourishment, friends, family, work, Meetup…
3. Find a nutritious support person to check in with – this could be a good friend, an accountability partner, a life coach, a mentor – you don’t have to go through this transition alone; and creating new habits is transition. You can set up a time, preferably weekly, to get together. Keep that person in mind constantly, especially when things are looking dark. Have them on speed dial!

Once you have made the decision to do so, these three practices will easily incorporate into your everyday life.

Set the intention to embrace extreme self-care!
Coach Carolyn

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