Because I'm sure that almost no one wants to see a constant feed of soap and self-care product pictures and rantings, I thought once a month, I'd do something a little different.
I was a Life Coach and Spiritual Mentor before I found soaping. And to be honest, as much as I love soap making, I miss the deep connections with other women that I enjoyed during my coaching / mentoring days. I miss inspiring women and watching them really learn to know their worth and step into that place. It was exciting, and such an honor to be a part of that.
So, I've decided that once a month, I'll share an inspirational post from the how-to perspective of self-care, instead of just products and theories. I have a list of things to share with you in the upcoming year; the hardest part won't be coming up with a topic each month, but rather, to decide which one to go with!
If anything I say inspires you to ask questions, make comments, or just tell your stories, please do! You can reach me via email, through the site's contact form, or in the comments below. I'd love to talk with you about self-care, spirituality, or building a meaningful & fulfilling life – anything really.
Rather than write one of the inspiring blog posts from my list, let me just riff a little about self-care so we know we're on the same page.
What do I mean when I use the term "self-care"? It's actually easier for me to start with what self-care is not.
It's not an excuse for selfishness.
Yes, the phrase is SELF-care. I get that. But I've seen people spend their money foolishly, break their commitments to others, cause others pain -- all in the name of self-care.
Things do come up. Of course, they do. But for someone to break a promise to another in the name of self-care? Nope. Not cool. Not if it can be helped.
Let me give you an example. I had a business coach who was notorious for not sending out email out when she said she would, or canceling calls at the last minute because she felt like she really needed to take care of herself.
Once-in-a-while, that can be legit -- but not too often!
Look at how she's treating her clients. For that matter, look at how she's treating the deepest parts of herself by not honoring her word. She's out of integrity with her clients and herself. She's not dependable.
I can't believe that those qualities are her deepest Truth. And tending to that Truth is real self-care.
But enough of her (I'm actually uncomfortable using other people as examples). Let me talk about myself.
At my deepest core, I am a child of God/Source/The Universe. I am, as A Course in Miracles teaches, a thought in the mind of God. As a creation of the Divine, my Inner Being, my Highest Self, is perfect: Beautiful, infinitely intelligent, gloriously creative. And, my Highest Self knows that there is a Divine Oneness, and that means knowing that you are perfect as well.
I'll feel my best when my actions are in alignment with that Inner Being and when I recognize the perfection in you.
How can I honor myself -- take care of myself, if you will – if I'm not honoring your time? Your commitment to our relationship? For that matter, how can I honor myself if I'm not even honoring my word?
On the deepest level, real self-care means honoring the people we are in a relationship with as much as we are seeking to honor ourselves.
Okay, that got a little deep, but the quality of our Inner Life depends on how deep we are willing to go with these things.
What about the Outer Life? What about the world we live in? Stress? Me time?
These are certainly legitimate. We absolutely do need to take care of the various elements of our Outer Life. Our health mandates that we take care of stress. And we all need some time to ourselves, to rest and recharge, to fill up so that we can overflow. All I'm advocating is that we keep things in perspective and look deeper.
What messages are we sending to others when we habitually cancel appointments, skip events, and overspend on our family budget – all in the name of self-care?
My needs are more important than yours.
In our Outer Life, we certainly do need to set priorities. And one of those priorities should be taking care of ourselves – by tending to our Inner Life, as well as our Outer Life. What that means is connecting with the deepest yearnings of our Soul, and tending to those as well as taking care of our bodies.
You may love weekly massages, but can't really afford them. I'm guessing the deepest yearning of your Soul is to be a good steward of your finances, so that you can take care of yourself and your family, both now and in the long term, and to lessen the stress on your psyche.
Real self-care is more than mani-pedis, weekly yoga classes, and the occasional bubble bath. It requires self-awareness and compassion at a deep level. In fact, you can do those things and still not really be taking care of yourself. If you aren't treating yourself with respect and compassion, to the best of your ability in the moment, you aren't really taking care of yourself.
I didn't mean to get on a soap box, but this is one of my pet issues. I often see women taking care of their body, but not treating their Self with compassion and understanding – and they aren't really doing themselves much good in the long run.
This doesn't mean that I won't post about taking care of the physical body; I definitely will. Just don't be surprised if I also post something about taking care of your most authentic Inner Being while you're at it. You've got to keep it in balance.
How balanced are you with your self-care? Are you taking care of your Self (Inner Being) while you take care of your self (physical being)?
I'd love to hear from you!