You are probably familiar with self-care. A lot of people seem to be chatting about it, even the mainstream newspapers have caught on. Maybe you’ve dipped a toe in, or had an extended bubble bath, gone to an extra yoga class or booked a massage. Making self-care a regular practice seems like something for those goddess-like Instagram yoga babes, that don’t have jobs, kids, and commitments. How could you put yourself first when a client has an urgent deadline? Does a friend need to talk through their problems? Or your child needs you? All of a sudden, self-care doesn’t seem that important when commitments to others need to be fulfilled. Guilt and obligation rear their ugly heads and the lofty idea of a self-care session seems like the hobby of a billionaire.
Allow me to shift to your perspective.
On the surface, practicing self-care seems like a luxury, because it’s misunderstood as unnecessary self-interest, like a feel-good fix. At this level of understanding, the ego will be able to dig its guilty little heels in and keep you away from your precious me-time. Our ego’s favorite weapon is guilt. It will bring guilt into all sorts of life scenarios to keep you stuck. So the key to overcoming guilt lies in understanding what self-care really is. The term ‘self-care’ is a buzzword. It’s a term coined, to sum up a much deeper process of returning to who you really are, which ultimately, is the purpose of your life.
To quote Gabrielle Bernstein:
The deeper reason to practice self-care is to return your mind to Love. Every time you take that 10 minutes to breathe, you are calming the ego’s negative thoughts and allowing space for love and inspiration. Every time you take those 10 minutes to journal, you can see your ego thoughts written out on the page, where they can hide no longer. This allows you space to reflect on your judgments and replace them with more supportive, loving solutions. And every time you take a yoga class or have a massage, these are all self-soothing actions to quieten your ego and return again and again to who you really are.
The more often you return to your true self, momentum will take over and flow out into all corners of your life, like a positive tidal wave. Your energy will be lighter, your eyes more sparkly and your focus razor sharp. Challenges that come up will be like solving the most simple children’s puzzle.
The 7 benefits of self-care are truly worthy of your attention:
- Peace – a clear mind without negative boomerang thoughts
- Confidence – humbly knowing your worth
- Clear guidance – intuition you can rely on
- Health – stress will no longer be making you ill
- Relief – from guilt, obligation, and other people’s demands. The very things that keep you away from self-care
- Energy – Feel 20 years old again, it’s a busy, worried mind that slows us down.
- Inspiration – the best ideas come from self-care sessions
Breaking through to self-care
Many people start practicing self-care after shit-hits-the-metaphorical-fan in their life. Self-care becomes a requirement to get through the day and rebuild their lives. The purpose of breakdowns is to breakthrough. And what do people usually breakthrough after a breakdown? A higher level of self-care, nourishment, mindfulness and creating a life filled with love, that’s in alignment with their heart. This is an example of how life is constantly directing us towards self-care, similar to how a plane constantly corrects its course towards its final destination. If it’s so natural and important for life to be pointing us in this direction, this would suggest that it’s the main purpose of our existence. This is not to say you need to have the breakdown to embrace a self-care practice! That’s where the glory of sharing stories on the internet comes in. We can learn from each other’s experiences and hack our lives accordingly!
Remember, lovely soul, the ultimate purpose of your lives (haha see what I did there!) is to return to Love. The only thing stopping you from returning to Love is letting the ego run the show (hello, human condition!). If you feel guilty, you can be sure the ego is running the show. Guilt = Ego. And the way to stop the ego in its tracks is by taking conscious mindful moments, call it ‘self-care’, to return your mind to Love. You have nothing to feel guilty about by practicing self-care if returning to Love is the purpose of your life. No one has the power to do this for you, but you. So here’s all the permission in the universe for you to practice self-care. To fulfill your life purpose, self-care is not optional.
Guilt, be gone!