|Hello beloveds. Happy Sunday to all! And even if it is a difficult or not particularly happy Sunday, thank you for showing up for me, and for you, as hard as it may be to do. The showing up part, I mean. Showing up can be hard, even when we know it is good for us, and even when we know that it is what our hearts and minds are calling us to do. So again, thank you for showing up … for reading this … no matter what kind of day it is for you. |
That is what I want to chat about today (as these written discourses often feel like a conversation between me and you when I write them) … how to practice self care when the going gets tough. When your body hurts. When your heart aches. When that inner critic says you don’t have the need or the time or the worthiness to slow down and make room for something that soothes you. Because no matter how clear we are on what works to fill our buckets, and no matter how much we genuinely want to hold our own hearts with loving kindness, there will be obstacles for all of us in cultivating consistent self-care practices. What are those obstacles for you?
Emotions or beliefs about the value of this activity (“I have to earn it ” or “it may not help”), about the obstacle itself (”I have to do it” or “something bad will happen if I don’t do it”) or a belief about yourself (“I don’t deserve this”). Maybe think about another option for self care that you would also like to do more of. What do you notice here, too? Do you see a pattern in the things that block you from taking care of you?
For example, I know I am not alone in having a belief that I don’t have the time to implement my self care strategies. I have hemmed and hawed off and on for years about not having time to exercise, practice yoga, walk in nature, and on and on. “I have to work,” I have often said. “I need to support my kids and show up for my clients … If only I had another day each week I would have the time.” The belief that I didn’t have time (short of dreaming of an eight day week, which inevitably I would probably fill with more to-do’s and lets for-me’s anyway) is actually just that — a limiting belief. Once I realized this belief wasn’t a TRUTH and was simply an OBSTACLE that I needed to remove (Hence the “R” in “CARE” — removing obstacles), I felt empowered to make some different choices about my schedule. Shifting my mindset from seeing the impossible as possible helped me to consider alternatives, ask for help and make room for the exercise and movement my body and heart were craving.
In his book The Art of Being: 101 Ways to Practice Purpose in Your Life, author and speaker Dennis Merritt Jones says “In Zen, there is an old saying: The obstacle is the path. Know that a whole and happy life is not free of obstacles. Quite the contrary, a whole and happy life is riddled with obstacles-they simply become the very stepping-stones that help lift us to a new perspective. It is not what happens to us in this life that shapes us, it is how we choose to respond to what happens to us.” To his point, acknowledging that obstacles that may appear to be getting in the way of our self care are actually choice points for us to rethink, rework or reassess our current situations or beliefs into ones that work better for us. So this week, take a moment or two to reflect upon what obstacles you see as getting in the way of your self-care practices, and allow them to guide your way towards a healthier, happier and more fulfilled YOU.
Yours — Nikki and the Sacred Treehouse faculty
Nicole Davis is a licensed psychologist practicing at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. Dr. Davis starts with the core belief that each person already has everything they need to live a life of joy and fulfillment, and that therapy is just a process of uncovering their inherent wholeness. Dr. Davis gently invites her clients to uncover their strengths in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Dr. Davis completed MBSR facilitator training through the Center for Mindfulness at UCSD. Dr. Davis is also a 200-hour trained yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance.