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Caring for Self

When was the last time you went on an adventure with a friend?

As life would have it, I got a call from one of my best pals asking if I would like to 'tag along' since her colleague backed out of the trip. I said YES without thinking. So glad I did.

We explored Joshua Tree and discovered amazing.

Other worldly, magnificent, spacious, quiet, solitary, real, special, healing and living transformation are a few labels to describe our experience. We got lost and we found ourselves alone and connected. We absolutely got uncomfortable and weird, that can happen between friends. And we were generous in our ability to remind ourselves we love each other first. Being right is a lame game, always. Being understanding is so much more rewarding.

As the term Self Care inundates my world, I can readily resist. Especially if I do not fully understand its meaning. My relationship with denial has influenced my self care piece for decades, keeping it quite superficial.  I was never taught how to take care of myself, deeply and truly. Maybe this is something we can learn on our own? Seems inevitable if I choose myself. In my experience, if I do not know how to do something, even if I am willing to learn, it can feel really challenging/bizarre trying to figure it out.

Here's a specific example: I was introduced to Abhyan massage: 

My initial response was quite negative, filled with thoughts like: I do not have the time, nor THAT towel, heated oil???, puleeze...etc. I tried it, I like it! I can take the time to love myself, every day, period.

I have expanded my practice of care. I am learning how to set boundaries, discovering what feels right, and cultivating nurturing elements along the way. Self investment is clearly my way forward.

I will be more kind to myself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I put unnecessary pressure on myself, unbelievably so. Changing the way I think about what I am supposed to be doing might be a good start. Ha, this just popped into my head: Have fun!

If I choose to task load my days, I can keep it to 3x per week ;-) However, I believe I can be more efficient with my time and boost quality if I limit my tasks per day, perhaps consider the week as a whole when setting my goals.

I will fine tune my values: I need to get explicit with them, so I can translate concretely to my kids. The general "be respectful" can go nowhere fast if there is no meaning attached. I might lean toward: "Treat others the way you wish to be treated" however respect may be better practiced through "Treat others the way they wish to be treated". There's a connection piece in that last option, lovely, eh? I got that from a podcast this morning:

I am learning how to talk with my kids about all the stuff I never discussed as a child/teen: sex, drugs, porn, intimacy and connection. I am kinda' blown away with how much I never really considered any of these subjects for discussion, coming from a place of "They will figure it out." (OMG!!!!????!!!!)

I will be more selective to where I invest my energy. I will consider how any endeavor will affect me, as a practice of self respect. Try to upend the usual motivation: GET THIS DONE NOW.

I will increase my knowledge around what brings me joy and ease. I was in a therapy session with my daughter on Tues night (her request) and I learned first hand that she does not really know what 'she likes to do'. The suggestion to learn fell under the heading "Trial and Error". Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. So we both get to explore EVERYTHING.

I will improve my honest communication. I will balance my practice of 'accepting others' with a bit of 'this is what I need'. This is reasonable, kind, inviting and necessary if I aim to really show up for myself and others.

I want to tell you that I am embarrassed and possibly ashamed that I do not have more of this figured out. But that is not really my truth, it is just what I think I SHOULD say, to excuse myself. My heart says all of me is okay, that learning these things is a part of living and this is the time in my life when I get to do it.

My mom said yesterday "Baby steps, little tiny inches forward are key."

I suppose I am now getting ready to Deliberately Cultivate Who I Want To Be.

I appreciate the human value of being a player and adopting the language 'by me' - feels powerful. Listening and speaking from the heart will be a great space to quell my thinking.

I listened to Part 1 and Part 2 of the Dr. Mario Martinez interview and purchased his book.

So inspired. I am fascinated with his research and applying his tools wherever possible. Our cultures: middle school, social and internet (to name a few) are quite stifling. Creating sub cultures for support are necessary. I am also so happy to have new terminology and fabulous explanation for why 'wishful thinking' does not work. The fact that there is "good science" and "bad science" just makes me feel better. In sincere delight, I forgot myself, fell into old patterns and sloppily recounted some of what I had learned to a friend over lunch. None of it was received well. And I do not care.

I came home and baked a Vegan blueberry cake from scratch. Inspired by another friend and activated through love.

As I grow my awareness, intention and confidence I can readily feel my quality burst open. I also appreciate the resistance from other. I can readily taste it, finding it in many pockets of my life. I can appreciate it now, without feeling responsible for it in any way. I used to bite, take the bait, try to manage it and fall into toxic.

I am brimming with a newness of being. Refreshing. Opening myself up to all the possibilities. Surprisingly, it is lessening the burden of confusion surrounding my kids' lives. As I choose me first, step out of caregiver and rescuer, everything is manageable. (Duh)

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