Taking care of yourself first is like putting your oxygen mask on first, to give you the breath of life to then freely choose how much you give to others.
Many find it challenging to give to themselves first because you may feel guilty or selfish. I can assure you that when you nurture yourself by becoming your own best friend, you will create a beautiful reserve of energy, space and time.
If you are feeling challenged in wondering where to start with your own self-care is to look in the areas that you may already be doing yet not seeing it as self-care. If you give your time away to others without giving to yourself, then you will never create the time continually pushing yourself to the background.
Something as simple as going for a walk around the block is a part of your self-care. Let’s acknowledge the little things first and then bring in the other areas that you know you want to create time for such as going to a yoga class.
It is important to stay connected to your evolving self as you find your new groove in your self-care actions. Do not try to jump ahead as you will sabotage any form of consistency. Consistency is the structure of all success. So start small and allow your natural evolution to guide you to your next steps.
For example I was speaking with a client who wanted to lose weight before she got married. She spoke about what she use to do at the gym being disciplined 4 days a week with a personal trainer. She continued to tell me how hard she worked at getting her body into shape.
I then asked her “In what way would you like to move your body today?” She looked at me with a question written all over her face. I then asked her “If you tune into your body and ask the question, what would your body tell you?” I asked her to allow the answer to come within her body not her head past memory of what she used to do to get into shape.
She looked at me and instantly said “Dancing”. “I love dancing”. I asked her if she had seen dancing as a form of getting into shape. No she replied. As she continued to tell me about the type of dance she enjoyed, I witnessed her face glow; her body became lighter with her tone of voice freely flowing.
She had locked herself into the past feeling of exercise as hard work – and I asked if she was ready to find her new groove. What if ‘moving your body in ways you enjoy’ became your new mantra instead of the word ‘exercise’. We want to take away the force of hard work as it creates contraction in the body. This does not support your body to feel light and flowing with ease.
So what I am saying is to notice language. By using the language ‘consistently moving my ways in ways I enjoy’ vs. ‘I word hard in the gym’. Her body had formed a cellular memory that resisted her getting into shape because this equaled hard work.
“What if you were to create something simple and doable?” Now I am not saying don’t go to the gym, what I am saying is it is important to ask your body what it needs right now. Staying connected to your body’s intelligence will create sustainability no matter what the subject.
As we explored what type of dance she enjoyed, she remembered a class not far from her home that she had been telling herself she really wanted to do; yet did not follow through. When taking away the ‘hard work’ trying to push yourself into some sort of routine, allow yourself the freedom to have fun moving your body in ways you enjoy. Life will evolve in new ways you would never have been able to plan for.
Are you listening into your body’s intelligence?