Redefining Spiritual Self Care
In the wellness industry, the phrase Self Care is the calling card and tagline for almost every practitioner and industry player. The phrase is synonymous with spa days, luncheons and indulgences. I think it is time to claim it back. Let’s add the word Spiritual, then Self Care takes on a whole other meaning. Spiritual Self Care Days. Days where we start to consider the Energetic Self, Spiritual Self and our connection to Soul and Universal Consciousness as a way to nurture and care for ourselves. If we flip our perspective of Self Care to Spiritual Wellness then we start to look beyond special events and treats as a way to nurture and start to consider how on an every day basis we can spiritually and energetically nurture ourselves.
Spirituality is a journey of personal understanding and growth. It is path to understanding who and how we are on a daily basis and how this impacts on ourselves, the people around us and our world view. It is not a way to hide from reality with a constant stream of positive accolades, affirmations or diversions. It is a way for us to understand our reality, in the here and now, to understand how our past experiences and behaviours, based on our past understandings, shaped and continues to shape our lives. I would like us to include in our daily routines along side our work outs and beauty routines, the gift of two minutes of Self Compassion.
Every day we are bombarded with harsh judgements in the forms of media, advertising, expectations and learned self limiting beliefs. There is never enough time, did we do all we could do, have we achieved enough, was that the right decision or actions, do I look good, am I using the right products, the list of judgmental questions goes on and on. When was the last time we received, gave or accepted a compliment, a personal reward or mental gratification? If we are surrounded by harsh judgements designed to influence our thoughts, behaviors and buying decisions, where does the compassion for our own humanity come from?
Spirituality teaches us that we are imperfect and designed to be imperfect. It is within the imperfection that beauty lies. The radiant beauty that comes from our Soul, that shines through our spirit and is reflected and magnified to the world through our energetic self. Beauty is not in perfection, but in the understanding and acceptance of our imperfections and our efforts to be as true to our soul selves as we can be. The very ideal of perfection is one of fashion and trends, it moves with the times and is tied too heavily with the concept of desirability through the attainment of a set of externally constructed criteria, the sum of which is perfection. The fast, ever moving goal of perfection.
Striving constantly to meet moving ideals, creates within us a hunger of a never satisfied pursuit of the unobtainable. And while we strive for this externally referenced ideal of perfection, we are so busy evaluating ourselves and others, that we become blind to who we are. We become slaves to judgements that are not ours but someone else’s. Giving ourselves up to other peoples judgement, completely gives our personal power away and hands it over to the hands of another. We loose who we are and who we are meant to be. That is the definition of lost souls. A complete disconnect between our true self and how we live our lives.
If we could be a little more gentle with ourselves, a little more forgiving, allowing for us to be human, imperfect and impure then we open the door to allowing ourselves to be. Just to be who we are and who we are meant to be. We are imperfect, living imperfect lives. We try our best and there are days when our best is just not good enough. Things happen, shitty things, unexpected things, great things. We are not in control of the world nor should we seek to be. We do not need to be in control of ourselves, we need to trust ourselves, believe in ourselves and give ourselves a break from the harsh criticisms and high standards which can so easily be bestowed.
We are enough, we can be more, we can be less, but we are enough. Be gentle with how you speak to yourself and how you judge yourself. Our words can be harsh and once thought, the brain, so brilliant, will learn them without questioning their validity. Once learnt, these harsh words and judgements can become truths, cast in stone and influencing our existence in ways that we do not understand, but haunt our life casting long shadows.
So give yourself spiritual self care, speak gently and with love to yourself. Actively forgive your mistakes, not so you pass through life unaffected by what you do, but so you are in a state of mind, where you understand the how and why of what you did, do now and will do in the future. I was taught through my Buddhist Meditaiton Practice, first give love to yourself, then give love to others. Put another way, place your oxygen mask on first before you help others with theirs.
Every morning and night, take a few minutes to speak with love and acceptance to yourself about who you are. Create a new way of thinking about yourself and change your world.