My Self Care Challenge to YOU!

I am sitting here reflecting on a topic that a lot of women can find elusive – Self Care.
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Actually sit with the concept a minute and define what that means to you. For some of us, it might mean a monthly massage, a night out with the girls, a coffee or lunch date with a friend. For some of us….nothing comes to mind! There are as many definitions as there are women in this world. Yet for some of us, it seems always just beyond reach. I have to take the kids to ____ first (you fill it in), or the kids need me to do _____. I should be doing _____. Note the language, have to, need, or should. Why does this language always seem to refer to someone else instead of ourselves? As a coach of mine once said, don’t be shoulding all over yourself. When is the last time you said “I have to take care of myself first”, “I need to take some time for myself” – we use the should – “I should take better care of myself” but this is in the opposite context.

A couple of weeks ago I spent 4 ½ glorious days with 17 women. 4 were river guides and the other 13 came from all over the US. The age range was 22-75. They were from all walks of life and all different backgrounds. The one thing that we had in common was that we were all there for some form of self care. Time to ourselves, time in nature, time with friends (new and old). Just time…..and self.

Remember the old adage about mind/body/spirit – This fed my spirit and my mind. Great conversations, communing with nature. I decided to follow that week up with some physical self care – the body part. I went to see my rolfer (if you don’t know what rolfing is, google it. You will never be the same. No really, I am over an inch taller after the famous 10), and then went to the chiropractor. I took a new yoga class and went and had a cranial sacral (some of these cover body and spirit together). All of this in a mere 10 days. What bliss. Do I feel selfish? Yes, absolutely, and I deserve every bit of it. The word selfish has the word self in it. Our culture has just decided to give it a negative connotation. This may be repetitive, but when the airline attendant tells you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, she isn’t kidding and it’s not selfish. Caring for others is nurturing, compassionate, noble. Caring for ourselves is selfish??? I challenge you to pick 10 “selfish” things that you would like to do for yourself in the next month and then follow through with them (did your stomach clench? You might want to sit with that for a minute). I can honestly say that I am now ready for the kids to start school. Hectic schedules, trying to be in two places at once (can you say high school and middle school orientation at the same time!!!), last minute details to attend to. I am also looking forward to making mySELF a new list for next month – Anyone want to meet for coffee?