Day 7: Self care as an act of love

GO GO SELF CARE RANGERS! MIGHTY MORPHIN’ SELF CARE RAAA-AAA-NGERS! I can’t believe we’re already at the end of the first week of 25 days of self care. How did that even happen? (If you haven’t started yet and would like to, no worries! Jump right in!) I absolutely love seeing all of your posts popping up on my instagram and twitter every day and chatting to those of you who’ve mentioned it to me in person. I really hope that it’s helping to make this crappy season a little bit easier.

I feel like this week we’ve been sort of finding our feet in self care and hopefully learning a bit about what works for each of us and how to build it into our routines. This week definitely threw up some unexpected things for me and I learned a lot about why I find the loss of my routine over the Christmas break so challenging and upsetting. Love has also been on my mind a lot as my husband and I were at a the most beautiful and joyful wedding this weekend. I have been musing about self care as an act of love towards ourselves and actually how difficult it can be to find love for ourselves when we’re harassed and grumpy and tired and it’s dark outside and the supermarket is playing stupid Christmas music. Actually, finding love for ourselves can be pretty difficult, particularly when we’re used to downplaying our good qualities and being hypercritical of our failures.

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I’ve been spending a bit of time recently reading about about the principles at the basis of yoga and the first of these is ahimsa, or non-violence. Non-violence can apply to all sorts of things; non-violence towards our friends and families, towards our enemies, towards the planet. It can also apply to the way in which we treat ourselves. The way I think of it is that self care is ultimately an act of non-violence towards ourselves. It’s the opposite of violence really; an act of compassion, forgiveness and acceptance towards ourselves, an act of loving kindness towards ourselves when we feel like loving ourselves the least. Sometimes when I’m on my mat, I forget that you can’t win at yoga by getting into the pose or pushing yourself full throttle and I come away with bruises and a grazed spine and an achey back. Today my (fake) LOVE tattoo reminded me to practice exactly that towards my self. I think we can sometimes be guilty of having the same attitude towards self care: go big or go home, if it’s not the “best” self care then it’s not good enough, it’s not as big or as fancy as other people’s self care. Let me just say that what ever is right for you right now is the right kind of self care. So my goal for this week is to practice non-violence and love towards myself, even within my self care. For me, that means not beating myself up if I don’t have a pretty picture to post on instagram every day and having compassion for myself if I get a bit rushed off my feet and don’t have time for that run I promised myself or that cake I told myself I was going to bake. For any loving relationship to work, it requires understanding and compromise. Our loving relationship with ourselves is just the same.

Big LOVE to all y’all! ❤

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