September 12, 2016

one musing on soul nourishment...




The (no-charge) challenge/program I'm currently hosting (through my Subtle Harmony site), 15 For Me, started last Thursday. And I am nourished, humbled, honored, and joy-filled to be on this 15-day journey with the more than 40 people who signed up. We have a small facebook group and a small number sharing on instagram (both are optional, not requirements for participating in the program) and I'm daily blown away by the way they are caring for their self and their soul.

I'm doing the challenge too, right along with them. I often have to re-read the day's email to remember the prompts and suggestions I gave for that day, but doing the prompts/suggestions aren't requirements either...  because the main thing is showing up for yourself, daily, for at least 15 minutes a day during the 15 days until the Equinox, and doing what you need for self care and soul nourishment. And sometimes that goes along with the daily prompts, and sometimes it doesn't, and either way it's all okay.

So... some days, I do one of the prompts/suggestions I've sent out in that day's email. Other days I choose something different for my self-care, soul-nourishment needs.

But I've been doing something caring and nourishing, taking time for myself, each day.

And sometimes I've been sharing my thoughts with this journey. Today is one of those times. The below is what I wrote, paired with the photo shown above:

For me, part of soul nourishment is noticing and appreciating what I already have. And that's not always easy for me. Sometimes I can get too caught up in wishing things were different and wanting something else (something "better"). I can get too caught up in the hard-money-stuff and wishing I was heathy enough for a "normal" job, and comparing what I see with others' lives, and focusing on the house repairs and worn furniture and non-working oven, and wanting to live in a town where I felt at home and had a tribe... Instead of focusing on what I DO have - right here, right now - that gives me what I'm seeking.

And then there are afternoons like this. When I consciously and intentionally focus on the good. The slow-cooked-chicken leftovers in the fridge, waiting for us for supper. The folding of the laundry while I listen to a recording and our kitty-girl naps on a pillow, in a room that feels like me in spite of the worn carpet and the windowframes that need to be replaced. The forgetting for a while about financial issues while I read and relax, sun shining into rooms and a fan helping the a/c on this hot feels-like-summer day... and then doing more of what sings to me: painting a bit, writing more prompts about self-care for people who opened themselves to give their email addresses to me, and writing fiction about a summer in 1984 and the healing of a family.

Soul nourishment.

Remembering, realizing again, I have what I'm looking for, if I'll accept what is in this moment instead of wishing for "other." It is enough. Some things are still scary - but there's beauty and joy in the mix too.

And grace. I am open-armed inviting in and accepting the grace.


September 6, 2016

what self care REALLY is...


A while back - maybe earlier this year, maybe before that - I started to notice is that there seems to be some confusion about what self care really is.

Self care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health.

It's as simple as that, which means it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive, and it doesn't have to look a certain way.

(The paragraph above that's in bold is a definition I came across in a pdf put out by the Student Affairs department at the University of Kentucky.)

Self-care will vary from person to person - and for any one person, it will be different at different times.

Self care can mean being mindful of your diet, getting some exercise, getting enough sleep. It can be going to a meet-up on a favorite topic or spending time at a church service.
It can be cuddling with a special person or pet, listening to music, taking a long hot shower, relaxing in a candle-lit room, dancing for a few minutes in your kitchen, going to a spa, painting your nails, getting your hands dirty in the soil.
It can be sitting on a beach, or under a tree, or on the floor of your bedroom as you read a book or color a mandala.



The list is endless. It can be any or all of those things - and so much more.

And some things for self care involve money...
But there are so many self-care practices and activities that do not.

Self-care is caring for YOU. It's doing something that tends to you and what you need (on any/all levels - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually).


And there's no shame involved in caring for and tending to yourself.

No one can give from an empty well, no one can run on fumes, no one can be a constant light without burning out.

Self care doesn't have to be hard.

It doesn't have to be luxurious.

It doesn't have to take loads of time.

Self care can be as simple as pausing throughout your day, relaxing your shoulders, and taking a few breaths.

Self care is anything that involves "any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health."

That's what self care really is.