Photo credit goes to facebook.com/changeyourthoughtstoday…yes I totally jacked the photo.
It’s something many are just learning to do. This is a process, just like any other kind of growing. I have seen this list and others quite similar frequently in the last few months. I would like to expand.
Self-care has been all the rage in the self-improvement, self-empowerment, self-help, and energy/life-coaching realm. It should be. It’s critical to our well-being.
Yet for many, these wonderful little reminders awaken that monster in our own heads that quench the trail of self-loving thoughts, and for some…they aren’t even into the self-loving thoughts yet so their monster immediately goes to “Yeah right”, “Must be nice”, or some other equally degrading record that just repeats.
STOP IT. HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON. REMOVE THE MEDIA.
I say this to myself just as much as any of you reading this. I write this for myself as much as any of you out there.
So, let me elaborate a bit on the 12 Steps for Self Care.
1) If it feels wrong, don’t do it!
~ Listen to that gut instinct. Every time I ignored it, I either missed an awesome opportunity or bad things happened. Like when I was 17 and totaled my mother’s car. My gut said to let mom drive. Mom’s gut told her to drive. Neither of us listened. I rolled the car. Totaled it. Angels were with us – no other car was involved, and my injuries were minor, my mother walked away with a few bruises. This is the worst-case of my ignoring intuition.
By my third date…I had that inkling that he might be “the ONE”. Here we are almost 12 years later…still married. We’ve had plenty of challenges. We’ve had LOTS of LOVE. We’ve had lots of resentment too. We are learning, growing and changing together. Here we are, looking forward to the rest of our lives together. You guessed it. Intuition. I just KNEW.
2) Say “exactly” what you mean.
~ To the best of your ability. Make sure your loved ones know you are making an effort to be clear and that you are looking to change your life. I don’t know how many times I have said exactly what I meant…only to realize later that it was just a layer covering the root issue. So do say exactly what you mean…and realize that there may be more to it. Be compassionate and loving with yourself! IT REALLY IS OK.
3) Don’t be a people pleaser.
~ * sigh * HOW? How do I stop being altruistic to the point of self-harm? Again, this is a process. You have to find what works for YOU. Discover your boundaries. Establish your boundaries. Many of us, especially women, have no idea where our boundaries are if we even know we have them.
Something I had to learn about the people pleaser issue is that it’s OK for others to be angry with me. Others, especially family, may get angry because you’re changing your patterns and that impacts them. In turn, their patterns will need to change if they have been relying on you for something (often this is a subconscious thing), or some implied but unspoken agreement you seem to have entered into without having any idea when or how.
Stick with your commitment to *stop* being a people pleaser. Being considerate of others and being altruistic to the point of self-harm are very, very different. If you are cranky, irritable and totally unpredictable because you give too much…your family will thank you for setting your boundaries and being clear with them. Do you have any idea how much brain space gets taken up by trying to anticipate what everyone else needs or wants? How much stress it causes you? Free up that brain space. YOU WILL BE HAPPIER! Which in turn makes for a much smoother family life.
4) Trust your instincts.
~ Do you trust yourself? Are you aware of what all your instincts are? Most of us understand that “gut feeling” as instinct, but are there others? Things you just know? Trust yourself. Expand that to really, fully trust yourself. You can learn to recognize, listen to and instill what it feels like through ThetaHealing, explore why you might have blocks to trusting yourself. Or choose another modality. Whatever resonates well with you.
5) Never speak bad about yourself.
~ Why is it that so many of us have been taught to do just this? As if we need to for others to see that we accept responsibility for our mistakes, short-comings and faults. We can take responsibility for our choices and actions without speaking bad about ourselves. Better yet, we can do so without being arrogant. It seems that somewhere along the line self-flagellation became synonymous with humility and being humble. “Here, I shall flog myself in public that my sins be forgiven!” Oh boy. I totally see one of my beliefs there now, and I was raised outside any formal church or religion! See how this works?
Second part of this is to surround yourself with people who are willing to help you investigate. Should you say something bad about yourself it is really wonderful to have someone who can lovingly say “Where is that coming from?” “What beliefs are driving such self-criticism?” Also, you must be willing to investigate the beliefs and clear them while being gentle with yourself or this just becomes a big gaping hole of suckishness.
Remember this: Recognizing things you want to change about yourself, your life, your experiences with love is going to help you change them. It is what it is. No self-berating necessary. The more often you can embrace what you want to change with love, the faster the changes will happen.
6) Never give up on your dreams.
~ Nope. Never. Your dreams may change as you shift and grow, and that’s OK. Keep going for them still. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and make sure you have some that actually understand what you’re doing. It’s nice to be able to speak with others who “get it”!
7) Don’t be afraid to say “NO”.
~ Afraid that someone won’t like you? Well, is that someone you really want in your life anyway? Here we go back to setting boundaries. This includes our family. NO ONE should be walking all over you. I personally am still changing the “Welcome!” door mat on my forehead. I say changing because I do want to invite people into my life. I want to be welcoming to everyone…without being a doormat. Again, this is a process. People you love may get angry. Continue being compassionate with yourself and with them too. Being considerate of others and being their doormat are very different. If you’ve been a doormat for a long time, those who walk all over you may need to be taught the difference. YOU may need to learn the difference and find that line. Do it. It will change your life!! Truthfully, those who are in your life that seem to only use you will begin to phase out of your life. Let them! You can love them. If they are shifting with you, and can remain in your life without using you, great! I have seen both happen. It is truly a visible, tangible result of your own shifting consciousness.
8) Don’t be afraid to say “YES”
~ This is can be more challenging than “NO”! Our subconscious mind does a great job of protecting us. Often those things we fear are the very things we need to say “YES” to! Fear keeps us from saying yes, and from saying no. Our brains get stuck in particular patterns and stepping out of them can require overcoming fear with a conscious effort. Take that leap of faith. Trust yourself. Go for your dreams. All these require you to say “YES”!
9) Be KIND to yourself
~ Often we think we are being kind to ourselves…and we are not. Matching a negative self-thought with a positive one is certainly a step in the positive direction but it is not enough. This is no place to get complacent. Keep going!
Ways to be nice to yourself consciously:
Look in the mirror. Start at the top of your head. Say something lovely to yourself about yourself about everything you see. Your hair, what is great about it? Your eyes, what is lovely? Your eyelashes…how wonderfully they protect your eyes! Your eyebrows, what a wonderful accent that you can shape as you like! Your nose…oh the wonderful things your nose brings to you…and tells you to stay away from. Your lips…how wonderful it is to feel them against someone you care dearly for.
Goal to be less cluttered? Look around and compliment yourself on every little bit of progress. Even if it’s only for a day or two that a particular area has been less cluttered than “normal”.
Get yourself a bottle of that lotion you just looovveee the smell of. After your showers, apply some to the areas of your body that you find yourself disliking the most. While applying, notice how well that part of your body is serving you. Tell it how much you love and appreciate it.
Keep going…you get the point. Do this also with all areas of your life. ALL this is being kind to yourself. There’s so much more too…I could write and research this one for weeks 🙂
10) Let go of what you can’t control.
~ Ok, I find this one a bit sticky. Many of us can and will use this as a place to HIDE. Yes, HIDE. “I can’t control how I feel!!” Maybe not right in this moment, and that’s OK. However, you CAN control how you perceive the situation. That in turn can change how you feel about it. So many people give their power away without even knowing it by that one sentence. They become victims of life rather than owning their own choices and making different ones next time. So, I wholeheartedly agree…let go of what you can’t control. Get discernment on what that really is before you start letting go. Get clear. Take responsibility for your beliefs, your choices, your actions and the consequences, those ARE what is in your power… THEN you can see what it is that you really have no control over.
11) Stay away from drama and negativity.
~Part 1) Learn to recognize your own drama and negativity. Yes, most people have plenty of their own.
Part 2) There will likely be people who are offended by your doing this. They do not see their drama or negativity. You do. It’s your choice whether you point it out to them or not. There are many people I have known who think they are positive people but when you really listen to them and look at their lives, it’s obvious they are rather negative. * Ah-hem * been guilty of this myself in the past. So again, this is a process. Put up your energetic boundaries. Fine tune your bullshit meter, and include yourself. Energy flows where focus goes…so the more you focus on the crap, the more crap you’ll see even if you aren’t actually experiencing it…others will gladly bring it to you. Hold your ground.
~ Ah, the most powerful energy of all. LOVE. Love yourself. If you struggle with this, do a little bit as often as you can. When you wash your hands, look at yourself in the mirror and SEE YOU. SEE that lovely, bright, shining soul that IS YOU. Notice it. Learn the feeling of what it feels like to love yourself.
LOVE others. See them for the lovely spirit beings they are. They may be trapped in their own human hell that they don’t even realize they have the power to change. The programs they learned in childhood, the genetic memories passed down through the generations, the soul angst they need to clear to return to the most loving state themselves. Loving them need not mean that you engage them, that you are active with them though it can. Sometimes just a smile, just your very presence can be all they need to start their own personal shift to learning self-care, self-love and self-healing.
Most of all, recognize that loving others can simply mean recognizing that they are a living, breathing being.
Blessed Be through the Creator,