People’s responses to the concept of self-care often exist on a spectrum. When self-care is seen as a luxury, it’s often judged as being selfish. If we aren’t getting sh*t done, we are wasting time on something that’s not important. From another view, filling every minute of every day can be an exhausting habit. The self-care of reading and naps could be a necessity to avoid crashing.
Growing up, I got approval for being productive; I was praised for what I did for others, and for what I got done. This gave me a sense of value and lovability. It also gave me the habit of neglecting my tiredness and needs for rest.
By my mid 30s, I was on the verge of a total breakdown. I believed that love was won by giving everything and needing nothing. Self-reliance is great to a point, but it can go too far. When I finally shared with a friend about how I was falling apart, her shocked reply was, “I had no idea you needed help.”
Today, I teach my students about the value of self-care and self-attunement. It’s true that being productive gives me a feeling of healthy satisfaction. The problem lies in pushing beyond my body’s wisdom. When we lose the ability to see the line being crossed, we start doing things at the cost of our well-being. We are out of attunement.
When I carve out time to read my book, sit by the fire, or watch a movie, I can feel guilty. When I feel squirmy and on edge during self-care, part of my self-attunement practice is to simply sit and feel it.
It takes wisdom and courage to rest while there’s a voice in my head saying, “You’re wasting time; this isn’t producing; you won’t get approval for this.”
If we can resist the threat of that productive story, our reward is peace.
When it comes to healing our sexuality and relationships, it is imperative that we keep attunement with our bodies, our spirit and with each chakra – especially our sexual center. Attunement is key to opening our creative and joyful sensuality.
What are the things that tune you?
Self-care is not a luxury, it’s necessary for our health and well-being!
I hope you give yourself the gift of rest and stillness as we move through this time of winter hibernation.