What does self care really mean? Getting to the gym, “taking time for yourself,” eating right? When I talk with people, both therapists and clients, they’re either doing these things or they seem too difficult to make time for. Recently, I’ve started to think about self care differently, as holding in mind the things that we so often go to other people for, and providing them for ourselves. If you want to be understood, with gentle attention, can you turn inward to your thoughts and feelings and just notice them, name them and allow for them to be there? If you need TLC, can you create that for yourself with good food, a blanket and a movie, or a yoga class or a hot bath? If you need soothing, can you go inside to the part of you that needs soothing, and say the words you long to hear? The external actions look a bit like classic self care activities, but being conscious in the experience, of the need, the direct response, and the outcome, allows us to connect with the healing power of our own mindful awareness. Our mind and our thinking have real-time impacts on our physiology. For example, think of apple pie. Does your mouth water? Even though there’s no apple pie, the body responds as-if. If you can go inside yourself to the intense feeling of the moment, and hold it gently in your awareness, listen to what it is that part of you needs in that moment, and gently provide it, you may find real comfort and relief, not only from the immediate feeling, but also from the frustration that comes with hoping another can do this for you, when that is not always available.
Posted in Transformation through awareness