For the Week of January 14, 2019
Self care... Here is a buzzword concept we hear about regularly but have
any of us really thought through what that means? I recently was slapped
up the side of the head regarding self care, thanks to a sideways elevator
with a peculiar sense of humor.
Following a state to state move a year and a half ago, I found a local
chiropractor who was a natural healer. She helped a great deal until she
didn’t. Her life was in shambles, and recognizing another healer, she
attempted to ameliorate her own pain by offloading to to a empathetic ear.
Yep, me. While my body felt better-ish, I found I came home with some of
her stuff attached to me. I knew better, of course, but I have discovered
that I am not always aware when I pick up other people’s stuff. I have
been in this field for 40+ years and I am still surprising myself.
Last fall, she began to have so health issues and took time off from work
about the same time life around here took an interesting turn. Health
issues popped up, family issues resurfaced, a beloved pet passed away
and then the holidays were upon us. After the first of the year, I attempted
to make an appointment with this woman and was saddened to discover
that she had passed away.
My own health issues continued so I looked for a new chiropractor and
stumbled, with the help of that elevator, into my Next Right Step. I found
not just a chiropractor and a massage therapist. I found healers who walk
the talk, and finding that is not as easy as it sounds.
The difference between the two chiropractors was readily apparent. The
first one was a natural healer who lived a life of uncontrollable chaos (her
perspective). The second one is a joyful, heart filled, spirit led healer who
sees the connection to herself (as without, so within) in what she practices.
The difference is self care. The first doctor had no idea how to care for
herself, how to allow herself growth and awareness, even as it knocked on
her door. Every bit of her angst was turned inward to herself as she
shouldered the burdens of her family and life. That had been her pattern
her whole life, she told me. It was clearly making her unhappy and yet
she spoke of her life with pride.
The new doctor speaks of joy, of time doing she things loves, of the
rewards of being in service to healing. She speaks of spirit and love.
It took me having my first session (the figurative head slap) with the new
doctor to see the mirror the first doctor was. During this session I was
lovingly told to stop carrying the weight of the world and to forgive both
myself and others. She put her hand on my back behind my heart, and I
sobbed. Stuff from years past came up, new stuff came up. A whole lot of
stuff came up.
Now let me tell you that I am no stranger to therapy and doing my own
work. I dedicate myself to this field and I walk my talk. Except when I miss
And I missed a big something. Somehow, over the last few years, I lost
the idea of self care, at least for me. I thought I was taking care of myself,
but I clearly wasn’t.
If I asked you what self care is, I bet you would all say things like eat right,
exercise, sleep well, and so on. You wouldn’t be wrong necessarily but I
bet you missed the same part I did.
Self care is about doing something for yourself out of love, not out of
obligation or the idea that it is the right thing to do. Self care is what you
do for yourself to give yourself some love. I knew a woman who - when
the going got tough - took a half an hour and watched kitten videos.
Those videos made her happy and allowed her heart to step into place.
When we do “have to’s” like exercise and eating right and so on, we are
listening to the dictates of our mind, not our heart. We live entire lives of
“have to”. Now, I know there are many who get great joy from exercise
but I ask you to pay attention the next time you work out. Head or heart?
Self care returns you to home and your heart. It doesn’t have to take up a
great deal of time but find those things that feed your heart and allow it to
breathe and communicate with you.
I share this with all of you because I am there too. My life had become all
“have to” and I was losing my balance. Worst of all, I was so caught up in
it that I didn’t even see it, despite having some health issues whose
messages could not have been any more clear.
And those that guard and guide me, now that I am listening to them about
this particular issue (they roll their eyes at me), tell me that in these
troubling and changing times right now, self care is essential. It is the
most loving gift you can give yourself. Find those things that make your
heart sing and allow yourself their gift, even if only for a few minutes. Our
Lights cannot shine very brightly if we are not taking care of them.
Self care is the choices you make, the time you give yourself, the ways you
support yourself, and the kindness with which you treat yourself. You have
to nourish to flourish, so go be good to yourself.
(I would love to hear what you all discover for your own self care!)
***This guidance column was written by Jan Finley for TheCosmicPath.com. It may be shared freely, but only when the author’s name and website are included.