I have experienced the incredible difference that taking time to do Self Care makes in my day. I feel like the 4 Self Care thoughts have become part of my thinking. Because of the overall impact this way of thinking has had in my day to day life, it is easy to become complacent when I wake up feeling peaceful, to skip the routine altogether. “I’ll do it after I get the kids off to school,” I say to myself, but then I start my busy day and later never happens.
My kids and husband have also noticed the difference Self Care makes in my day. When I’m not being patient or very loving, they call me out on it. “Have you done Self Care?” EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has asked me this at some point over the last couple of years.
I’ve written a couple of blog posts and lots of facebook posts about Self Care, but it has yet to become a discipline for me. So even though, I’m mostly relaxed, even in the midst of some pretty chaotic times, I still have lots of off moments and occasional days where I’m a bit of a mess. This has been especially embarrassing when my friend Bill Cumming, who introduced me to Self Care, asks me how often I’m doing it.
So…it’s time. It’s time to get disciplined and experience the full effect Self Care can have on a life so that I can not only live my life to the fullest, but share with you what’s possible as well. I don’t want any of us to suffer needlessly. My life before learning about Self Care was full of unnecessary drama and self inflicted suffering.
For the next 21 days, I am challenging myself to be fully committed to doing Self Care every morning. After reading this post, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to do your own reflection on the 4 Self Care thoughts and see what a difference it makes in your own equanimity. Merriam Webster says equanimity is evenness of mind especially under stress. Self Care WORKS!
Pre-Self Care Thoughts on Day 1
So…it’s 11:00 am. I’ve had 5 hours of thinking time already this morning. These are some of the thoughts I’ve been thinking lately, having not done Self Care consistently for the past few months.
*Most mornings are unpleasant because of my 7 year old’s behavior. I love her but I dread waking her up. This morning’s fit was 5 minutes of drama over shoes. I don’t want to dread waking up my children.
*I’m not focused on my goals. I have so many ideas but I’m not making time to work on them. I’m scattered.
* I’ve been REALLY hard on myself. My life, while I feel so blessed, is not what I’d like it to be. I’ve made so many mistakes. BIG MISTAKES. I’m having trouble forgiving myself for not making better choices. I feel ashamed.
*I feel torn. I have a picture in my head of what life can be like on a day to day basis. I’d made the decision to pursue that picture, but reality is saying, “Not yet Missy.” I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.
*I feel worried about some unknowns, like my health. I haven’t been to a doctor in years and I’m feeling kind of MORTAL these days.
As you can see, my mind visits some dark places. This has been my line of thinking once or twice a day, without the discipline of daily Self Care. Because I’ve done it in the past, I might spend more time than I should stewing over these thoughts, but I don’t stay in a constant state of worry or panic like I did before I learned about this invaluable tool. Still, these thoughts are unpleasant and Self Care will snap me out of it, get me grounded in my well-being, and support me in having a wonderful experience of being alive.
The 4 Self Care Thoughts
You can spend a few minutes thinking about these or praying about them. If you decide Self Care is beneficial for you, you’ll develop your own way of doing it, but here are the 4 Core Thoughts.
1. We live in a miracle.
2. Everything is interconnected.
3. The ONLY thing I can control is how I choose to BE in the world today.
4. Be gracious to yourself.
Besides thinking about and/or praying about these thoughts, you’ll want to reinforce them by reading a couple of pages out of one of these books or a similar book.
Real Love by Greg Baer
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh
A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
Post Self Care Thoughts
Check out the difference!!!
We live in a miracle. Today I’m thankful to be alive, for my family, my health, and all my blessings.
We’re all interconnected. We all effect each other. There is lots of work to do, starting in my home, with my children. If I’ll look past myself and how others are inconveniencing me or not meeting my needs…if I’ll take time to do Self Care and get grounded, I’ll see what I can do daily to help decrease suffering in the world. I’ll see opportunity everywhere.
None of this is about me. I want to share what I’ve experienced with others. I want everyone to have access to more peace and more joy.
The ONLY thing I can control is how I choose to be in the world today. If I’m grounded, I’ll see what needs to be done to show my 7 year old that she’s loved without condition. I’ll have the patience to go into her drama filled world and love her through her meltdowns. Instead of looking at her as an energy taker, I can fill my moments with her with positivity and help her see what choices are available in helping her create a happier experience.
About my health concerns and mortality. What can I do about my concerns today? Do I need to call and make an appointment of some sort? I feel GREAT today. I need to make the most of this day. It’s the ONLY moment I have any guarantee of. How am I going to use my time?
How do I choose to be in the world today?
I choose to be loving, joyful, and peaceful. I choose to not attempt to control the people with whom I live. My husband and I have changed a lot over the years. We’re not on the same page about a lot of things. I love him anyway. All I can control is how I choose to be today. My children are not little Sarahs. I choose to do the best I can to set a good example for them, to offer them loving guidance and hope they make good choices. It only causes me lots of frustration to try to micro manage everybody’s words and actions.
So my life isn’t going according to plan. All I can do is the best I can do moving forward. I’ve made mistakes. I can beat myself up and stay down or I can offer myself the same graciousness and love I would a friend and even a stranger. I choose to believe that everything is going to work out the way it’s supposed to, whether it ever looks like that from my point of view or not. I’m human and I can’t see the bigger picture.
Today I choose to be hopeful,
to do my best,
to love unconditionally,
to be calm,
to be a hard worker,
to take time to pursue my goals,
and to share what I’ve experienced.
WOW! I feel better!
I promise that future posts, concerning this personal Self Care Challenge over the next 20 days, will not be this lengthy. I just wanted to give you an example of my thinking before and after. This shift is possible for all of us, any time of the day, with these 4 simple but POWERFUL thoughts.
What did you think about this post? Can you see yourself using these 4 core thoughts to develop your own Self Care routine? Don’t be shy. Share your comments below. Speaking of sharing, I’d love it if you would share this post if you think the content would be useful to someone you care about.
Sarah Boucher happily encourages women to grow in their power daily over facebook at I Am A Powerful Woman. Come join the conversation there. If you are interested in going through the 12 week conversation What One Person Can Do, you can get in touch with Sarah here.