“Give of Yourself!”
“Don’t Be Selfish!”
“Look out for Others!”
“Don’t think of Yourself First!”
Sheesh! No wonder these kinds admonishments we heard as children can serve to keep us feeling guilty if we focus on taking care of ourselves well.
Cinderella gave everything of her time, energy, and attention to her step-mother and step-sisters, in addition to wearing rags, and sleeping by the fireplace! Was there more for her to give? I suppose she could have bled on the hearth, too.
Ultimately, one way to look at it is that for Cinderella’s selflessness she was rewarded by getting the cool shoes, the handsome prince, and the grand slam major cool ride. (I guess you could say Cinderella really started early transformer technology with the pumpkin to carriage capabilities!) But one unspoken message here could be: “Look what happens if you’re a doormat!”
Old McDonald was a workaholic and had lots of stock he could sing about for all his hard work.
And little boy blue had to try to steal some personal time from what sounds like child slavery, and weariness is the seeming flavor of his life.
Little Boy Blue,
Come blow your horn,
The sheep’s in the meadow,
The cow’s in the corn;
But where is the boy
Who looks after the sheep?
He’s under a haystack,
He’s fast asleep.
Will you wake him?
No, not I,
For if I do,
He’s sure to cry.
What is extreme self care?
Extreme self care: Lovingly taking care of yourself in ways that help you feel calm, relaxed, and happy most of the time.
It is only when we first love ourselves that we have love to give to another person.
Giving isn’t loving another person if the giving is from a
place of resentment and obligation. Giving is loving
another person if the giving comes from a place of joy
and generosity of spirit.
How do you get to this place of joy and generosity of spirit?
Most people have a hard time doing this.
You learn how to give to yourself in a way that is nourishing to you, and that helps you feel filled up so that you have something to give from that place of generosity of spirit and enthusiasm.
How can that be selfish?
Here are some steps to take to practice extreme self care, and charge your body and life with fullness.
1) Did you get enough sleep last night or do you need to plan for a power nap? You have the right to feel calm, happy, and relaxed 100% of the time.
2) Have you planned for good nutrition for yourself, or are your pantries filled with high glycemic (not same as high calorie) carbohydrates and other junk food?
3) Do you have time for yourself, just you, to do something that you love and that enriches your life or helps you develop into who you want to be? Even 2 hours per week?
4) Do you do a physical activity that invigorates you for at least 30 minutes a day? Doing a fun physical activity forces us to live in the present moment. To get out of your head (which is where spending lots of time on a computer will put you), get into your body and into nature if possible.
5) Can you reach into your closet in the morning and grab a set of clothes that are ready to go and look great on you, or do you fumble around a lot to find something that “will work”? (Fix what needs to be fixed, buy what you need to match or replace other pieces so they work, and better yet, buy a whole outfit when you shop).
6) Is your check book balanced? The stress caused from wondering where you stand will wear you out. You haven’t been loving toward you if you haven’t created time and space each month to do this activity.
7) Does your car need a maintenance visit? Ditto reason #6. You want to reduce what causes stress. Cars need regular maintenance as do you.
8) Have you cultivated at least 5 active friends in your life? Research shows that connections are as important to our wellbeing and happiness as the food we eat.
9) Do you have inspirational materials to read each day? I’m not necessarily referencing spirituality here–you can be an atheist and still find something to read each morning that inspires you.
These are a few ways you refill your emotional and physical energy tanks. These practices will help enable you to live creatively, in gratitude, joy, and enthusiasm. In turn you will be enthusiastic when it comes to giving to others of your time, energy, and money.
Happy Valentine’s Day, 2015!
Now, tell me below of challenges you have had to practicing extreme self care, or tell me what nourishes you the most, and puts you in that place of enthusiasm.
Also feel free to ask me a question or suggest topics you would like me to address in a blog post.