8 Guides for Exquiste Self Care
Recently I was asked to create a self-care plan. I kind of stumbled over the plan, imagining a schedule or timetable just didn't work for me. So I decided to base my plan on a set of principles or guides, to keep it adaptive and centered around the point- my needs, as they exist in any one moment, fluid and cyclic. What I need depends upon my energy to start with, the time of month and season, what is going on in my life and so on. I decided it would be more useful to have a way of connecting with these things, staying in dialogue with myself and what is needed and adapting as I go. My energy always varies a lot and I try to “run” when the stamina is there (this might be only in a particular domain) and rest when its not, trying to keep an even keel has never worked for me, its like trying to push things unnecessarily up hill. Here are the guides I’ve discovered to date (subject to change as I do). The intention is to stay in dialogue with what is needed with these as gentle reminders to drop in and see:
Flow- follow the energy, work with the energy as it exists, paying attention and being flexible enough to course correct as needed. Check in with yourself and know your cycles. How does the moon effect you, your own moon, the seasons and weather, the climate (political and otherwise)? Where are the muses showing up and when? How does what you need change? How can you change with it and adapt to it? Am I present?
For me right now I am really feeling the effects of either the waxing or the waning moon and have come to make peace with this rather than trying to resist it.
Silence- I need both time and space for silence, a lot of it, introvert that I am- magic is birthed from silence as is deep listening- to yourself, to spirit and to others.
This is looking like much time off-line, including daily limitations and regularly scheduled weeks off, walks in nature, including cleansing in the local water holes and fountains and barefoot walking in the bush to earth, time in my studio, free play following the nudges, reading, old school, paper, time on the mat, especially in shavasana (some days I just go straight to shavasana).
Do your own work- keep expanding and stretching your own mystery school, your own knowledge and understandings, finding your own path and walking it, knowing your own truths and speaking them.
For me this is a constant dialogue- within, with life, with spirit.
Nurture- What fills up your wells and nourishes and replenishes you? What gives you energy and joy? Where do you find, experience and embody beauty?
Creative practice- making things for the pleasure of making things.
Beauty- noticing the light, the new growth in the garden, music, art and literature.
Know thy self- stay in dialogue with yourself- what do you need/want? how are things effecting you? This is the moment by moment seeing if you need sleep, water, silence, a hug, community as well as the bigger knowing of how you respond to various things, how much silence you need, how much community you need etc etc. I’m not a “tracker” in that I don’t keep logs and journals of this sort of thing but I do dialogue with myself a lot on this and look for distinctions and new ways to do/be more attuned to this. Its a matter of remembering to check in and ask/listen.
Embody- We are human beings having a spiritual journey and spiritual beings having a human journey and the body is our portal and our altar. Life is a moving prayer- move, dance, love, be still, feel.
Nourish- enriched and vital foods, noticing the effect on the body, adapting seasonally (ie lots of live salads and fruit in summer and soups and legumes in winter) and energy wise.
Rest- I’m not good at napping but I’m practicing, early to bed.
Hydrate- both within, to hydrate and to ground, and externally with oils.
Presence- Be here, in this life, in this moment, now. Re-member- Life is right here, right now, always.
What draws you into the moment, into full presence?