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Self Care ~ Beliefs that Work

Self Care: Beliefs that Work

Spring is a fabulous season to take a fresh look at your own self care.  Self care is the core of self love.  It is the absolute essence of a healthy and happy life.  Self care creates ease, creates satisfaction, creates health, and creates peace.  Self care is acts of kindness towards yourself that can be done in a thousand different ways.  This blog is dedicated to the exploration some of these thousand ways.

First things first…

When I begin to talk to folks about self care, one of the first things to come up is the belief  “If I take care of myself, and actually put my needs first, I am selfish.”  It is a belief that will stop most of us dead in our tracks.  No one wants to be judged “selfish”.  Many of us grew up feeling loved and deriving our self worth by meeting other’s needs.  If they were happy, then we could be happy.  But not until “they” were happy.  In our early years, “they” often meant our parents.  Later in life, the “they” becomes our spouse, children, friends, colleagues, bosses, etc.  In adult life, this belief can also be camaflogued in many ways.  One of my favorites is “I will rest, once all the work is done.” As we grow older, most of us discover at some point that all the work never gets done.  There is always more to do.  The list of things to do to make other people in our life happy is endless. We find ourselves trapped in this old belief that keeps us always working and does not allow us to take care of ourselves.

What to do with this old belief?

First, thanks it.  Thank your old belief for getting you through many years and many relationships.  We do need to care for others.  We live in partnership, in family, in community with others.  And, yes, their happiness does matter to us.  At some point in life, putting others first was needed to help you survive.  Just not now.  And not all the time.  And certainly not for the rest of your life.  It is not the only belief to hold or choice to make.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo today, right now, try this one act of self care.  Take a long, deep breath, and say “thank you” to that old belief of “others first.”  Let it go with the breath.  Let your shoulders relax, release your jaw, and soften your belly.  Then take another deep breath.  As you exhale, say “Ahhhh!”  Finally, with the next deep exhale say aloud, “I am good.  My needs come first too.” Finish it off with one more deep breath in and out.  Now notice what your body feels.  Many folks feel much better.  Lots of things can show up.  I will be talking more about what happens and many other self care tools in the coming weeks.

Be kind to yourself,


 (Photo credit: Karen Engel-Thompson)