“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” ~ Deborah Day
Self-care is unique. One person’s self-care is another’s self-poison. My friend Jay, owns a comic book & bubble tea shop. When asked “Jay, what soothes your soul?” He replied, “Reading the Perry Bible Fellowship comic, every Sunday. I especially like the hard to get jokes. They are like brainteasers for immature intellectuals.” To which I replied, “to each their own.”
Out of curiosity, I checked out the comic and it’s pretty satisfying. I’m not inclined to make it a weekly happening. However, someday I might because self-care practices are fluid, not stagnate. Thus, I recommend revisiting yours often. Clean out those cobwebs!
For example, I used to knit every day. Slowly, I started losing interest and my unfinished projects hung on my nightstand, mocking me. Finally, I consciously decided to put them away. I wanted to play in other ways. You too may need to put some practices away, and bring some new ones out.
So, lick your lips, and recall all things that are yummy. Not necessarily food but yummy actions (or nonactions) that make you want to say mmmmm. And yes, my mind also went to sex but what else?
How about those times you were so engaged in the moment that you lost all sense of yourself, and felt your inner child leaping up and down? What were you doing? These pointers are a way to get you brainstorming some self-care practices essential to you.
Here are the top five self-care practices that soothe and satisfy my soul. Allow yourself to be inspired to try something new or revitalize a practice that was collecting dust:
“Self-care is how you take your power back.” ~ Lalah Delia
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Alright, so this little gem, I discovered shortly after moving to Los Angeles. At the time, I was discovering my empathic tendencies, and by “discovering”, I mean I was drowning in emotional sensations. Black tourmaline (a protective crystal) and palo santo were my best friends. Although, helpful…my heart yearned for a way to feel steady in the emotional waters of life. Enter, EFT.
The premise of Emotional Freedom Techniques is that emotions which are not expressed or fully processed become hooked in your energy field. Events in life will continue to cause a similar emotional reaction until you consciously release the stuck energy. Once give empathy and love to your fears/emotions, events that used to cause you to tense up will easily pass through you.
During the EFT process, you tap on certain acupuncture points while talking aloud about the story/event that is causing heavy emotions. This morning, I did a tap on procrastination. Yes, I was procrastinating writing…tedious business paper work, not this article.
While being guided (by a teacher), my feelings came to the surface. It felt uncomfortable, at first. Waves of tense energy came boiling up, then as I consciously let them be there; space opened up. I felt peaceful and gained clarity on the deeper reasons why I was procrastinating.
If you want to try EFT, check out this article that can guide you with the basics of tapping.
Spontaneity is satisfying. It takes us out of the humdrum and into effortless creation. We are so focused in the moment that the right action arises in the mind and is acted upon, immediately.
It can be as grandiose as waking up and deciding to venture into the desert to watch the spring flowers blossom, or as simple as saying hi to a stranger in line.
When we break the routine, we’re effortlessly thrusted into presence. Our child-like eyes open wide and we soak in the novelty of the moment. Without unpredictability, we suffer from control and suppression, and our patterns and outdated stories play on repeat. We let fear guide us instead of riding the flow of love.
On Valentine’s Day, I had a strong urge to learn something new. I looked up local classes and found “Conscious Cuddling”. Yes, that’s a thing. My mind told me, eh that sounds odd, but my heart said “Why not?!” I not only had fun, but I now I’m able to bring even more bliss into cuddling.
Wield Your Sword
In my personal practice, I like to call on Arch Angel Michael to cut cords. By that, I mean the energetic cords that exist between “you” (your energy field), and others/events. These cords can feel heavy, draining, or tense; like a leach on your energy field. There are also cords that feel invigorating. All cords can influence you, for better or worse.
When I’m feeling drained on some level, I bring out my sword! I close my eyes, and allow myself to feel the tense energy. I call upon Michael to cut the cords that no longer serve me and to retain the love and lessons.
As I inhale, I see his sword of light rising up and as I exhale, I feel it cutting through the tension. Instantly, I feel refreshed and revitalized. You can do this with certain people, events, or without specifics in mind.
If you haven’t done this before, start by listening to a guided meditation on cord cutting. Then once you get the feel and understanding of the practice, you can do it anywhere! I do it in coffee shops before I write. It feels marvelous. It’s my inner reset button, and I feel powerful, cleansed, and in control of my energy.
We established that self-care is personal, not a one size fits all. Thus, this next suggestion you can tailor to your inclinations. Enriching environment means that you intentionally spend time in a place that sparks inspiration and joy.
For me it is the woods: alone with my crystals, barefoot. For others, it’s going to art shows, salsa dancing, or sports games. Where ever it is, go! Your soul will thank you!
Follow Bread Crumbs (Intuition)
I describe intuition as that subtle voice of guidance from our higher selves. It comes in the form of sudden urges, clear thoughts, numbers, words in books, a Facebook ad, tarot cards, another human, or dreams.
It often feels like picking up bread crumbs on your way to a ginger bread house. For example, I was having dinner at a fish shack near the beach. I told my boyfriend, I had a strong urge to dance. The waitress overheard and said there was a live DJ playing next door. When we arrived, it looked over.
There were only 20 people sitting around and the DJ was packing up. I felt a voice say, wait. Ten minutes later, he decided to play 5 more songs. The energy was electric. We all laughed and danced like children who were allowed to stay up an hour past their bedtime.
Following the breadcrumbs of intuition is a must for self-care. Who doesn’t want a direct line to cosmic consciousness? You flow with grace and ease. Think of intuition as a muscle which needs to be exercised. When you receive a sign, take action and watch how seamlessly your life unfolds.
“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” ~ Jean Shinoda Bolen
Last night, I watched a movie about grown-ups who play tag every May. Their conscious intent to bring play into their friend group, kept their connection thriving. They traveled across the country just to say “Tag, your it!” All interpersonal relationships benefit from play.
As I write, I’m watching people in a coffee shop play classic board games like checkers, Apples to Apples, and Connect Four. When we choose play, we get to take our inner child out and let lose. Our “serious” roles fall away.
Play is also personal. It doesn’t have to be a board game. It could be trivia, karaoke, dance, poker, or anything that lets you to connect with others beyond the mind. You’re more apt to connect on the formless level when an element of play is involved in your interaction. And let’s be honest, it’s just fun.
Now, I challenge you to choose 1 or all 5 self-care practices to integrate into your spiritual practice this week! You can do it! If you enjoy it, keep doing it for however long it’s satisfying! If not, move on and find something that suits your souls longing.
You are valuable. You are worthy. Go do what sets your soul on fire! Happy playing!
“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” ~ C. JoyBell C.