Setting the tone for yourself

…begins the night before. How you go to bed really matters. Don’t go to bed with problems on your mind. Because you are creating feelings and beliefs that you have problems, and you take that to bed with you and right into your subconscious mind. It doesn’t work it out during sleep. Have you ever woken up and said, thank God I brought that into my sleep! I woke up and my mind totally worked it out! I woke up feeling great this morning! Yay!

No. More like, I’m so tired, I tossed and turned all night. Or, I woke up at 1:30 thinking about stuff and couldn’t get back to sleep.

Instead of problems getting worked out, they get seeded. YIKES!

Bedtime is a time to indulge. You’ve got your pillows and your cozy blanket… this is the time to literally dream instead of nightmare.

Ask yourself, HOW WOULD I FEEL IF MY WISHES WERE FULLY REALIZED?

This is not a prompt to start planning. Read again: how would I FEEL.. fully realized?
Don’t go beyond that other than to indulge in what your life would look and feel like.

Seed that into your subconscious mind instead. Remember that your feelings impact your motivation, inspiration, self-esteem, and energy, so this is really important. Your subconscious mind won’t know that the feelings you produce from this was “manufactured” and that the feelings from your problems were “real.” It can only know to be real what you feel to be real.

Wake up and feel genuinely grateful for a new morning. I know, I used to hate it when people would say that. But seriously, is it really that bad? Just do it. Smile. Breathe. Hydrate. Pee. Look in the mirror and see how seriously beautiful and amazing you are. Don’t set yourself up for rush and stress. No news, no emails yet — they most certainly can wait. Get yourself settled. Put your spirit in the drivers seat, and decide what feelings you want to dwell in today.

What is self-care

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

-Audre Lorde

While meditation, bubble baths, and alone time can be self-care, sometimes it’s just plain hiding.

Self-care often takes on the form of discipline or what we need most to progress out of our anxiety and traumas and into wellness and empowerment. Momentary indulgences are wonderful, and I love them very very much, they are so joyful, relaxing, and gentle, but I don’t call them self-care. I call them indulgences.

True self-care requires a decision to value and treat myself in a totally different way, and it is worthwhile to differentiate as they offer different results.

I’ve felt sick to my stomach practicing self-care. I’ve had to communicate incredibly difficult things to important people in my life that wasn’t supportive of my well-being or of others around me. I’ve had to dig in my heels and put up healthy boundaries when it would have been easier not to.
I never feel sick to my stomach during an indulgence, but sometimes afterwards, depending on the indulgence. With self care, it may feel bad during the practice, but it is always followed by longer-term relief.

I ask others for help. For a time I thought this was a sign of weakness, and I eventually realized how much self-esteem, strength, and courage it took to reach out when all I wanted to do is isolate and figure out how to do it all myself (but not really). While taking personal space is incredibly important, it can become an indulgence when reach-outs are called for. We are putting off a solution. Something that will take care of us, relieve us, make us stronger, connect us.

I’ve started some mornings with meditation and breath exercises when that was really the last thing I wanted to do, but it was what I knew would set the right tone for me for the day. I also had to recognize when it was enough and I had to move on to other responsibilities in my life.

It’s wonderful to indulge. Indulge away. But let’s not hijack the meaning of self-care to be synonymous with indulgence. Self care is what we do that gives us what we really need: a fierce love for ourselves and those around us, a voice that advocates on our behalf and on behalf of others that need advocation, and an inner strength that doesn’t allow our highest values to become hijacked by external pressure. Self-care brings us back to Self so that not only can we truly indulge without regret, but we can also truly care for others in the most appropriate way.