I chose the theme of extreme self care because last year I declared was my year of “Slow Living” and that manifested some potent keys that I intend to continue exploring. I feel like I need more time with the slow living concept as I know I need more of it. It was that feeling at the end of last year, of wanting more time, that sparked my realisation that I could do with some serious self care. It was a full on year and finished on a high but left me a little tired!
So I’ve been exploring options of how to fit nourishing activities into my way of life. I realise that this self care need is not fleeting, nor will it be fixed with a few pampering treats. It needs to be deeply nourishing on all levels of my being for the long term.
Firstly it took some soul searching as to what had brought me to this point, not just one busy year but decades of being many things to many people! I did a bit of an audit of what I had achieved in the past forty years, including what had really challenged me, how many times I had moved house, how many jobs, how many study courses, how many roles had I played in that time and who had been in my life, who still is and who has moved on. Phew! That was huge but really valuable in getting the bigger picture and also getting a sense of how far I have come. The ages and stages of life that shape us to this point.
In this process I realised that if I died tomorrow I would die with no regrets, happy in the knowing that I lived a full, rich, often messy life but one that has, through its challenges, given me so many gifts. Having said that, I do intend to live a very long, fulfilling life so I reckon I will be around for some time to come; I have much still I would like learn and share!
The first step on my journey of extreme self care is to simplify everything! I have started with a big office cleanout, throwing out old course material, course books, and industry books that I had been keeping just in case I went back into that field of work. In this process I came across work I had completed on various topics, courses I had delivered, notes from people who had benefited from something I said, did or shared. It was an amazing process to be able to look at piles and piles of files, books and notes and realise how much I have done and how much I know. It was also very freeing to be able to throw it all out with the confidence that I know that stuff and no longer need to hang onto this validation of what I have done.
Since then I have gone on to simplify more areas like consolidating bank accounts and accounting processes that are all making life lighter and freer.
I am applying this simplifying to as much as I can. In my kitchen for example I am throwing out surplus and coming back to basics. I’m bringing my pantry to order by only storing whole foods and not keeping things that might be used one day in the future but will probably still be hanging around years later! I am putting some order in place that makes everyday life easier.
The other big one is putting boundaries around my time and being really clear and strong in not letting “my time” get eroded by work, people, demands etc. The more I claim the time I am making for myself to do things like gardening, being in nature and connecting with friends, the more I feel that this year is going to be one of great insights as I lighten up and allow space for the wisdom to emerge.
So your challenge this month on the theme of extreme self care is to see where you can simplify your life, what can you throw out, where can you create space for “more being” rather than “more doing”?
I look forward to sharing this journey with you and please share with me your experiences of bringing in more self care.