Self Care is not massages, and time for tea, a fun outing or catching a few hours for self-time. Those things are fine & good. It’s good to regularly treat yourself as part of your routine. But that’s not all of what self care is.
Self care is radical self love. It is the creation of a life that supports your wellbeing.
It is the creation of boundaries against encroaching interests on your wellness.
It is the examination of your norms and if they support wellbeing or if they encourage stress and toxicity.
Self-care is making time for the deep kind of self-reflection that has the power to uproot the shit in your life and finally plow the barren land of your soul to plant a thriving crop to sustain you.
Self care is the release of programs of punishment. It is ending the abuse of endurance. It is the healing of misguided ancestral wisdom. It is the excavation of a long forgotten way of being:
The way of power, of pleasure and of purpose.
You know why we find it hard to find the time to do pleasurable things like spa, massage, self-time, yoga, dancing etc?
Because we have lost touch with our instinctual inner power and purpose. We have lost touch with it because it has been conditioned out of us by societal beliefs that tell us it is normal to work ourselves ragged, that a hungry soul only needs to exist on scraps, that being good and doing good is reward enough.
It is not. None of that is enough.
We say there is not enough time, not enough resources, not enough help, not enough, not enough, not enough – because we exist on not enough. It is our norm. That’s why we ‘sneak in a little self-care time’.
That has to change.
To activate the trifecta of power, pleasure and purpose requires a radical self-love.
A self love that translates not just to self care – but self-fulfillment.
This is what it means to give from a full cup. It does not mean to fill your cup and then empty it to others and then fill it back up again. That is within the paradigm of not-enough.
You do not fill your cup with scraps and expect to feed those who you are responsible for.
To fill your cup means to fill yourself to overflowing. An over-flowing that that is self-generative. A divinely sanctioned blessing onto you – unending, unconditional. You are made to carry the blessing of the divine – you are created to be a channel of divine abundance – and from that overflow you give.
To be able to give you need to be able to receive. After all, you expect people to receive what you give. So to complete the circuit, you too need to receive.
Sometimes it means receiving a compliment. Sometimes it means fully receiving the enjoyment of a pleasuable activity. Sometimes it means fully accepting the boundary you have placed to receive its benefits.
It also means to exist is a state of reciprocity. What do you expect to receive from your students? Respect? Greetings? Following guidelines? Effort? Courtesy? Honesty? Assignments on time? What do you expect to receive from your colleagues and admin? How do you expect your students to receive what you provide? The cycle of receiving and giving has to be a conscious covenant between the parties involved. Reciprocity is a core value in the ethos of radical self-care.
That is what self-care looks like, outside of the paradigm of scarcity.
You, and all those who depend on you, deserve nothing less than that.