It is tough to practice Self-Care in our culture. Two phrases I hear on a regular basis are, ‘not enough time’ and ‘not enough money.’ Slowing down and paying attention to the quality of our moment to moment experiences can be scary and overwhelming.
Spending money on a massage when there are bills to pay can feel like a frivolous expense. Taking the time to meditate when you’ve got to make dinner or do the laundry can make us feel like we are being irresponsible or lazy.
This is why it is important to be part of a community. It can help us feel supported, validated and motivated to be connected to others who are also incorporating Self-Care into their daily schedules.
A couple years ago I was working in a traditional office with grey walls and grey cubicles. When I entered the office each day, I literally felt the energy draining out of my body. To counter this, I would lock myself in a boardroom to meditate, stretch and do breathing exercises. I filled my cubicle with art, plants, and positive messages and had a drawer full of herbal teas and essential oils.
Then one day I began my first experiment. I started documenting my daily positive affirmations by using a clicker counter to keep track of the amount and journaling about the experience. I was clicking all over the place – walking down the street, on the subway and in the office. Co-workers asked me what I was doing and when I shared about my experiment, it surprised me that they started to share what they were working on too.
There were people in the office working on losing weight and eating healthier, some were working on having better relationships, some co-workers even opened up about wanting to deal with anger and rejection better. Hearing about what each person was working on made me feel more comfortable. Instead of hiding in the boardroom, I began meditating at my desk more often. Everyone who passed by would stop in to talk about the progress they were making and ask how many affirmations I had done that day.
Through sharing, the office culture began to change. A community was forming. Below are three things we can do to initiate a Community Of Caring, wherever we may be.
Taking responsibility begins with active communication – being honest. If we are tired, sad, stressed out, overwhelmed or disappointed, now is the time to release all of it. Expressing our goals, needs and challenges is essential to the practice of Self-Care. This can be done through writing, talking to a friend, mentor, coach or therapist etc. Once we get clear on these basics, our path and direction will open up to us with fewer struggles.
Choose an Accountability Partner
It is best to choose a partner who is also dedicated to practicing Self-Care. They do not have to be working on the exact same things but they do have to be interested, engaged, enthusiastic and willing to hear about the details of your experience and hold space for your ups and downs as you do the same for them. This mirroring will help both of you feel validated and motivated throughout your process.
Build A Support System
A system is about having multiple people, groups, organizations and resources that you have access to and can share with. The bigger your support system, the more likely you are to stay committed to your goals and practice. If your accountability partner, best friend or spouse is out of town or busy, when you have a support system, you still have lots of people to lean on.
Self-Care is about learning to mother and father ourselves. In other words, we learn to provide for, protect, replenish, nurture and soothe ourselves into a healthier, happier state. And we are not alone in this, we are part of a community already – we just have to find each other.
It’s Cool To BE Happy
Let us be part of your support system and get started together.
The OrgaWeekly Care Dare
Share your Self-Care goals, needs and challenges with at least 3 people and post something below about your experience.
Stay tuned for Care Dare #2!