I use to think that if I just made time to take that yoga class, to connect with a friend once a week or whatever else I could add onto my schedule would help me feel less overwhelmed and more at peace. This was my idea of self care. I think this is most of our ideas of self care. For me what it ended up leading to was feeling more overwhelmed. Many weeks I wasn't able to pull it off and fit it in. It made me feel so much worse. When I did manage to get to the yoga class sometimes I felt down when the end of the class came and I still didn’t feel magically better. Sure I would feel a sense of peace while in the class and then come out and instantly feel on edge again. After years and years of attempting various things and yes even moving to an island in the middle of the ocean hoping things would just slow down I was still non the better. One day (while in the island in the middle of the ocean) it dawned on me what self care could truly look like. What if self care was shifting something within us rather than adding onto our list of things to do? What if self care was bigger than that what if it became transformational? And so transformational self care was born.
The feelings and thoughts that we have about our life that create the anxiety, overwhelm, sadness, anger and other emotions are actually are friends. Yes I did say that they are are friends. They are there as sign posts, beckoning us to take a good look at our lives and ask us to accept and/or change things. Not to simply add on an activity but to evaluate our current lives and thoughts and create lasting transformative change. What if your list of to do’s didn’t change but your relationship with them did? We all strive to go through our day with more peace, acceptance and ease.
Becoming friendly with our emotions means that we are more aware of our emotional state and we can see what is actually triggering them. From this new place of awareness we can do what it takes to release the charge from them. We can re pattern our brains so that overwhelm become excitement. We can also re pattern our ways of being so that overwhelm becomes asking for more support. Self care becomes transformational as we truly care for ourself on our deepest level, honor what we need and transform our lives.