Uhm… Not so sure of the title… but thought it makes sense since this is the final part of my self-care series.
So last week I chatted a little bit about what physical self-care entails. And of course, I follow that Law which states ‘as without so within’ so whatever happens on the outside also needs to happen on the inside!
Self-care of the inner realm is where this party starts – in the mind and soul. Simplified – it means taking care of your Inner Being – your mental state, your mind, your intellect and your soul. All those wonderful things that no one can see. The hidden and private recesses of your heart and soul.
It’s the part of ourselves we least want to deal with because it requires a lot of nurturing and hard work. It also requires action in order for positive outcomes to manifest. This is the opposite of physical self-care where you can see the difference, this, inner self-care, can only be felt and experienced. Your Life will thank you!
Your mind is a private realm of thoughts that shape your reality. Take a moment and let that sink in. Wow! It is the landscape of your thoughts and dreams. Even more mind blowing! It is Your World, Your Reality, Your Consciousness… Yours Yours Yours!!!
Now stop and ask yourself: What do you feed it? How do your grow it?
Nurture it? How do you make it flourish?
Just think… Really… Think about it?
As a collective we (as a society) have enslaved our minds to Media (Social Media, Internet, TV, Series, Movies etc…) We have morphed into Digital Slaves and that’s a scary thought because that’s what fills Our Reality and/or Your Mind! I don’t know about you, but for me, that is super scary.
For me, Mental Self-Care translates to activities or things that puts me in a positive and healthy mental state. More often than not, it requires me to feel stimulated, inspired and challenged. YES! You guessed it – Exercise for Your Mind!
I recently re-started a practice of doing/listening to Positive Affirmations. I discovered this tool many many years ago in my wild twenties when I was exploring the minds ability to heal the body. I read all of the books and experienced all of the therapies etc… and was really surprised at how simple yet powerful these affirmations are. I repeat affirmations throughout the day now to avoid losing my temper and/or to prevent me from murdering anyone! (Lol!) The benefits of positive affirmations are endless (please Google it) but what it does for me is really helpful – it keeps me positive, focused and balanced! It sets the tone for my day and clears away negative thoughts and energy.
Another practice I do daily is Read. I read everything. I love acquiring knowledge and learning new things. I love diving into mysteries, submersing myself in the supernatural and often get lost in the unexplained. I read poetry, contemporary fiction, YA, sci-fi, graphic novels, self-help, psychology, alternative healing and books on running, weight training, yoga and pilates and lately a whole lot of books on personal transformation. A book for me is a chance to escape and live beyond the boundaries of my imagination.
My emotional self-care is a top priority for me. I am a highly sensitive person and need to express how I feel a lot. I need to feel connected and present to stay in a happy place. If I don’t I get really difficult to be around and become miserable and depressed. I have the tendency to get very dark… I own the fact that I am high maintenance… but hey, really, look after your emotions. Emo self-care 101: Be in touch with how you feel. Don’t bury it or try to make ‘it’ go away – because ‘it’ really won’t! Rather express your emotions through creativity – paint, draw, fold paper, garden, cut, paste, bake, cook, etc… no excuses because every single one of us has the ability to create there is no such thing as ‘I am not creative’… that’s just making excuses – get over it! (On a more serious note – emotional self-care is of utmost importance so please make it a priority especially when you are ill. Seek help from professionals if you are struggling with your emotions.)
Practicing mindfulness is another popular form of emotional self-care. In simple terms it really means stop taking things for granted and be present in everything you do. In other words, be conscious and aware of what you do. Be grateful for everything. Appreciate everything you have and don’t have. But most of all – Say Thank You!
Something I really treasure and find absolutely essential is spending time alone with myself. Just me. No Facebook or Whatsapp. Alone. Daily. So that my mind is not used as a dumping ground (I have kids that share a lot of useless information) and my emotions stay in synch with my intentions. I have instilled a practice of quiet time by 8pm to aid me in reacquainting myself with my sanity before bed time. Don’t laugh – I am very serious – no talking to me, calling me, asking me anything – not the kids or husband or anybody. The rule is I will seek your company if I need or want it because after 8pm is my head time.
All the practices I have mentioned above helps me to nurture my intellect as well by acquiring vast knowledge of many different subjects. I especially enjoy the challenge of learning something new whenever possible. I am currently an online learning freak and in the last year have done at least 3 online courses in English, Filmmaking, Photography and Web Development!
My many experiences and journeys have been ones of learning, witnessing and overcoming which culminated in the growth and expansion of my Soul. I don’t think it is possible to live on this earth and not grow your Soul as all our experiences of the outside world impacts our inner worlds and Souls – both positively and negatively. When last have you had a conversation with your Soul? Have you even met your Soul? I could really go down the deep end here… but I hope I am making you understand that there is more to you than just a shell – you are also a Soul.
I have made it an absolute necessity that I insist and strive to find magic in everything I do. Living a life filled with Purpose is my mission statement – and it is not negotiable. As a photographer I look and see things a tad bit differently… acutely and purposefully (I usually fall down the rabbit hole with this one largely due to Instagram). I find the most amazing soul stirring images to look at frequently that either inspires me or encourages me to try too. The pinnacle of my Inner Self-Care is to deliberately develop a sense of awe and wonder toward the Universe which makes my Soul sing and believe me, yours will too!
And so it is!