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  • Writer's pictureJamie Gilbert

Sustainable Self-Care

Hello all! Recently I have been undergoing some big changes within my inner life and have taken a break to allow this to soak in. Now, I am here and ready to share. I am recognizing that every time I dip my toe into the practice of the self-care pond, that I am completely opening up my motivation, passion, and endurance. I taste it on my tongue from when I wake up until I go to sleep - eager to continue this practice. But slowly, it starts to fade away. I physically feel it leave my fingertips and I try to grasp it. I focus too much on that grasping and less on actually working hard to keep it in my life. I’ll go through weeks where I surround myself in self-care regimens that may look like; nourishing books and podcasts that help support my goals, using essential oils to bring me back to the present moment, and breathing so deeply that it becomes delicious. The issue becomes that when one starts to fade away, then so does the rest. 

The question is - how do I keep sustainability within my self-care practice? This is something I am learning and would love to take you along for the ride. 

My self-care practice happens twice a day, minimally. I’ve prepared an environment in my house to support this. My husband and I lovingly call this room the “Yogi room.” It’s where I can shut the door (physically and metaphysically) on the outside world and just focus on me. It’s my home base. Every morning I find meditation, stretching, maybe I’ll pull a card of something I want to focus on, and I’ll create a mantra/affirmation that I can carry throughout the day. If I didn’t carve out that space for myself then none of the benefits that I listed above would happen. The thing is, I’m a better person when I go into my healing space each morning. I’m kinder to myself and those around me. I find moments of my chaotic-chasing-12 toddlers- a day to just breathe and find joy. Also, more doors open for me. My daily battles aren’t so hard to fight. At night, before I go to bed I start to visualize who I want to become and that RIGHT THERE is the motivation. I have big plans and the only way to grow the seed is if I water it every day. Twice a day. I’m embracing the law of attraction this year but first I need to court it, and by doing so that means I take time with her and allow her to speak. But I must learn how to listen.

That’s sustainability right there. 

Okay, so. Even when I connect to my core twice a day I still struggle with what I am actually going to do when I am in my yogi room. Maybe the podcast that motivated me isn’t doing that anymore. This is where the grunt work comes in. I want to show the universe in every possible way that I am READY to manifest my life in the way I am visualizing. This is where self-exploration comes into play. I need to explore what speaks to my SELF. That means diving deep and searching for something new that speaks the words I need to hear. No longer can I mindlessly watch tv, read my fantasy books, or just scroll through social media. I need to work harder on this aspect of my life more than I’ve worked for anything before. Which is hard because usually I am told WHAT I need to do and WHEN it needs to be done by. Now, this is all in my hands. COMMIT. COMMIT. COMMIT. 

So first things first, prepare your environment. Find a space that is JUST for this purpose. I am extremely grateful that I had a spare room but find your version. Is it in a corner of your house? Your bed? Maybe even your car because that’s the only time you get to yourself. It doesn’t matter - plan, prepare and take action. Whenever I enter my space, I light up incense or some sage. By doing this, it trains my mind, body, and spirit that this is the time dedicated to myself. Maybe I’ll play music or a podcast. I basically invite myself into space through these actions. Rarely, can I just enter the room and be ready. I must first prepare my environment. 

Secondly, I find things that call to me. I learn through reading and listening - so podcasts and books really help my accountability. This is specific to me. Find something that is specific to you. What lights you up? When I discovered a specific podcast that motivates me so intensely that I truly consider it my church than I knew I had struck gold. When I found a book that brought me to tears and I’m devouring slowly like the last feast before a long walk through the woods, I knew this was a tool to help me climb the mountain of self-care. Find your tools. Instinctively you know what they are because you’ve always turned your head at them when their name is mentioned. Find that seed and replant it into your inner garden of self-care, exploration, and study. Water it every fucking day. Through these simple practices, I started to invest most of my time and energy into myself. Big magic happened because of it. 

Lastly, meet yourself where you’re at. Some days I just don’t feel open enough to take in what I’m being told, or shown. Because life happens. The important thing is that we still need to find time to do something. It may look like simple stretching, or doing yoga practice through youtube. I don’t have to think, plan, or prepare but instead, just be. Write a list of what you can do when you just don’t feel like diving deep so when you’re out of motivation then you can refer back to it. But, don’t let this happen often. Hold yourself to an expectation. This practice should be effortless and if you feel a lot of resistance then re-evaluate and explore more. 

So how do we create sustainability through self-care? 

1. Prepare your environment 

2.Find things that call to you (and only you)

3. Be gentle with yourself but hold expectations. 

Are you ready? 

If you need help finding space, time, or ideas on your own self-care practice then let’s talk! 

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