I am starting a revolution. In this revolution women know their innate and intrinsic value. In this new world the concept of caring for oneself first is not only acceptable, but embraced. I dream of the day when women see their daily self-care practice as a non-negotiable part of their routine. I live for the day when loving oneself deeply is not seen as selfish or arrogant, but necessary.
My call to action for any woman reading this: Stop running around and keeping busy to drown out the cry of your soul. Stop putting others needs ahead of your own. Stop caring for others at the expense of your health and your happiness. It doesn't have to be this way. There is another way. It all begins with the decision to love yourself deeply.
Perhaps you are thinking, OK that sounds great, but how the hell do I do that!?! I am going to tell you what I have learned. In the not too distant past I was working way too many hours in a job that was sucking my soul. I was always on the run between commuting and chauffeuring kids to and from school and activities. I became more and more uneasy and resentful. I felt stuck. I felt overwhelmed. I was exhausted. But yet, I kept on going. I did this for years, until my heart and soul just couldn't do it anymore.
I was at my chiropractor's office one day and he could tell I was exhausted. He knows me well and is aware of my propensity to care for everyone but me. He said, simply, "Angie, where do you go for support and comfort"? That day, something clicked and I realized things had to change. I started reading books and blogs and all kinds of personal growth material. Eventually I went on a retreat that for me was a catalyst for change. The act of investing in myself and time spent really reconnecting with myself; kick started an insane period of transformation and growth.
I want to share with you a distilled version of what I have learned that has allowed me to really engage in radical self-care and fall in love with myself for the first time.
The mantra for my business is: Where Love, Gratitude and Connection create Miracles. So let's break this whole thing down to actionable steps based on this.
Here is your guide to start a self-care revolution.
• Love your heart. Listen to it intently. Speak to it. Ask it what it desires and needs. Then take action in the direction of what you hear.
• Make caring for yourself a priority. Shower yourself with love. Only by loving and caring for yourself deeply will you be able to fully give to others.
• Let go of old thoughts and ways of being that no longer serve you.
• Be still. Just be. Give up the doing all the time. Learn how to say no when something isn't going to serve you. You'll be amazed at what you might hear and what you might feel.
• Find your form of meditation. Meditation does not need to be sitting on a pillow chanting. Any activity that leaves you feeling connected to yourself and your higher power is meditative.
• Move your body! Walk, run, dance, hike, swim, do yoga. Do whatever sounds good to you. This will stimulate the production of hormones in your body that will leave you feeling amazing.
• Create a tribe of like-minded, supportive friends. Surround yourself with people who get you and will lift you up. If you current tribe is not serving you, consider cleaning house. Be kind. Be gentle, but do not allow those people who are bringing you down to remain in your tribe.
• Nurture you creative side. Paint, draw, write, decorate or garden. I could go on and on. Get out of your comfort zone and get creative!
• This is a BIG one. Cultivating gratitude in your life can be a game changer! Yogi Bhajan said, "An attitude of gratitude brings great things."
• In the morning, evening or both, take some time to write down five to 10 things that you are grateful for that day. In the beginning you may find that your lists will be similar each day, but as you get into a gratitude groove, you will find there are so many things to be grateful for each day that you won't be able to write them all down.
• Make your gratitude practice a ritual. Buy yourself a beautiful blank journal that inspires you. Make it a special time for you. You deserve it!
Radical self-care is a practice, meaning it needs to be done over and over again until it becomes part of your lifestyle. But here is the most important step to living a life of self-care and self-love, self-forgiveness. Please, be kind to yourself. Be patient. You will fall off the wagon. You will have days where you just can't bring yourself to practice self-care and you will slip back to your former way of being. You will have days when you don't really love yourself the way you feel you should. On those days, it is especially important, to practice kindness with yourself. Talk to yourself like you would a close friend or your child. I saw Danielle Laporte speak recently and she said, "Be fierce, but be flexible". Be fierce in your desire and your practice of self-care. Fall madly in love with yourself and your life. But when you have one of those days where you just fall back into complacency, be flexible. Know that you can get right back at it the next day or the next week. You will do it because you deserve this. Love and joy are your birthright! So go out there. Start a revolution. I am SO excited to see what a difference it will make in the world.