Intentional living is something I am taking with me into 2018. I did well this year but want to do even better as I enter the new year. Roe, one of my favorite humans walking the earth, is a huge inspiration to me. Her way of life, her vibrant nature, how she speaks to people, the striking questions she asks, and her kindness, all make me want to be an even better person. I hope you enjoy her piece below!
Treat Yo Self: A deeper reflection on Care during the holidays and what we can really do to be kind to ourselves.
I need a drink. I can tell when I’m stressed out. I start wanting Starbucks. I want a sugary, hot, overpriced paper cup with the cardboard holder and I want it right now. Because it feels good to lift something sweet to my lips and it feels empowering to walk up to the barista and hand over that square piece of plastic to get it.
“I’ll have one tall caramel brûlée latte, please. With almond milk. Thank you so much.”
Because having something I enjoy feels like power and when I’m looking down the barrel of:
- a work situation that’s not working for me
- a relationship that’s in the belly of unease and disagreement
- the inexplicable grief of a baby I thought I had
- the confusion of a friendship that’s turned envious or betrayed
- or a family that’s wracked with so much trauma, it’s hard to love each other.
Personal power is exactly what I’m looking for. And, frankly, I deserve it. Right?
So, pour it into a cup, put it on a plate, drop it in an online shopping cart, and please — for. the. love. of. god. — give me the rush of paying for it.
I just also have to admit that it was the aforementioned rush that kinda sorta maybe walked me into $11k of credit card debt. Self-Care Shopping was responsible for giving me the impression that what I deserved was outside of myself. It told me I was doing myself favors while taking away my ability to favor myself.
Self-Care ≠ Buying. Self-Care = Care
An alarming smoke-and-mirrors type of ridiculousness happens when self-care starts dating capitalism. I know, because as a recovering shopping addict, marketing ads that co-sign my feelings about how stressful it is to be a woman and give me a way out of that stress is EXACTLY the little girl in me wants to hear: a treat will make the bad feelings all better.
Being a woman is stressful. The holidays are stressful. Life is stressful. And I can’t tell you how much learning the following truths set me free:
- I don’t deserve anything, I am deserving right now.
- Money does not make me powerful. I am power itself.
- I can do anything I want, including gently asking myself what is it that I want below my wants? And how can I give myself that?
For, when we fulfill our desires instead of filling our desires, we change our lives.
So, let’s have a self-care revolution this holiday, shall we?
How to treat your Self this holiday season:
- Take a delicious break: 5 minutes, 10 minutes, an entire day. The only reason you haven’t is that you didn’t think you could. Do something outrageous and give yourself time.
- Have a satisfying, ugly cry if you need one: Benefits of crying here.
- Take (an inner) communion: Go inside and name what hurts, what’s off, what grieves you. Welcome your feelings for their invaluable information and connect to the Spirit of Life that heals. For readers who struggle with anxiety or depression, you’re safe and held — feelings can’t consume you. You’re deeper, truer than your mind or emotions.
- Tell someone how you’re feeling: Our inner world feels like a lot to bear when we make ourselves the only ones qualified to hold it. #community
- Ask yourself what you’re really wanting: Desire is powerful when we get clear about what we actually long for. Savor the ride of self-discovery and put your wants to work.
- Write out your highest aspirations and make a list what you need to get there: Then use your money the direction of your dreams. Spending money is not what’s harmful. Unconsciousness is. When you no longer fund distractions, you can use your resources to honor your deepest wishes. And, that’s how we build pride.
So, deck the halls, y’all. In your love. In your care.