As I write this post, the world I live in is sitting in that odd place between the Christmas holiday and the New Year celebration. The pandemic still has us staying inside and out of groups (although, thankfully, what I see as best-case-scenario is happening and the virus is morphing to become less and less of a danger. This is how herd immunity works, and I'm glad to see it...) Anyway, it's a weird time. Even during comparatively "normal" years, the week at the end of December is one that has people spinning a bit, unmotivated, still in winter hibernation mode, unsure of what to do with ourselves.
In recent years, the term "self care" has become increasingly popular. What exactly does it mean, though? As someone who has dedicated my life to real, holistic (including energetic) health, I know that the term varies per person. Sometimes self care means taking the day off and spending it in bed with a good book. Sometimes it means planning a trip and pulling the trigger on that "reserve" button to get yourself out a rut and input new info into your brain and sensory system. Sometimes it means connecting with others (nowadays via tech - and while I know that many folks are a bit burnt out when it comes to video calling, I'll take this moment to remind you that even a few short years ago, the opportunity to look at someone's face and hear their voice in real time was pure science fiction. We are lucky to have this chance now, especially stuck in place as we are...) Sometimes, and this is a big one, self care means drawing a boundary. Saying "no, you can't come in" to folks who don't treat you well. In today's age of potentially toxic positivity, everyone seems to want to reconcile or talk things out. And while I'm all for forgiveness to heal the hearts of all involved, I also can clearly see a big gaping hole in the system of social network when it comes to accountability and consequences.
For instance, I have a simple rule when it comes to people I allow into my personal life. If you yell at me or curse at me, you no longer have access to me. Period. If there is even a hint of abusive behavior, I take out my proverbial golden scissors and snip that connection. Unapologetically.
We have too much to do here to spend our precious time and energy dancing around to avoid tantrums thrown by adults. And many, many people (especially those in power who have been used to forcing others to do what they want via emotional outbursts) have no reason to change their behavior. So why would they?
I'm a bit fired up about this topic at the moment because there are a few lovely friends in my life who I see leaking energy to toxic relationships - work connections, romances, and friendships where they are in a cycle of low key (or high key) abuse. (If you think this is about you, it may be, but I promise you're not the only one. When I say a few, I mean it. And I have a hunch that there is more of this going on that I know about...)
Emotional regulation isn't easy. But we all have the opportunity to learn how to treat ourselves and each other with kindness and respect.
So to that point, sometimes, self care means taking the leap to leave a bad situation and let your world be quiet and empty for a moment so you can actually heal and not just refill your tank to have it drained again. It may be a little scary, but vacuums are always filled. If you decide that you are only allowing good treatment, then the space will be filled by someone who values you. Let the junk go. You deserve better.
For me, self care means an open and airy schedule. So much of what I do may only take a little while to actually happen in the physical realm, but it's backed by thousands of hours of preparation and invisible building. Epiphanies don't come easy, and clear energy in today's world takes lots of tending to keep it that way.
Nature is also a huge help for me. At the moment I live in Los Angeles, and the silent, constant energetic droning of so many minds, emotions, creations, and technological devices takes a toll on my spirit. To be honest, I'm acclimating better than I thought I would when I decided to plant roots here for a bit. But when it gets too loud for me to unfurl as I need to, heading into the green spaces helps a LOT.
Finally, physical health is important. Yes, sometimes self care means eating a big bowl of ice cream (for me, coconut or almond based...) But sometimes it means eating a big bowl of broccoli steamed to softness and seasoned with savory goodness. Or working out hard enough to get my heart pumping and my lymph system moving. Or fasting for a day to give my digestive system a break. (Speaking of, I'm teaching a Post Holiday Cleanse course in early 2022 to get us back on track after the season's indulgence - learn more about it by clicking here.)
The point is that self care doesn't look the same to every person, or even to the same people all the time. I love a good spa day, having the smoothed skin and shining lacquered nails and toes to smile at for a week or two afterward. But sometimes, even that amount of effort is too much. If caring for yourself drains your energy more or puts a strain on you, it isn't actually caring for yourself.
Never apologize for taking time away.
The people you want to have in your life will wish you well on your refueling journey. The world needs you shining. It's important that we all be able to bring our best.
It is time that we get rid of old systems of work-till-you-drop-because-that's-how-you-know-you're-doing-a-good-job. I, for one, want to see what it feels like to live in a world where people are actually well rested, well fed, well exercised and supported by loving community.
Everyone has a different space to hold in this game board of life. At this moment, we are in a time of great transition. It's up to each of us to think outside the box and do what is actually best, not what we've seen before or been told is right if it doesn't feel right. Obviously, our predecessors didn't really know what they were doing, or some of the messes we're currently in wouldn't be here.
We all do the best with what we have, and this is a new time. Let's come up with new solutions, beginning with each of our own humble little lives. Let's slow down, do less, feel more, and BE more. That way we can actually grow and thrive over time, for real.
Consider this your sign to take a deep breath, listen within yourself and ask what you really need today. Then DO IT. Or, don't do it, if what you need is rest. Nature will support you. Even though we spend most of our days of boxes made of timber, steel and drywall, we are still creatures of the natural world. Let's use that sensibility to bring ourselves, and our world back to balance. Why not?
Charis melina brown
Healer, Oracle, Starseed, & Muse. Forever dreamer with fast feet and busy hands. Introvert in the physical world (mostly) and extrovert online (mostly.) This blog is meant for geeking out and digging in to the unseen, but very important parts of life that are intense for those of us who see them, and invisible for others. As I always say, we don't choose the multidimensional life - it chooses us. But I wouldn't want it any other way.