Justifying Self Care

Justifying Self Care

For years I’ve noticed the need to slow down, to prioritize my own self care. Feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, distracted, forgetful and all the guilt that goes with feeling I’m not doing enough. I do a lot for others and often neglect my own needs. So I made some leaps. I put in my resignation at the agency I had committed to for the last 4 years, I found the courage to get the corrective vision surgery I have contemplated half my life, I signed a lease for a full time private practice space. All with the intention of prioritizing self care.

Three weeks into my new schedule I found myself wandering, wondering. Why am I not content. This is what I wanted. A slower pace, more time with my children, an ability to be more present with clients I am passionate about supporting. So what’s not working? I had to dig deep to find that I am still struggling to prioritize self care time. I have trouble justifying it even though I preach it to my clients. I have to start believing that I deserve time to reflect, to read, to paint, to walk, to have lunch with a friend. These are all things that need to be scheduled so I don’t minimize the need for them and tend to someone/something else instead.

It also occurred to me is that I was having trouble tolerate the stillness, the time scheduled to “not do anything”. If I didn’t have several things to do in a day I would procrastinate and end up not getting anything done. Then the negative self talk would start about wasting time. We all need this time and sitting in it I felt I “should” be doing something more productive, something tangible I can check off my list, tally up at the end of the day all that was completed. Why do I need this to define my value?

So insecurities are arising that I didn’t have an awareness of before. That’s hard. Its also a parallel process with my clients and I am better able to relate to them because I’m challenging myself in the same way I challenge them.

I’m working on nurturing myself, being gentle with myself, listening to my body and responding to what it needs. Most difficult is trusting that I made all these changes with intention and that overtime this new pace will become my “normal”. Trust that I will experience more joy with my family, more insight and fulfillment with my work and a better understanding of who I am and what I am capable of. When in doubt, listen. Listen to the earth to pause and calm, listen to others and be curious, listen to self to be balanced. I am in this moment and I am okay. Amazing things are coming and I will have room for them because I am creating this space. How scary it is to hold an openness and not know what tomorrow will bring. To be vulnerable, to trust that I can make the best of the opportunities I have and despite discomfort, I am okay. My hope is that others find this peace as well. I am so privileged to be on this journey and to hold space for others who are courageous and determined to find their joy as well.

What is one thing you can do today that will bring you joy?

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