Self care is not the same for every 'body'. It is like a piece of clothing that looks different on different people. It also includes comes your perspective and priorities. What if you've been conditioned to not see yourself as a priority?
We have to level up or upgrade our thinking, and training your conscious mind (as in meditation) takes effort. In different times in our life, we are solely operating on survival mode because of all the things we have going on in our lives. This can go on until we get sick or something happens to us to knock us back into awareness. We realize that we can not live like this any more. It happened to me in college when I was getting ready to graduate and lately when COVID hit. At times when I wasn't operating in survive mode, I was able to have seasons of thriving- in my business, relationship and finances. I enjoyed moments of clarity in which I could reset and formulate some new goals. I asked for and received the support I needed.
In our culture, we prioritize education and career. But what about when you have accomplished most of what you set out to do, and yet you are still not happy? There is clearly more to happiness than achieving your goals. Fitness is the same way. Take it from a trainer/competitor who continually works on bettering her body and performance- being fit is always a moving target. As I age, my fitness goals don't look the same as they used to. I have been able to hone in on what is important to me, and I have learned to be kind to myself.
We don’t always feel like working on something that takes effort. Work. Working out. Studying. Meditation. Fill in the blank. That's why we have to learn to be disciplined and heed what is calling our soul and spirit. It’s not going to be perfect or look pretty all the time, but that's life. If you want to make yourself proud in the long run, you take steps toward what you value until you begin to see more of it in your life. As one of my clients said, “There is a difference between 'noticing something' and 'judging oneself'. It is a process that will continue until the day we die." Yes, you need to take an honest look at yourself and your life. How do you spend you time? What results do you have? Where you're at is where you're at. It is important to acknowledge it without judging it. The judgment will only make it harder for you to change.
I enjoy reading books that merge health and healing, like Northrup's ‘The Wisdom of Menopause’. She is an MD and OBGYN, and it’s great to hear her perspective. She talks about doing one regularly scheduled thing to stay disciplined. Discipline comes from the Latin word ‘disciplina’ which means instruction or knowledge. A regular routine is also a healing practice. At midlife when we are being asked to heed the dictates of our souls, the discipline we require is that of listening to our inner beings and not letting ourselves be distracted so much by outside influences. It’s not outside discipline to get you to ‘behave’ that is important. That sort of stuff gets us to rebel or self sabotage. It is the discipline of listening to your innermost self and setting up your life to make that a priority.
Think about how much time you spent finishing school and working in your career. How much time and money did you invest? How does that compare to the effort you have put into your self care and your body? Do you see self care as a luxury or a necessity? You probably inherited some of your parents' beliefs as well as cultural and societal beliefs on this matter.
Now is the time to reevaluate your self care practices. Sit quietly with yourself and ask "What does my body need?" Is it a bath and a yoga session? Or maybe a high energy workout or a long run? Perhaps you'll notice a craving for fresh fruits, or a comforting bowl of hearty soup. Practice asking the question and giving your body what it needs, at that time. You'll find that your needs change, so give up the "shoulds." If you believe: "I should do a HIIT workout every morning at 7 am." Should you? On some days, or maybe even most days, sure! But on the days that your body tells you: "I need to rest," sleep in, and release the guilt!
It will get easier with time. Try it out. Your body will thank you.
Brought to You by Adriana
Living the good, fit life in Seattle, WA. Stay tuned for more bilingual fitness tips and nutritious recipes.