by Renee Bedard
We have traveled together over the last three weeks exploring the many different practices of self-care. We dove into our thoughts to discover what is needed in order to create beneficial boundaries and the importance to say no. We have been reflecting on what a healthy lifestyle looks like and what tools are needed to create it. By adding a variety of simple practices to our daily lives, we can really begin to nourish ourselves in body, mind, and spirit. Taking care of ourselves is not easy. It is an ongoing practice that will continue with us. It will also change and grow as we do, building upon the practices that we feel good about. In our search, there is one thing that always must be remembered. It is a fact will never change: we are deserving and worthy of the love and compassion that self-care provides for us. This is a simple, yet honest, truth. However, it may be one of the hardest lessons that we have to learn.
When you truly open up to yourself, what do you see? When you allow yourself to let your guard drop just a bit, exposing your vulnerable side, what are you calling out to receive? Do you realize that you have purpose and that you are here on this planet at this very moment to not only to share your life with others, but to love and to receive love? We can practice self-care daily and do all the things that we set out to do. But what happens if we do not feel like we are deserving of the self-care? Are we cutting off the natural and nurturing act we offer to ourselves? I believe so. Then what can we do as witches, healers, and magickal people to spark the love within us?
I think that one of the most radical acts we can do right now is to love and honor ourselves. I understand that it can be tricky and for many downright difficult to do. We often get swept up in the noise society creates. We can continue to give until there is nothing left within us. We can become ensnared in the expectations of putting everyone first and we become last. We are taught to give and give so we are not being selfish with our time and energy. Weakness is implied if we become overwhelmed. If we cannot meet these unrealistic goals, then we are not worthy of the riches of love and compassion from others, let alone ourselves. Finding ourselves caught up in this way of thinking or even embodying it, can easily leave us breathless, feeling worthless, and unable to truly engage in self-care and our daily needs and tasks.
There are some things that we can do to ease this way of thinking and living. Careful and honest thought that turns into action is how we flip the narrative inside our head. By embracing the intention of offering ourselves the love and compassion we are worthy of, we can purposely create the patterns to do so.
- Learn to be patient with yourself. Although this can be difficult, it is one of the foundation stones that is needed to continue and foster healthy growth. Creating change takes time. There are days when you will not be at your best. That is to be expected. Instead of blaming or shaming yourself, take a breath instead. Reassess your situation. Gain insight from an objective point of view. Look at your growth through time. By understanding what is truly going on, you are allowing space for you to grow and time to nurture what you have learned, strengthening your foundation.
- Offer yourself forgiveness. To forgive yourself is an act of love, compassion, and mercy. We sometimes keep so much bottled up inside it can hold us back, sabotage our progress, and even haunt us if we allow our mistakes and failures to cast their shadow over us. Holding onto our hurt, pain, and anger will feed the harmful voice inside our head, proving how we are ‘unworthy’. When we begin to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes, we gently untie the binds that hold us back so we may be released from them. It will not correct the wrongs we created, but it opens the door to compassion for us. When we step through that doorway, we can recognize that we are more than what holds us back. The lessons we learn when we offer and accept forgiveness for ourselves, is the key to peace within our heart.
- Begin to learn the art of letting go. We try so hard every day to do our best. In the fast-paced world, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up. Before we know it, one thing leads to another and we have what seems to be the whole world upon our plate and have no idea what to do with it. Well, after taking a deep breath, begin to ask yourself some questions – What do I have control over? Is there something else that needs my attention first? Is this something I really want to do? Am I ignoring my needs to satisfy someone or something else? The answers may be difficult, especially when loved ones or work is involved. However, it is important to remember that our needs also need to be met and we need to be advocated for as well. Letting go of what we do not have control over allows us to release the worries we do not need to hold on to. This begins to shift our perspective and turn our energies to what is important.
- Do something that feeds your soul. When was the last time you had a full belly laugh? Do you give yourself the chance to play and explore your creative side? Do you give yourself a break at work? What is it that brings you joy? It is easy to get swept away with our ‘To Do’ list. Time flies by so quickly, we can sometimes run out of time for the things we enjoy doing. When we do not feed that joyous side of ourselves, we lose sight of what life is about. Sharing a meal and laughing with loved ones will feed our soul and brighten our light. Doing what we love to do brings hope, restores our energy, and grants us the freedom to explore so many possibilities. It is not wrong to have fun. It helps us to grow, love, create, and even laugh at our own mistakes.
So, how will you liberate yourself and spark the radical action of self-care? The options are endless. The results are limitless. You are worthy of such love and joy. You are deserving of the blessings of life around you. You work hard. The balance of work and play is in your hands. How will you decide? If permission is what you seek, offer yourself that. Grant yourself permission and free yourself from what keeps you from love and compassion for yourself. Remember that self-care is an ongoing and active practice. It is about how you take care of yourself. Breathe deeply. Relax your mind and body. Laugh and play to stir your creativity and wonder. Drink your water and nourish your body with healthy food. Meditate and journal to reflect on where you have been and all the progress that you have made. Connect with nature and the beauty all around you. You are an important part of the tapestry of life. You are deserving of the blessings around you. You are a part of the sacredness of life because you are sacred. Honor yourself and all that you are. You are more than what you think and you are have a light to shine. Breathe into yourself and tend to your beautiful flame!
Renee Bedard is a psychic intuitive and a Reiki Master Teacher. She is currently a Witchcraft 3 student and a Virgo Ministry volunteer.