Self-Care Untruth #3: You Have to Do Your Self-Care Alone

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Hello Dears,

Over the past weeks, I’ve been sharing the self-care untruths that keep us blocked in our self-care and feeling stuck in our ability to care for the world.  It’s been a thrill to debunk the common self-care misconceptions that: 1) you have to fix yourself before you can help others, and 2) your self-care should always feel good.

These culturally-affirmed ideas about self-care not only keep us from feeling authentic in our lives, but they also ensure we are too stressed to believe we can create a just, equitable world for all.

This week, I am sharing the last untruth in this series.  After I unveil it, I’ll spend the next week launching into the self-care that DOES work - not just for us, but for the beautiful society we can work to create.  

To receive these tried-and-true, visionary self-care secrets, make sure you are signed up for my free webinar “Turning Self-Care into Visionary Leadership” on September 24th from 3-4pm EST.  No worries if you can’t be live! After, you’ll receive the recording + the self-care secrets + Q&A with some of my favorite women visionary leaders. This is the self-care that’s taken me decades to learn and has built a powerful community of visionary women leaders!

(If you don’t sign up, make sure to open my Wednesday email next week. It’s the ONLY chance you’ll have to sign up for the Beautiful Life Collective for a very special pilot price!)

The last self-care untruth I’m unpacking is: you have to do your self-care all alone.

This untruth has been a particularly hard one for me to unlearn.  I grew up with the idea that I - and I alone - had to make things happen in my life.  I thought asking for help made me appear weak and that it was my responsibility to make sure everyone else was okay.  Further, I believed there was only a set amount of goodness to go around. If someone else was succeeding it must be because I was failing.  

Like all coping mechanisms, this hyper-individualism worked until it didn’t anymore.  Sure, I felt exhausted by the people-pleasing, insecure about my life choices and frustrated by my inability to escape the poisonous energy of jealousy, but by the time I was in my 30’s, I had also used this individualism to build a fairly successful-looking life for everyone around me to admire.  I practiced yoga and became a yoga teacher. As my teaching grew, I led international retreats and created a six-figure coaching business. I carefully decorated my apartment, made sure my clothes were fashionable and got my nails done every two weeks. I even went on self-discovery trips to places as far as the Amazon so the shaman there could help me figure myself out.  

I want to note that none of these actions are negative in themselves.  However, I focused on cultivating my exterior as a way to avoid the painful emotions still buried inside of me.  I didn’t understand at the time, but looking back, I see how much energy I extended to avoid facing this deep layer of self-care.

Then, three years ago, I was on a small retreat for women entrepreneurs in Topanga Canyon, CA when another participant approached me.  After listening to me share about my business struggles - the over-responsibility, the people-pleasing, the inability to set boundaries - she asked if I had grown up in a family with alcoholism.  To her, these sounded like the common character defenses that come from growing up around addiction. She mentioned the idea of going to a support group for people living with the effects of addiction.

At first I felt defensive - sure, there had been addictive behavior, but I was pretty sure that it hadn’t affected me - but the more I sat with her suggestion, the more sense it made.  Slowly, I began to connect the dots that maybe my problems weren’t just because I was a defective person. Maybe my personal pain was coming from a more common problem.

Back at home, I researched the meetings near me.  On a bright Sunday afternoon, I parked my car in quiet neighborhood and searched out the entrance to a church basement.  It was a small meeting, but as each person shared his or her experience, I was overwhelmed by the intensity of my emotions.  All at once, anger, sadness, and fear rose up in my body. I didn’t know why I was feeling so much, but I knew I had to come back again to figure out why.

For the next few years, I kept showing up and looking deeper inside. Through trial-and-error, I found the meetings that felt inspiring, and the people that seemed safe enough to trust.  Little by little, I shared my real experience with the group and let them support me as painful emotions rose up so they could be healed.

Throughout it all, I’ve been resistance to the process.  The part of me that wants to do my self-care all by myself is constantly offended by the idea that I can’t do this inner work alone.  And yet, the wise part of me knows that I simply cannot practice this kind of deep self-care as a solo traveller.  Not only is it too hard to come out of denial by myself, but it’s also too scary to transform alone.

And oh, how I have transformed!  As I used this group support to work through my intimacy fears - and there were many - my life has dramatically changed.  I met my ride-or-die partner, became a mother to a delightful child, and finally feel like I belong to a wonderful community of people who support my self-care.  Instead of being jealous of other’s accomplishments, I feel inspired by the people around me because I know we are all helping each other succeed.

As I often say, facing myself - really letting myself be seen - within a community has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  It totally sucks except that it’s given me everything I’ve ever wanted.

Most importantly, I’m learning translate this personal healing as fuel to create a more beautiful world for all.  I’m coming out of my denial that our society works for everyone (and this is such a hard one for white people whom our society really does benefit), and understanding that my well-being is wrapped up in the well-being of all people, especially those who are most marginalized.

I sense I’m not alone in believing I have to do everything by myself.  Hyper-individualism is such driving force in our society. Not only does it push us all harder to produce, but it also keeps us divided from each other.  If we are so focused on our individual successes - and threatened by the successes of others - then we are too overextended to see how we diminish our personal power when we separate ourselves off from others.

Further, I believe this hyper-individualism is what creates a society fueled by structural racism.  When personal success is the only goal, we become willing to overlook the suffering of others if it means we can keep up appearances and stay comfortable.  We can begin to undo this dysfunctional thinking and our unjust structures by coming together as a community based in collective self-care.  Not only does this help us effectively heal as individuals, but it gives us back the energy and focus we need to heal our broken world.

Because truly, I don't think any of us really want to spend more time worrying about our thighs getting bigger. I don’t think we want lose sleep obsessing over self-destructive relationships or a toxic work culture.  In our hearts, we don’t want to feel divided from the people around us by jealousy. I think we are ready to move, together, into the bigger and more important issues we face as a world.

Of course, we need to practice self-care - the most authentic, righteous self-care there is - along the way.   It’s only with self-care that we can realize we are the visionary leaders we have been waiting for.

Want to learn this visionary self-care?  Sign up for the free “Turning Self-Care into Visionary Leadership” webinar and watch for registration opening for the Beautiful Life Collective next week (and closing very soon after!).

Until then, much love to you and to our whole community!

XO,
Gracy

Podcast Alert! Self-Care Untruth #2: Your Self-Care Should Always Feel Good

Over the next few weeks, I'm breaking down the self-care untruths that keep us from:

1) practicing authentic self-care in our lives, and

2) using this self-care to help fix the broken parts of our world. 

In this episode, I discuss why authentic self-care may feel uncomfortable in the moment, but will always lead to you feeling more powerful in your life. 

Want to know more about this kind of self-care leadership? Sign up for my free webinar "Turning Your Self-Care into Visionary Leadership" on September 24 from 3-4pm EST!

Self-Care Untruth #2 : Your Self-Care Should Always Feel Good

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Hello All,

First thing: The “What’s Your Self-Care Leadership Style?” quiz is ready!  Sign up for “Turning Self-Care into Visionary Leadership” free webinar on September 24th from 3-4pm (no worries, if you can’t be live, I’ll email you the link right after) and get the quiz in your inbox! Learn your own unique leadership style as well as how to best care for yourself in your ongoing path toward leadership.  

And now, today…

Over the next few weeks, as we get ready for the launch of the Beautiful Life Collective, I’m sharing the self-care untruths that keep so many of us blocked in our self-care efforts.  I think it’s important to understand these false pretenses so that we don’t get stuck in them (often over and over and over again).

(If you missed it last week, learn the first untruth: why you are not broken and how you are, right now, completely able to help fix the world.)

This week, I want to debunk the concept that our self-care should always feel good.

Six years ago, I made a real commitment to taking better care of myself.  Although I was a yoga teacher and to all appearances looked very healthy, I knew I wasn’t feeling as good as I could.  I drank more often than I wanted to, ended most of my days with a couple of hours of TV, and managed to sleep through all of the morning practices I wanted to be doing.  

I had considered making self-care changes before, but something about that moment felt different.  I knew I needed to take better care of myself for reasons that felt bigger than me. So, I made a change.  I began starting my days with smoothies, took my meditation practice seriously, and decided to invest in a year-long training in Ayurveda (yoga’s sister science).

It was just after signing up for that training that my then-partner and I sat down for a difficult conversation.  We spoke about loving each other but not feeling in love. By the end of the talk, we knew we weren’t ready to break up, but we weren’t sure if we would stay together.  We decided to focus on our relationship for a while and see what happened.

During this time, I became really confused and anxious.  I didn’t know what to do - I was literally thinking to myself, should I stay or should I go? - so I just kept focusing on my self-care.  I turned down more drinks and began going to bed earlier. I woke up to meditate and practice yoga. I was still confused and anxious, but I knew that I couldn’t give up on self-care in the midst of all these anxieties..

We spent six difficult months living in limbo, deciding if we could make our relationship work.  Finally, just as summer was turning to fall, my then-partner broke up with me and moved out of our apartment a couple of weeks later.  We had a minor fight over who got to keep the couch (in the end, I did), but other than that it was a fairly harmonious break-up.

Although I knew it was right for both of us, I was terrified of the change.  Before, I had always fallen apart during break-ups and often took years to recover from the abandonment feelings.But this time felt different.  I had my self-care - my already-practiced routines - to hold me while I weathered this huge transition.

A few months later, just as I was feeling some sense of stability, I found out my father had cancer.  A year later, after a lot of invasive medical treatment, he passed away. During this whole time, I kept waking up in the morning, doing my morning practices and going to bed early.  I’d arrive at the hospital with enough energy to sit by his bed, hold his hand and be there for him and my family.

As I drove to and from the hospital, I often thought that this wasn’t how it was supposed to work.  I wanted to take better care of myself because I wanted to feel good. Instead, I had just gone through the hardest year of my life.  I had cried more in the past 12 months than I had in the previous few years.

And yet, this moment of my life was teaching me something else - something deeply important that I would return to again and again in the coming years.

My self-care wasn’t making me feel good, but it was making me feel like myself.  Finally, I felt like the woman I had always wanted to be. This woman was able to be present in difficult situations, truly care for her family and be the leader of her own life.  Self-care had unlocked a layer of my own integrity that I hadn’t even know I was searching for.

The idea that our self-care should always feel good is one that has been sold to us over and over.  We learn, while flipping through a magazine or watching a few commercials, that if we are doing our self-care correctly, we should feel no sadness, pain or remorse.  We are taught that as women, if we are beautiful, thin and have a hunky man in our arms, our lives should feel wonderful all of the time.

It’s taken me decades to see through this empty promise.  If it was true, every time we gave up dairy or ran a marathon we would stay blissful.  But we don’t always stay happy, because human beings aren’t meant to always be happy. Our lives are much richer than that. But rather than question this faulty logic, when we feel sad we assume we have failed and give up on our self-care efforts.  Or we think we just need to work harder and become compulsory in our self-care. These self-care attitudes are what fuels multi-billion dollar diet industries and a lot of unnecessary suffering.

I believe taking good care of ourselves will help us feel better on a few different levels, but it’s not meant to make our problems go away. Rather, I think self-care is here to help us go deeper into our problems.  Self-care - when practiced authentically - increases our capacity to handle challenging situations. We gain the strength and resilience necessary to make tough decisions, have difficult conversations and stay true to ourselves, even when it means disappointing other people.

If anything, self-care makes us feel our feelings more.  When we let go of numbing behavior (goodbye, habitual Netflix!), we re-sensitize ourselves.  Reconnecting to our own feelings not only improves our mental health, but it also awakens a sense of shared compassion.  You realize that my suffering looks like your suffering. We can’t as easily turn away from other people’s pain. Instead, we begin to think of what we might do to help.

This is why I believe self-care is not only the path to personal integrity, but it’s also the path to visionary leadership.  As we care for ourselves, we see the responsibility we have to take care of all people. Self-care then gives us the energy and the courage we need to keep moving forward to create a life that’s in alignment with our deeper values.

Does this feel big?  I think it really is.  More so, I think that these self-care skills are going to become increasingly important in the future.  From my vantage point, I see our collective issues getting more complex before they ever get easier. We now need everyone who cares about our world to step up and take leadership from a truly compassionate place within themselves.  I don’t think this will happen without authentic self-care.

The good news is that we don’t have to do this alone.  I’ll go much further into that idea next week as I debunk the next self-care untruth.

(Are you feeling inspired?  Make sure to sign up for the free “Turning Your Self-Care into Visionary Leadership” webinar on September 24th!  Your visionary path is clearer than you might think. I can’t wait to share more with you!)

Until then, please keep taking care of yourself.  It’s more important than ever!

With care,
Gracy

Free Self-Care Webinar: Turning Self-Care into Visionary Leadership

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September 24, 2018 from 3-4 PM EST

This webinar is for you if you want to find:

  • Tangible relief from the voice in your head that tells you that you are too broken to help mend our world (because I’ll share how to get going and keep going in your service) 
     

  • Genuine connection to a self-care community (because you’re really starting to sense you need support in examining your own limitations and utilizing your unique gifts)
     

  • The confidence to show up as an authentic role model who wisely wields her gifts and influence (be it at work, with your family or in your larger community) to create the world she envisions  

This dynamic workshop will help you leverage your current work situation into one of authentic leadership based in self-care. Schedule time in your workday for this important webinar and further your trajectory of self-care leadership. This is how we can create unprecedented change in our world!

PS - If you can't be live, I will email you the link right after. You'll have 48 hours to watch it for free before it disappears! 

Go here to get the call-in information.

Podcast Alert! Self-Care Untruth #1: You Need to Fix Yourself to Fix the World

Over the next few weeks, I'm breaking down the self-care untruths that keep us from,

1) practicing authentic self-care in our lives, and
2) using this self-care to help fix the broken parts of our world. 

In this episode, I share the essential difference between self-care and self-improvement (learn why you aren't needy!), and how to transform your self-care into the visionary leadership necessary to create an anti-racist society.

Sign up for my free webinar "Turning Your Self-Care into Visionary Leadership" on September 24 from 3-4pm EST!  

Self-Care Untruth #1: You Have to Fix Yourself to Fix the World

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Hello Dears,

First thing:  As part of the Beautiful Life Collective launch later this month, I’m offering a free webinar called “Turning Self-Care into Visionary Leadership” on Monday, September 24th from 3-4pm EST. (If you can’t make it live, I will email you the link right after and you'll have 48 hours to watch/listen!)  As you learn more about your individual self-care leadership approach, you’ll discover the best way to work through your self-care blocks and how to show up as a leader who is ready to create inspired change in our world. Sign up here!

Bonus: Sign up for the webinar and be the first to receive the free “What’s Your Self-Care Leadership Type?” quiz next week!  (Over the next few weeks, if you register, you’ll also get bonus self-care routines, leadership resources, and inspiring self-care Q&As with some of my favorite women leaders.)

And now, today…

When I was growing up, I’d sometimes wander away from the other kids on the playground.  As I set myself apart, back behind the swings, I’d get lost in such deep pockets of regret.  Even as young as 7 years old, I’d trace my life backward and spiral into feelings of intense brokenness.

Why didn’t I feel happier?
I guess that’s because I don’t have enough friends….
Why don’t I have more friends?
I think it’s because I am fat…. (I learned to compulsively eat to numb my feelings when I was young, and I grew up in a culture that saw me as overweight and therefore, less worthy)
Why am I fat?
I think it’s because my parents got divorced and I feel sad and I don’t know how to control that.
Why did my parents get divorced?
They say it’s not my fault, but I think it still might be.

No matter which way I’d trace it back, it would always lead to the idea that something was really wrong with me.  A voice in my head assured me it was my fault that I felt so lonely and defective.

As an adult who has spent decades learning how to care for herself, I know now what I was doing as a young girl, alone on the playground.  The factors that shaped my life - dysfunctional family patterns such as alcoholism and mental illness - felt so dangerously out of my control, so it seemed much easier to blame myself for the difficult emotions I experienced.  

So, I internalized the problems that I couldn’t solve. I drove my shame, anxiety and depression inward, and kept them behind locked doors inside my heart.  I thought that if I worked harder to lose weight, make friends and create a more perfect exterior, I would be set free from the sadness that sat heavily on my chest. This is how my own brand of perfectionism was born, and it fueled my life for a long time.

As I got older, I learned to funnel this perfectionism into my schoolwork, my relationships and even my career.  On some levels, I got what I desired. I figured out how to lose weight, found some professional success, and cultivated a thriving social network.

On the outside I had it all.  But inside, something was still missing.  I still felt deeply alone and yearned for a relief that I couldn’t quite name.  As much as I talked about self-care, there was still a very deep, powerful layer of self-care that called to me.

Then, as I talked about in my missive from last week, two things happened in late 2016 and 2017 that changed my life forever.  After I experienced them, I couldn’t unsee what I now understood.

I saw that I had a responsibility to change our world.  If I didn’t use my power and privilege to stand up for the communities that are more vulnerable than my own, I was part of the problem.  More than being thin, more than being successful and more than even being happy, I wanted justice for everyone.

It was a disorienting moment to readjust so many priorities at once.  However, the one thing I knew I wasn’t going to give up in the name of justice was my self-care.  I looked at other chaotic activist movements and the overextended visionary leaders who had burned out fighting for justice. I knew that self-care could be my fuel, my comfort and my compass as I figured out this new path.  

So, I’ve been changing the direction of my work at Beautiful Life Self-Care.  I signed up for workshops and classes led by women of color who generously taught me what was blocked by  my own privilege. I participated in conversations about self-care and racism. I am creating an accessible, affordable collective that will  help others become visionary leaders who are firmly grounded in self-care (sign-up is coming soon!).

What I’ve done is just the beginning.  So much more is needed, from me and from others.  These steps don’t make me a good person, but these efforts do help me stay in line with my values and get warmer, warmer, warmer toward the world I want to hand over to future generations.

Throughout my journey of understanding self-care, I’ve learned an essential truth.  It’s the truth I want to go back and whisper to my sweet, aching younger self. I want to tell her that she is not broken, but our world is.  The dysfunction I experienced in my family was an example of the greater dysfunctional power dynamics in society that foster racism, sexism, classism and other forms of isolation, addiction and hatred (be it of self or others) throughout the world.

I want to tell her she is not alone in her hurting, and that rather, her pain is a powerful portal that will give her the strength and compassion to help others who are also hurting.

Mostly, I want to tell her that it’s only in service that we are set free.  Our problems of anxiety, shame, depression are just that: OUR problems. We don’t have to suffer individually any longer.  We don’t have to ignore harsh realities or hide behind shiny exteriors in the hopes others think we are ok. We can be honest about our struggles, gain resilience from each other and reach out to serve others.  

In short, we don’t have to fix ourselves to fix the world.  Now, our self-care is ready to go behind the self. We will turn our self-care into leadership that creates a more just and beautiful world for all.

Ahhhh….deep exhalation.  

(And interestingly enough, since embracing this path, I’ve noticed that my loneliness has changed into more feelings of connection, my body image anxieties have softened a bit, and my professional fears have subsided in surprising ways.  Is showing up for social justice connected to my own personal relief? I can’t say for sure, but I want to explore it more!)

Now, let’s get going!  Where do you feel broken?  Are you willing to consider that perhaps 1) You are just fine, and that 2) Your relief will come as you stand up for the world that supports all people?

Over the next month, I’m going to share a couple more of my most powerful self-care breakthroughs.  Not only have they transformed my own life, but I’ve watched hundreds of clients use these new self-care perspectives to step into greater leadership roles in their own families, work groups and communities.

Do these messages of socially aware self-care resonate with you?  If so, I think you’re going to love the Beautiful Life Collective, my new self-care cooperative of women visionaries who believe self-care can save the world.  It starts October 1st! Join the waitlist here.

Until then, I wish you unprecedented self-care and an ignited imagination about how that can help us care for all.  This is our time. We are moving forward, together, with care. Isn’t it so beautiful and exciting and so deeply needed?

With care,
Gracy

Resilient Parenting

When I was pregnant, the question I asked most to my parent friends was: “Is it fun?”. I knew parenting would be meaningful, but I was afraid I’d lose my joy in the responsibility of caring for another being.

Now, almost a full year into mothering, I’m happy to report that I think being a parent is so very fun. Jonah has a great sense of humor and we spend a lot of time laughing, cuddling and adventuring. And also, I find caring for him incredibly boring sometimes and other times, so complex I just have to cry. It’s a lot!

In these posts I’ve been doing on motherhood, I don’t wish to romanticize parenting. If you aren’t a parent, I think there many amazing ways to care for and connect to other beings that fosters similar, if not identical, joy and growth to parenting.

Yet, I also don’t want to undersell the experience for those who can’t decide if parenting is for them. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a parent until I was 35 (actually just a few months before I got knocked up - crazy confluence). I was afraid it would be too much sacrifice and I would lose myself in the process. This past year has broken me down and reformed me (ugh, so hard), but at the end I feel more like myself than ever. My passion for my work and relationships is incredibly strong and motivating.

I do think practicing authentic self-care every single day is helpful in this. My self-care ensures I have enough energy to give back. It makes sure that I don’t get so lost in the responsibility that I forget to have fun.

Feeling It All

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The vulnerability of parenting feels hardest to talk about. As I mentioned in a previous post, both my love and fear for Jonah is incredibly intense. I’m a person who likes to be in control. Ever wonder why I’ve always been so keen on running my own business? Yup, I like it to be a certain way. 

I can probably trace this back to my own childhood and needing this sense of control to feel safe in the world. Learning authentic self-care helped me to experience a different kind of safety - one rooted in kindness and surrender. Slowly, I’ve worked to let go of control and trust the flow of my own life. Having Jonah required the deepest layer of surrender yet. It’s asked me to live in the discomfort of my vulnerability (both my fear and my gratitude). 

Over this past year, I’ve let go of so much of my ego-based striving and found that underneath my hustle were all these super tender parts of me that needed love. Loving the parts of me that I would rather hide helps me to love Jonah more fully (and vice versa!). It’s a hard, beautiful, transformative process (so very much inspired by the work of @brenebrown). 

What scares me most about our dominant culture is that we are terrified of our own vulnerability. We spend most of our time and energy so that we don’t have to touch these hurting places and I know this affects our relationships, our parenting, our own authenticity. 

To me, it’s revolutionary to become willing to feel it all and most definitely a signal of our strength. The more we can do it as individuals, the more we can honor that vulnerability in others, especially populations and communities that are more vulnerability than us (people of color, immigrant, LGTBQ, religious minority). This is how the inner work leads to the outer work. This is how we hand a calmer, kinder world down to the next generation.

Wednesday Missive: Self-Care Beyond the Self

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Dear Ones,

First thing: this week I put a few inspiring self-care resources into the world.  Please check them out!

This article on why you should consider self-care when making business/career decisions (goodbye choice paralysis!)

This interview with health coach Gretchen Gegg which breaks down my whole self-care philosophy (including self-care for men!)

This podcast I recorded on why having conversations about racism is a form of self-care

(so important!)

***

And now, today...

You may have noticed that the content of my emails has changed a bit of late.  And you would be right. I’ve been intentionally steering my self-care missives in a different direction.  Oh my, it’s both exciting and scary to shift my messaging on self-care!

How did this change come about?  When I first started Beautiful Life Self Care, I wanted nothing more than to brainstorm the most awesome morning routines and share the recipes that help me cook three great meals a day.

Of course, I still want to share about this kind of self-care!  Tending to my own body, mind and spirit is essential for my well-being, as well as the health of my family.  Sharing about my favorite self-care practices is both fun and necessary, and I’m going to keep doing it.

But over these past years, my perspective has evolved.  I now understand there is much suffering in the world that can and should be prevented. As a world, we have the resources for us all to live in baseline wellness, but out of habit, fear and greed from the people in power, those more vulnerable than us struggle to meet their basic needs.

Before, I knew about these greater societal imbalances on one level, but just didn’t know what I could do to help.  So, I’d blame our leaders - and that blame was often very justified - and continued focusing on my own life. I thought that cultivating my own well-being might be the way to help other people.

I don't think I was completely wrong.  Being intentionally positive can be a powerful act in a world that often feels so negative.  However, in my heart, I also felt incomplete in my self-care. I knew I wanted to stop worrying about gaining weight and obsessing over relationships and struggling with FOMO (fear of missing out).  I knew these anxieties were a massive drain of energy.

I also knew I wanted to use my gifts to help others in a deeper way. I was yearning for something greater and I didn’t know how to answer this yearning.

Lately, inspired by the actions other powerful leaders - mostly women - I’ve decided to step up in a different way.  Rather than just blame, I can roll up my sleeves and work to create the world I want to hand over to future generations.  I can lead by example and set into motion a new vision for a more beautiful world.

Further, I can do this kind of work without spiraling into burnout, hiding in spiritual bypass or feeling massive amounts of guilt or shame about all the ways I haven’t shown up in the past.  When I feel overwhelmed, I can remember the power of taking one small step in the direction that feels warmest (like that kid’s game: warmer, warmer, warmer…). I can call myself out and ask for forgiveness when I misstep.  I can lean into support by joining communities that share my vision.

In short, I can become a socially-conscious self-care leader by using the same self-care principles that helped me build my own healthy routines, and create a business teaching empowered self-care to other women.

The next level of my self-care is to take it beyond just myself.  I’m ready to use my power and privilege to be the change I want to see in our world.

For example, here are five things I’ve done over the past month to examine my power and privilege and take my socially-conscious self-care to the next level:

  1. I took this wonderful 5-week course in creating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in organizations

  2. Inspired by the course, I wrote a DEI statement for Beautiful Life Self Care

  3. I read this thought-provoking article on white feminism and white supremacy

  4. I recorded this podcast on the self-care for having conversations about racism

  5. Fired up for the November elections, I’ve made a financial donation and am getting excited to phonebank for Ayanna Pressley, a woman of color, female democratic candidate in Massachusetts 7th district who is gaining steam in her campaign (thanks for this suggestion Ann!)

(As always, this list isn’t exhaustive or enough.  Yet, I chose to celebrate the small wins and keep getting warmer…)

In the face of so many challenges in our world, I know self-care can lead the way.  It’s only with authentic self-care that we have the energy to show up for others. It’s only with self-care that we can join our individual efforts into a sustainable movement of empowered leaders.  Together, we can be accountable to serve those who need our care.

I don’t want you to read this and feel guilty.  I hope you read it and feel excited! This is our time to rise up !  We have a path to follow. We can lead in a way that honors life - the life that is in ourselves and the life that is in each person on this planet (and all that will come). Actively creating a just world is the supreme act of self-care.   

Over the next month, I’ll be sharing my most effective self-care principles and sacred guidance to take your self-care beyond the self.  These life-changing and world-changing perspectives and practices will take us up to the launch of The Beautiful Life Collective, my new socially-conscious self-care cooperative (launching on October 1st, join the waitlist here, I’m so excited!).  

Are you ready to take care of yourself and our world in a whole new way? Tune in over the next five Wednesdays and join this movement with me!  It’s going to be ride that’s as powerful as it is beautiful. This is the unprecedented self-care that will take us into the future. Our time is now and we're going. I feel so blessed to be beside you on the journey.

With care,
Gracy

What's our Secret?

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This guy! As part of the motherhood series I’m posting this week, I of course want to talk about partnership. 

Many of you already know this, but Micah and I were only dating for two months when we got accidentally pregnant. There would be so many situations where this would be no bueno, however it didn’t feel that way to either of us. We both had such a strong “yes” that we wanted to have this child and decided to just figure out the rest as we went along. 

As we move toward celebrating the two year anniversary of our first date next month, I’m going to say that we’ve done a decent job of figuring it out. I feel so lucky and grateful to have Micah as a partner and co-parent. This doesn’t mean things are perfect. We still have our fights and awkward moments and petty resentments. However, we also have nourishing routines/rituals, a very good sense of humor, and both are quite dedicated to our own personal development. 

Currently, I’m so proud that Micah just took a new job at Vera Institute for Justice where he is working to better our saddening criminal justice system in the USA. 

Each relationship is unique, but I do think our secret to having a thriving partnership is that we continue to encourage each other’s spiritual growth. It’s tough work to hold space for the hard parts of growth in someone you love. I want to fix it so those places don’t get triggered in me. Yet, by showing up, keeping faith, sacrificing myself, for Micah and our family, from time to time is how I grow too. 

Of everything we are giving Jonah, I think this lesson might be the most important: we need each other to grow, and in that growth, we all become more liberated.