Wednesday Missive: Self-Care Beyond the Self

IMG_0111.jpg

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