Two new things I’ve learned about self-care (this week).

Confession.

I should be working on my book.

But.

The house is quiet.

It’s raining (softly).

And I don’t want to write a book, I want to write a BLOG POST.

And have a cuppa with you!

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But first.

Keeping it real.

Sometimes, I look at other writer’s websites. I’m especially interested in the websites of those who teach creative writing. Like me.

Fuck! Their pics are glorious! They make writing look like a style statement.

Here’s what it looks like for me:

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Even the candle’s gone out!

Yes, I have a studio. But, holy mother of all things sacred, it takes THREE MINUTES to drive to that studio!

It’s much easier to work at the dining room table.

Especially when I’m at the pointy end of a project.

And I am, I am. I am at the pointy end! One more month should do it!!

Go me.

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Vaguely smug after a particularly good writing day. A feckin’ genius. Totes…

But, look, this is what I really want to talk about. This is what’s racing around inside my noggin’, trying to find an EXIT.

What I want to talk about is my/yours/our relationship with ourselves.

I want to write about it NOW before I forget my ah-ha moments.

This week I’ve come across TWO insights into self-care, self-love, self-groovyness, that have rocked my world.

1 This morning at 6.30am(!) I was doing some ‘ZOOMING’ (is that a new use for the verb?), ie I attended a virtual coaching call on Zoom, with Leonie Dawson. I’m doing her latest online course, Money, Manifesting and Multiple Streams of Income

Brilliant course. Absolutely swear by it!

But, aside from her sterling advice about money (ahem), darling Leonie said something that hit me right between the eyes.

‘I’m the only person on this planet I will spend my ENTIRE LIFE with.’ (Leonie Dawson, poorly quoted…)

I was like, whaaaat???? How come I never thought of that? Genius my arse.

For me, this one thought takes self-care to a whole other level.

Look, I’m a champion of self-care. Don’t get me wrong. Light candles. Take a bath. Get a massage. Binge on Call the Midwife.

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But, as a concept, I feel  ‘self-care’ has become loaded.

That it’s become another pesky task on a To Do list.

Worse. It’s a temporary state. Something you grab or snaffle for yourself—at the expense of everyone else around you.

And you better be good at self-care. You better nail it. Or else you’re failing. At life.

I don’t know. It might just be me.

But.

When I consider that I’m the ONLY person I’ll ever share this ENTIRE journey with, I feel shocked.

And empowered.

And, rather than an external, time-managed event, self-care becomes richer. It’s an ongoing, natural state of being.

My life, your life, is a long term commitment. The longest long term commitment we’ll ever have.

Everyone will leave.

EVERYONE.

As you get older and your kids grow up and your parents pass away and the cops and the football players start to look like children, and even your school teachers go into aged care, you start to grasp this truth on a deep, cellular level.

I am alone.

This is my adventure.

My road trip.

It’s just me on the inside, and on the outside.

I’m the only one in the driver’s seat; behind the windscreen of these eyes, looking out.

Man!

This realisation makes me want to be way nicer to ME.  I mean, who wants to travel with a resentful, judgemental, angry curmudgeon, every single day of their life?

Would I choose ME as a companion???

From now on I’ll value my gifts, my complexities, my highs, my lows, my nonsense and my LIFE.

I will get to know me and I will nurture me every day in all the good and gentle and stupid ways I can think of because I am this unique person who has been gifted this one unique life.

That is SO HUGE!

It’s doing my head in. My lovely unique head…

2 If you were a plant what would you look like?

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When you water a plant, the plant doesn’t sit there and think, ‘about time, dickhead’.

It just accepts the water because that’s how we should all accept nurture. Nurturing. Nurturance. With grace.

Likewise, a gardener doesn’t stand around considering whether or not a plant deserves to be watered; a gardener doesn’t withhold water in order to punish, berate or discipline a plant.

When we water a plant, it’s not the plant per se that we’re nurturing. It’s the LIFE that animates the plant. This is what we subconsciously honour when we tend to a plant.

If we tended to ourselves in the same way, our entire relationship with ourselves would change.

I know this because I saw it on a TED talk.

According to David Reilly (who looks and sounds like Billy Connelly so why wouldn’t  you want to learn from him?) when we honour the life force that animates us, we trigger our built-in nurturing instinct. We activate self-compassion.

We’re kinder to ourselves.

We curb our crappy self-talk.

Personally, I don’t feel comfortable being rude, aggressive or nasty toward something as magnificent, as magnanimous, as LIFE.

Better to be kind to myself.

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So, that’s what I have learned this week.

Be nice to your travelling companion because YOU are that travelling companion.

And water yourself regularly.

Love and honour the magic, the life force, that landed you here.

Let your leaves flourish, your roots grow strong and your blossom POP.

Without question.

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Jen Signature_web


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