The Power of Self-Care

I have had a stressful week. I want to attribute (blame) others for the stress…. always the easy, softer way. It’s not real, fashionable in my circle or nice. It is lazy. It also screams of how powerful I allow other people to be over my own thoughts and feelings which ultimately dictates the decisions around my life choices.

Self-care has become increasing more important as I circle the Sun and continue to take in solid food. Also, I live a somewhat chaotic, nomadic life – roughly six months a year we travel the back roads of America – so the art of taking care of my emotional and spiritual life has become increasing both harder and more critical. Otherwise I would just be homicidal…and the world doesn’t appear to need or desire any additional crazy murderous individuals. (Sadly, given current news headlines, I believe we already have met that quota several times over.)

So in addition to the usual amount of quiet time that I request of my spouse, meetings I attend and the spiritual missives I read each day I determined that I would re-start the usage of a really powerful word in my vast vocabulary – NO.

NO – a complete sentence in two (2) letters. Two letters that nest together in the alphabet. Two letters. One word. Extremely powerful.

NO to the violent, stressful movie, the spousal unit wanted to see, American Sniper. And you are probably asking yourself, why would there be cause for concern here? My spouse will go to every movie I want to see – regardless of what it is – IF I ask him to go. Mind you, I learned if I wanted him to see the truly remarkable, critically acclaimed movies (ie, thought provoking etc.) that I would NOT ask him to attend “chick” flicks….I know his limitations. And I actually want to enjoy the movie AND have him awake during the entire film. So, I don’t ask him to see films that I know are a huge snooze-fest for him. With that said….I have agreed (non-verbally) to attend a few select movies of his choice. Most recently, Unbroken. He read the book and related to me the horrors that the protagonist endured. I was not excited to see the movie….and it does have a back story about WWII…not a fan of war or war movies. Saw it, excellent movie. Well done in fact. However, the current selected flick is entirely different. So, I said NO (just like I did with Private Ryan, and a few others). Self-care. His BFF wanted to see it – man-flick bonding. Yay for NO!

NO to travelling to a nearby town for their annual “Tractor Pull”. Been there, done that….never need to do it again. Kind of like rodeos and state fairs every summer. Nothing wrong with either of them, have been to several. Just not my thing. And yet, I forget that all important self-care switch and…”there I’ve done it again.” So as I write this, guess where he is and with whom….male bonding day. Yay, for NO.

bed

Self-care. Taking time to recognize when saying YES incessantly is more about approval than being concerned about one’s own mental health. Self-care is about honoring my center. Taking time to meditate, pray and enjoy the quietness of my home. Taking time to rejuvenate, reflect, restore balance. It is about reminding me that what other people think about me is none of my business. I cannot control what other people think or don’t think about me. Yet I was really busy a week ago, a month ago saying YES to the wants and desires of other people. NO said politely doesn’t even require a definition to the “why not” question.

Saying NO is freeing. It provides me more opportunities to fully embrace the YES in my life and living it fully. NO isn’t about you. It’s all about me and being present in the ‘my’ right now fully. I feel so good about me right now I feel happy.

Until next time…Ciao~

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