A couple of weeks ago I was getting dressed for the day and really wanted to wear my gold and copper bracelets...but I also wanted to wear my Ganesha necklace which is silver. I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the line I got it in my head that you don’t mix different metals when wearing jewelry. I thought that either you wore gold or you wore silver, but not both and certainly not at the same time. As I was standing in my bedroom trying to decide between the two, an inner voice spoke up and said “wait, WHO made this rule and WHY are you following such an arbitrary belief?”
This post isn’t really about jewelry of course, but the bigger picture that we all go about our daily lives adhering to made up rules and beliefs because at one point we attached ourselves to it as if it is truth. Some of them are big but many of them are so small and seemingly insignificant. However, I wonder if we started to challenge them a little bit what would happen? I know that in this instance I put every single bracelet on that I had, wore my silver Ganesha AND my gold chakra necklace...and it brought me such joy that day and every day since. It’s tiny, but it matters because the smallest amounts of joy add up. And sometimes in order to call joy in, we have to remove the old blocks that keep us stuck in beliefs that no longer serve us.
In so much of the work I do with people, this is the number one thing to be done. Yoga asks us to get into the space of discomfort and notice what our default choices are and then gives us the opportunity to choose differently if it isn’t serving us. Using essential oils means that we are willing to try a new way of caring for ourselves and each other that offers us the opportunity to trust our experience and intuition. Choosing to try coaching means letting go of an old belief that you may not be worthy of spending such time, money and attention on yourself and instead offering yourself some time and space to see yourself clearly so that you may live more awake and aware in your life. All of the above challenges what is "normal" and mainstream in ways that break through beliefs that have most likely just been handed down to us.
Be like Ganesh and remove the obstacles that stand in your way of pure joy in living your life. Do the work to cultivate your inner wisdom and intellect, not what is based on someone else's belief's or one time truths. It happens in the smallest, most minute moments of our day. It happens in the moment we choose to breathe in the yoga pose instead of leave it. It happens in the moment you choose to reach for the bottle of essential oil that you love to smell. It happens in the moment you decide that you are worthy of your own time and attention. It happens in the moment that you put on your bracelets and necklace and smile at yourself in the mirror.
Our next OM Collective sessions will be all about this. Together we will lovingly challenge our beliefs and learn how to harness our intuition. I hope that you will join me, not because I say you should, but because that inner voice is guiding you here. You are worthy of all the joy in the world, in the smallest nooks and crannies of your life. Together let's remove the obstacles that keep it from coming in.
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Yesterday, I read an article in the NY Times called “When did Self-Help become Self Care?”. It offered me an interesting perspective, as I have been struggling at times with using the terms “Self-Care” and “Wellness”, while doing it anyways for lack of a better term. A struggle that has also been stirred up after the last week of controversy in the fitness and wellness industry. The article described how Self-Help for so long as been about conquering, whereas Self-Care is about nourishing. It suggested that perhaps this is what Marianne Williamson means when she says it is a “Return to Love” rather than working out of fear. My favorite part of the article however is as follows: “Self-Care is often critically characterized as a market for purchasable experiences like massages, manicures and ‘me time’. But its origins are in a series of loose, secular rituals meant to calm the nervous system, and are informed in part by the work of feminist writers of color, including Audre Lorde and bell hooks, both of whom wrote about caring for one’s self in oppressive conditions. In “A Burst of Light,” Lorde writes, ``''Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.’”
This is the Self-Care Support that I am interested in providing. There is a reason that I often put Radical before the words Self-Care and Self-Love. I am not interested in creating work that just looks good and is pretty on Instagram. I am interested in being a stand for a revolutionary kind of self-care that serves a higher purpose to the world. I am interested in breaking the chain that self-care and “wellness” is only for those who can afford it in the capitalistic landscape it currently lives in, but for all who wish to take part in it. Those who wish to be radical in their approach for caring for and loving themselves because for so long we have been told that we are not enough or that what is required to help ourselves is to work from fear and hard discipline.
I don't have a lot of answers right now, mainly questions and a longing to learn more and do better. What I know for sure is that I don’t wish to perpetuate the privilege of “wellness” in a way that is destructive, a word that in itself suggests that those of us who get to think about are able to do more than simply survive. I acknowledge my own privilege in being able to have the experiences I have had. And I mean no shame to any of us who are in that position, truly. Let’s really honor it by being grateful for it. And I also fully acknowledge that I too, having chosen this as my work and career MUST make money in order to support myself and my family. There needs to be no shame in that truth either. But I do want to help open the door and conversation around how I can be an advocate for all and for Self-Care that is not self-indulgent, is about self-preservation and is a LOVING act of political and social selfcare (perhaps instead of warfare)...I know I’m not alone.
For reference, article is linked below:
New York Times article "When did Self-Help become Self-Care?"
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.