Just can’t get it up for self-care?

I have trouble making peace with myself some days. I might start the day with a whole litany of complaints about me: You don’t do enough activism! You didn’t recycle that plastic bag! You yelled at your boyfriend! You don’t visit your mother enough! You are too self absorbed! You stretch yourself too thin! You didn’t exercise enough! You threw out (wasted) a whole head of lettuce that went bad!

By the way, this is an edited version of what happens in my unchecked morning brain as I stumble in for coffee. Please email me if you want the whole list 🙂

Now, I am not against course correction and discipline. I think it’s key to examine one’s actions and motivations.
But no one deserves the hostile lecture I just might give myself on the daily, unchecked.
I have tried many things to ameliorate my hostility.
Writing down my thoughts.
Meditation.
Exercise.
All of these things contribute, to one degree or another.
But there is one surefire method that is so very antithetical to the way self criticism feels that it is truly a reach. It almost feels…terrifying.
Are you ready?
It’s self care.
Not just self care, but extreme, glorious, self-celebratory, over-the-top self care.
Self care that contains sensuality.

Why? Because that which contains sensuality is holy.

Choosing to act from love is transformational.
So, while the coffee brews, I get down on my yoga mat.
I do my sequence of physical therapy moves, then a short ballet barre, then, I dance.
At this point, the darkness begins to recede and I can feel something new emerging. A sense of relief, that I am safe in my own company. A sense of joy that today contains opportunity.
The soil of my soul feels moist again.

Thoughts trickle back to me. Is it time for a bath? Yes, always a good move. But today I add another layer – I clear off my dresser top. Item by item, the pile diminishes, and now there is free space for a candle and a paper fan.

An altar (me) requires upkeep. There is no excuse for less.

Women stand at a time of great transformation and change.
Many of us have been taught by our mothers and grandmothers, to sing a victim song.
To find the ways in which others, outside of ourselves, are to blame for our circumstances.
We have been done wrong. By men. By women. By life. By our families. Our jobs.
All true?
Yes.
But.
There is more to the story that wants to be written.
When we choose, no matter what has happened to us, to reach for extreme, glorious, self-celebratory, over-the-top self care, we are choosing to change our destiny.
We are choosing to remain in connection to our power, and to our divinity.
We are not abandoning the ship, and jumping on the victim train.
Taking daily action is how we make a decision to create beauty before us, behind us, and all around us.
I know this choice towards self care could sound trite.
But it is not trite, it is revolutionary.

Every time I choose to stay in connection to my self love through the action of self care, I choose to stay in relationship to my divinity.

And when I make that choice, then I am sovereign over my destiny.

With so much love and pleasure,

Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts

Regena is a feminist icon, a teacher, a speaker, a mother, a best-selling author, and creatrix and CEO of The School of Womanly Arts.

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