What does self criticism have to do with self care?

The times we are living in are absolutely unprecedented.
Daily, we swirl in limitations, strife, racial injustice, economic and social inequity, overt systemic misogyny, declining leadership – all against the backdrop of an unrelenting global pandemic.

We can’t help but ask the questions: Who am I? What am I doing? Where is my community? My support? My comfort?
It’s so easy to slide into the space of taking all of this unrest, personally.
And to slip down the slope of self criticism and self doubt.

So, I want to remind you, precious, radiant being:
None of this is your fault. You are not alone.

We are in this upheaval, together.

You are a miracle. A joy. A treasure. A brilliant, creative vessel of love.
And your job right now, is not to join forces with all of the beguiling voices of darkness that want to intoxicate us with global despair.

Your job right now is self care.
And yes, I know, I know. You don’t feel like it. You just can’t. The best you can do is…snack.
I hear you. I feel you. I am with you.
Woman, you are source. You are the source of light, of life, of radiance.

Your joy matters.

When we withdraw our self care, it is instantly replaced with self criticism.
I have done this experiment endlessly.
And when I ignore my own inner holy, my humanity suffers.
I do not have the patience to stand in love in the face of being misunderstood.
I do not have the endurance to find hope in the midst of despair.
I am cranky as f*%ck.

What feeds the holy in a woman?

Pleasure, in all forms.
Serving her five senses with delight and beauty.
Just as an altar in a sanctuary requires upkeep and maintenance to feel sacred, so does the body of a woman.
Attending to our clothing, hair, and dress is not frivolous or indulgent or irresponsible.
It is our sacred responsibility to look and feel as magnificent as possible so we can connect to the sacred within ourselves. To shine our radiance on the world.

Why? If we disregard the sacred within us, we cannot connect to our ability to turn on. And when we are not turned on, we are not connected to our life force.
And if we are not connected to our life force, it means we are not owning our power.

If we are not owning our power, it means someone else is.

It means we have handed the controls to a third party—our partner, our boss, a parent, or society as a whole.
The result is that we perpetuate a sense of ourselves as the victim, rather than the heroine of our lives.
We blame others rather than taking full responsibility.
Victim is our cultural norm. It’s how women in the patriarchy are raised to feel.
We have not been raised to believe we are the source of our own power, the determiners of our own emotional state. But in truth, that’s exactly who we are.
All it takes to know this is to plug back into our radiance.

Powered by pleasure, our chemistry changes. It hoists us into a higher orbit, where it’s easier to leave the victim and become the heroine.

You, me, we, are living breathing prayers.

Just look around – we all know – this is no time for any of us to quit praying.

So tell me, my love, how will you feed the holy in you today?
How will you replace self criticism with self care?

Let us pray, together.

With so much love and pleasure,

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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