“When you discover what nourishes your soul, when you recover the things that bring you joy, when you remember what fires your passion, then LOVE yourself ENOUGH to MAKE room for them in your life.” (Julie Parker, Heart & Soul Matters)
Once upon a time I used to equate self care, pampering with vanity and that only meant one thing in my mind. SELFISH! How could I just sit there luxuriating in myself and wasting precious time preening myself when there was so much important stuff to do, so much work to be done and so many people who needed me?
Well I can’t say I have been completely cured (it’s a work in progress) but I can say this….Self care is not selfish ~ it is essential!!
It is also an act of self love. These days I truly believe that with all of my heart and I will tell you why.
Those that don’t care for themselves have to learn the hardest lesson of all. Being a human sacrifice or giving ALL of yourself until you have nothing left to give is not heroic, it can eventually destroy you. It’s completely out of balance and the truth is, you can’t serve from an empty vessel. I have seen it with my own eyes and it’s heartbreaking. And nobody will save you for being a good person either. You don’t get special health allowances for being a selfless giver.
How you can you show up for the world at your best when you haven’t first given to yourself?
Good health absolutely depends on it and that in my books is pretty high on the list of priorities. You can’t be a good parent or a good partner or a good anything if you are not a kind friend to yourself first. Remember the last time you took a flight on an aeroplane and you were instructed to put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others? Good instructions for life!
We all know deep down what we need to do more of…..we tell ourselves in our quiet moments and we often confide in a friend, “I must eat less sugar or I need to start walking or get back into yoga.” Or “I need to meditate.” (that was me this morning lol) You know what it is for you. I found myself writing these things on my “New year’s resolutions” for several years in a row before it dawned on me that I was writing the same things over and over again without changes! What a frustrating realisation that was.
One day I said “enough” and started taking baby steps towards those very important but overlooked things and then kept building from there.
Parenting starts from the moment of conception or at least the moment you know you are pregnant!
Now you have even more good reasons to take care of yourself ~ every thought, every morsel that enters your body, every time you make the conscious choice to walk in the park or meditate for a few minutes or do some gentle prenatal yoga…..or simply stop fretting over little things, you are giving such a valuable gift to your growing baby.
In fact I feel so strongly about this, I have enshrined it onto one of my gorgeous Birth Goddess Cards – see below x (In case you can’t read it properly: “If you can take even five minutes a day to think good thoughts – or nourish yourself in any way you want, your kindness will be multiplied a thousand fold. Five minutes of care is worth years of wellbeing.”
Now worrying about every morsel that you put in your mouth can be stress-inducing so that is not healthy either and not what I am talking about. The key is not to be perfect all the time but to be mindful about what we eat and why. We eat for all sorts of reasons, including emotional ones and not just hunger. Are we eating something or is something eating us? (think loneliness, frustration, fear, anger etc)
Quality becomes super important and hopefully you are seeking fresh, organic or at least locally grown produce. Worrying about worrying is no good either LOL.
I have actually had many expecting women from around the world contact me, afraid that every single time they worry or get stressed they are damaging their baby. Life can not be completely smooth sailing all the time of course but it’s our reaction to events that can make all the difference.
So what about that old wives saying that “Anxious mothers produce anxious babies?” Is there any truth in there? Good question! More about that in a moment.
When we take the time to fill up our self care tank first, then we will be overflowing with more love, patience, kindness, tolerance, centredness to GIVE and we tend to not react so quickly, eat so mindlessly or speak/ act for the wrong reasons. It’s about having the mind space to be able to think first and choose how we handle the situation in a way that will serve the greatest good for all. You see by giving to ourself, we have more to give to others and everybody wins. My case is closed (just kidding lol) but my heart is wide open!!
How do you fill up your self care tank? Send me a private message or leave me a note below -I would love to hear! 🙂
Yours in loving hugs and gentle reminders,
Birth Goddess: A Positive Birth Revolution
PS Do anxious mothers really produce anxious babies? Find out once and for all from Dr Marcy Axness, phD and author of Peaceful Parenting, Raising a New Generation of Peacemakers. (also one of my most awesome contributors to my book, A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth and Empowering Birth Magazine!)