Let’s proclaim February Self-Care Month!
My friend takes nurturing self-care to a whole new level. If “self-care” was a competition sport, she would most certainly score a gold medal. Im-press-ive!
She carefully creates a dedicated space each morning. Delicately spreading out her yoga mat, small weights handy on each side, she places an intentional (everchanging) altar as a focal point at the head of her mat. Dianne puts on soft music and lights a non-scented candle. On any given day, a vision board (or two) might be propped up within view. She also prepares a healthy snack of a juice or blended smoothie, fruit in a bowl, or an energy bar cut into little squares; anything that is visually enticing and yummy to be savored mid-way through her morning ritual.
Then, she begins.
With a gentle bow, she bends down on her mat into a devotional pose, pressing her forehead into her mat and breathing slowly, in and out, in and out, slowing down her day from the onset.
Moving into a seated position with her legs stretched out in front of her, she gently starts to brush her skin with a soft, dry brush. This centuries-old health practice is known for its cleansing benefits as you exfoliate old skin cells making way for the new. She takes care in brushing each leg and then each arm, tending them with loving care. After the brushing she applies a favorite moisturizer, nourishing the newly exposed skin. She lingers on her feet, pushing on vital pressure points to stimulate organs. After taking her time with one foot and then the next, she moves to her hands massaging and attending to the pressure points there, too.
Simple, yet meaningful stretches follow, nudging the body to awaken further: seated forward fold, side stretches, downward dog, and warrior. She consciously and intentionally directs the energy created through her centering movements toward her altar space where she either has a saint or a person in need, recently her nephew in boot camp for the army. Ending on her back, she picks up the weights and does some arm exercises and crunches and leg rotations to build core strength. She alters what’s needed from day-to-day, listening to what her body needs. That fluidity, in itself, is a spiritual practice.
Then she slows further…. Snacks a bit on what’s in her bowl or glass, writes in her journal. Pulls some inspirational cards and contemplates their meaning. Listens to her inner guidance and records the messages. Considers options … and opens the portal to possibilities.
Wow! My friend calls this special time “non-negotiable.” As a deeply spiritual person and a successful businesswoman, she knows the value of self-care. And she has reaped the benefits. One morning, inspiration alerted her to the fact that she was going in the wrong direction – and she swiftly altered her game plan. Another brought a desire to make a large purchase and within a week’s time, she had manifested the ways and the means to do so. Other days, she finds a gentle peace and an evenness not evoked by anything previously. This morning ritual has literally changed her life. She guards this time with all get out. Don’t try to reach her during “Samadhi.” She won’t answer the phone; it’s silenced. Or to be more precise, it has meditation music steaming through it!
When I traveled recently, I observed someone in direct contrast to this ease-into-the-day approach. My sister hits the floor running in the morning and goes at full speed until she lays her head down at night. She is the epitome of a Type A personality.
“Hey, sister, come out on the boat with us and watch the sunset,” I say.
“I can’t. I have too much to do.”
“Let’s sit on the porch swing and chat!”
“I. Don’t. Sit.”
Ishk! Life is too short not to be enjoyed.
I don’t spend an hour or two immersed in restful and meditative pose like my friend. As a writer, I often find my way to the keyboard, capturing my early morning thoughts. But I do slow down and stretch precious moments of contemplation, in-sight, and joy throughout my day. And I’ve always had the tendency to stop and smell the roses, be immersed in gorgeous sunrises, soak in beautiful sunsets, and watch moments of delight all around me. I truly savor life. And I am the better for it.
No matter where you put it in your day, find time for yourself. Find time for self-care. Structure it in the schedule in a way that works best for you. You don’t necessarily need to make yourself the first or even the top priority of your day – but you must be somewhere on your to-do list… what would serve you best? And how can you make that happen?
Simple pleasures are a basic need. They enrich your humanity; feed your soul. How sweet it is!
What you might include in your self-care kit!*
- A journal – to record your dreams upon arising
to record thoughts and intentions
- A candle – FHS has a large selection of scented and unscented
check out the Reiki infused candles!
- A salt lamp to cleanse your space throughout the day
- Smudge and Spray
- A singing bowl to draw you focus inward and season your space
- A special quartz crystal you “charge” with the good energy from your morning practice
- Asea for moisturizing inside and out!
*You can find these and other supportive self-care tools at For Heaven’s Sake
Donna DeNomme is an award-winning, internationally published author with her books, Turtle Wisdom (book, playbook, and cards), Ophelia’s Oracle, 8 Keys to Wholeness, and As You Feel, So You Heal: A Write of Passage are consistent best-sellers at our stores.
Donna is available for psychic readings and empowerment sessions through For Heaven’s Sake Applewood on Sundays and psychic fair Saturdays through mid-March. Donna and Becky Swenson are offering “Self-Love through Self-Care: A Design for Daily Nurturing” on Thursday, February 9th 6:00 – 8:00 (evening group) or Weds, February 22nd 12-2 (day group) for $47/$44 if paying by cash, check, or Zelle. Pre-registration is required, and group size is limited. Call Donna 303-271-0510. Learn more by clicking here.