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If something were to happen RIGHT now (loss of income, job, spouse or loved one, a natural disaster, an accident, etc…) how well are you able to cope? Do you have a solid self care plan to carry you through the tough times? Do you keep your basic needs covered, including your soul needs? Rough times call for radical practice!
What IS radical self-care?
First off, let’s look at what self care isn’t.
And the dictionary definition of radical is:
(especially of change or action) relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough. (emphasis my own.)
Radical self-care is one of the most important things anyone can do, for obvious reasons. It's also a delicate dance in your awakening journey because it requires you to stay vigilant of your needs so that you can operate as your best possible self and if you're just now starting out on your awakening journey radical self-care might seem a little extreme because the practice has you constantly feeling beyond the edges of your comfort zone.
Practicing radical self-care means that you are creating and holding space for the Highest and Best version of yourself to manifest from vision into physical reality. It is the ongoing practice of ensuring your Highest and Best Self has the structure necessary to experience continuous growth and expansion.
But what are you needs? According to Maslow's Expanded** Hierarchy of needs, these are:
1. Physical needs: food, water, sleep, sex
2. Safety needs: shelter, stability, law and order, freedom from fear
3. Social needs: companionship, friends, family, connections
4. Esteem needs: acheivements, mastery, skills, accomplishments
**5. Cognitive needs: meaning, education
**6. Aesthetic needs: appreciation for beauty, balance
7. Self-actualization needs: personal fulfillment, realizing human potential
**8. Transcendence needs: helping others, realizing there is something bigger out there, need to create meaningful contributions to the world
Even though this model is not in itself perfect, it is a functional model to help us understand personal development. Self-care is very personal, and one does not always climb the steps of this pyramid in a specific order.
For instance, you may have a healthy appreciation for beauty, but may struggle with eating disorders, thereby denying yourself adequate or appropriate amounts of food.
Or you might have found a way to contribute meaning through your career, but deny yourself the basic need for beauty, balance or sleep.
Or, (and here is a tricky one...) you may feel like you are meeting your transcendence needs by going to church every Sunday, but really you are seeking validation from your "social networks."
Radical self care requires a radical commitment to the truth. It requires you examining the real motivations behind your behaviors, i.e. the real "needs" you are fulfilling.
And radical self care is all about learning how to meet your overall soul needs without fooling yourself into believing any acts of self indulgence are actually acts of self care.
How do you do this?
1) Tune in. Many of us never learned how to tune in to our desires, our cravings, our body's wisdom. Instead, we were trained to suppress them in favor of not appearing "selfish." Subsequently, we discovered the coping mechanisms of "numbing out" so we wouldn't have to face the discomfort of denying our authenticity.
We create a dilemma for ourselves when we don’t tune in to our cravings. If you are external focused, you will miss your body’s cues for self-care time and this often results in eating your emotions or distracting yourself with things that sound “more fun," but actually turn out to be harmful (casual hookups, internet addictions, shopping sprees, another drink or bowl or Xanax to "take the edge off…." And then you wake up feeling worse than you did before.)
In these moments, it is important to listen to your inner dialogue and discern between self-care or self-indulgence. If you have to justify any action, it is probably not self-care. (i.e. "Retail therapy helps me unwind!" When in actuality, you can only afford to pay the minimum balance on your credit card and it's quickly approaching your spending limit.)
Instead, get still.
Really pay attention to your internal cues.
You will discover that your self care needs are highly personal and what works for someone else may not work for you. So, when you are tuned into your signals, creating and holding space for your Sacred Self comes more naturally.
2) Learn to Say No. This can cause a lot of anxiety for the people pleasers out there. The trick here is to PRACTICE saying no.
Visualize yourself in a scenario of receiving depleting demands of your time, attention, money and resources. Visualize the outcome -- will you be happy or will you regret your decision?
Also, come up with five different ways to say no by writing them down and practicing them in front of the mirror. If you need a jump start, try these:
I need to get back to you.
Can I get back to you? I will get back to you in 24 hours.
I will let you know as soon as I have a chance to check my calendar.
Gee I’m so busy these days, and I don’t have my calendar with me right now. Let me consult that and then i will let you know if i can do this thing…
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Until next time,
My name is Dawn Champine and I am the Creatrix of The Goddess Diaries. I am very passionate about helping women remember their REAL GODDESS selves.