So the reason – as you know all quality blog posts begin with a confession and a desperate appeal to the condemning eye of ‘The Other’ to HAVE MERCY! – this is happening late today is because I was practicing self care during the wee hours of Thursday Night – and was sleeping.
I have identified another trigger (clue) that directs my conscious mind towards that necessary activity of Self Care. I will share this presently. Previously I have identified the following as a clear sign of stress levels hoisting what remains of my Authentic Self overboard … if I find myself at any of the following locations; chemist, make up counter, watching youtube beauty vlogs past 2:00AM – and also seriously considering making a purchase of an expensive skin care product with magical claims, I am in the danger zone, the wheels are wobbling, it’s all going pear shaped – intervention required.
How Do We do Self Care?
Self care is about looking after ‘Your-Self’. I know this seems like a Captain Obvious but, it is not as easy as it seems. How do you care for Your-Self if you are not entirely sure who that is? Some of us have not met our Authentic Self. This part of us is part Unicorn part psychological fantasy fuelled by hope for a better life, better days and a better you.
Most of us live largely out of a False Self, or a version of us that was initially created when we were younger to try and please our parents or other agencies of authority. False Selves have one function – they help us survive childhood and physically make it to adulthood but generally their purpose is not about fulfillment or unconditional self acceptance and unconditional self expression. Imagine! Fancy! Seems … wrong!
Our False Self has learned to, our of necessity, marginalize or cut from our conscious awareness and expression those parts of our Authentic or True Self that are incompatible with our False Self. So this means, there are needs, wants, wishes, desires, dreams, feelings, losses and many other mysteries belonging to our Authentic Self that gets shoved unceremoniously into our unconscious. It does not mean – they disappear. They have ways of asserting themselves that are mysterious to the conscious mind. They can, for example, express themselves in the form of Body Symptoms.
Q. What are the Basics of Self Care?
The answer is directly proportionate to the relationship you have with your Authentic Self. Are you listening to you? Or … are you listening to something else? Who are you listening to? Who are you trying to please? Is it working? Oddly providing care to your False Self does not help create feelings of satisfaction fulfillment confidence or peace. Different forms of neglect, deprivation or self criticism that intensifies all the way up to abuse is what often passes for care of a False Self. It leaves you feeling …
Journal writing is of course one method that is both private, gentle and effective and will help you create the accepting listening skills necessary to at least begin hearing from those parts of the Authentic Self that have been banished to the realm of the unconscious. Finding them, will help you move towards wholeness, but here are some questions to help focus your activities in the hear and now – for this is where we live.
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Do you sleep when it is dark and are you awake and up when it is light?
- Are you eating regularly?
- Do you eat breakfast within one hour of waking?
- Are you monitoring your sugar consumption?
- How much fun are you having?
- Can you have more? What needs to happen?
- Do you get and give four hugs a day? [Atleast]
- Are you working regularly?
- Do you work in a job that is compatible with your Core Beliefs and Core Values?
- Do you have someone you feel comfortable to share your inner world? Do you talk to them?
- Are you moving your body once a day doing some exercise?
Now for something ridiculous …
Let this be a timely reminder of what awaits if you fail to repeatedly heed the attempts made by your Authentic Self, bound and gagged – held hostage by your False Self – in your own unconscious mind. I had such an encounter on Monday – but it started out well …
I have been doing Yoga – alot. Alot, for me. And I have been doing Pilates. Turns out – the lower back needs strengthening to hold up the spine. I mean, we know this right? And yet … who sits in front of a computer for most of the day, slouching, quietly compacting and fusing vertebrae together for future back pain and torment?
I had a break through on Monday. My posture – spontaneously corrected itself. The sciatica pain disappeared and that swayed back, swayed a bit less. I wandered closer to the Holy Grail, creating a body and a life that can express my Authentic Self! But it was all too much for my False Self, being pain free – seemed wrong. My False Self, think Neurotic Dictator – immediately began panicking and created a number of body symptoms. I assume to try and scare my Authentic Self back in to the unconscious.
Let me guide you in the general direction of what happened … it happened on Monday. On Tuesday, after Pilates – I casually asked our Instructor, “What do we know about bladder control – help?” Ears pricked up and the other ladies in my class, stepped a bit closer.
What followed was a detailed description of recent events, followed by multiple recommendations about whether or not we should work on kegel muscles – it seems there are views on this, some for, some against. Somehow Pilates got left by the way side and we all got to know each other in a new a different way. Childbirth may or may not be responsible – it is not clear. What everyone did agree on – was that losing bladder control is not part of aging, I could have cancer and need to immediately bugger off for further tests and definitely a Pelvic Floor Assessment Ultra Sound with a Physio.
I went home – accepting I had just weeks to live and was preparing to make the appointments with the next round of Health Professionals. Joy! What about all this Yoga and Pilates I have been doing? For naught! Before having an enormous meltdown – Í rang my Osteo, who was with a patient who did have serious bladder control challenges. After a bit of – “Can you phone back at …” I spoke with the qualified health care professional, the one who knows – you know? Can I recommend this? When you don’t know – ask someone who does. It helps.
My Osteo is great, as in – excellent. After she confirmed form, function and no pain – we both decided it probably wasn’t the more extreme possibilities. She asked me again, “So what’s happening exactly?” By way of explanation for what happens next – I think it is important to remember my Pilates Class have already picked out what they were wearing to the funeral and I was awash with attention and fussing in manner of Spring Bride. My Osteo says, “It’s not urinary tract infection is it?” Remember – I’m invested by now – so I confidently say, “No! No chance!”
Well … after four liters of Cranberry Juice, turns out – that’s exactly what it was.
Word to the wise – if you unexpectedly find yourself convinced of the magical properties of a skin care product, like it promises to cure the more mundane aspects of life, or that you have suddenly developed some devastating ailment – ask yourself, seriously …
How’s the Self Care going?