All over the world, we are seeing difficult times. I don’t need to spread the details of bad news, but suffice it to say that the four countries I feel most closely associated with (the US, Colombia, Mexico, and Austria) are all suffering some form of polarization and fear-mongering. It’s important to stay aware of what’s happening, to speak up and be able to stand up for what we believe. It’s also important, perhaps even more so, to look for ways to cross aisles, close the gaps between the people involved, lower the barriers of true communication. We can despise an evil act, but we must not despise the people who carry them out.
It takes a lot of Presence, patience, strength, self-love, and compassion to have the capacity and the inner agility to do this, even for a moment.
Why I know
I know this viscerally because, even as I was reflecting on the state of world affairs, I was struggling to find all these characteristics in myself to even be willing to repair a relationship that matters to me. A relationship with someone who felt they had not harmed me but had reasons to be angry with me, even though I felt the same way about them.
But we have to be able to find these capacities! And what I know, from all the years of work I have done with myself and my clients, and from what this latest personal struggle has reminded me is that it takes a LOT of inner resources to even begin to find these capacities, and that means practicing a LOT of self-care.
We need self-care practices that nourish the physical, emotional and spiritual resilience we require. That means eating and sleeping well, and doing regular exercise. It means finding inspiration in the natural world and in others, in the flesh or on a screen or page. It means recognizing that any difficult emotions we have are opportunities to deepen our understanding of ourselves, and, more importantly, to release any energy that no longer serves us. Beyond that, it means making time to address those emotions and energies and allow them to teach us. It means finding consistent support from trusted friends or a coach. It means making time for ourselves, developing daily spiritual practices, having fun.
It’s a lot, right? When I look at that paragraph and think about how busy I often feel, I hear “Ooof, that’s too much! Who has time for that when there’s so much that “needs” my attention and energy?”
The first obstacle is giving ourselves permission for the self-care we need. It doesn’t just happen to me. My clients tell me it feels too self-indulgent, and when they do give themselves permission, they often don’t enjoy the self-care because of the guilt that accompanies it!
So today I want to invite you to give yourself a chance to release the struggle, to find the permission you need and enjoy the self-care you allow yourself. Here is a Tapping script for you to tap along to.
To begin, think about the kinds of self-care that would really feel helpful and indulgent to you right now. Notice where in your body you feel resistance and give it a number up to 10, where 0 is no resistance and 10 is unbearably painful. Follow the script below, remembering to change the words to reflect your true feelings and circumstances.
Take a few deep, clearing breaths. Tap on the karate chop, repeating three times: Even though I have all this resistance to giving myself self-care, I love and accept myself and how I feel.
Round 1, The Issue:
Eyebrow: I have all this resistance to giving myself self-care.
Side of the eye: I don’t have time for all of this,
Under the eye: there’s too much to do.
Nose: And I feel guilty when I take time for me.
Chin: I should be doing something useful instead of something indulgent.
Collarbone: All this resistance,
Under arm: I feel it (say where in your body you feel it).
Rib: Making space for self-care makes me uncomfortable.
Top of head: Even though I have all this resistance to giving myself self-care,
Round 2, Release:
Eyebrow: it’s safe to feel my feelings, and it’s safe to let them go.
Side of the eye: I recognize that I would encourage someone I love to give themselves the gift of self-care, so maybe I can do this for myself.
Under the eye: Releasing all this resistance,
Nose: releasing so much discomfort with self-care,
Chin: releasing all this guilt about putting myself first.
Collarbone: Letting go of (describe the feeling of resistance in your body)
Under arm: Releasing all this self-judgment about making time for me.
Rib: Letting it all go from my tissues and cells and from my energy field.
Top of head: I am now releasing all of my resistance to self-care,
Round 3: Transformation
Eyebrow: and I open myself to new experiences
Side of the eye: of generosity and freedom.
Under the eye: It’s okay to do nice things for myself and take time for me.
Nose: I choose to give myself permission to enjoy my self-care,
Chin: to recognize how it nourishes me
Collarbone: and through me, how it nourishes everyone I meet.
Under arm: I choose to relax and enjoy,
Rib: to feel good about taking care of myself.
Top of head: I am grateful that I can enjoy my self-care and let it support me in caring for others.
Take a few deep, clearing breaths. Check in now, think about the kinds of self-care that would really feel helpful and indulgent to you right now. Notice if you feel resistance in your body, and give it a number between 0 and 10 and compare it to the first number, earlier. If you still have resistance, you can do a few more rounds, speaking to what is coming up for you or any “yes, buts” that came up as you tapped.
If you can’t get the number below a 3, get in touch with me and we can work on it together.
Regardless, share with me how this went, what changes you had to make to the script, and what self-care you will be giving yourself. I am really here, and I want to know! And if we haven’t talked before, then we should definitely do so, you can schedule a time here.