Lately I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how to take care of myself and not in the bullshit ‘drink enough water, get plenty of rest, take deep breaths when stressed’ kind of way, either. I am actively seeking better practices to nourish my body and brain, to cultivate the seeds of desire that sprout in my heart and to soothe my sometimes uneasy soul.
So far I have discovered some useful practices on my journey to meaningful self-care. Aside from Chinese takeout and a good vibrator, I have found the mindful practice of acceptance to genuinely ease my angst. Much of life is displeasing and even more of it is unchangeable. When I attentively seek harmony with all things unalterable, when I let go of the expectation I hold for how things ‘should’ be, when I validate and appreciate the way things are in that moment, I feel free, unencumbered and serene.
It takes much less energy to simply receive reality then it does to force reality into something that it is not and cannot be. Fighting reality is like trying to button a pair of pants that you have gotten too chubby for—you are not going to get the pants on, and you might even break the button trying.
And speaking of pants that I have gotten too chubby for, I found that positive affirmations have helped me reshape my self-image. The thoughts I hold about myself translate into my internal dialogue. My internal dialogue creates the foundation for my core beliefs. My core beliefs dictate my actions and choices. My actions and choices impact the quality of my life and my level of happiness. My negative self-talk works against my stated goals and desires and keeps me from achieving my full potential. Positive affirmations have allowed me to begin the process of re-programming my brain, cleansing my thoughts and nurturing my highest good.
I am the architect of my own life; I build its foundation and choose its substance. My body is strong, my mind is bright and my soul is soothed. A wave of compassion washes away resentment and replaces it with love. Happiness is a choice and I choose it. I am worthy. I am grateful.
My journey toward emotional enlightenment and self-acceptance will never end. Every day I struggle to exercise the positive practices that I know will fulfill me best. Every day presents a new challenge to overcome, and some days are a lot better than others.
But I suppose if all else fails, a good glass of scotch is always within reach.