On Birthday Shoes and Fostering Your Own Child Spirit

 Happy Birthday Shoes 2017.  Photo by Jenna Long. ©2017

Happy Birthday Shoes 2017.  Photo by Jenna Long. ©2017

My adult-reflexologist-self likes to think that shoes became my ultimate symbol of womanhood because even as a child I knew that our feet hold a lot of information about how rooted we are in our physical lives and show us how we relate to the agency we feel we have to move about and participate in the world. Though it could also just be because my birthday falls around the transition between the end of the school year and the beginning of summer break that the childhood rhythm of getting new summer shoes still feels exciting each May. Or it could be some wonderfully human combination of both of those things.

When I was a little girl, more than anything else, I wanted to be an adult. Specifically, I wanted to be an adult lady who wore her hair as high as her heels.  Partly because I thought that this meant that I could eat ice cream or donuts or cereal for dinner instead of meatloaf - and it does, by the way, and I do, by the way, though not nearly as often as I imagined I would back then, even though I still refuse to eat meatloaf. But mostly I wanted to be an adult lady because I wanted people to take me seriously. I had a lot of questions, and a lot of thoughts, and a lot to offer, but most of the time when I would try to express things to adults, they would respond with diversions and verbal pats-on-the-head instead of answers or actual interaction, or they'd spend so much time being incredulous about whatever I said or asked that they never got around to actually addressing me. Adults would talk to each other over me in ways that they thought I didn't notice or understand, and so pretty early on I figured out that in my world (which must also be the entire world) adults only believed and took seriously other adults. In various layers along the way I learned to keep my thoughts and questions to myself, and spent a lot of time inside my own internal world, and later behind the world inside of books.

But I wasn't content to just sit around and wait to become an adult, so as Jane Goodall studies the chimps, I studied the adults around me in order to learn their mysterious ways and try to identify what must be the very great differences between children and grown-ups. One of the biggest signs of difference that I noticed immediately was difference in the ways that little girls and adult ladies dress. This chasm still exists to some degree, but in the 1980s and early 90s when I was immersed in my intense research of adulthood, it was a much stronger contrast than it is now. My little girl self was magnetically inclined emulate a Princess Diana version of womanhood with hair that winged and feathered, and eyeshadow that matched the blush that matched the lipstick that matched the nail polish. Instead I had flat, pony-tailed hair, and no make up, and no jewelry that wasn't made of plastic or metals that didn't turn my finger green, and scratchy wool tights that I had to wear with saddle shoes. I could see that the differences were too numerous to overcome, and in order to gain any kind of foothold in the adult world it became clear that I would have to narrow my focus to one category of clothing or accessory at a time. Everything about how I really wanted to be seen moving through the world distilled itself symbolically in shoes.

From my perspective all I needed to do was dress like an adult lady, and act like an adult lady, and then other people would see me as a very short adult lady, and this would allow me to participate in conversations where I would be understood and taken seriously even thought the number of my age was a singular number. If only I could wear real high heeled shoes, then not only would I be taller, but I was convinced that it would take my Cabbage Patch romper/power suit to an undeniable level of adult prowess. Especially when paired with a purse, a baby doll, and plastic bangles, because another symbol of womanhood for me at the time was having or caring for a child, and because cheap jewelry was better than no jewelry!

Every year, in the weeks leading up to my birthday, I can be found wandering the halls of my internal self while wandering through aisles of shoes. Poking in all of my own dark corners, and rummaging through what needs to stay and what needs to go while trying on any and every shoe that looks interesting. Taking inventory of the gifts and the lessons of the previous 52 weeks and lifting my sails in search of the signs and themes of the coming year while scanning the horizon for sale signs and clearance stickers. My child self searching for the right pair of magic shoes that will give her the confidence to face the steps and walk the terrain towards a new year of learning how to be all that she knows herself to be inside.

Somewhere along the way for many of us, we learn to hide or discount the most vibrant parts of who we know ourselves to be in our first years on earth. And while this is often a great survival skill early on, it will hold us back from ever reaching our fullest potential if we do not eventually reclaim these beautiful, powerful gifts, and allow the wounds surrounding them to fully heal.

To foster our child spirits - the parts of the inner self that unabashedly loves to play and laugh and interact and loses all consideration for time and societal convention - we need to allow ourselves room to acknowledge both the joys and the hurts of our childhood experience. Not in order to place blame or relive trauma unnecessarily, but to give that part of ourselves the opportunity to exist in an internal environment of total congruence with the whole Self. When we continue to deny or hide away these great gifts of self, we cannot truly heal - mentally, emotionally, or physically. These things will fester inside of us and make us angry and bitter about how life is going or how it turned out, when all along we have always had access to exactly what we need to live and love and grow into our own enormous potential.

It's likely that you already do something with some kind of frequency that allows the child spirit to express, whether it be through tantrums or joy. The areas of our lives where we don't want to be told what to do or how to do it are often areas where our child self is holding the reigns and holding us back from realizing our potential by demanding that the adult self stops and stays present to the areas in which the child self feels entitled to an extreme display of power in reaction to having been powerless or unacknowledged for so long.

My child spirit finds so much joy and empowerment and playful expression in my choices of footwear because she knows that when I look for just the right pair of shoes I am looking for her; that I see all of who she is, and all that she brings to the table. Choosing my shoes as I dress for each day reminds both me and her that I am present and listening, and that her eager, innocent, insight is so valuable to my very serious adult lady life.

Maybe your child spirit loves legos or lipstick or cats or neon colors or splashing in water or talking incessantly or reading books or collecting rocks or coloring so hard the crayons break, or lining up all your toys in just the right order or making mud pies or actual pies or or or or or or or or or...anything and everything that you love and have ever loved.

May we allow our adult selves to trust that we know how to correctly care for our own inner children, and allow both parts of ourselves to emerge together and care for one another with grace and tenderness and joy.

 

New Moon, Full Bloom

Living in full bloom takes enormous levels of vulnerability and the kind of stamina that's only built in the dark.

It becomes painfully obvious when we're holding onto something that we've outgrown. Usually the only one we're truly hiding from is our own inner guidance.

It's easy to say, "Shake it off!" or, "Let it go!" And while that is ultimately the goal, if it was that easy why wouldn't we have just do that to begin with? The truth is that it takes most of us a little more work and a bit of elbow grease to trade the old familiar for vulnerability and faith in the mystery of our potential.

Let the new moon this week provide us with the kind of nurturing darkness we need to get honest about the blinders we allow ourselves to hold onto that keep us from becoming our fullest Self.

Temenos

Temenos: a territory, plane, receptacle, or field of diety or divinity. Carl Jung used the term to describe a deep safe place where inner work (mental, emotional, spiritual) can take place.

Temenos spaces can take many forms including the tangible and the energetic. They look like cathedrals and temples just as often as they look like headscarves, a canopy of trees, a specific place inside your mind/heart, or an abstract sense of cosmic covering.

This is a picture taken in one of my places of temenos. What do some of yours look like? Where are the places you go internally and externally to do your own quietest, deepest inner work?

Still Life

Did you ever notice how much flow is captured within a still life scene?

The next time you feel stuck, or feel like nothing is happening in the areas of your (inner and outer) life that you wish would move, see if you can step back far enough to be able to observe your own big picture.

Keep stepping back out of the ego and the mind chatter and the rational until you can see how much is actually flowing in and out of the snapshot of your still life moments.

Stillness is not the absence or negation of energy, life, or movement. Stillness is dynamic. It is unconflicted movement, life in harmony with itself, skill in action. - Erich Schiffman

May Day | Beltane

The first day of summer for some, and the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice for others. It is a recognition and celebration of fertility and abundance and warmth and light.

Consider your own definitions of abundance and accept the invitation of the natural world to join in the rhythm of the seasons; applying the same kind of attention and nurturing care of warmth and light to create an environment of abundance within your mind, body, and spirit.

What does it mean to be abundant beyond your bank account?

What does abundance look like in your physical body?

What does mental, emotional, and spiritual abundance mean in your life?

Calm to the Core, Recap 5

  • Surrender. Flow. Unfold. Release. When you are not calm more often than you are calm, the words above are really just a nice way to say, "unclench." Think about it: in a moment of anxiety or stress, the loudest physical signal is tension. And the physical tension is just mirroring the tension we feel emotionally, mentally, and energetically as we attempt to brace ourselves against the real or perceived discomfort of a situation.

 

  • Leave It, Change It, Accept It. When faced with choices or change, we always have three options: leave it, change it, or accept it. If it's something we want, it's easy to jump right into acceptance or surrender to the flow. But when it's something that challenges us, we usually have to cycle through each of these options, like steps, learning to surrender a little bit deeper as we go. 3 Steps To Surrender: Leave It/Denial, Change It/Control, Accept It/Surrender.

 

  • Hamster Wheels Vs. Windmills. In order to surrender to the flow of your life, you do have to give up a measure of control - but it's the difference between running the hamster wheel or building a windmill. Let's say your life is the wheel. And let's say that you are the hamster. In order to keep the wheel of your life spinning, you have to generate all of the energy all of the time. You, and only you, are responsible for any and all of the movements of that wheel. It's really easy to spin out, or get caught up in it, and you're tired all the time from the constant running. Now let's imagine that you build a windmill. You look around for the most open place, and you set it up. When you're done with the construction, you don't have to stand there and turn the vanes - if you did, it would actually inhibit the relationship between the windmill and the wind. Once your windmill is in place, you can move on to the other things that need your attention because you trust in your craftsmanship, and you trust that the wind will do its own work within it.

 

  • Just let go. Let go of how your life should be and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness. - Caroline Myss // We love clear directions. We want steps, and an aggressive plan of action, especially when things aren't going the way we would prefer. So it's no wonder that it's incredibly difficult for us to release control when we hold the idea that surrender is a passive act that leaves us on the sidelines of our own life. The thing that clicked for me, and that I love about the windmill imagery, is that I'm still involved. My action plan becomes clear; I'm not on the sidelines watching my life happen or generating all of the momentum, I'm participating by putting up windmills in all of the best places to catch the flow.

Our goal is to get out of a hamster wheel, but if you can do this then you need to keep doing this!

The Path of Transformational Love

If you walk the path of Transformational Love, you will inevitably be asked to give up the thing that you hold most dear. You are certain you could never live without this thing or person or mindset or protective layer, and in essence you will be right- you cannot live as you are living now without it.

Transformational Love will ask you (sometimes in a way that feels like force or abandonment) to let go of that thing and be fully immersed in the loss; to walk through hell and experience a death of self that can not survive its own sacrifice.

It is in the sacrifice and the dying that we are Transformed fully into Love. We become the thing that we could not live without, and we learn that death is not the end of everything, only the end of everything we think we know.

Calm to the Core, Recap 4

  • You, Yourself, as much as anyone else in the universe deserve your love and affection. - Buddha // Self-care can be a confusing term. The meaning seems simple enough, and yet the application of it can be difficult to decipher or apply in our lives on any kind of regular basis. People use the term self-care to describe yoga & smoothie recipes just as often as they apply it to ice cream & binge-watching Netflix.

 

  • Our feelings are not always a reliable guide for what we actually need. Most of the time, the thing itself isn't a bad thing, but any good thing can be used to an unhealthy extreme. If we're stressed and triggered, we will often reach for something the help us numb the pain instead of an act of self-care to help us process the pain. Three Ways to Identify Self-Care: Self-Care is less about DOING and more about NOTICING.  Self-Care will ADDRESS instead of AVOID.  Self-Care is a NECESSITY not a REWARD.

 

  • Self-care isn't always self-motivated.  There are times when we're having a rough day, or are feeling overwhelmed by stress or triggers, that we just need someone to tell us what to do so we can get back on track. Click this link to use an Interactive Self-Care Guide in those moments when you know you need something, but you don't quite know what you need.

 

  • When we look at self-care with the eyes of oneness, we can see that caring for ourselves, and working on becoming the best version of ourselves that we can be, creates radical and powerful changes for the entire world. One of the biggest reasons that many of us forgo self-care is that we're trying to take care of everyone and everything else around us. It can be hard to focus on ourselves when we know that there are others going through a rough time, or are barely scraping by in the world.  "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." - Audre Lorde
Wild Geese


You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
— Mary Oliver

Let Mary Oliver read Wild Geese over you as a benediction.

Calm to the Core, Recap 3

  • Exploring Spring as a metaphor for our own times of transition. Even if we're looking forward to the next thing, and we feel ready to make an exit, times of transition can be uncomfortable. Allow the Spring energy of the earth right now, remind you that you are in the flow of your own potential and growth.
  • Three Steps to Neutralize Your Triggers - Decide to let it go, Take responsibility/stop playing the victim, and Stay present with forgiveness. Most of us don't walk around feeling like we're stuck in the past, but all of us do have trigger points around certain issues in our lives. When one of our triggers gets pulled, we are instantly pulled into stress or anxiety or dread or fear. Your awareness of a trigger's presence means that you are ready to make the choice to keep them in place or move past them.

We need your wild fullness. Just bloom. We're all rooting for you.
(Get it? LOL - rooting for you!)

  • Flowers don't dream of bees, they just bloom and the bees show up. Set a goal or intention. Do the necessary groundwork for desired outcome. Focus on being the biggest, brightest, and best version of you, ever. When we decide to grow into our best selves, we will inevitably attract the right results - which may or may not align with what we thought we wanted in the beginning. It's possible to miss out on something even better, to settle for less, when we don't take the time to grow into ourselves.
  • Your life is already a supreme triumph.  So many things had to go right for you to even be here right now. And so many other things have to go right for you to keep being here to experience this crazy, amazing, insane, sometimes boring, or painful or weird, LIFE.

Retrogrades + Full Moon + Holy Week = Restitution, Restoration, Resurrection

The Universe has designed the week to provide us with many options for course correction and transformation both internally and externally. The stirring you feel inside is your on-ramp, your invitation to grow deeper into your own potential.

It may feel weird. It may feel scary-exciting. It may require a leap of faith. It may require a suspension of disbelief.

But if you follow yourself where you are lead, and trust in the paradox of the death/life cycle, then transformation is guaranteed. That guarantee is written into the codes and patterns of our very existence; as seen this week in teh changing of the seasons, the astroogical movements of the plants and stars, and by more than one man-made liturgical calendar.

Calm to the Core Recap 2

Here's the deal

  • If you're serious about getting calm to the core, you've got to get familiar with the rule of opposites, otherwise known as the paradox principle. The paradox principle is based on the idea that what is seemingly contradictory in face value is actually found to be complementary when you dig deeper.
  • Fear is a signal that you're on the right track! Okay, so sometimes fear is a legitimate signal that something is wrong and that we need to hightail it outta there. Either way, truth is right around the corner. Three Steps to Move Through Fear and Towards Your Truth - Allow Awareness, Take inventory of Where It Lives In Your Body, Stay with The Fear.

We've been talking big. Big ideas, big concepts, big fears, and big work. So let's just start small and remember that even the tiniest changes can have an enormous impact.

  • What you risk reveals what you value. The things that we're willing to risk, big and small, are clues to what we really want from life, what we think is possible about life, and whether or not we believe we are worthy of achieving the desires that make our heart sing. More often than not, our actions tell us more about our deeply held beliefs than our thoughts or emotions could ever describe.
  • Mother Teresa said: I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, only love. // Lower case love is how you feel about tacos. All caps LOVE is the paradox, the Phoenix Cycle, the beginning and the end of transformational change.

Calm to the Core, Recap 1

Here's the deal

  • You are an exotic cocktail of dust and soul, bone and spirit. Sometimes it's easy to feel the stardust in your bones, to connect with the divine, and feel the oneness of all things. Other times, the realities of the daily grind find us crashing back down to earth collecting bumps and bruises all the way down. But most often it is the mundane or the painful moments of our lives where we find our deepest truths.
  • Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds, If you want to believe that there is magic in the world, but your own core "facts" suggest otherwise, then get belligerent and decide to believe in the nonsense of magic. If you want to believe that the world is a safe place full of essentially good people, then tell your fear to kiss it. Stick it to 'the man' in your own brain!
 Art by  Arizorus .

Art by Arizorus.

If you're serious about getting calm to the core, you've got to care about how you narrate your life.   

  • Falling and loud noises are your only two innate fears; everything else is a learned behavior. Sometimes, we pick up fear because we experienced something that we don't want to experience again. Other times, we pick up fear from the way we were taught to think or feel about something. Either way, fear is largely a learned behavior. This is extremely good news! It means that your fears can be unlearned, or at least neutralized, so as not to trigger anxious thoughts and disturb your natural sate of calm.
  • Be the weird you wish to see in the world. Our quirks and the thing(s) that we do differently from those around us can be the things that we stress about. When that quirk is pointed out publicly one too many times and it becomes a sore spot. If a particular situation was harsh enough or if we collect a certain number of similar uncomfortable events, we can bury our weirdness so deep inside that we can forget what and why we're hiding. 

These people are super into dancing and cats. No matter your position on cats, this video is weird and awesome and I'd argue with my last breath that the world is a better place because this video exists.

Surrender Is A Call To Action

Here's the deal

I used to have a lot of trouble wrapping my head around the idea of surrender. From my point of view, I couldn't see any way that it wasn't just giving up, or becoming a victim of whatever Life decided to throw my way.

I wasn't sure how to connect my personal power and sense of agency to "just letting go," and it felt like free will or the desires of my heart weren't actually all that important if I was supposed to just learn how to become unattached to everything in my life.

What was the point of learning to trust my intuition, or of finding my voice if learning to parrot some grand divinity was the end game?

All of this roiled around inside of me, eventually reaching a boiling point during a time of deep disappointment and grief over the way that several different areas of my life were playing out. The advice I was being given was some version of "go with the flow," and so I spent a lot of time visualizing myself floating along the currents of a river - which mostly ended in a wave of tears, a temper tantrum, or an outburst of anger.

Several weeks after much of the drama settled, I was brushing my teeth - thinking of nothing in particular - when it occurred to me, almost audibly, that it was the difference between running inside a hamster wheel and building a windmill.

We love clear directions. We want steps, and an aggressive plan of action, especially when things aren't going the way we would prefer. So it's no wonder that it's incredibly difficult for us to release control when we hold the idea that surrender is a passive act that leaves us on the sidelines of our own life.

The thing that clicked for me, and that I love about the windmill imagery, is that I'm still involved. My action plan becomes clear; I'm not on the sidelines watching my life happen, I'm participating by putting up windmills in all of the best places to catch the flow.

It takes most of us a lifetime of practice to learn to surrender to the flow of life.

  • Notice the kinds of things that bring you a lot of stress on a regular basis - some common areas include: finances, the future, your job, your health, etc...
  • Consider what it would mean to replace the hamster wheel with a windmill in those areas.
  • Choose one action step (even a baby one) that you can take today towards building or surrendering your windmill to the process of co-creation.

Hamster Wheels And Windmills

Let's say your life is the wheel. And let's say that you are the hamster. In order to keep the wheel of your life spinning, you have to generate all of the energy all of the time. You, and only you, are responsible for any and all of the movements of that wheel. The wheel can't move unless you're inside running and running and hoping that you don't lose your footing. There is no in between - you're either working really hard all of the time to make the wheel spin, or the wheel is totally still and nothing is happening. It's really easy to spin out, or get caught up in it, and you're tired all the time from the constant running.

Now let's imagine that you build a windmill. You look around for the most open place, and you set it up. When you're done with the construction, you don't have to stand there and turn the vanes - if you did, it would actually inhibit the relationship between the windmill and the wind. Once your windmill is in place, you can move on to the other things that need your attention because you trust in your craftsmanship, and you trust that the wind will do its own work within it. As you move about your other tasks, and your times of rest and nourishment, you will look out across your own openness and see the vanes turning, doing the liminal work that is as visible as it is invisible.

When you run the hamster wheel, you're on your own, generating all of the energy and forcing things to happen.

When you build a windmill, you become a co-creator in partnership with the wind and the forces of nature. You're in charge of certain parts of the process, but not the whole thing and not the end result. 

In what areas of your life do you need to replace a hamster wheel for a windmill?

Nonresistance Is The Key To The Greatest Power In The Universe

Here's the deal

When faced with choices or change, we always have three options: leave it, change it, or accept it. If it's something we want, it's easy to jump right into acceptance or surrender to the flow. But when it's something that challenges us, we usually have to cycle through each of these options, like steps, learning to surrender a little bit deeper as we go.

3 Steps To Surrender

  1. Leave It, AKA: Denial. Life can throw some overwhelming curveballs our way, and when it does, there is usually a moment of disbelief and denial of the situation. We've all had that flash of thought that says, "It can't be true," and then it's over in an instant. And we've all met someone (because it could never be something you would do) who has spend most of their life in full-on denial of some issue or event. Our brains are so good at helping us survive, that they will employ denial in order for us to continue breathing and digesting and getting to the next safe space. So on one hand, it's a good thing, but once you make it to that next safe space, if you never come to an awareness about what has been denied, then it will stunt your ability to be true to your deepest self.  
  2. Change It, AKA: Control. Change is something that we love to hate. It's usually not welcome unless we're the ones to initiate a shift. When we faced with a situation we don't like, and we've moved past our first step of denial, our thoughts immediately move towards what we can do to change it- or how we can get back in control of the situation. Again, this is another blessing of our survival instinct and it fuels so much about what is good in our lives. In a culture that values independence and pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps, giving up control is counterintuitive. But giving up control of is not the same thing as going out of control (more on this tomorrow - hamsters, and windmills...) and realizing that you are not in charge of the universe can bring enormous amounts of freedom.
  3. Accept It, AKA Surrender. Coming to a moment of acceptance happens when we're able to truly be present to the moment we're in now. Not the one we just came from, and not the ones yet to come, but right now, this breath. Surrendering into acceptance is not about becoming a victim or a punching bag for the universe. Surrender is actually about regaining our footing and plugging into the real power available within us. When we allow an awareness about what is happening right now, in this moment, we also allow the awarenesses regarding any necessary actions needing to be taken right now, in this moment. Surrender allows for flow, it allows for the thing that is trying to happen (often as opposed to the thing that we thought or wanted to happen) can happen. Think of how many times can you look back at your life with gratitude for all the things that didn't happen the way you thought you wanted them to happen.

Plant The Seeds, Water The Soil, Let It Be

Here's the deal

Surrender. Flow. Unfold. Release.
When you are not calm more often than you are calm, the words above are really just a nice way to say, "unclench." Think about it: in a moment of anxiety or stress, the loudest physical signal is tension. And the physical tension is just mirroring the tension we feel emotionally, mentally, and energetically as we attempt to brace ourselves against the real or perceived discomfort of a situation.

When and where in your body do you notice the most tension? As you notice it today, what can you do to respond differently to those signals?

Together this week, we'll

  • discuss the difference between hamster wheels and windmills
  • consider what it means to truly surrender
  • practice releasing ourselves into a greater flow

The What And The How Will Flow When You Let Yourself Love What You Love

Here's the deal

Self-care is harder and easier than we make it out to be. This poem has a way of finding me when I need to pause and reset. Sometimes I just read it myself. Sometimes, I close my eyes, bow my head, and cup my hands to accept the benediction as Mary Oliver reads it over me.

Both are posted here for you to experience.

Wild Geese

Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Healing Yourself Heals The World

Here's the deal

Unless you've been living in a cave, you've probably noticed (AKA: been overwhelmed by) what's happening in our country and in the world.

Recently a resurgence of ways to get involved with social change have become available again on a large scale with things like rallies, information about calling and writing lawmakers, and avenues for using our dollars to show support.

One of the biggest reasons that many of us forgo self-care is that we're trying to take care of everyone and everything else around us. It can be hard to focus on ourselves when we know that there are others going through a rough time, or are barely scraping by in the world. On the one hand, we know that we can't save everyone, and yet taking time for ourselves often means saying no to something else important to us.

No matter how you feel about participating in large social movements, when we look at self-care with the eyes of oneness, we can see that caring for ourselves, working on becoming the best version of ourselves that we can be, we are making radical and powerful changes to the entire world.

Use this self-care wheel to get some ideas for how to care for yourself in each of these areas. Click the pic to download and print one for yourself. Keep it on hand for those moments when you know you need something but you don't want to think to hard.

Or, make your own version of a self-care wheel with the things that you know work well for you. Add your own categories, make up another format (index cards, mind map, infographic, spreadsheet, or even just a list).

Above All Else Guard Your Heart, For Everything You Do Flows From It

Here's the deal

Self-care isn't always self-motivated.
There are times when we're having a rough day, or are feeling overwhelmed by stress or triggers, that we just need someone to tell us what to do so we can get back on track.

We all need encouragement, support and guidance to help us grow.

Use this Interactive Self-Care Guide to help you discover what's going on and what to do about it.