Seasonal Self-Care, Fall Addition 2021
Hellooooo, Rose Buds! Man, did I miss you! We took a break from blogging, but we’re back with a new post of The Rose Garden. I can’t tell you enough how excited and how honored I am to be a part of this. I love you wonderful ladies. I hope you know how wonderful and lovely you are. If only I could squeeze those rosy cheeks of yours and yell into your brains how amazing you are! If only. So I’ll do it here: “YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL & LOVELY!”
The air is crisper, the leaves are changing, and the wind is stirring the loose leaves, moving them to cascade down. Fall is blossoming with all its gorgeous hues leaving us in a state of awe and in the mood for some fall self-care, which means we are tackling our first ever self-care tips. Today, however, we are not talking about the bathtub soak with a fall scented candle kind of self-care, although I am a fan of that! I’m talking about changing the way you think kind of self-care.
A self-care tip that I have learned (and still working on) is to fill my own well first, metaphorically speaking. This means my well needs to be filled with love, compassion, and validation by myself. No one should go searching for water from others when your own well is empty, and one should especially never go to others who wont give you what you need. Compliments are nice. Kind words go a long way. But what goes further is the kind words and compliments you give to yourself. You are deserving of love, especially from yourself. What other people say or do can have little effect if you truly care for yourself. What they think about you doesn't matter. You are too important to let it matter. When you know who you are and when you accept yourself with compassion, the outside stuff doesn’t matter.
Have you ever read the children’s book “You are Special” by Max Lucado? It's like the group of wooden puppets that the stickers can't stay on. That is because it doesn’t matter what others think of them, or how they are viewed. What matters is themselves. Not in a conceited way. It’s a self-aware and self-love kind of way. And isn’t that the point of the book that those kinds of people are much happier? They stop pretending to fit in and meet societal standards and then all the inauthenticity melts away and they are happy being true to them. Yeah, it's fiction, but it is a happier way to live.
You deserve to be happy. Our journey to self-love starts here. Let’s fill our wells with self-love by taking these steps!
Step One: Get to Know Yourself
The first step is getting to know yourself and accepting you. All your flaws, too. That doesn’t excuse you from trying or from improving, but it does absolve you of all the shame you have held on to. You don’t need to! Shame has only caused harm. Guilt helps us to do better. Shame tells us we are bad and deserve bad things. You are not inherently fill in the blank here. Tell that to yourself.
Ask yourself questions. Take yourself on a date. What would you like to know more about you?
Step Two: Pretend You Don't Care What Others Think
Notice how I said pretend. This is a practice session. You are going to pretend you don’t care what others think and usually imitation turns into application. For me, this looks like the awkward moment I have at the grocery store where I keep running into the same person in the aisle. I don’t know said person, but in my head I’m thinking, “They think I’m following them.” Instead, turn it into you singing a fun song in your head and it is playing so loud in there that you don’t even notice the person. Or, another awkward moment I had, is passing a group of runners who just finished a trail run twice because I couldn’t find the start of the trail. I held my head high and pretended I didn’t care that they noticed me trying and failing to find the trail.
You don’t actually have to believe it, but pretend it, and eventually you’ll stop caring so much. I don’t think that will ever go away, because we are trained from day one to seek affirmations and to care very deeply about what others think of us. Uh, hello all social media platforms! But, I think it is doable, and it's a great way to start picking up the belief that what you think of yourself is what matters.
Step Three: Words of Self-Affirmation
Practice finding things you admire about yourself during the day. Or find things that you are proud of yourself. You answered a phone call, congrats! You’re so proud! You rocked those kicks (yeah you did)! Or, something like, “I like the way I care about others.” If you can find things you admire about others, you can do the same thing for yourself. I know you, you care about people, you have a compassionate heart, and you clearly have a fantastic taste in earrings!
The gestures or the thoughts don’t have to be grand. Keep it simple!
Putting it in Action
Think of this as our fall semester project. I know there are many of us who are not in school, but it’s a good way to measure the passage of time. Pretend like we are in school. We are in the Rose & Clay course of self-love, rosebuds! Choose one of these three action items that you could try. You don’t have to be perfect. Start off simple, and don’t give yourself too much at once. Take it low and slow. It’s a journey, not a race.
Action One: Take Yourself on a Date
Like I said, keep it simple. This could be going on a walk by yourself, but stay safe! Bring along some questions to ponder. Ask yourself: “What are you most proud of?” or “What does being my favorite self look like?” or “What actor/actress should portray me in the movie about my life?”
It could be silly questions, because there are no silly questions when it comes to getting to know yourself or when you are getting to know others. Actually, the silly ones are the best! It can tell you a lot about a person.
Action Two: Be Bold
You could practice not caring what others think by...wear something BOLD! Do that hairstyle you’ve always wanted to do. If you don’t know how, learn how! Wear those statement earrings that are bold and beautiful! Wear that outfit you have always wanted, but are too scared to.
Be authentically you and stop apologizing! Just try this out for one day and practice saying to yourself “I look good” & “I don’t care what others think of me.”
Action Three: Affirm Yourself
Write down something you know you need to hear regularly and put it where you can see it and repeat it to yourself. In my bedroom, I have big block letters spelling out, “You are enough.” I see it multiple times a day and read it to myself. It has helped me; maybe it will help you, too.
But here’s the thing. We are all different. We learn differently. We process differently. Maybe you have tried these suggestions and they didn’t work. That’s fine! Customize! Try something else! You know you better than anyone, or maybe you don’t and it’s time to learn more about yourself. Anywho, the point is, if something doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. It is not a failure. Customize the action to something that does work for you.
You know, I could write for eons about this subject; it’s a process that I am going through right now. Let me tell you, for the first time in my life I am not ashamed of my body. It feels great. I want that for every woman, for every human being to feel that fraction of self-love I have felt in this process I have started. You are deserving of love. Everyone is. So, why do you deny yourself that? Maybe that can be one of your get to know yourself questions.
Please, promise me you will try. I desperately want women to feel loved and proud of who they are. I want you to know that I’m proud of you, rosebuds. I love you, too!
Have a fun week! Let your hair down and have fun!
Until next time, rosebuds!
A few resources to help change your thinking:
- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
- You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle