The Art of Self-Care

We all have our own unique ways of self-care, rest and rejuvenation. However sometimes we can be driven by one part of us to meditate or exercise or eat a certain way. Other parts may not get airtime and might not be able to express their needs and preferences; to play music, lie on the beach, read a trashy novel or even doodle.

A verse from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” in Leaves of Grass reminds us that we are never just one thing, and that variety within ourselves is to be expected.

Do I contradict myself?

Very well then I contradict myself;

(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

When we feel we should or we must, we feel compelled or we act out of fear we can call this blending with a part that wants us to take care of ourselves the way it thinks is best.

There are many ways to get more space to hear all our needs, wishes, yearnings. To take into account multiple points of view.

  • Some people write lists. They write out the pros and cons.
  • Some people write a journal for self-awareness and clarity.
  • Some people bargain with themselves – “when I have done this then I can do that”. For example, when I have done the chores then I can read a book.
  • Some people stick by the rules they have set. They have a time and place for everything.
  • Some people go with whatever they are feeling in the moment.

These are parts of ourselves trying to help us get by, trying to help us the best way they can by organising, or sorting, or setting the rules or just going with the flow. At times the internal workings of our mind can feel very busy and even confusing. We might feel at odds with ourself. We might wonder how we can want things that seem like opposites. When we feel this tension or this kind of dilemma it can help to create some inner space. When the parts relax back and allow more space we become more aware of Self.

“In IFS therapy, the Self represents the seat of consciousness and what each person is at the core. The Self demonstrates many positive qualities such as acceptance, confidence, calmness, wisdom, compassion, connectedness, leadership and perspective. Unlike visible parts, the Self is never seen.” (from Good Therapy)

meditationI have created a short (16 minute) meditation that can help you Clear A Space with self-compassion and self-care. Click on the link to download or listen below. When you listen to this audio please use the pause button as you need. If you get to the end and still feel like more clearing is needed then start again. Remember you are not removing parts or asking them to leave. You are simply asking them to step back a little so that you can find some internal space and rest. Parts are always welcome and sometimes its easier to listen to them when you are not feeling mentally or emotionally crowded.

 

Click here to download: Clearing a Space