Jun 24 2013

What Self-Care Really Means (it’s more than bubble baths and yoga)


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It’s the start of Self-Care week on The Declaration of You BlogLovin’ Tour, and there’s just soooooooo much to discuss.

Personally, Self-Care has been my nemesis for so long – the thing that beckoned me, that teased me, that flirted with me and has often remained out of my grasp – that it’s something that’s on my mind on a consistent basis.

A few weeks back I found myself talking about it (for seemingly the 42nd time) with my coach as well as a client or two, and I had a bit of an epiphany.

I know intelligently that Self-Care means Things That Are Good For Me: more exercise, getting into a meditation practice, regular bubble baths, etc. Y’know, those things that are relaxing and fun and good for your general good health.

But during this particular week, Self-Care showed up through music and writing and performance. It just felt so damn important in a way that hadn’t in a long, long time.

All of a sudden, it wasn’t about the small things that I could do in 15 minutes, or even just The Things That Make Me Feel Good.

It was about expression.

It was about passion.

It was about longing.

It was about identity.

I was instantly in the shoes of so many of my clients, knowing something isn’t “productive” or “doesn’t matter” in The Grand Scheme of Things, in Our Grown-Up Lives where anything that isn’t providing for our families should be squished down down down.

I started hearing my own excuses like I was outside of myself.

“It’s impossible to audition here if you’re not pursuing acting professionally.”

“I have too much on my plate to add anything else to it.”

“If I don’t want to make it my career it’s not worth doing.”

All of a sudden, I gave myself permission to give that side of me – that calling – my full attention.

I dusted off the cabaret show I wrote a few months ago & spent a few hours playing with my uke Lucille. I sent emails looking for a space to perform in this August/September, and found my way to the NY Funny Songs Fest. I signed up for 2 workshops the very next day and performed in front of a small group of my classmates.

While I know I sometimes feel stretched too thin, Music and Performing is all of a sudden a big priority – mentally, physically, emotionally.

It’s the meaning of Self-Care: what I need to do to Take Care of Myself.

I’ve been denying it to myself for too long.

I need to get back to the biggest form of self-expression & creativity I have. I need to go back to the the theater, with my uke Lucille, my sense of humor, and the big mix/belt that’s dying to be released.

It’s really empowering to have it sink in that performing isn’t a superficial thing for me. It’s a major player in how good and authentic and connected I feel.

Coming Soon to a performance space in NYC: Boob Cancer and Show Tunes, my one-woman show.

If you want our Declaration of You videos around Self-Care for further thought/discussion, you can find ‘em here (me + Jess), here (me + Jess + Jonathan Fields) & here (me + Jess + Natalia KW).

What does self-care inherently mean to you? What have you been missing? What is your body/mind/soul yearning for that you’re making excuses for?
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TAGS: ,
POSTED IN: Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 25 Comments


25 Responses to What Self-Care Really Means (it’s more than bubble baths and yoga)

  1. Go Michelle. Love it. One-woman show! :) Great post.

  2. Mari says:

    This is awesome! It reminded me that self care is an individual thing. All the well meaning advice to exercise or take a bubble bath never resonates with me. But playing the piano or knitting totally would. Thanks for the epiphany!

  3. You named your ukulele Lucille…that’s awesome. My guitar’s name is “Luna”…and reading your post just reminded me that I need to stick to my “guitar playing time” that I had managed to find a month ago…and then stopped playing again. Is there a link of any videos of you performing with your ukulele?? I would love to see them! Great post :)

  4. bethan says:

    this is such an inspiring post, it has got me all fired up for my self-care post on Friday! I had been a bit daunted about writing about something ‘deep’, but feeling more confident now!

    • michelle says:

      Deep schmeep! Write from your heart, your gut, your wants, your needs. You can’t get better than that.

  5. Addie says:

    Michelle! I love, love, love this:
    “All of a sudden, it wasn’t about the small things that I could do in 15 minutes, or even just The Things That Make Me Feel Good.

    It was about expression.

    It was about passion.

    It was about longing.

    It was about identity.”

    This is definitely going into my next art piece however that creates itself….

  6. Awesome sauce! But this has really got me thinking though… I wrote fiction, pursuing publication for years before switching to my current online pursuit. It’s not something that I ever wanted to give up for-evers, I just needed to give it up for a little while, but that was two years ago and I’ve barely dabbled since. It’s been flitting in and out of my mind more recently. Off to ponder…

    • michelle says:

      Ooh, I see a lighbulb slowly glowing above your head, Kerryn! A little at a time, a little at a time…

  7. Ooh yes, self expression and creativity – that’s where the juice is at! I’ll be in the front row of your show if you and your uke tour Australia. :)

    Such a pleasure to be part of your fantastic blog tour!

    C xx

    • michelle says:

      That would be a dream come true, Carly! I’ll put it in my pocket (of peace!) :)

      Thanks so so much for joining us!

  8. Hannah O says:

    YES. This is the piece to the self-care puzzle that I’ve been missing. All my ideas have been trivial little things like pretty nails and sleep ins… but it’s ok to dedicate myself to something BIGGER. That needs commitment and time and energy to pursue. I GET IT NOW. Aaahhh.
    And I’m totally coming to NY for your show :)

    • michelle says:

      I’m gonna hold you to that! Free ticket for you, lady! (Ooh, and I can’t wait to see what comes of this revelation!)

  9. When I became a counselor I was dealing with so much of my own trauma history in addition to the academic work. My mentors kept saying, “You need to do self care.” I had no idea what that was. I spent 8 years researching and writing a book. I agree, it’s so much more than yoga and bubble baths.

    • michelle says:

      THIS is totally why Jess & I wrote The Declaration of You. One woman’s bubble bath is another’s book research! Good on you for staying true to that part of your creativity/identity and the way to nurture yourself.

  10. Georgina says:

    Great post Michelle! i must say this topic was the most difficult for me.. since I realized I haven’t been that good about it. And yet, it’s not just the main things such as exercise and mindful eating (which are also important too) the ones that need to be put on the top shelf. Indeed, passion, expression, longing and identity are main ones. Thanks for this one. I’m now off to write my own post ;)

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