Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Aftermath

OK. This has been a long break- I will admit. I am really starting to get how much writing THIS BLOG is Self Care for ME, so I am truly thankful and grateful to be continuing to share my journey in Self-Care with You.

These last weeks have been as trying and challenging on my Self-Care Practices as ever. I had an intention to attend one class-a-week as a part of illustrating the huge and amazing impact that Intentional Self-Care can have on the life of a human being. I went to a class of a friend I was very fond of for the spirit of freedom that he brings. I had really psyched myself up to be with this fun, like-minded person. This choice also had special significance to me because this the class I was choosing to kick-off a new theme for the blog.

The funny thing was- when I got there he completely ignored me. He must have been having a bad day or a hard moment. It totally took me by surprise. I tried several times to smile, talk or interact with his stone wall. My heart was so hurt. Even more than the actual class itself I was excited to see my friend. Eventually I gave up and tried to just enjoy the class. At the end I was ready to leave and tried to say goodbye to the stone wall with no response. I realized in retrospect that I had some expectations around this activity that were causing me disappointment. Were they unrealistic expectations? I don't believe they were...that a friend would kindly acknowledge my attempt to communicate. However, I adjusted them after the fact as was so necessary for my mental health. I also adjusted my view of this person's role (if any) in my life. -I am in a very vulnerable place with so many changes going on, and while I do not hold any judgment or anger towards this person, I will not be reaching in their direction for support in the future. For me, in this circumstance that is the best Self-Care I can do.

Needless to say that little mishap threw me off my stride a bit. The emotions I have had on my plate have been intense. Why would this person have such a huge effect on me anyway? The truth is, in terms of the layers of my emotions I have had a lot of things bubbling below the surface that have been hard to cope with and process.

I am in the midst of a divorce. Just the word itself is filled with connotations of destruction. For Me, breaking out of this marriage has been the most freeing and loving thing I have done for myself since my children were born. This marriage was so stifling, isolating and condemning. This person needed help and as of our last days before the separation was unwilling to acknowledge or honor any kind of CARE for himself or any impact that his neglect could be having on our lives or our relationship.

It's true that when you grow, whether it's your roots expanding down and across, your branches reaching higher or your leaves multiplying- you rock and shake the very fabric of the lives of those who are connected to you. This CAN cause destruction. But don't misunderstand- no matter what the immediate result seems to be- the changes that occur in your life (and those around you) as a result of positive growth you have created inside you, those changes are ALWAYS for the GOOD.

Good comes in many forms. In my life right now, Good is disguised as destruction. There were 4 people and a dog that all lived under the same roof, and now there are only three (and no dog)…..the mom that had all the time in the world to devote to her kids' emotional needs and still had left overs to care for herself with intention and love is now working fulltime and seeing her children much less. . And life is never black and white, all or nothing, one or the other… a wonderful woman who helped me through so much used to tell me " nothing is either-or…..everything is both-and". So where there is destruction and loss there is always the birth of something new. The question is- what am I birthing?

I have been basking in the expansive freedom I was completely ready to have and let in to my life. It has been awesome. At the same time there is a part of me- I will choose to call this part of me my"little girl"- who is sad. And I wonder to myself…..why? What is there to be sad about? I have struggled these last few weeks especially to allow that emotion to flow naturally simply because I have not been open or willing to understanding the existence of this sadness. After two solid weeks of struggle I have come face to face with my personal-once clearly defined- "Emotional Law". Emotional Law#1 is no judgment, no questioning, no quantifying, no justifying, and no figuring. If I have a feeling it must be honored regardless of my mind's agenda or opinions.

This emotion- as I have allowed light to- is sadness over a loss. Well, I wondered to myself, a loss of what?? It's not the loss of a family- because MY family IS intact-(He rarely ever participated in the family. It was always just me and the kids) It's not a loss of a partner because there was no partnership- it's not the loss of a friendship, a confidant, a lover…an activity partner….well? What is it? It's the loss of an illusion….and the more well-known version; the loss of a dream. For Years I have lived my life in a very "comfortable and secure" bubble. I have placed quotations around those words because the words themselves are definitely a part of the illusion. When I went out into the world I felt secure because my life "made sense" in society. I was a mom. That title alone- especially the exhibition of being a "good Mom" qualified me for all kinds of quick perks in the everyday social structure of our culture.

As I sat at the pool today sunbathing (by myself- it was his day with the kids) I saw the Daddies and the Mommies with their little ones, playing and splashing in the pool and I felt sad. I felt sad that I wasn't currently having that experience in my life (with a partner in life AND parenting). I also felt sad that I had never had that kind of partner- and finally I felt sad because of what was never-to-be with that person. Now notice I laid claim to the specifics of the relationship. I got into that relationship because I thought he might be the kind of guy to go swimming at the YMCA with his wife and kids or go to the park but I was wrong. I was wrong but I tried and tried….and 6 1/2 years later I started trying something different.

There is a space now- like never before. I have ploughed and I have plummeted and I have called in the special-forces and the great goddesses of protection in order to create this space. There is this beautiful alarmingly free clear space. I love it. It is so restful and serene. I called this into my life. This is what I wanted and I am so grateful as I continue to try and pay attention to it- this great space of allowing.

Now that there is freedom and clarity the rest will fall into place naturally. The future is full of possibilities and rich with treasures that I get to design and define for Me. Each day that I am blessed to enjoy the laughter, smiles hugs and kisses of my wonderful children is a gift. Each day that I get to sip tea and gaze at the wonderful trees outside my window is a gift. Each day that I am allowed to live and breathe and BE HERE is such a blessing. I want to pay attention- I want to stay awake. I don't want to miss a single minute of it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

1 Class a week

    I have been ruminating for a while about how to proceed with this blog. I consider myself a "creative type" so for Me, the possibilities really ARE endless. I landed on the idea of "1 class a week" this evening and it was nothing if not circumstantial.

It's time for Me to tell you a little bit more about My story and why Self Care Diva is so close to me heart……I am a newly single parent of two beautiful precious creations- a 6 year old daughter and a 8 month old son. Their presence gives my life meaning where it once had none. And the circumstances behind my becoming a newly single parent have everything to do with the broad and bold topic of Self-Care. I was in a loveless marriage for almost 7 years of my life…..and I really don't want to whine about it to you. The details may become pertinent in another context. I will simply say that the concepts of Self Care, Self Respect and Honoring MySelf simply COULD NOT coexist within the backdrop and completely oppressive environment of this marriage. I tried this-a-way and that…..I tried wiping away entire portions of my SELF to make it work. Oh I tried.

I had so many hang-ups weaving me back into the relationship again and again… many fears. And I also had a spouse who was always ready with a long list of ever-effective manipulative tactics, many of them stemming from said-hang-ups, making sure that I always felt incompetent and that I was never going to "measure up". I will also save the intricate details of my "awakening" from this haze of pain and suffering for another, more related topic of discussion. The important thing to note is: this relationship began to change it's shape when I stopped playing the "game" I could not win and started practicing My Self Care.

I want to take a moment to highlight the words My Self Care. Self Care IS a VERY broad label- and intentionally so. It works where more specific ways of describing some kind of "self-nurturing" like "body care" do not because EVERY PERSON NEEDS DIFFERENT CARE. I love this so much. It means that becoming a part of this thriving, supportive community only requires the desire to take better care of oneself- and knowing that YOU are the ONLY ONE who can define what that means for you. It could be taking more time for your writing or doing art. It could mean going back to school and getting your degree. It could mean hiring an accountant instead of trying to do your own taxes. It really is anything pertaining to and directly addressing the needs of YOU as a multi-facetted individual with many different types of needs and what You Can DO to address areas of your life that aren't working by means of one simple thing; better Self Care.

I figured this would not be nearly as intriguing of a blog if I were a happily married woman (why I don't know…) But being a single Mother HAS ITS CHALLENGES. I mean Hell, if it DIDN'T more women would probably "get the heck out" of more disempowering relationships a lot more often. For Me, My Commitment to Self Care as a message to all of the hurt and diseased parts of Me (my mind, my body, my emotions- wherever there is dissonance) is what ultimately would not ALLOW me to continue in a relationship that did not RESPECT VALUE HONOR SEE HEAR and-God knows-LOVE ME. And it is neither ironic nor a coincidence (yes, I'm an "everything happens for a reason" AND an "everything is an Opportunity" type) that I have now found myself in ONE OF THE HARDEST CIRCUMSTANCES to have GOOD, CONSISTENT SELF CARE in the history of our society. Another point I will not elaborate on, but one that is easily taken as fact among anyone who has embarked upon the parenting journey, single or not.

In my world these last few weeks have been pretty heavy and I have felt WAY off my game. There have been many recent challenges- from out of town visitors to falling-outs with loved ones-but what I have been truly discombobulated about has been my financial situation more than anything else. The fears, the anxieties, the negative thoughts and the CIRCULAR thinking have ALL been EATING MY LUNCH. I have crazy knots in my shoulders, neck and back and that's not even really "like" Me- generally speaking.

So back to the circumstance that created the 1 class a week idea. Well its Sunday which for Me CAN be a day to start planning a week ahead that includes everything that truly matters to me- it can be a day when I have the ability to be more thoughtful and reflective about "what isn't working" and it has been very clear that all the worrying and obsessing about money has ACTUALLY not been productive. But what I have done in addition to worry a lot is I have cut down on my Self Care. Why? Well it was never intentional!!! Does anyone who makes a Self Care Commitment ever Intend to Stop it?? But when you're worrying all the time instead of thinking positively about WHAT WILL WORK for you and the ACTION you need to take it is SO EASY TO DO!!

So it's Sunday and I realize that a friend of mine is teaching an Amazing Dance Class tomorrow at 6pm. Not only is this a friend of mine and a class I have enjoyed so much in the past, but he was actually out of the area for a while and his class went with him!! He has been back for a few months and I just keep "watching those Monday nights roll by". Now here is where I am going to interject the awareness that True Self Care looks SO different for everybody. It really IS an Inclusive Idea. For ME, Dancing just really tickles my fancy. And so does getting out into nature, yoga, eating awesome DELICIOUS food, taking awesome superbly special care of My Kids and experiencing just about anything New in general because I LOVE ADVENTURE. My blog will be about My Self Care but as You read I want you to think about the things that pop into your head that are "your things" for Your Self Care. You will know what they are.

I got a surge of inspiration this evening, by the Grace of God, and I started into Pro-Active Self Care Mode, when I had a thought I have had more than once in the past (which originated when I realized just how much work it was GOING TO BE to get to this class, get a sitter, get everything READY for the sitter AND TAKE THE SITTER HOME!!) and that was "Taking Superbly Special Amazing CARE of MySelf and MyLife (Every Aspect according to my true values and beliefs) is A LOT of Ball-Busting Hard Work but I DESERVE IT, I MATTER THAT MUCH AND I AM WORTH IT!!!" These are not small statements for me. They are statements I try with every intentional bone in my body to bring myself back to when I get off balance, lose my focus and my world seems to be rocking violently by a storm that I CANNOT navigate. I CANNOT navigate my way THROUGH the negativity, the Self-Doubt and the Critical Thoughts. It's just Not Possible. Getting into action with My Self Care is the only thing that works for Me. I believe that Positive Self Care is the antidote to the poison of all negativity within ourselves waiting to be healed.

Needless to Say I found a Sitter and got MySelf all set up to go breeze and "hit the wind" tomorrow night at my friend Jhon Stronks' 6pm Monday Open Modern at the Met here in Houston. 1 class a week. Maybe that is the best I can do right now, maybe that is all I can do. But the effort and the intention represent everything I know and have found to be true about My Own Authentic Self Care Journey- and I know You will find this too when You Commit to YOU as a way of healing and loving yourself- and that is that EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS!! Every SMALL decision to move into taking better care of yourself IS A VICTORY!!! and it reverberates throughout not only YOUR LIFE itself, but the ALL other lives that you touch every day. This goes back to one of the clearest messages I have to share with you and that is that YOU MATTER!!! IN EVERY POSSIBLE SENSE OF THE IDEA!!!!

Make a decision this week to do 1 specific thing to honor yourself every week for the next 6 months (maybe even pick something that you feel especially misunderstood about- this can be even more nurturing and healing) and give yourself 2 hrs. once a week to dedicate to that thing, event or practice that JUST GIVES YOU PURE JOY. I know you will start to see the goodness healing and love within yourself begin to snowball. Remember, being a Self Care Diva is taking Awesome Superbly Special Care of Yourself so that You Can Show up and be available to the people and things that really matter to you. It is also the Amazing Opportunity to Model this type of Loving Behavior for anyone who might be noticing (for me my children). The effect of this 1 good thing will be felt all over your life, I guarantee it.

Good luck and I will be reporting back to you with my experiences, challenges, growths and victories and I WANT YOU TO DO THE SAME!!!

Until then,

Take Awesome Superbly Special Care of Yourself!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What is a Self Care Diva???


A Self Care Diva is a Woman who IS Seeking to KNOW Herself- and her Internal Experience and Values- BETTER in every day in every way.

A Self Care Diva Honors her Feelings Thoughts and Experiences.

A Self Care Diva is striving to KNOW, Deep Within HerSELF, that what is Inside of Her is TRUE and GOOD and that SHE IS an ABSOLUTLEY INVALUABLE TREASURE. Period.

A Self Care Diva is a Woman who strives not to judge, condemn or shame herself in any way and creates a compassionate loving environment inside her mind for her thoughts, feelings and experiences to reside. She also practices non-judgment and loving acceptance of others experiences and feelings.

A Self Care Diva knows that Honoring Her Feelings and Experiences means Caring for Her Own Emotions through Sharing, Journaling, Art, Music, Dance, Exercise or other Healthy Peaceful Forms of Processing.

A Self Care Diva is on a Journey to Discover what truly matters to HER in Life and HOW she can express HER Internal Values and Beliefs in a way that is Satisfying to HER.

A Self Care Diva is a woman who wants to LET GO of how the world sees her, or how society sees her in favor of How SHE CHOOSES to see HerSELF.

A Self Care Diva knows that she is leading by example and that her children, her family, friends and community will ALL benefit from her practice of Trusting Her Insides FIRST. She knows that by setting this example of Self-Respect SHE is giving them permission to do so also.

A Self Care Diva knows that by asking for what she wants and needs from those in her life she is ALLOWING them a Direct Opportunity to be able to SUPPORT her and show her the RESPECT and LOVE SHE DESERVES. She also knows that by modeling this behavior she is giving them cues that she too will listen acknowledge, honor and respect their needs as best she is able.

A Self Care Diva is not afraid to ASK FOR HELP. She knows that when she asks others for their guidance and wisdom that she is allowing THEM the opportunity to feel of Value and Blessing their day.

A Self Care Diva is not afraid to change her mind or openly make mistakes. If she trusts her gut instinct (her inner wisdom) and uses respectful communication, she knows she does not need to explain what works for her or make excuses to others.

A Self Care Diva knows that being perfect is just a mirage for happiness and that true happiness lives in being fully present and alive in each moment, loving herself and loving her life.


A Self Care Diva KNOWS that Caring for Herself really IS CARING FOR THE WORLD.

I created this blog because I believe truly and deeply in this message. I want these changes for myself and for all women in our culture. As I look around, the whole world seems to mimic the "American Way". What a huge responsibility I feel as a Female Member of the one of the most powerful forces of change in the world. I want these big changes for every woman in America. May it echo out and reach women all over the world.

I also created this blog as a forum and as an opportunity for support. I do not consider myself an authority on anything. I simply have had many years of trial and error under my belt to know that this is the path I am on. I want YOU to REACH OUT!! COMMENT!! ASK!! AND RESPOND…SHARE!!! As a way of supporting these goals for one another and all of us. I am not the only Self Care Diva. You just might be a Self Care Diva too. Are you?

Please, share your stories, your victories with all of us. Because each time you do you will give another aspiring SELF CARE DIVA HOPE.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Self Care Diva

I am dedicating this blog to Awakened Empowered Women everywhere who are searching for someone or something out there to Give Them Permission to Take excellent, outstanding, exquisite, superb, sacred Care of Themselves and their lives- honoring their experiences and their values as people of value and worth on this planet.
Our culture dictates that women be the caregivers of others- and Hallelujah!! Women are so amazing and loving, so giving and tender. So many in this world need care and GOD BLESS every woman who reaches outside of herself to help or show kindness or love to another human being in any setting.
As woman, the dominant trait that is valued in this culture of ours is one of giving and servitude. I also think that people of sensitivity and compassion in general are simply drawn to give of themselves. This blog is not meant to degrade that service in any way. On the contrary I believe giving to be an absolute key element in living a life of happiness and fulfillment. Everyone should spend some hours of their day giving to anther human being or serving another in some way. Many of us- many women- are so good at giving to others and we find it so foreign an experience to give that same love and kindness, compassion, patience and care to ourselves.
The secret I am begining to unleash in my own life- that I know others out there are finding too- is that the more I am able to turn around those negative inner messages and thoughts that go on towards myself and replace them with the positive loving thoughts I KNOW to be true about myself.....the more I am able to reach in to myself as a person of value and worth- so desperate for care and acknowlegement and GIVE that care to myself- unequivically, unabashedly GIVE LOVE from a place in my heart to ME- the most amazing things are starting to happen. I am able to be so much more loving and available to others than I have ever been, but I don't loose myself the way I used to. I am able to give the unconditional love and support to others because I am beginning to have the experience of loving myself completely within and that is an experience I never would have known how to give another person before. I am feeling valued and worthy of having EVERYTHING I truly desire in my heart for my life- and my heart's desires have now become available to me, whereas before they felt locked away somewhere deep inside. I have been able to stand up for myself in situations that aren't right for me, change relationships that weren't working for me and stand up for my own respect and dignity in situations where there was disrespectful or unacceptable behavior of any kind.
I am not taking 100% full credit for all of this work. I have had a lot of support from my Higher Power everyday as well as my "support system"-That is the final part of the equation that we need to learn as women today- how to recieve the love and support we need when it does show up for us, how to ask for help and how to take in and recieve the love and support others have for us right now, today, in our lives.
This journey will span all topics of life pertaining to self-care, self-respect and self-love. I hope you'll join me. My wish is that we will find ourselves happier, more whole and so much more able to give to this world in a way that is satisfying and meanful to each of us.
Sat Nam