Self Care For Dummies

That's how I feel about it.
I think because it's always been very hard for me.  Self care, that is.  Before I met my husband, I was eating probably once a day.  With extra storage in the oven for my shoes and nothing but takeout in the fridge.  Eating was a distraction from my work and something I used to forget to do.
I also rarely took downtime.  Or vacations.  I was extremely strict with myself in establishing a career and believed the longer I worked in a day, the further I'd get.  I spent lavishly at bars and restaurants, worked tirelessly on my hair and makeup but those things certainly weren't self care.
 Now, nearly 10 years later, I just recently figured out the depths of caring for myself.

And almost none of it you have to buy.  But of course that's the first thing I wanted to do!  When you buy a yoga membership or an expensive face mask or a trip to a tropical resort, you feel like 

"there, I did something!  It's right there and proof that I am now taking control of my self care!"

But... if you're still eyeing your disappointment-of-a-waistline in the mirror during mountain pose, or cramming that $200 revitalizing mask in the back of your cabinet after one use, or drafting a work email in your head while laying out under palm trees then...
...that's not caring for yourself.
 I'm sure we've all done something like this before.  I mean I did all the above.  But the stuff that really makes a difference (and part of the reason I suppose I can call myself a minimalist) is the real self care.  The hard stuff. 

Congratulating, forgiving, listening, letting go, feeling - that's the real stuff.  They're not events or things to own.  They're everyday life-changers.  I mean a face mask and a trip to a day spa can only take you so far.  

As a student of self love/care, I only now realize it's the meat-and-potatos of life!  You're feeding yourself and it miraculously makes you full.  I think because it attracts other wonderful gifts, like self awareness and self possession.  And because it's so filling, I find I have very little room for other "stuff" actually.  Even though I have a looooong way to go, after much practice, I enjoy that it has an awesome side effect of streamlining ones life, yielding only what serves and blocking out the mess.

I chose these photos for this particular post because mornings are when I feel most open to self care.  It is a time when I feel the softest and yet the most determined to kick butt.  Mornings are nature's makeover!

What's your favorite time of day?

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