The following is an excerpt from Oddball, The Resilience Guide
I’m too busy this that and the other so I don’t can’t do that
I have a lot of money so I don’t need that
I have kid(s) so I can’t do that
I have to make a living so I can’t do that
I’m too sick so I can’t do that
I’m tired so I can’t do that
That’s stupid so I won’t do that
I’m scared so I can’t do that
It’s sin so I can’t do that
I’m young so I don’t need that
I’m too old so I can’t do that
I’m too poor so I can’t do that
I’m with my boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife so I don’t need that
I’m not worth it so I won’t do that
I’m too comfortable living out of balance so I won’t do that
I know all this already so I don’t want that
I’m referring to the systematic and conscious care of yourself so that you build resilience, become balanced and gain health. From resilience, balance, and health the world is our oyster. Self-care has a lot of loose definitions out there. Let’s tighten that up and talk about self-care for chronic stress and pain. Self-care is about something we forgot to do: that is to listen to our body, mind and spiritual needs. It consists of actionable, conventional and unconventional tools and techniques, including using beauty to relieve chronic pain and stress (Beauty Heals Pain).
This can be any of the following: general mindfulness of your breathing, water, shelter and rest, addressing family, financial, professional, social and spiritual issues that are causing chronic distress. This includes consciously establishing new and healthy habits while eliminating unhealthy ones with a specific plan.
#selfcareliving Self-care has to be customized and crafted to meet your specific needs. There is no one-size-fits-all.
We humans can be particular about how we receive and interpret information. For the sake of simplicity and to make these ideas easily applicable, we need to organize and categorize them. I try to do that by talking about care of the self in terms of the physical, emotional, and spiritual. But they are all connected and interrelated. If you don’t believe in the spirit then do your best to focus on your physical and emotional well-being. Your spirit will thank you.
The care of one’s self is all-important to me. I often use the term “power self-care” because of the effectiveness of balancing one’s life and reducing pain self-care has. So here power self-care and self-care are used interchangeably. I realize that at the moment the latter is a trendy term but for me it is a fundamentally part of my life that gives me a semblance of relief from extreme and chronic physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.
Self-care is a huge topic. So big volumes can be written about it. It ranges from basic hygiene to creating boundaries against hurtful people, things, and places. Traumatic events and chronic stress I have experienced that led me to make this transformational shift. A few specific reasons include:
1) The various physical and emotional injuries I suffered,
2) The religious and cultural upbringing conditioned and emphasized I was of a lesser value than others around me, and
3) The mega mistake I made to care for everyone and everything else, instead of focusing on my own healing first, to the point of imbalance, left me ill and depleted.
In our world of perceived polarity, we vacillate between pain and pleasure. Being out of balance and living with constant pain most of the time became unbearable for me. To be in chronic and acute stress and pain simply makes for a substandard life. I just cannot believe that after all we know these days about medicine, alternative health, science, technology, the Universe, etc., we still can’t find a way to effectively treat so many conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic stress, thyroid issues, Lyme disease and sleep disorders.
This can lead to a release of excess stress hormones which include cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. We also know that our bodies produce natural neurotransmitters called endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine that not only relieves pain but releases pleasure. The question I continue to pose and explore is:
How can we find a way of releasing these natural “feel good” chemicals more frequently so that our chronic pain is alleviated while we strive to find cures for what ails us? One of the ways is by actively seeking beautiful things and experience that bring balance and pleasure to our senses and heart.
With a customized self-care system, I believe all of us can accomplish this. Nature has given us a huge gift of beauty. Although they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we as the beholder can bring beauty into our lives more actively to release endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin. For me, beauty is an absolute necessity in self-care. It is an element that by its very nature brings balance, therefore alleviates, and often eliminates pain, anxiety, and fear. I use beauty to alleviate my pain. Nothing else has worked and I have tried many of the prescribed remedies. I discovered through research and personal practice that one (of the many we’ll discuss here) powerful ways to actively release “feel good hormones” is via certain sounds and music.
Oddly, self-care has become a misunderstood concept. It is falsely confused with selfishness and vanity. It has somehow been confused with being over-indulgent. This is not what I am referring to here. I am not suggesting, for instance, that one engage in something that brings us pleasure to the point where it is more of an addiction than a healing tool.
Here and in any search you do regarding self-care, you will see all kinds of suggestions, from costly ones to sexual suggestions. If you go off and have sex as carelessly suggested by popular media, you may feel physical pleasure with a partner that is skilled in the act. But if one simply does this thinking it can be done with “no strings attached,” a hornet’s nest may be in the making.
“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” —Alan Watts
Balance is the key. If you are someone who has not been able to act with balance and are prone to addictive behavior, I urge you to go to the proper professional or spiritual source for assistance and practice mindfulness.
Self-care has become of the most important aspects of my everyday living. If I don’t do a regimen of self-care my pain will most predictably be worse. If I want to be functional in any way, I don’t really have a choice but to care for myself in various ways. I also do it to confront my own issues with feeling like an oddball. However, self-care has a strong creative aspect to it. Anything can have creativity infused into it, and self-care is no exception. By adding creativity into self-care we make an art of this process. Routine grooming, for instance, can become a moment of artistic creation instead of a chore.
When I spoke of self-care in my previous books, I spoke about it in the context of healing from emotional trauma like heartbreak. My self-care includes using all my senses and coming to a place where I use self-care practices to bring me to the present moment when an anxiety attack is rearing its ugly head. Additionally, I use self-care when my self-esteem takes a hit and I forget my eternal true and higher self in lieu of my ego and body. In these moments, I turn to self-care awareness to watch and be present to what I am eating, how I am sitting, and what things of beauty I can focus on at any given moment and move my whole system into a place of centeredness.
The point of self-care is not to ignore others around you or your environment. It is regaining balance starting at the center and that would be you, and expanding outwards.
I’ve spent most of my life releasing too much cortisol and adrenaline because of chronic stress due to past traumas. It’s time to counterbalance with the good stuff like healthy amounts, and more endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin on purpose. What do you say? Agree?