When beginning to explore why they don’t do things that nourish them, many people run into the thought that they don’t deserve to do self-care. They don’t feel ‘worthy’ of doing nice things for themselves.
Another question along a similar vein is: “Why can’t it just feel good to do good things for myself?”
Self-care isn’t about ‘worth’ or ‘deserving.’
While these are worthwhile questions to spend time inquiring into, they don’t have much to do with self-care as I teach it.
If anything, these topics lead to an increase in self-analysis (which occurs in the head) and continued disconnection from the body. In the end, they serve as a further distraction from doing the things that nourish you.
Our bodies don’t question whether we are worthy of self-care.
When we take a moment to sink out of our heads and into our bodies, these questions, these thoughts, these beliefs about ourselves that may or may not be true, simply melt away.
Our bodies don’t think in this way. They don’t care whether or not we have been good enough to ‘deserve’ to be nice to ourselves.
Our bodies simply love us. They are always here, in the present moment, waiting for us.
As you are ready, shift your attention to areas of your body that feel good to you, whatever that means in this moment. What sensations are present in these parts of your body?
Now, spend a moment or two, still with your eyes soft and relaxed, watching/witnessing your ever-changing internal landscape. You don’t have to do anything with what you notice. You are simply gathering information. You are listening to your body.
Gently bring your attention back out of your body.
While you were connecting with your body in this way, what thoughts were present? Was it even possible to think, to have questions of worth and deserving, when you were fully present with your body? I’m guessing not.
This is self-care beyond questions of worth and deserving.
Connecting with our bodies isn’t necessarily easy.
Yes, when we first begin to connect with them (especially if we have been disconnected for some time) we are likely to encounter pain and other challenging sensations.
Yes, it may be beneficial to seek help from a therapist or a bodyworker or to work with me.
Soliciting the listening skills of a close friend could also be beneficial.
However, embodying our bodies is the path to effortless self-care.
As we continue to connect with and listen to our bodies, they will guide us towards the people, activities, places, and the moments of stillness that most nourish and support us.
And eventually, as we allow ourselves to fully embody our bodies, we will discover that self-care becomes effortless. We will discover that doing good things for ourselves does simply feel good!
Do you struggle with feeling worthy of doing nice things for yourself? …whether that means taking 5 minutes to sit quietly by yourself before doing the next thing or taking a weekend at the beach or…
If you were to relax into your Owl Eyes and sink into your body, what might you discover?
My love to you.
Note: If questions of worth and not-enoughness are up for you, I highly recommend the work of Brené Brown – especially Daring Greatly as this book puts into compassionate context how living in a culture of scarcity affects our perceptions of ourselves.