A couple of years ago I hosted a number of Self-Care Expeditions, an opportunity for like-minded adventurers to practice self-care skills together.
I’ve been seriously slacking in a couple of my primary self-care routines. I want to deepen into these core skills once again. I’d love to have your support… and for you to join me!
Here’s how it works.
We commit to a daily practice for the course of the expedition. We check in here for support, to hear how everyone else is doing, and to share our adventures in the comment section.
This will actually be a mini-expedition. We will be adventuring together for 10 (vs 40) days. The intention of this mini-expedition is to jump-start any self-care practice you wish to embark upon, return to, or deepen into.
Like I mentioned above, there are a couple of very basic self-care skills I’ve been totally neglecting for, oh… about 5 years.
When I say very basic, I mean VERY basic. Actually, they are so basic that I’m a bit embarrassed to even admit to them.
Ok, here they are:
Yes. It seems I’ve spent the last 5+ years focusing so much on the emotional and spiritual side of self-care that I’ve completely neglected the physical aspects of self-care.
For most of my life, I have been super active.
I played varsity sports all throughout high school. I hiked, biked, backpacked, played volleyball, ran, did pilates, xinyi, etc throughout college and my 20s.
And then, around the time I turned 30, I had this
breakdown breakthrough where I became aware of all this emotional pain I had been repressing for well, my entire life.
I’ve now spent many years unwinding that, learning how to witness and hold myself, how to be gentle and kind with that kind of pain, how to sit with it, how to ask for help, how to allow it to dissolve, shift, transform. And, this process has been amazing!
And yet, somehow, I completely forgot about and allowed the foundational skills of exercise and diet to fall away.
Not that I didn’t notice… I knew I wasn’t eating well and I hated that I wasn’t able to climb a hill without breathing hard. It’s just… I had other priorities.
Now, however, it’s time to take all the self-care skills I’ve developed and apply them to listening to my body as it relates to food and to getting back into shape.
So, that’s where I’m headed.
Note: these are the commitments I’m adopting for myself as it pertains to what I’m needing to learn now. Feel free to change, adapt, make up your own, as you see fit.
My overall commitment for this mini-expedition is to listen to my body. More specifically, I commit to
- setting the intention every morning to eat better and to move more through asking my body what it wants and listening for a response.
- pausing and checking in with my body throughout the day, especially as it concerns my food and movement decisions.
- end the day reflecting (either in a journal or just in my head) on how things went.
- share a bit about how this process is going every day for 10 days here on my blog thus opening the comments for you to share your adventure too.
Basically, I want to challenge myself to change my relationship with food and exercise through listening to my body.
Eventually, I hope to be in a relationship with food and exercise that is healthy, balanced, and, most importantly, sustainable without effort.
To help me get there, I need some permissions so that if/when I do mess up, it doesn’t end with me just abandoning the entire Expedition and hiding away in shame and self-disgust.
Therefore, my permissions:
- I give myself permission to forget, to mess up, to mindlessly eat salt/vinegar chips and chocolate late at night. It’s ok! I’m creating a new way of being in relationship with my body. A relationship based less on what my mind says is right or wrong; more on what my body truly wants.
- I give myself absolute permission to do nothing if this is what my body asks for during these 10 days. The listening piece is far more important than the type of exercise, how long it lasts, or how often I do it. (I’ll talk more about this aspect of my expedition at some point during the 10 days).
This expedition is about trusting that my body knows exactly what it needs to feel strong, healthy, and nourished. (Yes! This is key! I sense that this is another piece I’ll have a lot to say about as the Expedition progresses.)
Is there some self-care practice you would like to begin, re-start, or deepen into?
Perhaps your yoga, or meditation, or water-drinking, or journal writing, or __ has been falling to the wayside.
Would you benefit from joining me in making a 10-day commitment to take your ability to nourish and care for yourself to the next level?
The most important thing to keep in mind is that this Self-Care Expedition is not about forcing, or pushing through, or obligation.
Instead, we are here to support each other in deepening into our relationships with ourselves through noticing what comes up when we commit to a specific self-care practice for 10 days.
This is about learning more about ourselves and our patterns as they relate to self-care… together.
Will you join me?
Comments? Thoughts? Want to join? If so, leave a comment (including your twitter handle if you have one). That’s it. You’re in!
Of course, if you’d like to share the practice you are committing to and/or your personal permissions, that’d be great too. 🙂
We begin Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
YES! I need to do something.
Larisa Noonan says
Yay! Welcome. 🙂
Emma McCreary says
I will join you. I want to work with my relationship with sugar, and after thinking about it for a few minutes I realized my sugar habit really has to do with my relationship with pain. So, both of those things. Sugar is my primary “shadow comfort”, and I want to examine both sides of it–the comfort I derive from it, the pain I’m trying to soothe, and why I’m willing to hurt myself to do it.
There have been times in my life where I didn’t eat sugar, but never where I didn’t crave it, and never when I didn’t have *some* shadow comfort, like TV or gaming, to help me cope with the pain. Which brings me to my relationship with pain: it seems to be to cope, to endure, with this vague thought that it’s temporary and I can outlast it, and just over the horizon is the Promised Land where I won’t feel it.
But it’s not working. Maybe someday I’ll reach this nirvana state of having all my needs met all the time, but right now, I’m struggling like everyone else. I resolve one painful thing, and then a new painful thing appears. I work with my own pain, and then the world’s pain arises. The question I asked myself this morning was, “Why after all this emotional work and healing, do I still rely so heavily on sugar?”. Maybe there is something more fundamental at work. Maybe I’m attached to something that’s not possible. Maybe it’s this thirsting after a pain-free state is the fuel of all addictions.
My commitment is to ask myself questions like these, to write about it, to think about it, to feel about it, and to try to eat real food while I do it.
My permission is to focus more on the internal questions than trying to deprive myself of sugar, which never lasts very long.
Larisa Noonan says
This is great, Emma! I can’t wait to hear about what you discover/uncover.
PS. If you write anything on your blog on this topic, make sure you include a link in the comments here so we can read along. 🙂
I live mostly in my head.
For the past three months, I’ve been seeing an acupuncturist/tapping person and a nutritionist and they always ask “what do you feel in your body?” Only rarely do I have an answer. Interestingly, during this time, I’ve also noticed my addiction-related activities increasing (drinking, smoking [which I quit last year]) and my depression/sleep cycles increasing.
Maybe for just 10 days I can actively try to get out of my own head.
PS: Since my real name is that of a Greek goddess, I’ve picked a new one for this effed-up season in my life: Eris (Ancient Greek: Ἔρις, “Strife”) is the Greek goddess of chaos, strife and discord.
Larisa Noonan says
For me, getting out of my head and into my body is the foundation for all self-care practices. This seems like the perfect 10 day self-care practice. Please do share whatever practices or tools you find useful to help you get out of your head. I’m so happy you are joining us!
Jen Hughes says
Your expedition came at the perfect time! I’ve been struggling to start this on my own, maybe because of the season changing, maybe because I see the changes in my body and realize I’m not happy with them. Either way, I want to focus on eating better, more fresh foods, and moving my body more as well. I have a simple body routine that I could do, and it is so frustrating that I think about doing it, but rarely actually do it. I hope joining the expedition will help get me over that edge of thinking to doing.
Larisa Noonan says
Welcome Jen! So happy you are joining us. 🙂
Wow—some poor editing on that! Can I do that again?
I’d like to join. Although I could explain my difficulties in conventional terms—difficulty with exercise, with moving my body, with getting away from the computer and out of the house—all of these things fundamentally have to do with a difficulty with *density.* I realize, rather belatedly at 45, that this is a problem I’ve had all my life.
In his pioneering work with trauma, psychotherapist Brent Baum puts forth the rather provocative thesis that many people who have difficulty with diet, weight, exercise, etc. are often carrying unrecognized and unacknowledged *energetic* weight or density in the subtle channels and meridians of their bodies, which they then mistake for physical weight. In my case, I mistook it for emotional weight and “wrongness.”
Although I, like you, Larisa, have done an enormous amount of work on my emotional and energy bodies, a subtle (or sometimes not-so-subtle) problem with density remains. I have trouble with the physical world, and difficulty relating with it. I prefer to abide in the realm of ideas and subtle energies, which are light and move quickly. So I’d like to dedicate the next ten days (I think it’s actually eight as I write this) to exploring the question of density and how I can make the densest, most arduous tasks in my life a little lighter.
Larisa Noonan says
Yes! Of course! Do-overs are absolutely allowed here. 🙂
Really enjoying your exploration of ‘density.’ I find myself identifying with a lot of what you wrote and it is giving me even more to work with in my own expedition. I’m looking forward to your continuing explorations. Thank you, thank you!