Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Taking Care of Ourselves, 2.0

Often when we discuss the concept of taking care of ourselves, I get frustrated by the focus on surface things like taking salt baths, drinking a cup of tea, reading a book, going to the spa.

None of this sits well with me.  I have always sensed that these answers are about "treating" ourselves, which is totally necessary, but this is different than taking care.

I take salt baths, drink yummy drinks, nap, and do all those (rather luxurious) things that are more about "spoiling." Again, this is necessary to some degree, but it has not alleviated my feelings of being rushed, not having enough time, being overwhelmed, exhausted, and all those feelings/perceptions that push me to crave taking care of myself in the first place.

Taking care, I have come to figure out (at this point), means knowing yourself so well that you know exactly what you need in order to live the life you were born to live.

I am being very abstract so let's get concrete:

One of my main frustrations lately has been about getting things done.

I have dreams; I have desires; I have goals, but I am not moving toward them. So I set out looking for a "system" that will aid me in my quests. I think I need better to-do lists or an online project management application.

As soon as I start looking at these sorts of products, my stomach lurches. I know they are wrong. I know they are just more (for me) Distraction Techniques with pretty lights and flashy buttons.

So Marcy and I start to really dig into the underlying issues with me.  Why am I not moving forward?

(Realize, of course, that this a major condensing of a huge and long and frustrating process for us.)

Eventually, we (and by "we," I really mean "SHE" because she is the true brains of this operation)...eventually, we figure out that if I have a class scheduled for some point in the day, that I get rather paralyzed by waiting for that class to happen.

Then we figured out that I do not respond to time cut up into slots like they are on traditional work calendars.  Those time slots all cut up into tiny pieces make me feel like there is actually NO TIME.

Finally, Marcy (coming from a family of teachers and an education background herself) figures out that my day happens not in time slots but in activities.  She also realizes that I am a visual person and therefore need visual cues.

Ta-DA!  Like Freaking Magic, she comes up with a visual way to represent the FLOW of my days, and guess what!?  I am Getting Things Done.

HA!  THIS is what I mean by Taking Care of Ourselves, 2.0: Becoming so well acquainted with how our minds work, what our bodies need, how our spirits thrive that we can create ways of being that are unique to us. DUH!

You are not shaped like a box so why do you keep trying to shove yourself into one?!

Here's what I would love to hear from you:

How are you different from other people?

How can you work with those differences rather than against them?

If you were an exotic animal, you would know that you need certain things to live: like heat lamps or specific greens or... Guess what?! You ARE an exotic what the heck do you need that you have been denying yourself?


Bettina Makley, aka Fairywebmother. said...

I personally, would love to know more about that visual system. Would it be possible to expand on that? Sounds like it could be very useful.
I find if I can just get started "puttering", I can get a ton of stuff accomplished. Puttering means I trust myself and my next choice and follow my intuition throughout my day. My challenge with this is living with a planner, who gets things done in a different way and so believes that is the way I should be doing it. So I get all caught up in trying to "please" and my own path gets blurred. Bliss is trusting myself.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Bettina, I might write more about this system I am using, but I just encourage you to really think through what your ideal day looks like, what you really need to fit into each day (including things, for example, like "walking," "music," "prayer"...all those little things), and give all of it the SPACE you need. Also, consider what you respond to in terms of motivation...I really do well with EXTERNAL motivation, which can be simple and silly, like, right now, when I finish my day and I have done all of my "cards"(which say my activity in one simple word), I get a lake rock placed in a bowl. When those add up, we will decide together what they mean for me. So silly but it WORKS!

Bettina Makley, aka Fairywebmother. said...

Thank you, so much, Christine. I love the idea of your cards. I've been letting fear creep in, too much, lately. It makes the little monkeys run around in my brain creating all sorts of chaos. Always looking for new ways to get centered (or to remember the old ones...*smiles*). Your blog is always good for that. Namaste...