During a recent interview, I was asked about my favorite self care practices.
My immediate response was
"BEING IN INTEGRITY"
This looks like consistently examining my actions, words, and thoughts to ensure they match my beliefs and values, and freely releasing all that is misaligned.
Since taking this stand for myself, I have left a job, a house, a city, numerous relationships and self defeating habits, and a lowercase life rooted in fear, lack, and insecurity.
I cannot remember a time in my life of feeling this free, this powerful, this alive, this abundant, this eager, this joyful!
Even on a "bad" day, I know that I can never and will never return to life as I knew it.
Now, had I been asked about my self care practices a few months ago, I probably would've said something like, bubble baths, sex, shopping, getting a massage. . .
Don't get me wrong, all of those things are awesome and I enjoy them all.
In reflecting on how my own concept and relationship to "self care" has shifted, I have noticed that there is this whole discussion, a culture even, that is built around a highly superficial concept of self care. A concept that largely works to give people a temporary break/distraction or, in many cases, a reward for their suffering.
Sure, I love taking care of myself and I encourage everyone to do so. What's concerning is when self care is used as a tool of pacification.
Go shopping to reward yourself for working a job you hate
Go to the salon to get a break from your children because your partner leaves you to do majority of the parenting work
Smoke to chill out/bring down your energy because you don't know what to do with it or you need to shrink yourself inside the box (the job, the relationship, the house, the neighborhood, etc) you're in
Go out to eat because only you do the cooking in your home and your partner refuses to cook
Do you get what I mean?
Ask yourself whether you need a temporary break or a reward for doing shit that stresses you out, beats you up, and drains you, or do you need to change the entire situation?
You don't have to compartmentalize self care. AND self care doesn't just look like painting your nails or buying a new outfit.
The highest form of self care is self honor- Saying no when you want to, saying yes when you want to, resting when you're tired, asking for help when you need it, walking away from something when you feel it's time to.
Stop placating your angst and disillusionment with a bubble bath and a bottle of wine.
It is possible to create a life where nurturing and nourishing yourself is interconnected with everything you do. But first, you must be real with yourself about what's not working and the ways in which you are out of alignment and out of integrity, so that you can take action to correct it.
Do you desire a life that honors and uplifts your body, mind, and spirit? What shifts need to take place in your life and how do you make them? Let's talk!
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"Cast yourself. You are the spell."
Black Femme Witches Brew founder, Jamila Kani, is a witch of many trades. Through her work as an Oracle, Ritual Practitioner, and Soul Guide, she guides individuals on the path to self mastery and self actualization.
Find her on Instagram and Facebook @blackfemmewitchesbrew