Oftentimes, I receive ‘random’ messages from people in my social network. They compliment my bravery to share my story of domestic violence. They confess my vulnerability created space for them to also be vulnerable. They adopt some of my healthy habits in their life. The sky is the limit on comments that slide into my DMs.
Last week was empowering. Last week, I dipped into old posts to check my own personal healing (last year this time was the big discard with my mother – when my heart went from broken to shattered). Last week, I used my voice with people who took my kindness for granted (mostly professional contacts). Last week, I removed people I was not aligned with (I rejected a few client offers and backed out of a housing gig). With each moment of standing in my truth, I was rewarded with a Universal Truth. To accept how I am valued in another person’s journey.
Sometimes it bothers me when people send me private messages rather than publicly acknowledge when I’ve inspired/helped them in some small way. Public comments/testimonies are important for social validation. My entire coaching business is based on referrals. It’s during these moments when I remind myself of two things. 1. not everyone is out of the woods and sometimes a private message is their way to protect me from the aggressors/them from reactive abuse or 2. the person is lying to me and doing the bare minimum to stay on my radar.
When confused, I breathe.
What happens when you don’t know how to define health? These are a few of my favourite guiding principles for health and self-care.
Once is a mistake, twice is a decision
If I use my voice to share that someone is hurting me and they do not immediately change their behaviour, it means they do not respect me or our relationship. Everyone is allowed to make a mistake. We are human. When mistakes continue, it’s no longer a mistake but now it’s a decision. Removing myself from these types of friendships is an act of self-care.
Compliments & criticisms are projections
I can monitor the health of someone based on the way they speak about others and what they focus on when speaking with me. I view most people as monkeys throwing their poop. This visual helps me stay detached and not take their compliments (or criticisms) to heart. When in doubt, I choose to assume ignorance. I prefer aware people so once a habit (or health) is identified, I create space. Surrounding myself with healthy people is another form of self-care.
Emotions connect the spirit and body
I used to suppress my heavy emotions. I would resent some of my emotions, thinking they were too much. Currently, I share what’s in my heart. I hold space for myself to release whatever needs to be released. If rejected by others, that’s ok. If embraced by others, that’s ok, too. I enjoy my large emotions because it’s the FASTEST way to confirm who embraces me. The bigger the emotions, the stronger the message on where I need to focus and re-align. This process is essential for self-care.
Nothing is an accident, everything is by design
I believe in magic. Every once in a while, I jump down a rabbit hole and cannot see the magic. When feeling overwhelmed, I try to control things within reach. It’s at this exact moment, I remind myself the only thing I can control is my mind, my perspective, and how I choose to show up in life. Sometimes the simple fact the Universe has something so much bigger in store for me is what helps me find the lesson and move through whatever sidestep has manifested. Shifting from control my surroundings to control my perspective. A purified mind is the best-kept secret for self-care.
Take what you like, leave the rest
This slogan has been a game-changer. Shifting from solving everyone’s problems to only absorbing what is good for me. This felt extremely selfish at first but now it’s the norm. I often find myself asking others if they need to vent or if they are looking for advice. Being intentional with how I allow others to engage with me has been extremely powerful. Sometimes I need to say, ‘that’s not my problem’ or ‘I don’t have the capacity to support you right now.’ Detaching with love is the ultimate form of self-care.
I know I’m good at what I do. My existence is proof of my skills. I survived gun violence in 2009 and have been dodging (or embracing) emotional bullets ever since. My life is very simple because of a few key principles. These principles help shift my focus. They allow me to hold myself accountable. These principles help me stand in my truth and live a life filled with integrity. When people ask why my stress level is so low, it’s simple, I mean what I say and I say what I mean. I expect the same from people I allow into my community. Life is about healthy habits. Healthy habits come from an ability to practice self-care.