Where do you gather inspiration?
How do you fill up with beauty?
How do you settle back into yourself?
What’s your saving grace when life feels hard?
Julia Cameron, creator of The Artist’s Way, assigns “artist dates” each week, a pleasurable, purely frivolous solo-excursion to nourish the inner child and stoke the artist within (we all have one).
Cameron inspired me to assign “self-care dates” each week inside of the Self-Care Lifestyle — my group coaching program and curated journey for busy, caregiving womxn who are on a quest to unlearn perfectionism (especially when it comes to self-care) and make time for themselves.
Self-Care Dates — as “cheesy” as they sound — are something I have been doing for years. Whether it be an extended bath, a stroll along the beach to collect stones, a solo hike, a dip in the ocean, wandering through an art gallery, even taking myself out for ice cream…anything goes as long as it nurtures a part of you.
My partner Ryan and I have been roadtripping west since Friday. It’s been wonderful, hot, uprooting, physically and emotionally taxing, silly, fun, boring and beautiful.
(If you know me and my teaching style you know that I love to challenge the good/bad binary, into which very little fits! Including our own emotional experience and relationship with self.)
Throughout our journey — which will continue for 5+ more weeks — I’ve been a little (ok maybe a lot) irritable, which happens when I’m feeling uprooted and not taking time for myself.
This morning Ryan rose early to mountain bike and I, after sleeping for 2 more hours, strolled a couple hundred yards up the dusty trail with my Matcha (yep, I’m pretty dedicated to this addiction), new book (The Course of Love), journal and phone to take pictures.
This is how simple (and fun) self-care can be. And no, it doesn’t have to be on a cliff amongst wildflowers and pines.
Whatever your patterns — irritability, anger, sadness, anxiety, rushing, worry, numbing, [fill in the blank] — let them be an anchor back into your practice, a reminder to get back to yourself and what works for you. Or if you don’t know, to explore this, to explore yourself, at a deeper level.
So often old patterns — for me I get easily frustrated and reactive — quickly become reasons to berate ourselves: “Why am I acting like this? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I hold it together…”
What if instead of sinking into a shame spiral or bypassing by forcing positivity, we chose to accept the fact that unraveling patterns developed early in life takes time…
And these very patterns — whether emotions, thoughts or behaviors that we don’t like — need acknowledgment, tenderness and space to breathe. So when we notice them arise — so long as we’re not inflicting danger on ourselves or others — they can be reminders of what we need rather than reasons to feel ashamed and escape.
After a good cry, owning and airing some of my concerns to Ryan, and spending some quality time with myself, I felt a bit closer to my true self — the self I really like.
A few reflections for you…
What can you practice accepting about yourself today to release some of the pressure of perfectionism?
What simple self-care practice can you return to to feel closer to the person you want to be?
About the Author: Allie Andrews
With a decade of experience in the wellness and coaching industry, Allie has partnered with 65 companies and helped hundreds of achievers and workaholics find a pace and rhythm to living that feels sustainable and nourishing.
As a coach, Allie helps her clients grow their impact while prioritizing their health, deepening their relationships, and following their joy.
Allie is a lifelong student of personal growth, certified health coach, yoga teacher, and sex and relationship coach.
Schedule your free coaching session with Allie
Facebook: Allie Andrews, OmBody Health