This is a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. Self care has changed the way I live my life.
This will be a big share post.
Self care is an act of self love.
Some back story about me. I have a handful of autoimmune disorders that I didn’t know about for a long time.
I didn’t take great care of myself in my early 20’s. Crap food, not enough sleep, not enough water, and a high stress job does not make for a healthy life.
So unhealthy that I was getting sick constantly – and finally landed myself in the hospital.
Sitting there in a hospital bed, unable to speak because my throat hurt too much, with an IV jammed in my arm pumping pain killers, fluids, and an antibiotic cocktail through my body, I finally had enough.
I quit my stressful job and went to esthetics school. I didn’t know that I would be diving into nutrition at the same time. But several of the girls in my class were deep into health, and I was trying to clean up my act.
I started learning my health problems were systemic and something was off. Turns out I have Celiac Disease (among other things – but that’s my root disease). My entire life I’d been eating something that was causing my body to destroy itself bit by bit.
If I weren’t working in this field, I would be working with other people with autoimmune issues that want to work with their bodies instead of against them. But I digress…
I started down a long path of learning how to heal myself with food and lifestyle changes. A major piece of that lifestyle change? Self care.
I learned sleep had to be prioritized. I am a night owl by nature, but had a job that required me to be in early. On top of that, I have wicked insomnia. It took years to sort my sleep out.
I learned Epsom salt baths are the best way for me to absorb magnesium, a mineral I was sorely lacking in.
And I learned that taking that time for myself on a regular basis was a huge gift I was giving myself.
I learned I had to find out what was safe to put in my body, and what was not. Many conventionally “healthy” foods are practically poison to me.
I also learned to say no to things and people that didn’t put my health first.
So why am I telling you any of this?
Because I know how difficult it is to put yourself first. I know it takes hard work. Literal work and effort.
We’re not taught to prioritize our needs. Especially if you’re a woman.
If you’re a woman, you are last. And you’re expected to be ok with that. You’re taught to be ok with that.
You’re taught if you even think of putting your needs before anyone else’s that you’re horrifically selfish. How dare you?! Is the message society sends us. Who do you think you are?
Dare to be selfish. Dare to think you matter.
Because you do.
You cannot do for others if you have not first done for yourself.
All those clichés about being unable to pour from an empty cup, not being able to run on empty, and putting your mask on first exist for a reason.
You cannot give to others if you haven’t given to yourself first without being the master of your own destruction.
You will lose patience with those you love most for the most ridiculous reasons.
You will damage relationships because you’ll feel taken for granted.
Your work will suffer. Your friendships will suffer.
You will feel empty, depleted. Exhausted.
If you keep it up, you will destroy your health. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when.
Hopefully by now you’re thinking “Ok Michelle, you made your point. I get it. How do I make these changes? Where do I start?”
Start by saying no.
No to overextending yourself. No to being last in line. No to not prioritizing yourself.
Set those boundaries and defend them like a motherfucker.
When people push against them, and they will, calmly explain you’ve decided it’s time to take better care of your mental and physical health.
Some people will not appreciate that. Those aren’t your people. It may be hard, but you’ll need to learn to let those people go. They weren’t there for you, for a mutually beneficial relationship. They were there to take what they could get from you.
Let them leave. You deserve better.
Keeping those boundaries will be hard at first, but it gets easier the longer you do it. Keep working at it and it will become second nature.
Now, what can you do for yourself that would feel like a treat?
How about a little self love spell you can work while you’re in a bath?
This is an abbreviated version of the self love spell I include in my program “Reset Your Mindset”.
Epsom salts – 1 cup
White or pink candle
Before beginning, I want you to think about some loving words you’ve decided you need to hear from yourself. This is going to be the basis for your spell.
Let’s say you decided you needed to tell yourself you’re brave, worthy, and kind.
The words for a spell you can work up around that could look something like “I am brave enough to love myself. I am worthy enough to treat myself gently. I am kind enough to forgive myself for the harms I’ve caused myself in the past.”
Memorize what you come up with so that you can easily repeat it without thinking too much.
Do this bath when you have plenty of time for yourself.
Turn on some gentle music if you like.
Draw a nice warm bath. Not too hot. You want to spend some time here, not shoot your blood pressure through the roof.
Poor in the epsom salts.
Take your candle between your hands. Intertwine your fingers and close your eyes. Take three deep breaths.
Now, you’re going to push your spell into your candle. Think about what you came up with. Repeat it until it feels like a mantra. Imagine the words turning to pink light flowing from your heart, down your arms, through your hands and fingers and into the candle. Do this until you feel done. I can’t tell you how many times is enough – it’s all very personal. You’ll feel ready and that’s all I can say.
Place the candle somewhere in your direct line of vision while you’re in the tub and light it.
Get in the tub and relax. Gently focus on your candle and think about all the love you owe yourself. Forgive yourself for not having known how much love you’ve deserved this whole time.
Spend as much time as you want in the tub. Enjoy the warmth, the relaxation. You deserve this time for yourself.
Once done, you can either burry your spell remains in your yard (under a tree or near some flowers preferably), or you can just make a little packet and toss in the trash. I promise, you won’t undo what you’ve done if you don’t dispose of them in more “traditional” ways.
You need to make this a regular habit. You need to make taking time for yourself a priority.
I want you to understand when you do this spell that you still have to do the Shadow and Mindset work. Otherwise, it’s just a nice bath (which is wonderful – don’t get me wrong).
Magick cannot do the work you want it to if you’re not willing to do the inner work that goes along with it.
Are you ready to get to work? Are you ready to prioritize self love and self care?
“Reset Your Mindset” is my introduction to Shadow and Mindset work, with a focus on self love. It’s designed for people who know they need to do this work, but aren’t sure where to start. Click here to schedule a time to talk to see if it’s right for you!