I’m choosing to celebrate ‘Blue Monday’, by releasing three things:
Welcome to my box of emotional crayons, pilgrim. All colours are welcome here.
I propose a revolution. How about we stop demonising the very normal state of dreariness, that inevitably arrives after all the fun has been had.
I'm celebrating Blue Monday by continuing the work of learning to show up as and for myself, without shame and even when it's the last thing I want to do.
Toward the end of every year, I facilitate for myself, a kind of spiritual retreat. I create for myself an abundance of time and space for self reflection.
My biggest learnings almost always point me back to my relationship with myself. Was I truthful? Was I compassionate? Was I courageous? Was I kind?
In other words, how well did I care for me?
Life is a cycle, it is meant to have it's highs and lows. Our responsibility to ourselves is not to chase the peaks and avoid the valleys.
Self Care is to keep on walking, no matter the terrain.
I want to share with you a little contemplative self care practice that's useful for when we get a bit stuck in our thoughts and emotions.
This is simply a way to check in with yourself. A little time out to listen to yourself, contemplate and receive feedback, because one thing I know for sure is that there is always something we want ourselves to know.
We live in a culture that glorifies busyness and so rarely do we take the time to make space to tend to our inner worlds because there's always so much more to do.
This particular process can take as little as five minutes and as long as you like but remember this is an ongoing practice with the ultimate purpose of strengthening your ability and tendency to self care and hence, can lower stress and increase your sense of well being.
I would recommend you have a specific journal for these contemplations, something that brings you joy. Maybe pick a colour or an image to place on the cover that represents whatever intention you have for this year, if you’ve set one.
1) Mind Dump: What's taking up space in my inner world right now? What am I thinking? What stories am I telling myself?
HINT: Frame your thoughts as 'I'm telling myself...
ie: 'I'm telling myself I won't have enough money for that thing I want'.'I'm telling myself they shouldn't have said that / done that to me'. 'I'm telling myself I can't relax until all my chores are done'. 'I'm telling myself I can't eat / shouldn't have eaten that"
2) What do I feel when I tell myself that?
Go through each sentence from your mind dump and name the specific emotions that come up in relation to each of the stories you're telling yourself. (The purpose of this is to increase emotional awareness & to make connections between your thoughts and emotions.)
Download and print out this emotional vocab list. This answer will be just the words from the list that apply. No explanations or stories, just write down the emotion names: 'Sad', 'Resentful', 'Disappointed', 'Content'.
3) Pick ONE THING from your mind dump. Something that is taking up space but not a 'major' life issue. Start small. What feels manageable?
Ask yourself: What is one small thing right now from this (mind dump) list, I would like guidance on? Sometimes something completely new can step forward here, that wasn't accounted for at all in your mind dump. That's ok, go with it if it feels right.
4) GIVE YOUR INQUIRY A TITLE. ie: 'My Never Ending To Do List'.
5) Get quiet & sit or lie down in a comfortable posture with your arms relaxed and the palms of your hands facing upwards, as if ready to receive. Close your eyes and state the following request:
Dearest wisdom, I need your guidance on [Insert Title]. Please show me the way forward with this.
6) *WAIT*. Relax. Be still and develop a sense of holding a space within you. Don't force anything, just hold the space and wait for a knowing to emerge from it. It will most likely be something very succinct and simple. It could be a word or a sentence. It could be an image or a vision, but you will know it when it comes. If nothing comes, or you can't park your mind's voice, do this practice anyway, focussing on the ability to 'hold that space' within you. Think of it like a placeholder for a wisdom you have yet to know.
Once you have received your wisdom, give thanks and then write it down.
7) Finally, identify and name one small action you can take now to honour and move in the direction of that wisdom.
In your journal write yourself a note of permission to honour this wisdom and also, if you need it, give yourself permission to struggle with it too. ie: 'I have permission to take a bath this evening at 7pm, even if it means I don't complete my to do list today. I also have permission to struggle with this'.
For help with the 'holding space' bit, I recommend listening to this podcast episode from Rob Bell, I love it and listen to it often.
ONE MORE THING
I want to invite you to deep dive into a grounding, energising and supportive self care practice with me.
I’m relaunching TENDER, a 6 WEEK immersion in daily practice to increase awareness, insight and to help you handle your life with care; without creating overwhelm and even if making time for yourself is a challenge.
Ultimately a self care practice could be defined in a number of ways. To me, it’s a repertoire of rituals & routines you engage in daily and occasional activities that help you tend to your needs, deepen your sense of self and to honour and interpret your soul’s experience through this human journey of life.
Your self care practice is your rock, your anchor and your harbour in the storm. And a brand new year is a perfect time to let your soul inspire you.
Class begins Feb 23rd. Join us HERE.