Self-care seems to be the new age lexicon with social media tentacles reaching far and wide. The NewYorker states “self-care” originates from the puritanical values of self-improvement and self-examination. Today, there are 2,532,058 images tagged with #selfcare on Instagram and a few million more on Twitter and Tumblr using the hashtag self-care.

The Dalai Lama says the first responsibility we have to others is to start with ourselves. Whether it be the guide to online self-care guides published in The Atlantic, the 2018 Self-Care Planner, on sale at the local bookstore, or the millions of posts, tweets, pins and books on the topic, self-care appears to be a collective American phenomenon.

In her new book Braving the Wilderness Brene Brown talks about “true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity”.

Maybe self-care is a solo endeavor; Spending time in nature at a park or beach combing a shoreline can be peacefully tranquil. Or maybe self-care is more urban with time spent amidst the sights, sounds, and smells that urbanicity gives us.

Thought-provoking is the rise of “DIY” {Do It Yourself} creativities.  There is an entire cable channel devoted to DIY. From gardening to granola, from remodeling to repair, the DIY channel keeps you totally in the know. Social media platform Pinterest is just an abundance of pins and videos for any DIY project you can imagine. Where would we be without youtube tutorials on how to prepare any self-care activity we fancy.

I lived in the California beach town of Cardiff-by-the- Sea for several years. The most popular business in town was the DIY doggie wash. Plus, there was always a line of dutiful dog owners waiting to have a dirt-free dog. Wonder if they allowed other animals to feel clean and smell good?

How many times have you had a splash n laugh at the DIY carwash? I too, always ran out of time and quarters, when my car was still slathered in soapy suds!

Aside from the dog wash or the home remodel, there is an important question to answer. Why do so many self-care activities seem to be shrouded in secrecy or we only share to our partners in crime? Many times, we do not want to admit that we took time or expense to care for our self. To put it another way; why is the transparency of self-care hidden in our life sharing?

Whether it be labeled “do it yourself” or “self-care”, both are covertly selfish. Once again, self-care requires selfishness.

Somehow, somewhere during our life journey, sharing to our self, befalls…selfishness.

And behaving selfishly defeats our entire sermon on self-care.

What is needed is a revolution on genuinely caring for our self; genuinely loving our self…just as we care for and love others. This revolution begins with simplicity; that simplicity is kindness.

There will always be golden nuggets in books, posts, tweets, pins, and webinars on self-care. Maybe organized and methodical to-do lists for self-care activities is helpful.

Warning Label : There is a personal shift that needs to occur for one to truly feel comfortably courageous in their love of self.

Self-care will only be successful when it is not laced with feelings of selfishness.

 

When we are anchored in selfishness, the weight is too heavy a burden to optimally care for and love our self. To lessen the weight, we must cut away our anchor of selfishness.

Rather than self-care, just be simply caring. Just be simply kind. Develop your unique brand of self-kindness. It is hard to say and feel the word kindness, without feeling an irresistible gentility; a seductive compassion for self and others.

I leave you with this, my friend.

Begin simply. Be gently kind to yourself. Develop your own garden of kindness. When you are kind to yourself, others share your beauty just like gardens share their bounty and beauty.

For those who feel no time for self-kindness, I offer you this. Think about all the kindness you gave to others today, yesterday, or beyond. How much “time” did it really take to share kindness?

No more excuses. Begin being kind to yourself today. In the words of E L James “life is not a dress rehearsal ~ seize the day and follow your dreams.

 

Kindness has a simple beauty.

And let it begin with me. 

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