Self-Care is our Responsibility

From the moment we wake up in the morning we have the choice to be our best selves, providing the best opportunities and engaging with the love and compassion we deserve and crave.
When you look into the mirror, what is the loving thought that you share with yourself?
What gifts of life do you notice in your face, posture, and expression?
What is the first act of love that you provide?
These can be loaded questions for a person that may not resonate as a ‘morning person.’ Perhaps you were woken up or had set the alarm and wanted more sleep. Perhaps your day is full of big responsibilities, and you are dreading the start.
Or perhaps you see the sunshine through the window. Hear the birds in the trees. See the trees and leaves blowing in the wind. Feel the movement of your feet. Hear your heartbeat. Sense the joy of the day.
I have painted my room yellow so that when I open my eyes the sun is always shining, even on the dreary days of rain or storms. My bed and window provide me with a treetop view of the yard, so I feel like I have a secret view from my ‘treehouse.’ My room is filled with pictures I love, memories I cherish, and which bring me joy. My scarves and jewelry are on special display cases so that I can see them easily and remember to wear them.
Each day I start with two glasses of water as a thank you to my body for the detoxifying it has done in the night and the opportunity for me to help release these toxins through my kidneys and bladder. It is one more sign of gratitude I am deliberate about.
As I descend the stairs, I am reminded that I am human and that my joints may not be as freely moving yet as I would like, some days I am pleasantly surprised at how spry I can move. With this movement, I am reminded that how I move for the remainder of the day will be up to me.
Now I have a choice that is a little tougher for me. Do I go to my computer and start in on the ideas in my head? Do I check my emails? Do I make a cup of tea? Do I engage in Tai Chi? This is where my deliberate setup of the bedroom and drinking water has begun my self-care. However, my love of writing always draws me to my computer to get started while it is quiet, and the world is still asleep. I know that if I do a little Tai Chi before I start, the whole body is opened, and the thoughts will flow easier. So simple, no, not when the head does not always do what the body and spirit need.
My father has made it his daily mission to devote the first hour of his day, which starts at 2 am with an early morning job, to his Tai Chi practice. He has a clear routine that he does to make sure he is strong, flexible, clear-headed, and energized for the work ahead. He is an inspiration to me with his dedication. What is his secret? Two knee replacements. For his body to be its best he must make sure that the knees have all that they need to function optimally. He made this commitment to himself when he had the surgery.
Why is it that we can be inspired by challenge and illness? Why do we wait until there is a crisis to do better with our self-care? Do we believe we can ignore warning signs and things will get better? What is the point at which you will stop, listen, and act? Good question, isn’t it?
No one can do our care for us. It is up to us to create space, time, and energy for our well-being. As you consider how you have made self-care your responsibility, take the time to celebrate the gestures you have made so far, and the awareness of what needs to change to be more for today and tomorrow.

Michelle Greenwell, BA Psych, MSc CAM, Ph.D. (final) Complementary and Integrative Health, is passionate about supporting others to be the best they can be. A Tai Chi instructor and enthusiast for almost three decades she has reaped the rewards of her daily and weekly practice by gaining clarity of thought, energy, enthusiasm, strength, agility, and joy for living. To learn more about the FREE resources she provides, along with her specialty courses, check out her links here. Michelle is the leader of the Tai Chi Cape Breton group and sits on the board of Wine Country Tai Chi Society, as well as her volunteer activities for the instruction and promotion of Tai Chi.

Have you registered for the World Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Healing Arts Congress? You can join this FREE event with over 100 speakers from September 24 – 27. Michelle will be sharing a two hour presentation on the 26th at 2-4 pm Pacific or 6-8 pm Atlantic. You can learn more here from their press release. 22nd Congress AU Press Release

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