Today is my 44th birthday. So far, it's one of my best. I went for a long run and contemplated the meaning of 44 and what it means to me personally.
One thing that came up was self care.
And I don't mean bubble baths and manicures.
In my 44th year I learned to truly care for myself. To put myself first. In that, I grew to love myself more, and to love myself actively.
The ways were not huge. They were small and meaningful:
The decisions I made in my business were focused on making MY life easier and happier.
The way I chose to spend my money was focused more on what I want for my life and my future.
The food I chose to eat was what felt nourishing to my body at the time.
I also listened to what my body wanted when it came to exercise and rest. (And when I put on an extra 10 pounds during quarantine, I was kind to myself about it, and I loved it right off of me.)
Don't get me wrong, this is work. These are all practices that I work on daily.
Sometimes when you are doing work like this, you wonder if it's actually working. Are you actually changing?
Well recently I realized that all of my daily practices WERE working, they're actually sinking in deeper than I knew.
One evening, I found myself in an unhealthy space. There was a moment in which I felt unsafe. Not physically unsafe, but unsafe in a way where my soul felt like it was in danger. My SELF felt like she was in danger.
(By the way, I didn't know at the time that this is what I was feeling, it came later, with reflection)
What happened was remarkable. I didn't even have time to think. My body took over. My body filled with adrenaline. All I heard in my head was "GO. GO. GO..." and my body carried me, swiftly and smoothly, out of that place.
I couldn't have stopped myself if I tried. In a matter of seconds I was in my car, driving away, shaking.
The voice in my head changed to "NO. NO. NO. NOPE..."
Like, "NO, you can't be there. NO, you are worth MUCH more, and NO, you can't change it. NOPE, you have to take care of YOURSELF."
In that moment I knew my self worth - you know, that thing I've been working on for years - had finally caught up. And it was deep in me. It was so deep that I didn't even have to think about it. My body felt it and my body carried me to safety.
We all need reminders that the work we are doing is actually working.
Look for the reminders and celebrate them.
And do the work. It works.