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Self Care as Spiritual Practice

Self-care comes in all shapes and forms. For some, it means setting personal boundaries and having more balance in their life. For others, it’s about eating better and moving more. And yet, for others, it means becoming aware of their limiting thoughts and committing to change. My practitioner moment this week was on the latter.

A few weeks back, I went for a manicure and pedicure. I hadn’t been for one for quite some time, so it was long overdue. So, picture this: I am sitting on a large massage chair which oddly resembles a Queen’s throne with one woman soaking my feet in a warm bath and another filing my much-neglected fingernails. It didn’t take me long before I eased into this moment of luxury. I closed my eyes and gave thanks for this blessing.

When I was asked to select the colours I wanted them to use, I opened my eyes, and, for the first time, noticed people walking by and looking into the salon. My reaction was immediate, ‘Oh God, I hope nobody recognizes me!’ Say what?? How did I go from this beautiful moment of relaxation and gratitude to one of embarrassment and wanting to hide? I didn’t understand my reaction, but it certainly put a damper on the entire experience.

I had to face a hard truth: My reaction proved that I had deeply entrenched beliefs of self-care that were limited and based on judgement and guilt even though my intellectual side was unaware of them. This needed to be addressed.

So, I began the work. I began dissecting where these limited beliefs stemmed from and what life affirming thoughts might replace them. I went into prayer reminding myself that as offspring of the Divine, I am worthy and valuable and deserving of everything Life has to offer. And when I trusted that I had shifted my perspective, I went back for another manicure. Because I was not going to let my previous experience define self-care for me. I wanted a new memory to replace the unpleasant one from several weeks prior. And this time, I sat tall and proud and absorbed the care I was receiving. I was lighter, happier and friendlier. I engaged in lovely conversation with those around me and was gifted a discount by the owner. Oh, and my nails look fantastic!

We forget that healing, like everything else, is a practice. You get out of it what you put in. And when we consciously decide that we are worthy of having a greater degree of livingness, the universe graciously responds.

By Jana Stocker


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