We live in a world that is not good for us. We are surrounded by toxicity, inside and out and we are literally drowning in plastic waste. We have created a society that focuses more on outer gain, productivity and material wealth than our human needs, health and happiness.
Because of our intrinsic ability to adapt and survive, many of us are managing to live in these circumstances, just like various species in the world have found ways to survive in harsh climates. But we are paying a price. Some of us more than others. As human beings we are increasingly stressed, depressed and developing new physical, psychological and emotional problems. The ones among us who are the most sensitive are like canaries in a coal mine. They are showing us that this way of living isn’t safe and if we want to feel well we need to change our ways.
Ronald E. Purser argues in his recent book, Mc Mindfulness, that there is a danger in prescribing things like mindfulness to individuals, making it their personal responsibility to look after themselves, rather than addressing what’s making them ill in the first place (the capitalist system). While I totally agree that things need to change on a larger scale, I also think that we as individual would do well to take responsibility and empower ourselves so that we can be a positive influence for change. The stronger and healthier we are, the more positive impact we can have on the world, right?
So, this type of self care becomes a radical act of self-fulfilment. In order to give ourselves a fighting chance to get well, stay well, feel happy and reclaim our lives we need to be empowered to make the best choices and decisions for ourselves. We need to find habits and ways of thinking that will support us and allow us to grow. There is a lot of conflicting advice available and ultimately we need to know ourselves well enough to trust our own experience of what makes us feel well inside and out.
A commitment to this kind of radical self care is essential for our health, happiness and growth. I’m not talking about the occasional yoga class or bubble bath, I’m talking about taking stock of our lives, re-evaluating our priorities, challenging our habits and choosing conscious ways to bring meaning and fulfilment into our lives. This can include various things. We are all different and our needs vary greatly but ultimately, the things that can help us are:
- Inner work Some form of introspection and ability to withdraw from the world to connect with our own truth, create our own world view and know ourselves fully.
- Meaningful activity Having a sense of a greater meaning in our lives can help us feel like we have a purpose beyond the everyday tasks of living.
- Supportive habits Having a healthy lifestyle that suits our lifestyles, fulfilling our physical as well as emotional and psychological needs is crucial to our wellbeing.
- Healthy relationships We all need to find effective ways of processing our emotions instead of acting them out on others and stop passing down trauma from one generation to the next.
In my next blog I will write more in-depth about these concepts and show you how to develop your own radical self care program that suits your personality, needs and lifestyle. To receive this and all my future blogs directly to your inbox, please sign up to my newsletter.
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