Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated! ~ Unknown
What you bring forth out of yourself from the inside will save you. What you do not bring forth out of yourself from the inside will destroy you.” Gospel of Thomas
If you don't love yourself, care for yourself, honor yourself, who will?
How you will accomplish brave and wonderful things,
make a difference in your lifetime, enjoy the experience,, give your gifts,
and love your life…Is to re-define the word “selfish”
and practice RADICAL SELF-CARE
while allowing yourself to receive OUTRAGEOUS SUPPORT!
WEEK #1 OF 7 - SACRED SELFISHNESS
We are entering into the 2023 holiday season which can be incredibly difficult for people. It is a time where families get together and most of us have many years of holiday memories – some good and some challenging. Whether your memories are ones of loving connections or not so loving connections, these memories can impact our ability to move through the month with happiness and joy. Most of us have lost loved ones over the years for whatever reasons and may be estranged from family members or friends. This means that grief and loneliness also surface. Add to this pile, concerns about money, the stress of shopping, and the excesses of eating and drinking. I cannot think of a better time to contemplate what it means to engage in radical self-care practices and to open to receiving support from others and ourselves.
When we explore ‘self-care’ we are exploring the physical body, your mind or mental state, and the Self which is your Spirit. Care means the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of something.Your physical self requires care and your spiritual Self requires care. The question is how can you provide what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance and protection of your body, mind and spirit in an radical way, different than what you may have done in the past?
The opposite of care is neglect. There are consequences when we neglect the body, mind, and Spirit. Neglect expresses itself in different ways for different people but common effects are worry, anxiety, exhaustion, feeling ungrounded, sad and overwhelmed. All of this can lead to resentment, depression and feeling paralyzed in making decisions or taking action. I suspect that most of the world’s violence would disappear if we were all to implement a few simple self-care principles. Self-love and forgiveness are the foundations for spiritual growth. You are an essence (a spirit) that has temporarily entered a body, for a finite period of time to enjoy the experience, express your unique gifts, and evolve on your eternal journey. You are a spiritual being having a human experience. The physical body, mind and Spirit thrive under certain conditions and languish under others.
Most of us are not very good at self-care. But, you will have to become aware of your needs in a whole new way and become willing to put them ahead of the needs of others in order to live this wonderful life. This is not easy for most of us. We have baggage with the word selfish, We have baggage with what we regard as selfish behavior and lurking doubts about our own worth and value. We live in a culture that says that a life worthy of heaven is one where you have cared for those less fortunate and given to the poor and needy. It is true that caring for others is an inherent aspect of our godliness, but while caring about others is good, while sacrificing for others is not.
I recall my mom telling the 5 of us to finish every last morsel of our dinner because there were children starving in China. It probably never occurred to most of us to ask if cleaning our plates ever really resulted in feeding anyone else.We ended up being chubby children for no good reason. Does our not having a lot of money ever affect anyone else’s poverty level. The idea that our doing without is noble so that others can have more or is a losing proposition. And most importantly is has created the idea that caring about oneself or considering our needs to be of primary importance is 'selfish'.
We can learn to be selfish in a way that serves ourselves and empowers us to serve the world in meaningful ways. Radical Self-Care is the first step towards getting your needs met while building a healthy reserve that allows for true service and generosity to the world.
So let’s talk about healthy sacred selfishness. The definition of selfish means "having or showing concern only for yourself and not for the needs or feelings of others." Seriously - Who wants to be that? The definition itself has such a negative spin, we might even try to hide the fact that we have any selfish tendencies whatsoever. Not a particularly authentic or meaningful way to live our lives.
A change of mind always begins with an examination of what we believe and why we believe it. Only then can our beliefs become conscious and only then can we make new choices. Do not underestimate the value of simply becoming aware one of the first steps to growth, change and enlightenment. Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living."
What were you taught or observed in your family about ‘selfishness as a child’?
What are your opinions and how do you feel about selfish people?
Is ‘selfish’ good or bad from your point of view?
On a scale of 1-10, how difficult is it for you to take care of yourself first?
There are so many reasons to change get a little bit more self-focused in life:
For the sake of your personal and professional success: In the consciousness of ‘thriving’, you will be engaged in activities which you experience to be fun and meaningful. To be present, receptive, and engaged and successful in life requires you feel good in your body, mind and Spirit.
We are here to ‘get’ anything from the world to be happy and successful. A spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally healthy you, will automatically live in the world as a generous, generative force for good. You will release out of hoarding, collecting or protecting when you are rested, supported and clear.
To be a good steward of your God-given gifts means to not squander your existence. Remember the story of the prodigal son who left his father’s house with his inheritance and entered into a time of personal neglect. When it was over, him face down in the pigpen, he realized his predicament and went back home. Radical self-care allows us to stay connected to who we really are and how we really serve the world.
“Fortune favors the brave and the brave are guided by their own light” is a beautiful quote that speaks to one of the primary benefits of embracing this idea of truly honoring who you are in your life by selfishly committing to that which you are, that which you love and to ensuring your healthy and exuberant capacity to move around the world spreading whatever good is yours to spread.
Your assignment this week is to explore where you are in the conversation. Without judging yourself, simply see if you have any conscious or unconscious beliefs, feelings or baggage with the word or energy of ‘selfish’. You might want to get a notebook and begin to journal what comes up for you as. you contemplate. Now that we have set the stage, we can continue with Session #2 next week.
Week #2 - Radical Care of the Body (11-12)
Week #3 - Radical Care of the Mind (11-19)
Week #4 - Radical Care of your Spirit (11-26)
Week #5 - The Power of Purpose and Commitment (12/3)
Week #6 - Celebration Consciousness (12/10)
Week #7 - Allowing Outrageous Support (12/17)
If you would like, join me live on Facebook or YouTube at 6pm est every Sunday