by Vania Sukola, Registered Psychotherapist
We are all on a journey to self-love, and it is not one that comes lightly or easily for many of us. Sometimes a good place to start is with simple and scheduled acts of self-care. The 3 R’s of Self Care are helpful ways you can regularly practice acts of caring for yourself. Mother Earth will be so pleased that we are setting this intention.
Reflective self-care is like a mini therapy session that you give yourself at home. It allows you to stay with your feelings, even if it is hard. It reminds you that all feelings matter and need to be nurtured in their own way. In honour of Earth Day, why not plant some seeds of intention. Go out and get some seeds of your favourite flower or herb. Sit down, and picture what might be lingering in your mind’s eye. It can be a negative self-belief that is stuck in your head, or a worry that no longer serves you. Feel free to jot it down. Then breathe in the intention. Dig up some Earth, feeling the soil in your hands. Rip up the intention and place the pieces in the hole. Breathe out the intention into the hole and set the seeds in. Send loving care and connect to the intention you set.
A lot of us associate self-care with baths, massage, mani/pedis, but really it’s just one type of care. It still deserves your time! I love a good bath, especially when I have self-care in mind. I do a ritual bath for each Full Moon Phase. It is a simple way of honouring the month that just passed, and gives me pause for reflection and movement forward into the new month.
If you have any crystals, have them join you. Some great ones could be Moss Agate (nature), Rose Quartz (love), or Peach Moonstone (soothes worry). Light a candle. Add a simple salt herb mix in your bath. Soak up the senses - the light, smell, feeling of water. Allow yourself this time as the salts are a great tool to help sore muscles to release. Find where in your body you need that extra release – breathe into it and send love to that part. This part that needs releasing can be a sore muscle or even negative self-talk.
Self-care is a radical act because it directly challenges the discourse that it is selfish. Imagine if we took the time to nourish love for ourselves, and connected that love with gratitude and acknowledgement of other women in our lives that guide, support and inspire us.
This week,reflect on a fearless feminine leader. Maybe she is an Earth Warrior that has helped Mother Nature, or maybe it is someone in your own personal life. Write them a letter and thank them for their work, dedication, and passion. Hold space for them. You don’t need to send it to them, but feel free to do so if you like - it would be such a gift for them too!
“Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” - Parker Palmer
Vania Sukola, RP is a Registered Psychotherapist who has a focus on supporting women with the transitions in their lives. She has a particular speciality in perinatal rite of passage, trauma and guiding women to live the life they love. As a trauma-informed, intersectional Feminist Therapist, vania believes you are the expert in your life. She can be found www.vaniasukola.ca