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Episode 20: Self Care Isn't Selfish

If there is one thing I've never been good at, it is Self Care. Possibly, it is because I am a Pisces Sun sign, possibly it is because I am the oldest daughter, or because I am a woman living in these modern times. I was raised in a culture where self care was seen as selfish and selflessness was praised and endearing. I think it a perfect storm of a lot of factors that makes me fill my schedule and days with as much productivity as humanly possible. Then, I wonder why resentment and overwhelment takes over and I react to stress with irritability. Some experience and knowledge on the subject has led me to understand these things about myself and I am excited to share this with you.

In the Caliban and the Witch, I am reading about the progression of oppression against women and lower classes as the birth of capitalism takes dominance. The higher classes need to benefit from the labor of the lower classes and to achieve this there has been a strategic campaign in the works for hundreds of years. Part of that is to divide the people and create hierarchies, putting white European men on top and women and people of color under them. The peasants and serfs in feudalism were far less likely to revolt if they had authority over marginalized groups they were allowed to control. Hard work, sacrifice and submissiveness was pedestalized in those groups, sometimes using religion as a means to control those groups. Hence, witch trials were prominent. Demonizing self care as laziness, or women networking as "gossip", or self-sufficient women as "witches" were just a few ways this system kept the masses in check to benefit the wealthy and white.

Therefore, an act of Self Care, doing something for your own benefit and no one else's is an act of resistance to the systems that keep racism and sexism in place. If you won't stop and be still for yourself, do it for benefit of our future sons and daughters. Do it for civil rights and activism. Do it for society and the world! Follow The Nap Ministry on social media to learn more about how this message is spreading.

I was in a book club that lasted a whole year to study and deep dive into the book The Wander Society. The idea behind that book is to have unplanned time to wander and explore, for no other benefit than to just see what happens to the soul, body, and mind during the wandering. This can be physically going for unmapped walks and allowing the wanderer to explore spaces and thoughts as they come, but it can also just be unplanned time in the day to "potter about the house and garden" (as they say in England). It can be journaling or creating art with no preemptive planning about what is going to happen. The author recognized that a society of Wanderers had already been established and that anyone can be a member. The society is a quiet resistance to the ideals of consumerism and the drive for materialism and productivity to fill every bit of our lives.

What I learned in studying this book and participating in the suggested ways of wandering was how difficult it is to personally justify this unplanned time. I began taking walks. I walked and wandered and when the weather wouldn't allow it, I stayed home and doodled in a sketchpad. My soul was fed peace and my mind was fed images. I hadn't realized how much was missing from my life when I fill it with too many to-dos and checklists and scheduled events. I recommit to wandering every time I know I've become unbalanced.

In episode 12, I talked about the balance of Masculine and Feminine. The Feminine Awakening (Kambria Davis Astrologer says that Pluto is in Libra) is an energy that invites every one of us to determine our priorities and re-establish our balance. We've lived in an era of Masculine dominance for 2000 years, but this new generation is asking the right questions to bring the pendulum back within every individual person and create the chaos in society that will ultimately force this balance in society. These questions are: Who am I working so hard for? Who benefits the most from all this energy and effort? Am I working to build community or profit? What is my self worth actually reliant on? What undervalued benefits come from stopping to rest and nurture myself? What labor (physical and mental) am I carrying for other people?

When I took the workshop The Empowered Wife by Brenda Kradolfer (stay tuned as she is a guest in an upcoming episode), I was presented with a new perspective of Self Care that sparked a new determination in me. I realized I was falling in the "Overworked and Underappreciated" category of my role as a wife and mother. It was affecting how I was actually able to show up for my family. I was often irritable, stressed, and resentful of the tasks and weight of holding everything for my family. I am the Queen of the Calendar in my house. I manage every bit of labor in child caring, including the invisible labor of making most of the decisions, remember appointments, everything to do with school, their extracurricular activities, etc. In addition, I am the owner and only employee of Prism Healing. Is it any wonder I can see a direct correlation to when I get overworked and I start to snap at and have a tone with my kids when I feel resentful and underappreciated? They deserve the very best of me, the soft and tender Mother. If I don't hold space for myself to nurture and care for me, I won't be effective in my roles.

Balance is often the key to finding a space where we can operate in all the worlds and systems we are a part. We can't expect to take down the patriarchy or capitalism in one swoop. We can't expect to drop all the balls and hats we are juggling in life and survive the fallout. I recognize as a white woman, married to a man with a decent job I have the privilege of stepping back and taking care of myself without my survival being questioned. I would hope that as we support and raise up voices of the marginalized communities (none more so than Woman of Color), we will see the change take effect in an entire world in need of Care and Nurturing. The planet depends on it.


Resources:

  1. The Nap Ministry https://thenapministry.wordpress.com/

  2. The Wander Society by Keri Smith

  3. Kambria Davis, Astrologer https://www.kayakommunity.com/

  4. Brenda Kradolfer, Relationship Coach, host of The Restored Wife https://www.brendakradolfercoaching.com/

  5. Leatha Udayabhanu, Essentially Awake Life Coach and Public Speaker https://essentiallyawake.teachable.com/p/empoweredaf

  6. https://breakingdownpatriarchy.com/episode-51-lessons-for-white-allies-with-guest-leatha-udayabhanu/


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