On May 11th, I attended an afternoon retreat with a group of women from different walks of life and vocations. The common thread that connected us all was that we are interested in or looking to establish self-acceptance and despite what current media throws at us to be the aesthetic goal, we'd really prefer to be our true selves. We think this is important for us and for everyone.
Social media bangs on about self-care as if it's as easy as buying a stick-on face treatment mask and pouring a glass of bubbly while selfying with your 'gal-pal' on the patio. There are times I think 'if I see this set up again I'm going to hurl', because everyone's got a bullshit limit and mine is breached.
Self care is about understanding what your Self is. The group I attended was focused on knowing the Self through the acts of caring for the body, mind and spirit. The connections between how we think, how we perceive and what we do make all the difference to our Life Experience. So focusing with positive intentions on one aspect of existence will always have positive effect on the others.
Through the course of the afternoon we were guided by Carly to examine our thoughts and connections to questions regarding our perceptions of ourselves. Being quiet and present to allow answers to be brought forth.
Gifting ourselves time to listen to our inner voices above the noise of normal life.
Providing a safe space for anyone to unfurl their emotional turmoil and let the tears flow if needed.
This kind of valuable therapy can be done anywhere by anyone, but it's GOOD to get someone to help you for a few sessions if you've never tried it before.
After writing and vocalising the issues we were currently engaged in understanding, we were treated to the more tactile act of giving ourselves a facial with the ahmazing, all natural and synthetic free *gifted products in our goody bags, mistings of intentionally crafted and crystal infused potions, a clay masque treatment, and having a beautiful guided meditation by Natalie, along with a cleansing smoke ritual while we connected with some quiet time to just breathe. What bliss :)
I gave a little talk about how aromatics are more than just the smells we enjoy and that using these can provide connections to the plant kingdom, which help us grow emotionally and spiritually. Aromatherapy is a trigger for our limbic system, the primal energy matrix established before birth, that carries the imprint of our experiences. No wonder aromas produce such powerful emotions, memories and reactions. We're hardwired to receive them.
My brain collated the day into the following categories...
Nourishment - Feeling nourished and appreciated is a massive help to anyone and is essential in today's fast paced lives. Even if you live relatively low-schedule like myself, the world seems to have a way of 'quickening' life so that weeks can fly by in the blink of an eye. It's so important now more than ever to practise self-acceptance because of the ridiculous demands placed upon us from a society brainwashed with unrealistic expectations. Nourish the body with clean food, the mind with quiet time and the heart with loving actions. You will find you are more productive when your inner machine is well fuelled. In Feng Shui we'll look at the SE (Abundance) and the West (Creativity) to assist with understanding these aspects.
Realistic Expectations - We cannot look 18 when we are 40, we cannot look 30 when we are 60. We want to look good of course, but it is vital to be at peace with our appearance, and the way to do that is by accepting yourself through regular self care on all levels of our Being. One person is not an army but one person can be a fortress. Make sure you are regularly checking in objectively so that unpleasant forces cannot gain easy access to your inner sanctum. Examine how certain people (or media) make you feel and whether they respond to your requests or expectations for support. If they don't, then maybe less or no time with them is needed. It's like finding out your actually gluten or dairy intolerant...you can decide to reduce intake, or eliminate ;)
Look at the Central area (Security) and the East (Preparation) sectors to understand this a bit more.
Community & Connections - Surrounding yourself with people who appreciate you for who you are is vital too, and being selective about the kinds of 'entertainment' you indulge in will be key to how you regulate your perception of Self. Community need not scare those of you who are like me; mostly happy to be mostly solitary. Your engagement with community can be as minimal as you enjoy, but having one is important to keep your morale up. In Feng Shui this is represented by the South (Perceptions) and SW (Connections) sectors of the Bagua.
Validation - It's marvellous to be understood. Sometimes that's all you need to fast-track your self belief, which is immensely powerful. It's great to have a crew who get you. It's fundamental for good mental health to be taken seriously and treated with respect, compassion and kindness. If you aren't doing that for yourself then that's where you begin. Have a look at the NE (Contemplation), the NW (Progression) and North (Vocation) sectors to understand more about this.
Self-acceptance radiates from our sense of self-worth, which is primed by the mundane actions and thoughts of everyday life. Lets engage in making 'everyday' an opportunity to be happy, healthy and well cared for by ourselves. You will notice that your frequency shifts and elevates, and this in turn will attract the kinds of people who are going to support you.
Thank you for your connection in this moment. It is truly appreciated and honoured.
*Kindred, Love, Candles & Blooms (LC&B), Alyssum Alchemy, Mohi, Miskin Organics, Naughty Naturopath, AlfHealth, Vitalita.