For the longest time the last thing I’ve wanted to be called is selfish.
Call me a weak, call me stupid, call me lazy, jealous, crazy – call me a bitch or do your worst.
But selfish – that just runs so counter to the caring, compassionate kind of persona I like to think I have.
And if (when) I see myself as being selfish, I get the guilts, big-time.
Sure I can feel guilty for being lazy, procrastinating, angry, envious, but nothing cranks up the guilt-o-meter like my self-perceived selfishness.
So where does this leave self-care?
In the ‘too-hard’, ‘I feel guilty’, ‘I’m not worthy basket’.
She (that would be me) says this after spending $55, and three hours on a Friday night, in a Yin Yoga Bliss-out session – SELFISH – guilty as charged. And even worse, I’m planning to book in for a second session at the end of the month. The shame.
She (me again) says I don’t practise self-care when I recently spent $99 on a pair of sky-high shoes (on-sale mind you) that well, let’s face it, I don’t really need (when do we ever really NEED shoes?)
The thing is, the yin yoga session was not selfish, it was genuine self-care – supplementing my regular yoga and meditation practice that I hope makes me a better person. (ahem, I should mention my annual yoga weekend retreat – a bargain at less than $300).
The shoes, whilst an indulgence, weren’t an outrageous purchase. I probably only buy 4-5 pairs a year – two or three that I probably need, and two that I really want. Not exactly off-the-scale extravagance in the shoe department (well maybe 5 or 6).
I tend to shop pretty cheaply for clothes most of the time these days (Target I will accept sponsored posts).
I did lash out recently with a new IMac, a wall mural and a modest office set-up – but it is for work mostly.
I went to the dermatologist for an annual check-up, having had a little skin cancer cut out a year or so ago. All good, and whilst I’m considering spending the $1000 or so that would help repair (cosmetically) some of the sun damage to my ageing skin, SIGH, I probably won’t.
I don’t want to be selfish.
We do give to charities, don’t dine out very often, I rarely get a massage, manicure or pedicure (although I might need one to go with those new shoes) and I drive a 13–year-old car (SIGH on that one).
Of course there is money for Miss Yin’s dancing, and Chinese lessons, and swimming lessons and kids toys and books and….so maybe I’m not being that selfish with my spending (at least).
Could I do more to help others? Of course. Could I be less self-absorbed at times (like maybe now)? You bet.
But… I think it’s about time I redefined selfishness and not just when it comes to what I spend my money on, but the time and care factors too.
I think I’m just going to ban the word from my vocabulary, and hopefully it will skulk out of my head for good too. See ya later selfish. How bout you and guilt go on a long trip together and leave me alone!
My new word (for that word I don’t use anymore) is self-full.
This is distinct from ‘full of oneself’ – that not so flattering term for a vain pain in the ass.
Being self-full is about ensuring you have the energy to live life to the fullest. And in living life fully you are a better person for those around you, for all you seek to serve.
Being self-full is about stopping to top up your reserves before you run on empty, investing in things that bring you peace, creative challenge, meaning and joy.
It is about building up your worthiness, because you are already worth it.
Being self-full is not extravagant and indulgent or self-centred and uncaring.
What do you reckon – like my new word?
I made it up my-SELF, he, he (although others on the interwebs have apparently thought of it already).
Will it be your new word?
What do you do for self-care?
Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.
PS – if you haven’t already I’d love you to check out my latest kid’s meditation video – we all want calm kids.