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The Golden Rules of Tending Myself

At the time this post goes live, I’ll be heading off on a seven-day silent meditation retreat. No phones, no talking, no outside communication. Just me, my brain, my body, and my practice. In honor of that, here’s what’s true for me. Remembering this is how I tend myself.

One of my all-time favorite things to do is podcast interviews. (Psst! Have a podcast? Want to chat? Email me here!) It is so much fun to jam with like-minded, brilliant people about the nuances of self-care and how we bring it to life. Yum.

I’m asked a lot what I believe self-care is – and what my self-care practice looks like. While I talk a lot about what I believe self-care is (and a little about what it isn’t), I wanted to take a minute to break down what my gold standard for self-care is.

Without these guidelines in place, things start to wobble, and I start feeling like a hot mess.

This is how I have my own back. It’s what works for me. When I forget to keep these snugly in place, I suffer. When I try to make my life or flow look like someone else’s, that’s when things go off the rail.

If I’m really tending myself well, this is what happens. And in my heart, even when I think I don’t know what to do, this is what I works in my life.

Dear Christy,

Here’s what I know about you:

  • A hot shower fixes a lot. When things get tough, massage your scalp with hot water. And towel yourself off with something soft.
  • Stay political, involved, and fired-up. The cure of apathy or depression is not inaction. It seems hard, but getting off the couch and seeing your community for two hours and plotting how you’re going to change the world will leave you better than it found you.
  • Your family comes first always. Look up from your phone and kiss your husband. Put down your work and snuggle your cat. Call your mom. And so forth. You’re always glad you did.
  • Go see some trees. Like, today.
  • Walk a mile a day. Slowly, if needed.
  • Drink chai in the sun. Or drink chai while watching the rain.
  • Don’t ever stop drinking coffee in the mornings with your man. That shit is what life-long love is made of.
  • Take the time you need to just veg out and do nothing. Believe and respect your introversion enough to support it rather than change it.
  • Don’t compare your middle to their end. Or their anything.
  • Practice compersion or mudita or anything else you need to in order to stay out of a competition mindset. There is enough.
  • Similarly: make your own stuff. Make it the best it can be, pack it and ship it. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.

When things feel tough:

  • Gossip less. Speak even more compassionately, if possible, when people are out of the room than when they’re in it.
  • If you’re feeling down on yourself, make something.
  • Be as generous as possible. Give it all away. Leave it all on the field.
  • Don’t forget your Sacred Focus. Every single day is a gift, so allow the magic in by holding close what matters most.
  • Embrace discomfort, growth, and the space of not-knowing. Try to learn something every day.
  • Respect how deeply your body is working to heal and be of service. Love it for that.
  • Go look at some mountains.
  • Find a way to be of service every single day. Be a vessel for healing.
  • Do other stuff, so you have more interesting things to talk about than your business.
  • Believe and respect your intuition.
  • Laugh, a lot.
  • Hustle does not mean hardship or suffering. Hustle when it’s light out, then pack it in.
  • When all else fails, give it all over to the universe or god or the infinite mystery. It really worked that one time, remember?

And finally…

  • No one asked you to be a martyr.
  • Read that article in the New Yorker than Dan recommended. It’s probably really good.
  • Unsubscribe to blogs and newsletters that don’t lift you up.
  • Phones in airplane mode after 9pm. Snuggle the cat or read poetry. Get off h*ckin’ Twitter.
  • Have dreams and goals and pursue them with reckless abandon and enthusiasm.
  • A yearly plan is good news.
  • Don’t be afraid of devotion.
  • Get cozy with your spirit and your spirit guides. Allow them the space and quiet to speak.
  • Get a massage once a month.
  • Eat avocados, pineapple, chocolate, berries, nettle tea, ginger, yogurt, kale, tofu, and sweet potatoes. And pasta with cream sauce when you feel like it. Eat according to your body’s own incredible wisdom.
  • Sleep however much you need to. Nap more. Go to sleep as early as you like, in a dark room and don’t set an alarm. Your body is doing remarkable healing and sleep is part of its medicine.
  • Keep your healing team warmed up.

It sounds like a lot, but…

This is how I have my back. This is how I best show up in my life, as my best self. Most of all, this is how I come home to myself. It’s what self-solidarity looks like in my life and how I walk my self-care talk.

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