Developing a nurturing relationship with yourself is like “accepting your own friend request.” At La Crisalida Retreats we encourage guests to become their own best friend as this naturally leads to taking responsibility for your own health and wellbeing. Of course, in today’s world, with the constant demands on our time, committing to nurturing a relationship with yourself can be a challenging job.
The cultivation of a deeper, more nurturing relationship with yourself begins for those who recognize the importance and understand the benefits and also have developed the courage to rethink their priorities. The intention of this article is to provide suggestions for prioritizing and clarifying the way forward for anyone ready to accept their own friend request!
Our ‘self’ needs range from the basics of food, water, safety, shelter, to more delicate needs like esteem, respect, trust and love. Self-care then suggests meeting all these needs for your ‘self’ in a balanced way. It will include actions that demonstrates to your ‘inner-self’ that you are worthy and deserving of health and well-being. This can be as simple as choosing to take extra time to provide your body with a healthful snack or meal rather than compromising and eating junk due to time or convenience.
Developing a nurturing relationship with yourself can simply be referred to as ‘self-care’. Care for our ‘self’ also involves listening to our internal desires and clarifying our unique needs. In other words self-care also means listening to your heart. A natural result of self-care is motivation towards ‘self’ practices of patience, forgiveness, compassion and acceptance.
Another key aspect of self-care is the setting aside time to enjoy being with your ‘self’. All relationships need time, the one with your ‘self’ needs it too. We find that meditation is the ultimate way of spending time with yourself – so this maybe something you want to try. There are many ways to meditate varying from resting in silence to everyday tasks like weeding the garden, walking the dog, lying on a blanket staring up at the clouds, sewing and playing an instrument.
We may meet a great deal of resistance as we begin or move on in our journey. Negative messages or negative self-talk might arise. This is where listening comes in. Listening to the messages we give our ‘self’ on a moment to moment basis. Listen… Sometimes when we become aware of, and listen attentively (without judgement) to the self-talk we can recognize from where it arose (parents, teachers from long ago). In time, consider, is that the way you want to think of your ‘self’? Do these negative messages or self-talk help you to move to a place of health and well-being? We have a choice – to continue saying the same things to yourself (it’s a habit), or to start to find a new way. It takes time, and kindness, but we can change what goes on inside.
Maybe just reading this article, where we say look after your “self”, particularly when we say “look after your-self first”, you are already experiencing negative feelings or hearing opinions in your head. A common response is “that´s selfish”. “I must look after other people first… I have responsibilities”. Many of us are brought up in a society that says to be selfish is to be a bad person. So, what do we really mean by being selfish? Ask yourself, if looking after myself is selfish then who is supposed to look after me? If you don´t look after yourself, then who will look after your children, husband, parents? Perhaps selfish can be good. This is not to say that we dismiss everyone else, just that we start to listen to ourselves.
Being a friend to yourself means recognizing when you need to rest, or dance, or say no to someone. Becoming a friend to yourself also means becoming comfortable with yourself, warts and all!
Say “yes” to your own friend request and care your for ‘self’.
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About the author
- Loves all types of yoga, including Hatha, partner yoga and laughter! Passionate about natural approaches to health