Some women are more than a little skeptical when I first reveal my take on the fundamentals of personal leadership.
I’ve been met with some pretty strange looks and awkward pauses in conversation when I say that blessing counting, green smoothies, regular facials, and more sexy time are among my most effective success and leadership strategies.
And,I’m so not kidding.
Like food, sunlight, and meaningful human connection, unyielding self-care should be non-negotiable. However, we're often so wrapped up in the busyness of day-to-day living that we fail miserably at taking proper care of even our most basic needs.
As many of us find it difficult to get in adequate rest, make nutritious choices, and keep our bodies vital and strong, most of us definitely aren’t making time for powerful practices like gratitude and meditation, spending time in nature, or pursuing creative passions.
That's not a good thing. As Paula Reeves says, “When we neglect what matters most to us, that then becomes the matter with us.”
LOVING YOURSELF INTO LEADERSHIP
Stepping into leadership and the brightest possibilities for your life, relationships, and career requires that you honour, nourish, and nurture yourself on a very consistent and regular basis - not only for your own benefit, but for the benefit of everyone around you.
There's a very good reason why we are told to put on our own oxygen mask first - so that we can be of greater service to others.
Self-care empowers us to be more available and generous with our teams, loved ones and clients, while also modeling to them how we want to be treated. When we commit to valuing and respecting ourselves, others inevitably value and respect us more too.
In my women’s leadership program, as well as some of my private client work, I actually require and insist on a commitment to daily self-care practices.
In some cases, I’ve encountered some initial push back, accompanied by some stunned questions such as, “What the hell does a gratitude journal have to do with my marketing plan?”
Well, everything actually. If you’re not grateful for the business and clients you already have, it’s going to be a whole lot more difficult to get new ones.
CREATE + Commit to A Self-Care RegimEn
If you’re like me, if it’s not on the calendar, it just doesn’t happen. And since self-care is something we tend to put low on our priority list, it’s pretty rare that the soul-stirring, faith-finding, and body-loving activities get a prominent and permanent place on our daily schedules. Yet, having a structured and solid self-care plan is absolutely essential to your physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing.
BUT...in order to reap the transformative results this can have in your life, your plan must go far beyond making it to the gym three times a week, getting the standard 8 hours of shut-eye, and staying properly hydrated.
The order of business here is not to merely enhance physical health, but rather to generate joy, cultivate creativity, experience genuine contentment, and enrich every facet of your life.
A Sweet and Simple Plan:
Make a list of 30 self-care activities that are not only essential for your health and wellness, but also include those that light you up, and maybe even make you swoon a little with longing. These should range in time, commitment, and variety. From a five-minute meditation to an entire day of pampering; an ice-cream sundae or tea with your grandmother.
Schedule in one activity EVERY SINGLE DAY for the month and then actually do it.
IDEAS + INSPIRATION:
Luxurious: spa day // week-long retreat in the mountains
Simple: reading fiction // a bouquet of flowers for your desk
Restorative: yoga over lunch // a candle lit bath
Invigorating: run by the river // a rock concert
Inspiring: a lecture at your local university // a class (ahem, the doors for Rise by Design are currently open! :)
Creative: evening at the bookstore // a painting workshop
Affirming: girl’s night out // family movie night
Exciting: tango lessons // a workshop in tantric teachings
Essential: preparing a gorgeous, nutritious meal // a love letter to yourself
WHY SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH
I know much of this might feel or sound indulgent right now, but it’s really just your resistance to the re-frame that you need to firmly plant yourself at the top of your priority list.
Know THIS to be true with every ounce of your beautiful being: Self-care is absolutely the furthest thing from selfish.
Trust me when I tell you that your friends, family, colleagues, and clients will actually LOVE you for it, as they’ll be the ones reaping the benefits of a more peaceful, passionate and present you.
If you’re already rocking an impressive self-care regimen, I’d love to hear all about it! How do you take care of you?