I used to think that self-care meant a day at the spa, a facial a massage. And I was VERY good at that kind of self-care. Living at a frantic pace and thinking an hour facial would balance out the scales. I would rarely miss a month of outsourcing my self-care, relying on others to infuse their care on me so that I could take one step closer to achieving a state of well-being.
And then I had one of those life changing moments. Literally, out of nowhere. I wasn’t asking for it, and I didn’t know I needed it, but I had unintentionally created the space to receive it. Like a flash of lightening it came. And I shifted my thoughts on myself, my well-being, my alignment with myself.
I was at a Women’s Wellness Retreat with some very good friends. It was our second year with some of Asheville’s very talented mind-body gurus. A couple of days by the ocean filled with mediation, journaling, self-care stones and crystals, yoga, massages, foot soaks and setting intentions. It was a self-care weekend taken to the next level. My expectations for relaxation were high, but I never expected enlightenment.
And suddenly there it was. A single thought infused during a deep meditative state. By being still, being present and creating space, I connected with what I needed to hear, from me.
You are enough.
I wasn’t sure of the significance at the time, but it completely changed my attitude. Those simple words calmed me, shifted my thinking. I went from a perspective of “What should I do next?” “what else is there for me?”, “what is my real purpose?” to a perspective of contentment, fulfillment, gratitude. And from that new place, a place of acceptance and calm, came new beginnings and new chapters.
I stopped worrying about the next thing I was “supposed” to do. I started to focus on being and not becoming.
“Gratitude is its own energy field. When you acknowledge and are grateful for whatever you have, it allows more to be drawn to you and changes the way you experience life. Grace is transformative. The more grateful you are, the more grace mirrors that gratitude that you have.” – Oprah Winfrey
A few weeks later, I was driving behind set of buildings where trash was discarded, maneuvering my way to a main thoroughfare. And there it was, the same message. Delivered and received. You are enough.
“Begin to notice what you have in your life that you are grateful for and when you look at life through the lens of gratitude, you don’t see as many obstacles or hindrances. You see potential, you see possibilities. Then you become an open vehicle for more inspiration, more wisdom, more guidance, coming from the spiritual part of your being.” – Michael Bernard Beckwith
The greatest form of self-care is acceptance. And once that happens, wonderful things can follow. I still love a facial and a day in a spa. But the most important thing I can do is to be grateful and to create space in my body and in my mind so that I am open to possibilities that I can’t even imagine.
English is a Charleston native who took a break from career to renovate the historical family home her great-grandparents built. That adventure led to the creation of her blog, RenovatingCharleston.com, which led to her pursuit of finding and sharing the stories of our ancestors. Her days are filled with gardening, pouring over historical documents and finding ways to tell and preserve the stories of our past.