Healthy habits vs. self care. What's the difference?

I have been practicing yoga for almost 20 years,

It has truly informed how I live the best life possible.

I can not imagine what my life without it.

The biggest gift I have received from my yoga practice,

is awareness.

It is such a simple concept yet it is everything.

Awareness is defines as: knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.

When I speak of the awareness yoga offered me, this is more along the lines of perception of the self.

The seat of the witness concsciousness.

Being able to see your self from an objective perspective.

It’s kind of an out of body experience.

View yourself from the outside.

Why is this important?

Without it, real personal growth and change is not possible.

Awareness allows you to be objective with compassion,

to yourself and others.

It is simply to observe and allow.

Then, change accordingly to achieve the desired results.

When you become aware,

you take responsibility for your thoughts, emotions and actions.

You can make informed decisions from a place of emotional adulthood,

because you know growth, change, joy and satisfaction are available to you.

There are many ways to stay in tune with this type of mindful thinking.

Meditation, journaling, yoga practice, contemplative walks.

These practices give space for your inner voice, your intuition, to be heard.

Recently, I have had the calling to slow down.

To really take time to just be, think and treat my self with extra care without rushing.

Really noticing my body. What it looks and feels like to the touch.

This is hard for me.

I am on the go most of the day.

I run two business, a house hold, have pets and a 3 year old.

I love every moment of it.

We are all busy.

But we make choices of what take precedent.

These priorities change and should.

If you are not in a cycle of changing, you are probably out of balance.

I know my body, mind and spirit call for different things at different times of the day, month and year.

And surly as I take more trips around the sun, my needs are defined with greater clarity.

For many years, my movement practice, from weight training to hiking, is a daily must do.

If fills me up. Gives me confidence and does inform me of what’s going on with my body.

If also encourages other healthy life style habits like water intake and eating a plant based diet.

however, It is still an active activity.

For many years, really most of my life, this was how I defiend my self care.

It was my number one priority.

As I continue to grow and understand my divine famine nature,

I am called to shift my focus on more subtle activities of nurturing.

The activities may be subtle but the need for their presence and their power, not so much.

The more I awaken to a part of me that may have been dormant for life times,

the presence of deep spiritually activating rituals

is a necessity for growth and personal success.

It is how I KNOW what to do next.

It is my new self care.

With out it, I am foggy and make decisions from a place of shoulds rather than must.

This atonement or realignment,

can come in the form of many things.

From my morning ritual to

lighting a candle for my self and the world.

Or

My personal favorite, walks for the sake of walks. To be with nature, by my self.

No music, no phone, no podcasts. Just me, Gaia, Life and maybe Llewey (my sweet dog).

These practices and more simply put are the things that

FEED MY SOUL.

But the truth is, most anything can with, guess what, AWARENESS!

To answer my own question, the difference between healthy habits vs. self care is just that, awareness.

Adding active awareness to any activity creates an intention and makes it a ritual.

Keep celebrating the ritual that is your LIFE!

There’s room for you here.

If you aren’t sure you know how, email or call me and we can make a time for a free heart to heart coaching mini session. I would love to help you celebrate!

Enjoy today.

Mary

What have you done for me lately?

I’ll try this again.

I am getting better at Self Care, slowing but surly.

I’m great at doing what I want to.

What makes me happy.

What fulfills my creative needs.

It’s the slowing down when I need it most.

As far as when I really need to be pampering my self.

Take some quiet time for conscious relaxation.

The days where I feel a little rage,

or hormones are coming on strong.

Instead of taking a bath and reading,

I tend to be destructive.

This may involve spiraling about how to get out of here,

to a place where there are no thoughts.

(which is just my own head)

Or drink alcohol to buffer.

Or have a rich meal to feel something other than chaos.

Of course, it doesn’t work.

It makes me mentally and physically sick.

The worry, more than anything I could put into my body.

However, awareness is the first step to transformation.

I recognize this little demon the second she shows up.

I have come far enough in my process, that I can make friends with her.

And the length of her stay is much shorter than it use to be.

I am learning kindness and compassion for her.

I am learning that she doesn’t want to be fed with anger and worry.

What she is longing for is a deep, long, cathartic hug.

Permission to know it’s okay to take a day off

from being on.

I practice the work I offer others, daily.

But it doesn’t mean I don’t have old patterns.

On the contrary,

actively working on myself makes me a better coach.

My mentor, Brooke Castillo, says life is 50/50.

No matter how much you accomplish,

or how much you have.

Your emotions are going to be 50% positive

and 50% negative.

But the negative is no longer bad once you make friends.

It’s all the same.

You learn to love all of it.

And it informs you.

Even in a spiral where nothing is really “wrong”.

It’s just an opportunity to go to the movies,

to treat yourself to a long bath,

to get your nails done or take a nap.

Whatever allows you to just be

in the living of life.

I also have some huge things coming in the new year.

They are exciting and scary.

I am really putting myself out there for success

and the resistance,

the self limiting talk is showing up,

as I knew she would.

I had my day.

There are no regrets.

Now it’s time to tighten my laces,

put on some Janet

and get to work.

Finding your way in the dark

What is significant about a new moon?

To some it means absolutely nothing.

To others, they plan their days around the lunar cycle.

Does it change your life regardless if you are aware of it or not?

I think so.

The moon is our closest celestial sister.

Many things on earth work they way they do because of the presence of the moon.

If you choose to pay attention, it becomes obvious.

The new moon for me represents a blank slate of limitless possibilities.

If you had a black chalkboard that represented your life, what would you draw?

Being the last new moon of the year, I think it’s important to answer this question

with refection on the year that has past.

I tend to focus my energy on the the things that really blossomed

and what supported that growth.

Appreciation for the existence of something keeps it thriving.

What was useful that helped you grow this year?

How can you nourish that, so it keeps supporting you?

When I ask my self this question, two things come up.

One, is my dear life partner.

And the other is a time this year of deep re-membering.

I want to feed and nourish these things so they continue to help me flourish.

So I can add to the amazing gifts they all ready offer in my life.

My partner and I went through great transformation and dove deeper into our intimacy.

Not to mention his presence as an active co-listener, guide and collaborator.

This made room for my own personal journey inward to grow and expand.

I was lead to a retreat where I connected with a sisterhood I was longing for.

There I found a deep rooted space for the new phase in my life as a Mother.

And the reclamation of the Creatrix, Witch, Goddess and Priestess I have always been.

It changed everything.

On this Dark Moon, I give space for those gifts in my life to run wild.

To visualize how I want to honor and feed them.

And also how I want to continue to grow in the light of such beauty.

Finding your way in the dark means there’s no right or wrong way,

there’s no path laid out for you.

Only the calling of your cosmic hearts desires and dreams.

You get to decide what to take with you and what can stay behind.

I’m choosing to take into the dark those things which bring light into my life.

So when I am scared or lost, I will have a beacon to take refuge in.

The path is always yours to choose, but choose what comes along for the ride wisely.

I invite you to begin the preparations for the new year now.

Take your time.

Reflect and really think about what you want to draw on your chalkboard.

The light of the moon will be back soon with new messaged to share.

Until then, dream wildly.

There’s room for you here.

New Moon Blessings,

Mary

Ritual Practice: The Hunter's Full Moon

La Luna… The moon is the closest celestial body to the earth, making the energetic impact it has on our internal and environmental rhythms very significant.  As humans we experience our life in cycles, and if you pay attention, the energetic implications of your emotional body corresponds with the moon’s phase is a way that is worth noting.  It may give you some insight into why you may have heightened emotions or more apathy during specific times of the month. For this reason, I think moon rituals, especially on the new and full moons are amazingly auspicious times for creating intentions and aligning your energetic body with that of our closest celestial sister, the moon.  This is all based primarily on my own personal observations and experience. Today I will talk about a Full Moon ritual as we are less than 24 hours away from the fullness of the Hunter’s Full Moon. If you wish to dive further into this subject based on the zodiac and astrology, I encourage you to do so. That subject matter however, is not my expertise.  I base much of my ritual practice on deep observation of my subtle bodies and how I respond to the natural world itself, the earth, moon and universal connection. Ritual is any ceremony you would like to perform that invokes a deep connection and sentiment to you. It is a sacred practice that does not need to mean anything special to anyone but yourself.  Ritual can be the long, hot bath your treat yourself to on Sunday’s with your special bath salts. I believe it is an act of self care that pays tribute to the truest part of our divine nature.

The Hunter’s Full moon, is a name given to this usually late October full moon based on Native American tradition.  It is the end of the harvest season, the leaves have fallen, the deep woods are more in view and the light of the full moon guides the hunters to find their game, plump and ready to be food for the long winter ahead.  With this imagery, let’s take a journey to our personal lives. The apex of the full moon is a time to reflect on the fullness of your life. What have you been working on these last several weeks and what is really shining for you with full exposure?  With this specific full moon, I think it is a great opportunity to reflect on the year as a whole. Now that the leaves have fallen and your inner workings are ripe and of their fullest potential, what will you take into the darker, quieter months to feed your soul, tend to your loved ones, express as a creative venture? It is an amazing opportunity to be fully present, nothing to hide behind, exposing that part of yourself that may not have been ready to shine forward.  But maybe now, there is nowhere to hide. Courage can not exist without fear. But it is the promise of transformation on the other side that makes courageous acts possible. Let the softness of the earth's floor and the lull of the hazy moon hold and guide you in to these last months of the year where you can put the finishing touches on the masterpiece that is your life.

A practice in moon bathing. No matter where you are in your journey, fully expressed or still trying to find that little push to get you to your next step, find a special, palm sized object that means something special to you. Under the light of the full moon, even if you can not see it, whisper your deepest desires of your greatest wish for transformation into this object, sit quietly and breathe deeply.  Let your sacred object rest in your hands on your lap and for as much time as you can, allow the radiance of the moon to enter into ever pore of your body. Permeating the skin, every cell and organ. Let it go deep into the tissues and bone.  Feel the moonlight from your being start to radiate out of your palms into your sacred object, your portal of deep intention. Be with this feeling, allow it to enliven your being and fill any place where you feel stiff, dull or void. Bring your attention back to your wish and know with all of your heart, that the power of your being infused with the power of this full moon has the wisdom to carry your dreams into reality.  Be still and radiate in the magnificence of all that you are. Know, that by tuning into finding more peace with the essence of who we truly are, we create more peace in the world. Remember, we are all born with the same internal potential, sometimes it just needs to be illuminated to hear that whisper of remembrance...of course it was you, it was always you.