With a new year often comes a renewed determination to take better care of ourselves. But too much self-care can backfire. Let me explain. I still believe self-care is foundational to your well-being. But from self-care to self-improvement it’s often a slippery slope, and self-improvement is not self-care. In fact behind self-improvement often lurks the “I am not good enough” gremlin. Ever striving for a slender body, inner-peace, more skills or what-not (a state perceived as “better”) you’ll end up missing the richness and value of your present experience, however upsetting or painful it might be. Lost in “outcome consciousness” (in your head, really), you’ll become increasingly estranged from the here and now. Turns out here and now is the only place where life happens! So naturally what follows is an experience of self, others and life that’s more fragmented than flowing and deeply unsatisfying.
Embrace each and every moment as it is, anger, anxiety, regrets and all. This is called radical self-acceptance. and you can’t evolve into a better version of you if you bypass this most important step. Self-acceptance is a prerequisite to positive transformation of any kind.
The thing is, for most of us human beings saying yes to our current reality, especially if it’s “imperfect and messy” (as it often is, right!?) is not easy. We’re afraid. We’re afraid that saying yes to the mess will bring more of it! Big misconception. In my next post I’ll explore why what we resist actually persists, and how we can find our “Yes!.”