GUEST BLOG BY AMANDA MCPHERSON – LIFE COACH FOR RESET RETREAT
Self-care is such a buzzword these days, right? Women, in particular, are cautioned against neglecting the magical, all-important practice of self-care. Many of us answer the self-care warning by booking ourselves the occasional massage, or vacation, or maybe we simply try to steal away for an uninterrupted bubble bath in the privacy of our own bathroom. Ahhhhh…
All of these things are lovely. I condone these activities and hope that you treat yourself to some pampering. But, here’s the problem… if you step out of the bubble bath into a life that is miserable, you’re right back where you started. Sure, you had a brief respite from the hamster wheel of “shoulds” and “expectations” and thoughts of “I’m not good enough”, but these things don’t disappear in a bathtub, on a massage table or even on a luxurious vacation.
To put it bluntly, self-care is more than taking a bubble bath.
Several years ago I went on a trip to Greece with some girlfriends. This was a dream-come-true kind of trip for me. Greece had always been at the top of my list of places I wanted to see. And now I had the money, the vacation time and willing friends to make this trip a reality. Woohoo!
Our last stop was the island of Santorini (which, by the way, really is as beautiful as it looks in pictures). On the day we were supposed to depart the island to start our trek back to the U.S., we were informed that there were terrible flight delays. And, because we were on a small island, flights were very few and far between. We were told that it could be 2-3 days before we’d be able to make it back home.
You mean I had been gone for 10 days and there was a chance that I would be delayed several more? YES!!!! I was full of relief. Yes, relief. Relief that I would have more time away from a job that made me feel like a fish out of water almost every single day. Relief to be away from the complicated relationships that I had back home. Relief from… my real life.
I remember that moment very clearly. I felt sad and a bit empty. I mean, sure, who doesn’t love a vacation? But, I wasn’t using it to re-fuel. I was using it to escape.
Don’t get me wrong, I think self-care absolutely serves a purpose in our lives. Taking time away from the demands of our daily hamster wheel usually allows the whispers of our heart to get a little louder. It’s a time to check in with what we really value, how we are feeling, and what we need to do to feel more balanced and healthy. But, if we don’t do anything with the messages we receive in those moments, our lives will continue to bring us feelings of anxiety, sadness and frustration.
The thing is, sometimes meaningful self-care doesn’t feel so good– setting boundaries, leaving a job, ending a relationship, taking a leap to follow your dreams– these acts of self-care can be really difficult and uncomfortable. It’s so much easier to take a bubble bath or book a massage. But, when you can begin to align your life with your deepest values and the whispers of your heart, the vacations, massages and bubble baths will be icing on your lovely, delicious, intentionally- created life. Now that sounds like a treat that we can all devour!
- Before the breaking point by Genevieve Pierson, Reset Retreat photographer
- Q&A with Amanda McPherson, Reset Retreat life coach
- Breaking the “I’m not good enough” story
- Girl, get your roots done by Amanda McPherson
- 5 signs that you’ve lost yourself and your integrity in a relationship
Amanda is a trained Life Coach and holds a Masters Degree in Counseling. As a recovering risk avoiding scaredy-cat, she is passionate about empowering women to live and love boldly. Amanda will be joining Reset Retreat in Belize as life coach in February 2016. To learn more about Amanda, visit her life coaching website, her amazing blog, or catch up with her on Facebook.