Welcome back ladies and gentlemen,
I can’t believe already our second week of Music Monday Care & Love is over. It is an honour to explore self-care with you, my dear readers. Emilia from “My Inner MishMash” and JoAnna from “Anything is possible!” were so kind as to share their experiences and thoughts with us.
Fellow Self-Care Explorers
Emilia shared in her post “ Music Monday Care & Love – Curly Strings – “Miks Sa Murrad Mind?” (Why DO You Break Me?).” how her journey from being very anxious to allowing herself a couple of minutes of silence made her relax just that little more to make a difference in her life. She is lucky to have a pet at her side which is brilliant in relaxing and just being: her cat Misha.
And she also shared with us a beautiful Estonian song by a group called “Curly Strings”. Please head over to her blog and cheer her on.
JoAnna kindly shared in the comments how she even after years of practice still has to deal with her “chattering monkeys”. I suspect that is just how we are and the more we practise the more we can let them go. JoAnna also made me aware of another Bible verse that explains the “ask, believe, receive system”. It is in Matthew 21:22. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Please head over to her blog to find her wonderful uplifting Good News posts.
How has self-care been for you?
And how has it been for you? Feel free to share your experiences with us but also feel free to keep them to yourself and use this question to review your experience. Both sharing or reviewing by yourself is a valuable way of exploring self-care.
However, if you feel you would like to talk to someone anyway but not publicly or too close feel free to send me an email (bee.halton(at)gmail.com). Even though I am not a professional, it sometimes helps just to be able to express your thoughts, emotions and developments to someone who listens, and who is not too close to you. Also, feel free to talk to family, friends or a professional if you feel that is necessary. To share and allow ourselves help from others when we need it is an important step to learn when it comes to self-care in my opinion.
And what was going on at The Bee’s exploration of self-care?
I have to admit that I had more trouble this week to allowing myself time for self-care than last week. My husband has found a new job and has suggested for me to give the job search a little break and to figure out other ways of creating an income. I am so grateful that he feels that way and for all his love and care. He is just incredible!
However, it made my mind go bonkers with planning a “creative” work day in which I can write and create to my heart’s content. That’s because I would like to create an income with writing. I don’t feel I am good enough for it yet. So besides creating blog posts, I incorporated daily exercises with an app from the British council to improve my grammar, and also new ways of advertising for our shops. I felt I needed a creative routine or system that makes it easier for me to consistently write. On top of that, I started to do Julia Cameron’s “The Artists Way” course again. Some of the chapters made me think I need to give our home a little more love and care too. So I got busy cleaning some corners that needed it a lot.
When I am motivated to improve my life and my work situation I usually get into a total hyper state: I keep creating and creating and I just can’t stop. I suspect it doesn’t help that it is close to my mothers passing anniversary. That is always challenging for me and gets me more into a depressive state. So having started Music Monday Care & Love was a great way of keeping me grounded and motivating me to incorporate self-care in some way. Sunday & Monday I simply forgot the whole thing. Yes, Really! I admit it ;-).
Tuesday Morning I remembered and allowed myself to just sit for some time in the morning and enjoy a mug of coffee with spices and lots of vanilla spiced cream on top. That calmed me down a little and I decided to move the “being” and “breathing” towards our walks at the beach in the morning. Emilia had the chance to do one of her sessions at the beach too and like her, I found it very, very comforting and calming. So I see if I can make this a habit. Breathing exercises have played a big part in my therapy sessions as they help so well in dealing with anxiety. But you need to practice those to have them ready when anxiety hits and I have been lazy lately. This was a brilliant reminder.
Be gentle with yourself when it comes to self-care
I think this is what it is all about: Don’t worry or berate yourself when you have forgotten what self-care you had planned or life or your mental health got in the way. It’s not a drill it is taking care of yourself and sometimes it’s just not possible. That is the sad truth. The important thing is, to allow yourself to start again. After all, they say: It doesn’t matter how often you fall as long as you get up and start again. That is why I encourage you to be gentle with yourself and allow the journey to unfold at its own pace. Remember what I said last week about becoming more self-aware: it’s a “messy roller coaster process where you suddenly jump forwards just to fall back into old traps again and again.” That counts for self-care in general too.
The Bee’s Music and SElf-Care
Again nature and the sea’s gentle sounds were the backdrops for my self-care exploration. I am sharing a video I was listening to at night for a while to get more relaxed because I do not have one from where we walk. For the rest of the day, I have been listening to two of my YouTube lists: One is called “healing” and is a private one. I added songs to it that I find especially helpful in my healing efforts. The other one is my #amwriting list which just contains the music I love. I believe all the music supported my self-care.
Here is the video:
And which self-care adventures are we going to experience next week?
As I said above I am doing Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” course again. I have bought the book and the workbook several years ago but first encountered her ideas about creativity in the late nineties. It has been a companion of mine ever since because it entails a lot of self-care ideas and suggestions that I find rather helpful.
I am currently working on week 7 which is called “Recovering a Sense of Connection” and at the end of each chapter are tasks to encourage self-care but also more freedom with your creativity.
One of the tasks for this week is to create a sign which tells you the affirmation: “Treating myself like a precious object makes me strong!”. I thought this is an excellent affirmation to be used on our self-care adventure too.
Affirmations and Self-Care
But first a couple of words about positive affirmations: Apparently our subconscious is a little like a sponge: It soaks up everything our conscious thoughts feed it. So if our thoughts are about a lot of negative things like “I am not good enough”, I can’t reach my goals” or “ I fail at everything” our subconscious soaks it up and so to speak makes it come true: We don’t even try to reach any goals because we “know” that we can’t reach them anyway. However, if we are aware of what negative messages we tell ourselves we can so to speak turn that process backwards: To counter the negative message, we create a positive message and tell it to ourselves on a regular basis. After a while, our subconscious believes the positive message and we act accordingly.
Well, the expression “positive affirmation” for many has a bit of an atmosphere of hocus pocus but any coach works exactly that way. He or she drums a new message into the coachee until they believe it and act in a new way. I have to admit when I first encountered this idea I didn’t believe one word of it. However, I thought I have nothing to lose and I can only find out if it works if I try it. And astonishingly it does work.
Well, not like a wonder drug: You tell yourself something positive once and the next day everything is changed. It would be great if that would be the case. Self-improvement and self-care are a process and there are issues which are rather difficult to deal with because they are learned so early in life or are deeply ingrained for other reasons.
But I found affirmations to encourage me to more self-care very effective and that is why I want to encourage you to use one this week. You can work either with Julia Cameron’s: “Treating myself like a precious object makes me strong” or create one that is more fitting for yourself or the issue you are working with. The important thing is to create a simple sentence that has a positive tinge. “I don’t eat cookies anymore” wouldn’t work because it contains the negative expression “don’t” in it. A better version would be “I enjoy a healthy snack”. You can see that “enjoy” and “healthy” have a rather more positive aspect.
The idea for our purposes is, of course, not necessarily eating but to encourage us to use more self-care and to believe that it will have a positive effect on us. That is why I like Julia Cameron’s so much.
Ok, how are we going to do it? I encourage you to create a sign or a recording with the affirmation: “Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong” or one that fits your purposes better. Either listen to it in the morning or evening or if you use a sign put it in a place where you see it regularly. And then observe what gentle changes are going to happen in your life.
SELF-CARE AND MUSIC
I also encourage you to connect this weeks self-care practise with a song that either makes you feel precious or that is about something or someone precious.
What do you think? Will this tool or practise be beneficial for you?
Please feel free to share it with us in the comments or in a blog post.
And just to remind us and to introduce newcomers to it:
SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO TAKE PART IN MUSIC MONDAY CARE & LOVE
- ~ I invite you to appreciate yourself!
- ~ Preferably do this at the beginning of the week but if that does not fit, feel free to choose another time.
- ~ I invite you to do this with music and to explore a self-care activity
- ~ Feel free to write a blog post about your experiences but it is perfectly fine if you just do it for yourself or if you share in the comments
- ~ Also, feel free to incorporate self-care into your everyday life.
- ~ If you write a post please leave your link here in the comments that we all have the chance to cheer you on!
- ~ Go and visit your fellow self-care explorer’s posts & blogs
- ~ I’ll share a round-up & invitation post with a self-care activity & suggestion on what sort of music to share on Sunday afternoons.
Now my dear readers,
go, explore self-care and create lots of love
for yourself and others!
Buy Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” at Wordery
I am not a health professional. My posts describe my thoughts, my experiences and my conclusions about life, mental health and self-improvement. My described actions always go alongside therapy and do not substitute professional advice by a health professional be it a doctor, therapist or counsellor.
I invite you to try out self-care tools, however, if any of these make you feel uncomfortable please stop and do not go further ahead. Also, if any of the tools suggested bring up issues that need dealing with do not hesitate to reach out for professional help.
To recognise when you need to stop and when to reach out for professional or any other help is one important part to learn when it comes to self-care.