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Radical Self-Care

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

Self-Care is Radical...The Bigger Picture?

By Andrea White

We all know self-care is important to our health and well-being, but have you thought about how it could be radical and vital for those around us?

Self Care can be political and a radical act

We live in a world that is full of pressure. A society that doesn't honour our cyclical nature, a world that doesn't measure success without productivity, and in a time where even technology was supposed to make our lives easier, it has just made them more confusing and complicated!

Self Care is standing up and saying NO and creating boundaries. It is also looking deeper into the problems in our life, community and world and not putting up with them.

Striving for a world where we don't need so much Self-care to counterbalance all these pressures.

Self-care has definitely been watered down to appeal to the masses, and like many things, we can view this as a good or bad thing.

Take yoga for example, over the last 50 years yoga has transformed and metamorphosed into very different forms. some of them not always a spiritual path of enlightenment. .. Does this mean there is no merit or the same amount of people will find the real stuff eventually? Same with self-care. If we start small, it ripples out and we start to understand the deeper worldview and even the more profound politics behind it.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ~Audre Lorde

Breaking cycles of the past

As a mum of a little girl, I am conscious that I am raising a woman into the world, I want to show her by example how to be strong, and confident, listen to her heart, and her cycles and love herself completely. I want the next generation to be kind to themselves and love who they are and whatever shape, size or gender they are.

As mentioned in ‘Why Self Care is Important’ we also need to break the patterns and rewards of ‘busyness’ we are burnt out and done! This isn’t how it should be. We need to lower those bars a bit lower, a bit more acceptance, trust the process and ask for help.

Standing up for beliefs

On my self-care journey, I have learnt the politics of care. I am learning what upsets me and what breaks my heart, using my own challenges to help others with similar struggles. Sometimes self-care is making difficult decisions, it can make us feel uncomfortable. But know that one person can make a difference.

Self Care means changing the system.

Once you know what you care about, you can start to look at the system. I see so many women with postnatal depression and challenges from birth and postnatal, also menstrual health and fertility issues. I support them the best I can, but also strive to create change through awareness, physical networking and community, research and sharing my knowledge, but also supporting period policies in schools and workplaces, and promoting proper education in schools and communities.

By sitting quietly and connecting to nature, I have felt her voice, I know my supporting climate change and planting a garden is my part to play, but also using my voting power and supporting those who are lobbying for positive policy.

Finding your calling and purpose

Through self-care and mainly my menstrual cycle awareness. I have been able to find my calling. It doesn't always show up in the form of words or a career path, but deep down you can start to align your actions with a deeper sense of knowing you are on the right track.

The original and true meaning of self-care was to connect with our souls deeper. When this happens all other questions are clearer.

We need our village back. We need our planet back.

A lot of time we need Self Care because we have become a society of individuals, separate from each other and separate from the environment. Someone sold us a lie about individuality and being the best, not worrying about the future (hence individual, single-use plastics!) We don't need to do it alone, we don't need to push people away. What we need is to work together, and stand up for each other, our community and the environment.

It has gone so far now any action has to be radical, it has to be political and powerful, we are all suffering due to isolation and exhaustion. We need to change things today… and guess who it starts with?... YOU.

So start looking after yourself, shed the layers of disconnection and exhaustion, to finally connect with your true calling, what is it in you that can make a difference and finally we can connect to each other and all stand together.

(this article was edited from Dec 2019)

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