When I hear someone say self-care, I immediately think of quiet alone time either on my yoga mat or eating a great meal. I think of uncontrollable laughter until I cannot breathe, and enjoying a delicious glass of wine.
Unfortunately, I believe the concept of self care is exclusively directed toward women. I think men, especially men of color, need to know that self-care is a form of love they will not receive from society. I believe that it should and can be cultivated at home. When I held my first workshop, I wanted it to be exclusively for women. But I realized that if men wanted to come, then I’m not going to say no. They need a space as well and should be included!
I think that collectively we can make more things like, yoga, meditation, holistic healing, and organic foods affordable and accessible to everyone. I think that self-care is a basic human right, not a privilege, and there should be a “template” to get everyone started. Like, a 101 on what Self-Care can look like and why it matters. I think being more of our authentic self and sharing our story not in a “look at me” kind of way but letting people know: hey, I’m human and make mistakes, but here is what I’ve learned and so can you.
I don’t think that self-care costs a lot, but there is definitely an investment that needs to be made. It’s hard to quantify an investment in terms of working on your personal life, because it varies for everyone. But you have to do the work, and to me that’s priceless. Each day we go to work, we make an investment in our future and our family’s future. We are compensated for that work with money. So why not make an investment in ourselves and reap the benefits forever AND it’s yours. Jobs and relationships can and will change, but NO ONE can take away the work that you’ve done on yourself!
The misconception about self-care is that it has to be a spa day or expensive purchase. Yes, those are nice, but it doesn’t end there. It can be as free as turning your phone off after 8pm or going to bed 10 minutes earlier. It can be starting your day in silence until 9am or your first meeting of the day. A good friend of mind once said, “money is energy.” So invest in yourself, don’t get hung on what you don’t have, and know you are worth the investment in your own personal healing.
Personally, I wake up before my alarm goes off, cuddle my cat Sir Reggie for way to long, and think about the day ahead. How lucky am I that I get to start over! I set an alarm as a formality, mostly to gauge how much time I have to get out the door and into the office by a certain time. Part of my personal self-care is leaving space for magic, and being open to changes along the day. I meditate daily, but it can look different each time. My morning meditation is quiet time, making coffee, cuddling my cat, and just relishing in thoughts of my Mom. My evening meditation, can be reflecting on my day, writing out how I could have been more, telling myself all the things that went right, and acknowledging all that I am grateful for in this beautiful life. It can be spending extra time in the morning massaging my coconut oil in my skin, or jojoba oil on my face, in a loving, gentle, and beautiful manner while speaking words of love and admiration. Allowing time for the magic of this practice, is a huge part of my daily self-care.
I remind myself that I matter by saying out loud, “I love you, Alicia. You are your mothers daughter and a beautiful creation from God.” I remind myself in my work and my ability to hold space and fiercely listen to others. I am mindful of who I spend time with, so I can keep my vessel (mind) as clear as possible on the main thing. The main thing is LOVE of self and FREEDOM of choice.
I remind others that they matter by holding space for them. I listen. Listen. Listen. And listen some more. People want to be heard and know their voice matters. In the way I move throughout my life, smiling, laughing, using my voice, creating space for others, in my actions give others, hopefully, permission to move in the same way. Not in my way, but in their way and in their own truth.
*Alicia “ACE” Easter
Marketing Manager for a Global Commercial Real Estate Company in Downtown Los Angeles. Yoga Instructor. App lover. Self-appointed IT expert. Collector of journals (I always have a pen). Lover of big silent laughter and most often can be found holding dance parties at home, alone, if her Cat is on his 20th nap and Fiancé is off creating music for the masses.
Her upcoming workshop, WRITE YOURSELF FREE takes place Sunday, February 25th from 1PM – 5PM. More details can be found on her website aceyogala.com.