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10 things in my self-care suitcase

Self care is not fluffy or feminine - it is for everyone. It does not just involve practices like meditation, lighting a candle and running a bath. It involves identifying and utilising our resilience assets which keep our energy in the bank so we can direct it towards what we truly want in life - more freedom, connection, success and love. Self-care is essential if we want to create sustainable change.

I am currently creating a start-up aimed at capturing people's stories, connecting the generations and reducing social isolation and there are days I feel so depleted, unsuccessful and lost. However, I know I have the tools (ways of thinking) to get me back on track. I am sharing them in the hope that some might resonate and inspire you to develop your own resilience bank or Self Care Suitcase.

But first, a story...

I didn’t watch very much television when I was younger (I can attribute that that to growing up in a tree-house, going to a Steiner School and being preoccupied with making a difference from a young age). I do however have vivid memories of watching Mary Poppins – the story of a magical, loving nanny who flew through clouds and over rooftops and worked for a family who needed her gifts.

She is famously known for the lines of a song; ‘A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down’. My brother and I used to sing those words, even though the closest we’d get to eating a spoonful of sugar would be local raw honey stirred in our tea or twirled on our hot morning porridge (massive hippies I know).

Mary Poppins and her suitcase went hand in hand. And it wasn’t just any ordinary suitcase, but a source of true wonder and inspiration. Every time she pulled something out of her seemingly bottomless bag you would know there was some magic at play.

I like to think that the reason Mary Poppins could help others was because inside that bag there were also surprises set aside for herself.

So, in the spirit of this, I’ve thought about the things in my self-care suitcase that give me the tools to fly high. It’s from that higher perspective that I can see the best way to give my own little bit of magic back to the world.

1. FEAR SHAKERS

‘I have fears to shake’

Sometimes the fears creep in as negative voices inside my head or bad vibes from other people. I shake them off and just observe the sounds they make. I can’t always get rid of them, but I can learn to not take them so seriously.

2. TRUTH MEGAPHONE

‘I have something to say’

When my throat blocks up and I can’t get my words out I know that there is a truth that wants to burst out. I find a way to speak it, claiming the right to my voice. When I speak my truth, others seem freer to speak theirs.

3. RECIPE BIBLE

‘I have a body to nourish’

Someone once told me that what you eat changes the way you think. When I give my body healthy food, I think healthier thoughts. Good food gives me energy to keep going, even when I'm tired and lacking inspiration.

4. DANCING SHOES

‘I have movement in me’

I used to take life too seriously. And now I dance. I let myself be silly, have fun and let go. In these moments I feel free.

5. SUN HAT

‘I am protected’

I used to get burnt by people and now I wear protection. People can’t hurt me when I don’t let their opinions, projections or jealousies affect me.

6. BINOCULARS

‘I have a vision’

Sometimes I see my vision as clear as my hand in front of me but other times it can be a bit hazy like the horizon at dusk. Either way, I know it’s there.

7. WATCH

‘I have enough time’

There is enough time for all the important people and activities in my life. I give my time wisely - balancing time for myself with time with others.

8. STETHOSCOPE

‘I have a guiding pulse’

My intuition is like my pulse, sometimes it is loud and clear but other times I need to listen in closely to the subtler sounds of where it’s guiding me.

9. INVITATIONS

‘I have power over who I invite into my life’

I used to feel bad about saying goodbye to people who aren't bringing positivity into life. Now I am getting better at only inviting certain people in. The clearer the invite, the better the company.

10. JACK-IN-A-BOX

‘I have room in my life for surprises’

There are things that happen out of my plan. These surprises remind me that I'm just one actor, in a very big play, that has many acts. I leave room for magic.

What's in your self-care suitcase? What tools do you use to stay on track?

Words by me

Art by Ai Ikeda

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