It’s 7am on a Sunday and really I should be asleep, but I have been wide awake for a while now; my mind whirring and busy as it has been all week. I’ve found myself wondering and questioning things a lot recently, mainly things that just don’t seem to sit well with me. Now, I’m sure I don’t have some sort of heightened awareness of things around me; I just seem to have developed some kind of acceptance fatigue! One of the things you get taught in various types of therapy is the need to accept what you cannot change. This is all well and good but what do you do if accepting everything starts to wear thin?
Peace is accepting today, releasing yesterday, and giving up the need to control tomorrow- Lori Deschene (Tiny Buddha)
A quick look on Pinterest reveals that the key to acceptance is acknowledging and letting go of ‘yesterday’, being content with the current and not trying to control the future. It’s a fairly simple recipe that would arguably lead to some higher plane of life satisfaction. The trouble is, as much as I would love to do what I can to feel all happy and zen inside… the reality is really hard. It’s a bit like the mindfulness exercise where you allow everything to float down the river, letting it go in the process. Whilst it’s fab in the moment, mindfulness doesn’t prevent all of the crap you have to keep dumping in the river!! And if you end up in there yourself, whilst it would be great to think ‘I’d just go with it, accepting that I’m coming up to the waterfall rapidly and could well be about to meet oblivion’; you’re probably more likely to be feeling a little dissatisfied that you’re in the river in the first place!
But, is there an answer? Do you continue along begrudgingly accepting whatever is thrown your way, or do you fight it? To me, both options sound a little exhausting and it feels like there are situations where both, either or neither would be most appropriate. I found a blog by Kirra Sherman that thinks about acceptance in a different way. Rather than acceptance being a route to feeling at odds with your ‘true self’, she describes true acceptance as embracing how you feel about whatever it is that you are trying to accept, instead of just trying to be at peace with it in your head. As Kirra says, some things are too big and horrible to ‘just’ accept, but realising that can be what you need to get to a place where you can begin to let go and move on from them.
Mindfulness teaches us to be aware of the thought or feeling, acknowledge it and let it go. Whilst this can be helpful, it feels like there is a stage missing where you really consider what the feeling or thought is. Mindfulness ‘tells’ us not to engage with whatever we are feeling; but when that’s too hard, embracing that we are feeling that way and for now that’s completely ok is perhaps a better course of action. In a way, you can shelve whatever is going on and come back to it when you’re feeling resilient enough to tackle it more, rather than trying to just let it go if that’s not something that feels possible right now. Being honest with yourself and facing that you’re responding in a way that’s probably grounded in your morals, experiences and the person you are, could be more empowering than trying to accept everything that’s going on around you.
Somehow, it’s the end of the month and my #SelfCareSeptember journey is coming to an end! I hope you’ve found some of my posts interesting and that you can take away at least a few ideas to help improve your own self care.
I’ve definitely found thinking about self care for a little time each day really helpful, it’s helped me to realise that it’s ok to make myself a priority for a little of my busy routine… the world won’t end and I will actually feel a little better for it.
I’ve used distress tolerance boxes in the past (something I will blog about at a later date), and I wonder if it could work to make a self care box or bag. Fill it with all of the things you need to complete a little self care, or flash cards reminding prompting you with different ideas… I image it being a little like a lucky dip on lovely ideas to help improve your wellbeing.
Here’s a summary of the month’s blog posts. Thanks so much for reading my blog and not getting too bored of me waffling on about self care! Now to think of a new project!
- Day 1: Be Still (Mindfulness and meditation)
- Day 2: Healthy Routines
- Day 3: Gratitude
- Day 4: Radical Self Love
- Day 5: Random Acts of Kindness
- Day 6: Happy and Safe Places
- Day 7: Take a Break
- Day 8: Let Go of Your Inner Critic
- Day 9: Get Active
- Day 10: Warning Signs
- Day 11: Love
- Day 12: Sleep and Rest
- Day 13: Put Yourself First
- Day 14: Soothe Your Soul
- Day 15: Know Your Limits
- Day 16: Colouring
- Day 17: Important People
- Day 18: Be Yourself
- Day 19: Face Your Fears
- Day 20: Ride The Storm
- Day 21: Live Without Regrets
- Day 22: Notice The Little Things
- Day 23: Technology Breaks
- Day 24: Let Out Emotions
- Day 25: Silver Linings
- Day 26: Accept and Seek Help
- Day 27: Work Towards Goals
- Day 28: Expand Your Mind
- Day 29: Self Compassion
- Day 30: Self Care Bags
I was introduced to the Rocky Horror show a couple of years ago, arriving rather late at the party but soon making up for lost time and becoming a real fan. I had a wonderful evening seeing the live streaming of the 40th Anniversary show from the Playhouse Theatre in London. The atmosphere was amazing, the heckling hilarious and all in all I had an amazing night!
For those who have never seen the show or the film… the story is about a newly engaged couple called Brad and Janet who have a flat tyre on their car and seek refuge in a creepy looking castle… of course the castle is inhabited by a Transylvanian bisexual transvestite mad scientist who is keen to show them is new human creation (Rocky)… chaos and time-warping ensue and at time the plot seems completely insane!
This years anniversary show (featuring Steven Fry, Emma Bunton, David Badella and for the first time in 20 years Richard O’Brien… among others!) was in aid of Amnesty and there were strong messages throughout the evening about the importance of freedom of expression… including a powerful video of the Scissor Sister’s Ana Matronic (who I’ve loved for a long time!) about sexuality and freedom to be whoever you want to be.
It seemed apt for me to think about being who you truly are as part of#SelfCareSeptember. Be fiercely yourself as you’re the only one of you there is. We all deserve to live free from prejudice and fear to be ourselves… so perhaps we could take a leaf out of Frank-N-Furter and don’t dream it be it and try to be who we truly are.
I’m loving #SelfCareSeptember already! It’s been really nice researching new ideas and having to think a little outside of thebox… I mean… I’ve got a whole month to fill with ideas! I’m going to add my research sources, ideas and all things self care to a Pinterest board, so click and follow. I’ll be adding all of the #SelfCareSeptember posts and other ideas and inspiration so have a look and follow me!
For my fourth day of blogging this month, I wanted to share some fabulous tips about finding some time for some Self Love from Gala Darling, an inspirational teacher of radical self love from New Zealand. Her website is awesome and you should really check it out for some fab ideas and information. I’m probably going to be talking about some of her ideas on my blog again as they’re great!
Radical self acceptance is a tricky one especially if your relationship with yourself is a little on the rocky side. I’ve found developing any kind of self acceptance quite a challenge, but it was something that I’ve put a lot of work and a lot of therapy into! I think the key is to keep working at it, you’re not going to learn to accept yourself and love yourself over night and perhaps thinking about the amount of time you’ve not shown yourself acceptance… then maybe you will see that it might take a little time to relearn and reprogram your head
. That’s no reason to admit defeat or give up before you even give it a go, it’s definitely possible and worth it!
So what kind of things can you do to try and show yourself a little more self love? One lovely idea of Gala Darling’s is to think about 5 attributes you inherited or learnt from your parents, it can even be 5 things your relationship with them taught you. Noticing some positives can lead you to realising that your have positive and worthwhile qualities. I learnt a lot in therapy about positive logs and the benefits of noticing positive qualities or attributes you have in the war against unhelpful negative core beliefs you have about yourself or rules that you lead your life by.
Why don’t you have a go at thinking about a positive qualities you have. Maybe starting in a matter of fact way and thinking about skills you have could work, that’s how I managed to have a go!
Thank you to everyone who has been following, sharing, commenting and generally been getting involved with my monthly feature! It’s so encouraging and makes it feel really worthwhile… so don’t stop yet! Also, if you’ve got any top tips or #SelfCare ideas, then please drop me a line via my contact page or send me a Tweet/Direct message and I can include your ideas too 🙂