Self-Care And The Essential Practice Of Cultivating Selfishness


Published:

Selfish. I used to fear – even dread – being called or perceived as selfish. Nothing seemed worse to me. The very word sent chills down my spine, made my stomach turn, and activated all sorts of defense mechanisms within me. There was a time in my life when I spent a significant amount of effort to not be perceived as selfish – in fact, to be perceived as selfless and as someone people could count on, at any time of day, for any reason, with any task or need, no matter what.

Of course, I now realize that there’s a huge difference between being of service from a selfless and empowered place versus being in servitude to the demands and expectations of others out of this misguided fear of being perceived as selfish. Now, after years of work on myself I see the word selfish as simply a descriptor for someone who is self-focused. In other words, self-ish = of or related to the self.

Seen this way, we all have a responsibility to be selfish, or to take care of the self. By taking care of ourselves, we further develop our internal resources, work through our own issues and baggage, and become more aware and present when we interact with other people. Which, at the end of the day, enables us to become more selfless. The more you work on yourself, the more you can cultivate an attitude of non-judgmental, agenda-less presence when you engage with other people in daily life.

Therefore, self-care is not only a gift to the self but a gift to everyone you meet. By attending to your own self-care, you are not only expanding your own inner resources – which can then be extended outward – but you are also setting an example for others that it’s okay to prioritize themselves.

In my own life as a highly sensitive, empathic woman, self-care has primarily consisted of learning how to say no. It seems so simple, to just say no when someone demands something from you or asks you for help in some way but you’re already overburdened. To just say no when someone asks you to do something you really don't want to do. To just say no when someone suggests something that doesn't sit right with you. To just say no when your boss or co-worker or friend or partner asks you to take on a responsibility that really isn’t yours.

But it’s not that simple. We live in a yes-oriented culture; we are expected to say “yes” as much as possible, even if it means suppressing our own needs or getting sick in the process or always being overscheduled and stretched too thin. After all, our culture privileges movement, action, and a strong work ethic over stillness, passivity, and rest. 

This is why self-care often involves slowing down and becoming still. This has truly been a life changer for me and the most essential way in which I engage in self-care. Saying no to something you don't want creates space for what you do want to come through. Saying no to an invitation or event you don't really want to attend creates space for you to spend an evening doing exactly what you want. Saying no to someone else’s request or demand creates space for you to explore the core values that actually matter to you. When you create space and stillness in this way, you can investigate questions like: 

  • What do you really want to say yes to? 
  • What is your purpose right now? 
  • Where, when, and how do you tend to put others ahead of yourself? 
  • Are you truly in touch with your needs? 
  • What makes you feel free and expansive? (Say yes to more of this.) 
  • What makes you feel constricted or burdened? (Say no to more of this.)

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of the transformative book Women Who Run With the Wolves, encourages us to cultivate stillness and to further ask ourselves: What needs to be eliminated from my life right now? What needs to be integrated or incorporated into my life? When you neglect your own self-care and forget to incorporate restorative and self-supportive rituals into your daily life, you begin to lose touch with your own inner guidance, with the whispers and nudges of your intuition, and with the wisdom of your body.

This slowing down element of self-care – whether you slow down through meditation, prayer, daily walks, yoga, breathwork, detox baths, or any other spiritual practice – is so fundamental because it allows you to reconnect with your core Truths and with the essence of who you really are. Armed with this knowledge, you can then go out into the world and make more aligned choices that will leave you feeling empowered and uplifted rather than drained and resentful.

Josephine Hardman, PhD is an intuitive healer and Tarot and Akashic Records reader based in Western Massachusetts. She specializes in helping intuitive, empathic, highly sensitive women release shame, fear, guilt, trauma, and that insidious sense of not-good-enoughness. To learn more, visit www.purefieldhealing.com.

See also:
Is It Selfish To Take Time For Self-Care?
Self-Compassion, Self-Care

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

January 21, 2020

This is one of those days when the astrological calendar shows no exact planetary alignments. Don’t think that the planets have the day off. Powerful aspecs remain in effect. Saturn and Pluto are close enough to fuel a relentless pursuit of ambitions…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

January 2020

Saturday January 18th, 2020 from 10:30-4pm and Sunday January 19th, 2020 from 10:30-4pm In Reiki Master Level you will learn the master symbols, receive the master level attunement and learn how...

Cost: $295 for new students, $195 for the refresher option

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough Shopping Center
Westborough, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
Website »

More information

Join us and connect to the powerful energies of the bird kingdom. Throughout earth history, birds have been thought to be divine messengers. Many spiritual systems believe they are emissaries of...

Cost: $95

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack St
Methuen, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: front desk
Website »

More information

Your soul has already seeded your existence with all that is needed to completely express your destiny. Let the Miracle Mantra awaken you to the awareness of spirit ever present in your...

Cost: Suggested Donation: $20

Where:
Yoga At The Ashram
368 Village Street
Millis, MA  02054
View map »


Sponsor: Yoga at the Ashram
Telephone: 508-376-4525
Website »

More information

Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
View map »


Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
Website »

More information

January 19th, February 16th, March 8th by appointment only. Kinetic Chain Release (KCR) to balance body, resolve leg length discrepancies, reduce back, shoulder, knee, hip pain and reduce stress...

Cost: $65 to $145

Where:
Leapin' Lizards
449 Forest Ave
Portland, ME  04101
View map »


Sponsor: Leapin' Lizards
Telephone: 207-221-2363
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Discover Beauty. Discover Goodness. Discover Yourself. Your soul’s gifts are waiting. Breathe. Find stillness. The spark you need to ignite your life is here, within. Max Meditation...

Cost: $15

Where:
Modern Mystery School Boston
132 Charles St
3rd Floor
Auburndale, MA  02466
View map »


Sponsor: Modern Mystery School Boston
Telephone: 617-694-0994
Contact Name: Jordan Bain
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Total Life Group Cleanse begins with Jonathan Glass, Ayurvedic practitioner Includes the following three Tuesdays. A 28-day program designed to initiate and maximize detoxification and...

Where:
Concord, MA


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Are you considering, going through or recovering from divorce? Join us at our free Daytime Divorce Boot Camp, and we’ll help you get into shape! In response to requests from people who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
180 Wells Avenue
Suite 300
Newton, MA  02459
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Do you have questions about the legal process of divorce? Join us at our free informative workshop in Hingham, MA! About this event: David Kellem, experienced Family Law Attorney &...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kellem Mahoney Family Law & Mediation Group
100 Recreation Park Drive
Suite 201
Hingham, MA  02043
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

Are you ready to permanently up-level your life? Are you ready close the gap between where you are today and your higher purpose? Are you ready to take a definitive step toward healing the...

Cost: $15

Where:
Modern Mystery School Boston
132 Charles St
3rd Floor
Auburndale, MA  02466
View map »


Sponsor: Modern Mystery School Boston
Telephone: 617-694-0994
Contact Name: Jordan Bain
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

Join us at Vesta’s One-Day Divorce Retreat in Newton, MA! In just one day... you will come away with valuable knowledge about the issues associated with separation and divorce,...

Cost: $149

Where:
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
180 Wells Avenue
Suite 300
Newton, MA  02459
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

January is the time of the year when we look ahead to the year in front of us and imagine it to be better than the one we are leaving behind. We often make the New Years resolution in January and...

Cost: $108 before Jan 20 ($120 after)

Where:
Unity Farm Sanctuary
17 Unity Lane
Westborough Shopping Center
Sherborn, MA  01770
View map »


Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
Website »

More information

This is a free and mandatory orientation prior to registering for the 8 week group program of mindfulness based stress reduction or MBSR. Please RSVP so we can plan accordingly....

Cost: Free

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough Shopping Center
Westborough, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
Website »

More information

This class will teach you how to make your own intricate wire-wrapped gemstone pendant, expanding on the basics from the introductory Level 1 class that has been taught previously. This class if...

Cost: Reg includes supplies $60 per person or $50 more than one

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd, Unit A
Our Yellow Banner is in Window w/Fairy Lights Please remove shoes at the door
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey
Website »

More information

We will be sitting in the New Moon Energy and The Energy and Consciousness of the Chinese New Year.  Stacey and Bob will be doing an energetic transmission with Energies and Stones...

Cost: Class: $30, Online Reg. $25

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd, Unit A
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey
Website »

More information

Next Class Starts January 25, 2020 You will learn: How to hypnotize How to use hypnosis to help clients make personal changes How to turn hypnosis into a profitable part-time or...

Where:
, RI


Telephone: 401-374-1890
Website »

More information

January 25–April 26, 2020 Now offered in one day and weekend modules that can be taken individually or consecutively.  Dates and individual class links are listed below. All...

Cost: $1360

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street, #1A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags