There are heaps and gobs of ways to take care of yourself holistically and I’m sure you do at least some of them. But, of course, I’m especially partial to journal writing as the ultimate self-care tool. Why? Well, so often, our mind is at war with our soul, as mine was earlier today. And because of that, today’s post is a bit of a self-care journaling exploration.
I’ve been working on the content for the 7-Day Wild Woman Journaling Challenge over the past week. I didn’t get it all done by Friday like I’d hoped I would, but I’ve been happy with my progress. Everything takes me far longer than I expect it to, especially on the eve of a long weekend when my mind turns to play. But I thought I’d work all weekend as I’m with my husband’s family and they’re used to me working.
Dammit! Why does self-care and taking a break have to mean being lazy, or feeling like I'm procrastinating?!
My mind wants me to believe that I should be working, working, working to earn money in my business, but my soul was telling me to sit in front of the ocean and listen and feel and breathe. Thankfully, I indulged my soul instead of my mind.
I felt a wee twinge of guilt for going without my hubby because we love to walk with our dog on the local beach here, but he isn’t feeling well today and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. If there’s one thing I know about myself it’s that if I don’t go when Spirit moves me, then it probably won’t happen. I wanted to go when it was still cool and sunny.
My little family has been suffering in the heat here because it’s extra humid by the ocean and there’s not enough air circulation to make up for the lack of air conditioning. My poodle, Lulu, with her thick, curly hair, who seems to be changing in front of my very eyes from the puppy she was a few months ago into an older gal, is the one who feels the heat here the most. But at the beach there’s always a decent wind and no frickin’ mozzies! She loved the cool breeze and being free to run. She literally ran circles around me when I stopped to take a picture.
When I got to the beach today, I was still feeling a wee bit guilty for being here without my hubby and after saying to my coach that I was going to work over the weekend to catch up on the challenge. And yet, it only took a moment or two for that nonsense to disperse into the lovely breeze and the crashing waves.
One of the things I did on this walk/sit/breathe/be sojourn, is to allow myself to stop feeling any trace of guilt and to see and feel the love all around me today. Instead of picking up rocks and shells to take home, I chose to photograph any I found that was in the shape of hearts. All of these photos I'm sharing here (and there are more) are from walking maybe 500 meters (yards-ish). There were so many, it took me 15 minutes to walk that far, which is why Lulu was running circles around me. I would have found them as long as I kept looking, I’m sure.
I saw a sitting stone close to the water that was perfect to just ‘be’ on. I sat down and heard my soul say, “Breathe it in, let the guilt about leaving your hubby behind and that you ‘should’ be working — go — and take a video of the gorgeous symphony of the waves curling over and crashing on the shore so you can pass on your gratitude.” And so I did. Here it is:
While sitting and be-ing, I felt so grateful the sun was out and herons were flying and the waves were thundering — and even for this time alone with my girl who was now resting on the cool wet sand. I saw two more hearts and finally, without any gracefulness whatsoever, got myself vertical again.
You know what? Love actually IS all around us if we only open our eyes to see!
As Lulu and I resumed our walk I also saw two white feathers, confirmation from the angels that this was exactly what I needed to do and where I needed to be at that moment. I just left them where they lay, taking only photographs. And just as Lulu began panting, we found a half-full bottle of water on the beach for her to drink from. All was perfect — perfectly timed and perfectly planned for me to see and realize what I needed to get from that moment.
By allowing myself the luxury of seeing the beauty and enjoying the gorgeous day (even though the rain is now starting to pour down on the gazebo where I’m writing this and the thunder is rolling) I actually even got some resentment-free work done too!
I’ll double-down on the work of the Challenge starting tomorrow. And besides, I do my work most efficiently when I'm under a deadline. I may be a procrastinator, but the Panic Monster isn’t rumbling yet. Watch this awesome and entertaining TEDTalk about procrastination, which kind of got me thinking about all this in the first place:
Here are two more gifts I'm offering to help you make a commitment to your own self-care:
Join us for the 7-Day Wild Woman Journaling Challenge!
This 7-day challenge will get you started on your journal writing journey. We’ll work through resistance to journaling, bring your stories to the surface and pause for reflection to find insights, forgiveness, and even healing. Plus, you’ll have a solid foundation to create a journaling habit, as part of your self-care practice.
Starting July 10th, each day you’ll receive an email with the challenge of the day, including:
- daily lessons
- daily writing prompts
- sharing in a closed Facebook group
- video deep dives broadcasts
- a free live journaling workshop on Sunday July 16th
- prizes for completing the challenge
- plus more!
When you sign up, you'll receive an email with more details and instructions. See you on the 10th!
All New (& FREE) Writing From the Heart
I’ve expanded and recorded a new, deeper course with more writing practices to give your journaling a solid foundation. Whether you're completely new to journaling, coming back to it, or a lifelong journaler who's looking to refresh your practice, Writing From the Heart is for you if you want to journal to the deep.
We’ll explore how to quiet your mind, listen to your heart and listen to what it has to say. It’s a simple, challenging, and life honouring self-care practice that’s the best self-care I know.
I've also included a bonus e-book, "53 MORE writing prompts to keep you writing from your heart."
kathy mercure is a storyhealer, storylistener, and storyteller. Her life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students to help them unlock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women in realizing their true identity as wild women, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)