This month’s self care tip comes from my colleague and gifted healer at Pekoe Wellness and Acupuncture Daniel McCarthy, a master Reiki practitioner, energy worker, and intuition coach. When I first received his tip, I personally was in a space where I was not quite ready for it. After the ephemeral bliss of a long-awaited honeymoon in Thailand, I returned to reality where the struggles and uncertainties of being a young business awaited me. I retreated into the recesses of my monkey mind and all its dangerous echos and let these challenges define my self worth. Daniel’s self-care tip is an important piece in forcing me to turn this funk around. The city in bloom sure helps too Please enjoy and to your health – from the inside out.
This year, a lot of my personal research and studies have been in the connection between loving the self and how this impacts our daily life and health. We all know this experience very well in different ways. Think about those mornings where we would just love to be sick so that we can call into work to take a sick day. If we really, really try hard enough, we start to feel off, or even develop cold symptoms! Phrases such as “I worried myself sick!” actually translate into consequences in daily life. There have been countless studies on the correlation between our thoughts and the physical manifestations in our lives. Often, we don’t even realize the thoughts we are thinking! How many times have we made a mistake in our lives and said things like “I’m stupid,” “I can’t believe I did that,” “I can’t even do this simple task,” or a variation on this idea? In reality, we are turning this mistake into a lesson about ourselves, and these thoughts begin to dictate our lives!
My self-care tip is simple and powerful, but may take some time to put into practice. We catch our own reflection many times in the day, whether it be while brushing our teeth in the morning, fixing ourselves in the car, or walking past a glass building. The next time that you see your own reflection, stop for a moment. Look into your own eyes and say, “I love you.” This may seem silly at first, and you may even giggle the first few times, but do it anyway, and do it each time that you see yourself. Challenge yourself to do it for the next week, and notice if you feel any changes. You may even want to keep a journal, and write down any thoughts that come into your head that don’t fit with this idea of loving yourself. Remember: they’re just thoughts! I believe it was Byron Katie who said that once we see and acknowledge our thoughts, they detach from us, but we have to acknowledge that they’re there!
There are some great resources if you are interested in learning more about this idea:
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay: Louise was really a pioneer in the 1980′s about the correlation between positive thinking and a healthy body, and this book is full of examples, exercises, and stories of clients who transformed their lives through positive thinking.
The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson: A great book of monthly challenges to improve self-care.
Loving What Is by Byron Katie: An interesting four-step questioning process for analyzing the thoughts that enter our head and determining their validity.
Feeding Your Demons by Tsultrim Allione: Based off of the ancient Tibetan-Buddhist practice of Chöd, this is another method for looking at our thought patterns and fears by meeting them with understanding.
* It’s important to note that positive thinking is not a substitute for appropriate medical or psychological care. However, when we compound this idea with our own personal care systems (whether it be acupuncture, yoga, energy medicine, Reiki, nutrition, naturopathic or allopathic medical care, etc.), we begin to see our lives flourish even more! If you are thinking, “Oh, well, I am already pretty healthy and confident,” try this tip anyway. We can never have enough self-love. <3 *
Daniel C. McCarthy, a Reiki practitioner in the Usui tradition, provides Reiki treatments to the public, as well as at George Washington University Hospital through the Center for Integrative Medicine. Aside from his work within energy medicine and intuitive coaching, Daniel continues to explore new modalities and research within holistic health care.