I just love this picture.  It reminds me of times as kids we would spend having fun and, without any school work, we were consumed with joy most of those long summer days.  What happens to the play in our adult lives?

Where do we draw that fine line between being selfish and taking self care seriously? If I do not “self care” everyone suffers…my kids, my relationships, my body, my psyche. At the same time, it feels self indulgent and egocentric to place my own needs high on the totem pole.

My kids suffer if I am running on fumes because I am not patient with them. I have no space for listening to their feelings, nor ability to be present with them due to the fact that my feelings runneth over.

My relationships suffer because I hide and disconnect, I misinterpret communications, I overreact, my insecurities override my reasoning.

My body suffers because I make poor choices to nourish myself–reaching for a quick pick me up instead of making choices that stem from love for myself–resulting in physical discomfort and emotional self reprimanding. I make choices to push my body when it needs rest, resulting in further exhaustion–and the vicious cycle continues.

My psyche suffers because I begin to dislike myself and my behavior, my faults more pronounced than ever before.

In that moment, I am cognizant that I am functioning below optimal. Yet the one thing I need to do to remedy it, seemingly impossible to do, to take care of ME, is the last thing on my “to do” list. It is so easy to justify taking care of everyone else however, not taking care of myself really hurts me AND everyone else.

This self neglect is actually more detrimental than the contrary.

Self neglect is pervasive. Why does it feel so indulgent to put ourselves first, to say “No,” to not be Martha Stewart? Is this a female thing or do men fall into this pitfall as frequently? Is this just more societal programming? Do we judge other women for taking care of themselves because we are in fact envious, wanting that for ourselves, while thinking we do not deserve it or could never really have what we want?

WE CAN HAVE IT! All it takes is making a decision. The knowing that this is just life. Each moment passes us by so quickly. Every day, make a choice to have fun. Do something that brings a smile to your face. Brings you deep belly laughs. Play! Play in yoga…let your body just fall over. Laugh at yourself when you do fall over. Do not take it so seriously! Play when you go to the store. Take a bite of a delicious, juicy fig and make indulgent “mmmm” sounds with abandon to what the person next to you will think (they will probably actually think, “I wish I could do that!”)…the audible “oohs” and “ahhs”…as you devour the delicious fruit of the earth.

Turn up the volume–I mean REALLY LOUD–and dance around the house! Turn up the volume on your HAPPINESS and wellbeing!