How do we become that man who gives easily, from a seemingly bottomless reserve? How do we be that amazing father, spouse, partner, or friend? The process starts from the seemingly contradictory practice of self-care.
The truth is though that self-care is not the opposite of generosity. Putting others first, doing more, and giving more when you aren’t in a good place yourself leads to over exertion, over giving and over commitment. Then we get frustrated, angry and resentful, and guess who suffers? Both, us and our loved ones. On the other hand, Putting yourself, and your self-care needs first, is what fills up our cups to be able to give with abundance and joy.
Our daily self-care practices become more and more essential as we step into greater service and responsibility. I have learned this through experience. As I’m stepping into fatherhood and deepening into my coaching and energy work practice, my daily self-care practice has evolved and strengthened out of necessity. In the past I consistently struggled with self-care and with holding a daily practice, and I didn’t always equate the two. There was always some good reason, or something more important to do with my time, and over time I became rigid and unsatisfied. My work, and relationships suffered.
As I’ve discovered that I need to give myself this time every day in order to actually have something to offer the world, my life has become much more manageable and rewarding. I would not be the partner, father, or practitioner that I want to be if it were not for my daily practice. My self-care practices leave me clear, present, and focused on who I really am and what I am meant to be in the world. Because I know how powerful my daily self-care practice is, I see giving myself this time as the greatest gift I can give myself, and ultimately others.
I would say that Impeccable self care is the number one priority on the road to healthy masculinity and authenticity. In my work with men and masculine people I have found that our journey and struggles with loving and caring for ourselves are amazingly similar. We have been trained to ignore our own needs. The work is in re-training ourselves, and fighting the stories of self-deprecation and martyrdom that keep us from knowing our true selves and each other. Doing that work will allow us to tap into that bottomless reservoir so we can fill ourselves up and then give to those we love from a truly resourced and balanced place.
Where are you in your journey of self-care?