This is my focus for 2019.
Not because I’m just learning to take care of myself.
This is my focus because I want to acknowledge all my hard work over the last seven years. I want to give myself incentive to not give up or back away.
Maybe you know a bit about me. Over the last seven years I have significantly shifted my health and well-being. What began as one of the worst experiences of my life — divorce after 25 years of marriage — I shifted into the most exciting change I’ve ever experienced. I lost 80 pounds and became an athlete. I didn’t just make lemonade from those lemons, I grew a new orchard filled with beauty, health, and love. Each moment since “separation,” I have reunited me with me, integrating my life across all levels, body, mind, heart, and soul.
In the last six weeks, I took another deep dive and shifted all of me again. I feel like I held my nose, dove in, and then realized I could breathe underwater. When I resurfaced, the air was different because I was different; the dive shifted me. Not just a process of transformation which shifted structure, that deep dive ignited transmutation — a process of shift in the core essence of my being.
This shift began with the completely unexpected. After using a PC since DOS 1.0, I have vibed the Kool-Aid and shifted entirely to Mac. What started as a practical realization of what I needed to support my forthcoming publishing goals, turned into a heartfelt desire to ease my soul and align with the deeper creative part of me. For whatever reason, the shift to Apple has ignited this expansion.
This change led to the next part of my deep dive. Long story short, by the fifth of January I had let go of any furniture in my home which held the stigma of being “pre-divorce.” I even let go of my office desk of fifteen years and reset the energy of my workspace into a new fierceness which is already empowering the expansion of my work. Now, for the first time in my adult life, I have coordinating bedroom furniture.
In the process, I purged again for the third time in twelve months. This purge was initiated by “Hell, yes!” because fierce self-care calls me to live my life at “Hell, yes!” Meaning choice and inclusion in my life are driven by a strong awareness of alignment with the best of me. If the answer isn’t “Hell, yes!” then out it goes.
Most of the negative response was centered around family stuff I’d had never used. When I remembered that it was stuff that had sat in a trunk and was never used by my mom, release was easier. I love family legacy and tradition. Yet the stuff that went had neither of these characteristics. There is more to release and I’m happy to lighten my load! Hell, yes!
The bonus of this furniture upheaval was long drives back-and-forth to IKEA. Each drive gave me a chance to think and contemplate, wonder and plan. Most importantly, I had several huge epiphanies about my writing and the books I’m in the middle of orchestrating. Instead of minor notes, each book joined the chorus to become a key movement in a major work which will be a series of five books I will release by April 1st — no kidding!
The tune was trust and the lyrics, truth. All bubbling up because I trusted myself to follow my gut, dive deep, and let go instead of pushing myself to write when the spirit wasn’t moving me. Now I have an incredible new space to support me as I write the notes which are flowing from my head and heart, “Fierce,” I say, “Cheryl, stay fierce!”
To be fierce is to be boldly confident and to engage with life with heartfelt, determined intensity. When I look back over the last 10 years of my life, I know I am where I am right now because I became fierce.
I have stepped past fear time and again. I have moved beyond excuse and blame. I have ignored possible exit points. I have taken care of me intensely and with love and joy. In my fierceness, I have claimed me and extended my life expectancy beyond into an agelessness which has me feeling healthier and younger than fifteen years ago.
With the beginning of this year, I will once again claim my fierce Girl-on-fire attitude and face my future with joy in my heart and a lightness of being powering each thought I write and each step I take.
Here are some of the components of my fierce self-care:
- Food: I am keto. I eat a ketogenic diet (healthy fats, proteins, and veggies). I am fat-adapted and as a result feel more energetic and athletically capable. I prefer organic and grass-fed. I stay away from most grains. I’m allergic to dairy and have forsworn sweeteners of most any kind.
- Water: I have a Berkey water filtration system to eliminate contaminants and additives such as chlorine and fluoride. I’m not someone who can tolerate fixed water.
- Air: I quit using my gas fireplace when I realized that the smell was giving me a headache. I also just added a heavy-duty air purifier and am amazed at the high quality of air in my home. The most important is fresh air every day as much as I can. Fresh air recharges my being both physically and spiritually.
- Light: I’ve shifted back to the full spectrum and heat of the classic Edison lightbulb. All my electronics have blue light filters and I use protective glasses if I need to look at a screen after sundown.
- Exercise: I walk daily, usually hit the gym several times a week, and get in a 10 mile hike every weekend. I also try to get to the coast for a beach walk at least once a month.
- Reading: Last year I read over 50 books. This year I have already finished three. Stories entertain and take my awareness into other dimensions for reflection and learning and enjoyment. Life is story, and reading is one way I learn to write my own.
- Laughter: Every day I find something which rumbles my belly, gives me snickers and sometimes pee-in-my-pants giggles. Not at anyone’s expense, but to expand my awareness of connection and joy within myself and with others.
- Supplements: A couple of years ago I had a health crisis. Because of the nature of that experience, I became even more a biohacker than I already was. I’m a work in progress. I follow my gut and shift as needed to experience balance and enhanced vitality.
- Friends: All over the world, different ages, a wide spectrum of experience and interests. My family has expanded, and I have amazing friends who tolerate my weirdness and share their own.
- Primary Foods: What truly fuels me? My primary foods. Friends. Connection. Fresh air. Nature in all her glorious forms. Massage. Laughter. Learning. Touch. Puzzles. The Road less traveled. Sweating on a mountaintop. Wind in my face. Rain in the forest. Red, especially as a dress.
- Learning: What I’m here to do. My raison d’être. My modus operandi. Fierce self-care claims: Learn Always! The cool thing is that learning is a constant, empowering feedback loop. Learning is part of the ebb and flow, the giving and receiving which underpins every aspect of life. I learn, I reflect, I learn some more. Sometimes a waterfall cascade, sometimes a raindrop, but always a flow to bring me to new knowing and new awareness of the possibilities before me — most of which appear outside of my expectations.
- Most Important: Let go of expectation and release fear. Life blooms in the fertile ground once preoccupied with that which didn’t serve me.
That’s it! My list of fierce self-care as it stands right now. I’m sure as soon as I post this lengthy missive, I’ll think of something else. When I do, I’ll add it to my list.
I’ll sum it all up with this affirmation:
This year I commit all of myself to Fierce Self-Care.
What’s fierce for you? How can you take care of yourself this year?
Give it some thought.
Then do what I did several years ago before all of this was in place: I began. I took one step.
Because it’s never too late to claim fierce self-care for yourself.
Never. Too. Late. To Begin. Never!
For a deep dive, begin with What is Spiritual Practice?