This past week, someone asked me to reflect on what exquisite self care feels like. Because that is what they wished for me.
And I have been thinking about this question all week.
At first, I felt defensive, so I have to look a bit closer. A nerve has been exposed.
And here is why.
While I may be building a nest in my backyard (my last post), I have not been building one in my studio.
I rush. I try to do everything. Be everything. I over schedule myself. I do not allow myself space to be early. Or space to be late. I am often "on" when I really need to be "off". Off the computer. Off my iPhone.
I multi-task. I eat lunch as I work. Pick up a fork...then pick up a paintbrush.
When I am home, a little voice says to me "You are going to read? Throw a load of wash in. Turn on the dishwasher...get something done."
And none of this is the mindset I want to role model for my son or daughter. I don't want to teach them that owning my own business means I am constantly doing. Rushing.
For me, exquisite self care is tender and slow.
It is fresh picked wild flowers all over my studio.
It is pauses and deep breaths. And places to rest.
As I thought more about exquisite self care, I realized my studio was not set up for it at all.
I spend most of my time in the middle room of my art cottage. It is a magical little room with a fireplace and low ceilings where people have gathered for over 200 years.
Yet, I had no place to gather. I had three work desks. Three. But no place to rest. Just places to create. To make. To be busy.
So, with the help of my sweetie, we moved the comfy chaise lounge from the very back room into this space. And moved a large work bench into the back room.
And the change in energy was instant. I gave myself permission to stop. To rest. To take a nap. And for others to do so too.
See Willy on the couch? He is so good at resting.
Exquisite self care is present. It means consciously putting things in their place. Not spending time each day looking for keys or a cell phone.
So I stopped and consciously put things away.
One of the biggest changes was putting all my art books in this vintage bookcase I bought at an estate sale for $6. It was a huge move.
Once all my art books were put in this bookcase, then all my art supplies could go on the shelves where my books used to be.
The air in my studio was getting fresher by the second.
I have miles to go as I relearn how to be in this mindset. I used to be here a bunch. But not in a really long time.
I wound myself up tight. Now I am unwinding. Slowly. Right here. And I want to stay.
Funny, others do too. My husband has been at my studio more in three days than he was in a month.
I cannot help but notice that the better I take care of myself, exquisite self care, the better everyone feels around me. They feel welcomed. And they want to stay.
ps. I have been wanting to write a "fearless Friday" post for weeks. And I have written five at least. All are unpublished. This one felt right. Anything you want to share? How are you taking exquisite self care of yourself? What does exquisite self care feel like for you? I would love to hear. xo
And yes. I know it is Saturday. But it feels like a Friday. A fearless one.