I was recently frustrated with the inability to properly communicate the importance of self-care. Clearly, the term "self-care" is a rather large umbrella with many ideas underneath its canopy.
As a MELT Master Trainer, I am an educator in a specific modality of self-care, yet it is not the only type of self-care that I teach and practice.
What I have found in the area where I live, is that most of the active residents have what I see as a self-abusive form of self-care, meaning that the "No Pain, No Gain" paradigm is still alive and well.
In my various efforts to get the CrossFit, Zumba, Spinning, Triathlete, Marathoner, Hot Yoga, Tony Horton-Insanity-Beach Body addicts into my MELT classes, the response from many is "Amanda is a great teacher, but it wasn't enough of a workout for me."
Good thing, seeing as MELT is NOT a workout at all, but rather a complimentary self-treatment technique. What many don't see is that this add-on modality will help them perform better in whatever activity they do.
Unfortunately, what ends up happening is that I get many private massage clients coming to me with an injury and when I ask what they think caused it, say 'well, I was doing _______ workout and...' fill in the blanks with lumbar, cervical, hamstring, shoulder, foot, whatever injury. When I suggest that we get on the roller first, I usually get a refusal because that person really just wants to lie on my table and have me do the work for them.
Fair enough. I am a manual therapist, after all.
Yet, if only I could convince this enthusiastic population of on-the-go 30-50 somethings who are seeking optimal health that just TEN MINUTES a day of proactively treating their connective tissue can keep pain and injury at bay...I would have a booming business and Fairfield County would be in better shape.
I take responsibility for not communicating the importance of self-care. Somehow my messaging of MELTing every day, sleeping in a dark room, drinking water consistently throughout the day, using essential oils, among other advice, has not truly been heard. Perhaps if I used other words?
If you take the time to find a synonym for 'self-care', you will find none. You could spend over two hours like I did playing mix-and-match with those two words and be no closer to communicating it any better.
It was at this realization that I chose to seek answers by asking the question "When you hear the term 'self-care', what is the first thing you think of?" to anyone who would care to share.
The results were amusing and interesting, ranging from "It sounds like something I just don't want to do" to "It reminds me of a nursing home." Oddly, no one said 'kale' or 'sleep' or 'movement'. Nothing positive. Just unpleasant.
One of my clients shared his observation that self-care "is just so hard to do."
I beg to differ. It is no harder than treating yourself like crap.
Self-care isn't hard. It's a decision.
"I don't get it," I said to my boyfriend. "I just want to help people feel better and teach them to be awesome in their bodies."
"That's it!," he said, pointing at me.
"Be awesome in your body. That's your message of self-care."
It was a few weeks after that light bulb moment that an even greater, more important light bulb went off.
Not only is "Be Awesome in Your Body" my personal communication tool and tag line for my wellness business, it is also a campaign.
A campaign that is about to launch.
Soon, I will be sharing amazing Awesome stories of Awesome people who choose daily to Be Awesome in their Bodies.
It is about self-care, self-love, self-acceptance.
It's about the choices we make on a daily basis to live our best, healthiest and most joyous life.
It doesn't matter who you are, what you do, what you were born with, the family raised in, your illness, physical or mental disabilities, your sex or sexual preference.
Our right as living, breathing beings is to be happy in this one vessel we were given at birth.
Our soul is eternal, but the vessel temporary, and it is our duty to be kind to this temporary soul home.
Each day is a decision to do just that.
Be Awesome in Your Body.