A year ago I was sitting at this very keyboard bravely trembling as I was making arrangements to do something crazy. I was making plans to leave my family, two businesses and travel to a remote beach community for two weeks by myself for self-care. That sounds amazing right? I wish it was a reward for hard work, but that was the furthest from the truth. After a year and half of running a restaurant through Covid and starting another business to survive, I was completely broken. This would be the start of a deeply transformative self-care journey. Prior to Covid I had learned some earth shattering news that my biological father had not been my real father... and then Covid hit. It was a blur of business survival and I had not stopped for a moment. I was at a mental and physical breaking point and I knew I had to make a change. This was not the life I wanted to live, but I had gone so far down this path I didn't know how to turn it around. I was so afraid of leaving my businesses, afraid they would fall apart and afraid I just wouldn't be able to really let ago. But I had to try. It's been a year now since I made the journey and here is what I've learned:
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1. Working on your own personal wellness will feel self-centered and you will often have guilt about that.
One of the first changes I made upon returning from my travels is that employees were no longer to text or call me unless there was a fire or threat of personal harm. All communication would need to go through our business app. Correcting people on this felt harsh and rude because they had needs that needed met.
Simplification of life meant not attending some things personally and that can sometimes feel bad.
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2. You must accept and love the crazy you, the one that said and did the dumb stuff, she is part of you too.
During one of my lowest times, I was scrubbing the shop floors at 9:30 p.m.. I remember looking at my nails all broken off and uneven using a stainless steel scrubby to peel some black piece of decayed food I couldn't recognize off the shop floor. I had hours of work to go to clean and reorganize shelves before reopening the store the next morning and no help. It was at that time I started receiving some messages from some friends criticizing my social media.
All I can say is I handled it poorly. They had no idea how broken I was at that moment and how barely hanging on to life and sanity I was. How could they? What I really needed was a friend to come scrub floors with me, not to judge my social media, but I didn't know how to say that...and I lost it and ended up losing friends in the process.
I always feel that stories are not final and who knows where that will end. I am trying to learn to speak more of my truth in the moment and step away rather than react in anger. Looking back at the poor decisions I made during that time is the worst. My sane self can be so judgmental of my crazy self. I am working though to wrap her up with love and grace and forgive her. It's not easy.
3. Letting go allows space for your true path.
The days I would spend working on my self-care would ultimately bring me to the question of "how do I want to spend my daily life"? I want to create, develop, & help. What I wanted to be doing and what I was doing was ultimately two different things. As I gently began setting my compass in a new direction some amazing opportunities have begun unfolding. Staying locked up in a daily grind of crazy prevents your truth path to gain a foot hold in your life.
I've found that self-care must be a daily on-purpose habit rather than a one time thing. Take the time to breathe, think and feel the life you live. It is true that it is the only life you get to live.
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