Actionable Self-Care 🎯
It doesn't matter where you are on your journey. Just start. Each baby step leads you to increasing all that is good and positive. Every person who considers themselves successful according to their own definition of success, took one small step one day, and continued to take one small step a day.
The best way to self-care is what works best for you. When first starting any new routine, it is wise to follow others who have shared what works for them. But eventually, the goal is to branch off and create your own plan for renewal. So this kickstarts a series we'll be focusing on for a while. Your ultimate guide to self-care. First things, first- morning ritual.
The Morning Ritual
A ritual is a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. The purpose of rituals is to program one's mind. The routines one takes up and the reasons why become habit, or a program. The habitual thinking leads to habitual action, which leads to results. We all perform rituals everyday, whether we think ourselves religious or not, so the key to achieving the results you want is intention. Basically thinking about what you want results in achieving what you want and thinking about what you don't want results in achieving what you don't want. Intention.
Masculine & Feminine Flow
The importance of rituals is to get your mind to focus on the purpose the ritual serves. These frequented thoughts are your mind's frequency. The seen aspects of a ritual is a masculine energy, as it gives and creates structure. Without consciously creating our rituals, we open ourselves up to suggestions that may not serve our best interests. That is why in the beginning of creating a self-care plan for yourself you will want to follow others- it's new territory! But once you get a feel for the experience of listening to your own inner guidance, you will want to create self-care experiences and routines that best serve you, so what is eventually 'yours' won't fit anyone's mold. While the outward aspect of rituals are masculine energy, there is an inward aspect, feminine energy, or the purpose for the ritual's creation, and that is feeling and receiving. If the ritual doesn't serve to fulfill the feelings or the unseen inner world, it becomes heartless habit that serves no true purpose, other than to fill one's day, time, and space, or is masculine dominant. If the ritual serves to fulfill feelings that ultimately sabotage the ritual itself, it becomes feminine dominant. For instance, if an intention is to lose weight and begin a new diet and exercise program to serve that desire (feeling), continually thinking about how weight needs to be lost and feeling shame about how one looks will inevitably sabotage the diet and exercise program. The bottom line is flow, or balance of masculine and feminine energies, and consciously thinking about what makes you feel good.
Self-care needs to be intentional. Keep that in mind. The best way to start is first thing in the morning. Establishing an intention before the day's work (with others) commences sets the tone. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it's time to consider what constitutes food. Food is nourishment and fuel. So if breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it is essential to place this importance on all nourishment. What nourishes your body? What nourishes your soul? What nourishes your mind? What nourishes your relationships?
The Purpose of Life is Relationships
What I have found most beneficial to establishing a morning routine, is how much easier it is to improve my relationship to others- animate and inanimate! With a great breakfast first thing each morning, anytime I feel inadequate, unequal, or inferior in relation to anything, be it people, nature, or circumstances, I am able to quickly snap out of those self-sabotaging thoughts. The individual is the basic unit of society. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever experience, as it truly sets the tone for every other relationship you will ever experience. I've seen so many people who value massage therapy, yet wait until there is an emergency situation to schedule a session. The majority of these people also feel that oftentimes they aren't heard in at least one aspect of their interpersonal life. While I am no counselor, it is easy for me to point out the circumstance being mirrored. Once on my table, I inquire if any other treatments were done. There might be an occasional heating pad, ibuprofen, or MD visit, but usually not much was done prior to scheduling a massage other than wait for the situation to upgrade to an emergency. So many people ignore their own body's way of talking and wonder why they are being ignored in their social circles. Good news is that's why we're here now and hopefully with eyes wide open.
This picture is the sacred flower of life. I've used it to show all the areas where our personal energy is needed to help us grow. We may be abundant in some areas and lacking (which is still an abundance) in others. The morning routine will help insure actionable steps are taken to cover all these areas of one's life. With intentional focus, you can begin to take your life back one baby step at a time. Before you know it, you will have a ritual that is able to cover every area with minimal effort.
The following are only suggestions. The first thing to consider is how much time you have before the social part of your day begins. I highly recommended self greeting BEFORE greeting anyone else. Other than that, with the allotted time you have, play around with this list. I hope it sparks a light in your flow.
Morning Ritual Suggestions
1.Greet yourself first! "Good morning, beautiful," "Hello, sexy," and "Hey there, stud," are perfect. It feels awkward at first, but all new shoes (conditions) need some time to feel comfortable in. Remember these 'new shoes' are conditioning your awareness/understanding. So make sure whichever 'shoes' you choose, they are going to assist you in covering the terrain you are walking (your intention). 2.Look at yourself in the mirror. Ask, "How do I feel today?" This is addressing the feminine aspect, or receptive energy. Be honest with yourself. If you do not like what you are feeling momentarily, then ask, "How do I want to feel today?" By verbally acknowledging yourself and then making a choice to stay in that feeling or move to another feeling, the masculine energy begins to think of ways to provide a shelter for those feelings, which is the giving aspect. 3.There are numerous studies and testimonies of consistent and daily prayer and meditation. The importance of stillness during waking hours cannot be underestimated. Even three-fourths of the way through 2020 and it's topsy-turvy antics has shown how neurotic our society is. You may not be able to change everyone else, but you can begin to learn to calm your own heart and nervous system. If you find yourself emotionally tossed to and fro, you have no authority to judge anyone else until you learn to be that which you want to see in the world. Peace ✌️ Here are my top favorite morning meditations.
4.Endorphins are any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions. They are peptides which activate the body's opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect. So what are you waiting for? Let's get moving and blissed out, guys! 5.Adult human body's are on average 60% water. Combine this with Dr. Emoto's ground breaking work on how "molecular structure in water transforms when it is exposed to human words, thoughts, sounds and intentions," and we are beginning to understand what nutrient elements and words the body needs to not just survive, but thrive in this experience. 
Water serves a number of essential functions to keep us all going
A vital nutrient to the life of every cell, acts first as a building material.
It regulates our internal body temperature by sweating and respiration
The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream;
It assists in flushing waste mainly through urination
acts as a shock absorber for brain, spinal cord, and fetus
lubricates joints 
Lemon water first thing in the morning raises your body's ph level.
6.Self massage- Believe it or not massaging yourself can produce the same results. It may not 'feel' as good as when someone else does it, but consistent massage helps relieve stress. This is also a way for you to become more comfortable with the sense of touch and learning to 'hear' your own body.
7.Breathwork- I've written quite a bit this year on the power of breath work. You are actually able to slow heart rate and reduce blood pressure with deep breathing! But you won't know until you try it.
8.Podcasts- There are podcasts on every subject you can think of. Find some motivation through podcasts or music after your morning prayer and mediation to kickstart your day.
One of my favorite motivational speakers is Andy Frisella! He will kick your butt.
9.Eat- If you're going to do it, do it right! Always make sure to be thankful and feel good about the food you eat! Here's a journal page to help you map what works and what doesn't work: Self-Care Log
Now, let's kickass today!