Radical Self-Care: 30 Day Challenge
I dreamt this post last night, which rarely happens, but when it does, I figure the Universe is trying to thwack me over the head, and I better pay attention. So I’ll transcribe my dream, in case this wisdom comes not just for me, but for you.
Truth is, I’ve been neglecting my own health a bit lately. Which, as a doctor promoting optimal vitality and wellness, feels damn hypocritical. It’s just that the madness of opening the Owning Pink Center, the crazy nuttiness of relaunching OwningPink.com later this month as a big, grown-up website, and the TV/radio/print/internet media publicity I’ve been doing around both have thrown me completely off kilter.
A year ago, I was doing so well! I was eating a largely vegan, often raw foods diet, drinking five green juices a day, hiking over an hour a day, listening to guided imagery every night to help me sleep, getting it on with my hot hubby regularly, doing yoga, attending dharma talks at the Zen Center, being present for my daughter, expressing myself creatively with my painting and my writing- the works.
Then “success” hit, and every fear I’ve had about being successful- namely that I would completely lose balance and lose myself- has come true lately. I’ve been eating junky Mexican food, skipping my hikes, forgetting my green juice, going to bed two hours after my husband and sleeping too little, working too hard, and failing to nurture myself. THIS IS NOT HOW I WANT TO LIVE!!!! Sheesh.
(Okay, sorry. Ranting is over.) While I never claim to have it all- and Mojo is a tenuous slippery little sucker, my dream was a reminder that I always strive to Own Pink fully, and nurturing my body, mind and spirit allows me to do the work I do most fully. So I’m committing to a change- a program of radical self care. Maybe you’ll be inclined to join me. Here’s my plan. I’ll start with 30 days, knowing that if I can stick with it, I’ll feel so great at the end that I’ll want to continue.
Next: 30 Day Radical Self Care Challenge
A 30 Day Program of Radical Self Care
1. Detox your diet. Eliminate all processed foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine (I know this may be no simple task for some of you, so go slowly, plan ahead, and be compassionate with yourself). If you can manage, go vegan, mostly raw, for two weeks. If you can, do a 5 day green juice fast. If not, stick to steamed veggies and salads for 2 weeks.
2. Take your vitamins, superfoods, & supplements every day. I use the Usana My Health Pack, which contains multivitamins, fish oil, calcium, and other minerals. I also take Sun Chlorella and Vitamin D.
3. Make a practice of daily writing. Just for yourself. Keep a Joy Journal. Or do morning pages, as suggested by Julia Cameron, author of the The Artist’s Way. Send your inner critic to time out and just WRITE.
4. Sleep 7-9 hours a night. No buts. Just do it.
5. Detox your friendships. If someone isn’t good for you, take a 30 day break from them. This is YOUR 30 days to nurture you. All toxic relationships are off limits.
6. Move your body no less than 5 days a week, ideally, every day. Walk. Do yoga. Go to the gym. Whatever. Honor your body by letting it move.
7. Meditate. I know, I know. This is the hardest one for me. If you can’t handle the silence, buy guided meditations on CD or Itunes. I love Belleruth Naparstek. You don’t have to spend an hour. But take 10 minutes to close your eyes and get quiet. No excuses.
8. If you have a bath tub, take baths instead of showers. Use your yummiest bath gels, salts, and scrubs. Read an inspiring book while bathing. Finish it off by consciously loving each body part while rubbing on body lotion, coconut oil, or olive oil.
9. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Drink herbal tea, water, green juice. Get those cells hydrated. If you’re peeing often and it’s clear, you’re doing it right.
10. Have orgasms no less than 5 times a week. If you don’t have a partner, don’t forget what you can do for yourself!
11. Practice forgiveness every day. Forgive yourself. Forgive that person you’ve been holding a grudge against. Be extra specially kind to yourself and others for 30 whole days in a row. Banish toxic thoughts altogether, if you can.
12. Skip the news and read inspirational books instead. I highly recommend the one I’m reading now- Gregg Levoy’s Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life. Or try Martha Becks’s Finding Your Own North Star. Or Marianne Williamson’s A Return to Love.
13. Pray. Reach out the Universe. Make your desires know. Set intentions. Give thanks. Feel the divine energy that runs within you.
14. Choose a mantra for your 30 day program and make this your affirmation. Mine will be “I am successful AND balanced, healthy, vital, and whole.” Write it by the toilet, post it on your computer, repeat it during your meditations.
This 30 day program will require that you give up some other things in your life for this 30 days. I suggest skipping arguing, excessive work, ego-driven ambition, the fourth bedtime story, time spent berating yourself in the mirror, and, if need be- a clean kitchen! Your life isn’t going to fall apart if you take 30 days to radically nurture yourself. I’ll bet you anything it will change your life for the better.
If you can’t manage an intensive 30 day program, don’t despair. You don’t have to beat yourself up if your to do list just won’t allow a program like this. While a program like this will jump start you, you can get your Mojo back with a less radical approach. Simply choose one or two of these activities, and scatter them throughout your life. Exercise Monday. Meditate Tuesday. Have orgasms on Wednesdays. Write on Thursday. No matter what, be compassionate yourself.
Join this group so we can support each other in the process.
Committed to radically nurturing ME and YOU,