The final step in making our much needed self-care to actually happen – in a compelling and easy way – is scheduling. When our self-care (or anything else) becomes a clear priority, and we figured these elusive daily waves of our weakness and our energy, the rest is simple and technical. All we need is just set some external reminders – and just do the task no matter how we feel when our reminder brings our plans to our attention. So, what can possibly become a problem here?
So many people I’ve started working with as patients and then after their health – mental, emotional or physical – would improve, our work together translated more into coaching, they would tell me: I now know what I need to be doing, please push me to do what I need to do. For a therapist, this is a rewarding stage: your patient’s health improved! And not only that, but they got this magical ‘side effect’ of Colourpunture: they connected with their Inner Self and recognised their true Path. All they nee to do now is to walk the Path. In one of his writings on Colorpuncture, Pater Mandal says: “I’m just a crane who lift a broken car from the ditch back to the road; now – it’s up to you to drive further” (my paraphrase).
In my initial years of working with Colourpunture I was so excited to help my patient to get to this stage that I didn’t really see the point of supporting them further: after all, they just told me that they feel great – and they know exactly what they need to be doing. However….I kept in touch with most of my patients and I tarted to see the after-healing-breakthrough dynamics. Exhilarated, they would go ahead and express their authentic Self (to the same social circle who knew them being different) and step on their true Path (only to realised that actually, exciting as it is, this is the Path and it needs to be walked on: every.single.day).
And this all would mean that part from healing, deep insights and good intentions, they wld need to work on adopting and practicing a while new set of habits. So this video fragment and the article focus on these simple (boring; obviously) things which still need to be reminded, along with some little tips. These are the tips which we tend to dismiss as being too simple. We all tend to overlook the simple and the obvious and the common sense as we are unconsciously still in search of this One Magic Solution which should be mysterious, complex and so will surely will get us where we need to be. This is a stage when most of us are tempted to divert and go on a broad search of 1) another therapy; 2) miracle cure; 3) something which promises immediate results and so on.
One of the bright (albeit industry unrelated) example would be one of PhD students from the lab I used to work in long ago. He did his practicals; fro his to complete his PhD all he needed was to do a literature review – to read some articles and so a summary of them with references. In comparison with the amount of work which he did that was nothing. And yet, when things were not moving and we asked him: did you do what we agreed on doing, he answered: “No. I’m not reading. But I’m thinking a lot!”. We all overthink simple things just because…they seem way too simple 🙂
So…here I will have to do an unrewarding jo of reminding us all some common sense tips which are so obvious that we all should be just doing them as a default behaviour learnt in school. Yet it seems that the more something is obvious and common sense…the less of a value we tend to attach to it and so we may not be doing it. Many times when my patients complain that things are ‘not quite working’ for them, I ask: “Did you do the ABC?” (the obvious, the agreed) to which they would usually say: “No, but I was thinking…”
So as you are reading/watching the article and the video please just check if you are doing every of these (common sense, obvious) steps – because if you do, then there will be no questions on “how do I find the time for myself, my self-care, doing what I love” etc.
We just need to accept that this is part of human nature – to respect complicated things and disregard the simplest – and accept the fact that we are humans.…
Time and space
This is such a simple thing to arrange of we have a desire, a vision and only demand on outlives – and this is where we can run into difficulties if our self-care idea is stroking a cat/
having a deep and meaningful conversation with your partner at time and on the topic which suits you/enjoying a sunshine in Britain, you get the idea. Make your self care time and process simple, easy, and pleasurable – you need create a compelling new activity which you will be looking forward to.
On my example with Journaling becoming a daily habit. I found that basically there are two types of times in our life….as simple as day and night, Sun and Moon. There are times for action and times for refection, times for being and times for doing – and if we care to tune into and ride these waves, then everything seems to be just ‘working for us’. But if we don’t and we get sincerely frustrated with the rain which was either forecast or expected – remember I live in Britain 🙂 – then all we see is a string of obstacles. The solution here is simple: tune into the Zeitgeist – and ride the waves of your personal rhythms. If you missed the times of action, enjoy the current invitation to reflect and plan the action when the next action time comes. And when it comes, be ready! And when it’s time to be, to go deep and reflect, don’t overdo the cleaning…the caring for other people…whatever your particular distraction may look like.
“But what if I prefer action and not a reflection such as Journaling seem to be?”
We are all different. We need different things. And we also need different things at different times of our lives. It depends. Sometime we need more therapy and reflection; sometimes we need more action. Though I usually journal a lotted this is one of my favourite Soul-feeding activities, in 2021 I hardly did any journaling because I was jogging in the mornings – and I had so many insights just jogging in the park!!
Speaking of Journaling as a self-care tool through I won’t say it’s purely a refection exercise. It was for me in the beginning when I was just getting into the habit and mastering the art, but I developed so much with it, that long ago it became much more of a “OK, I’m going to be writing for 15 min now to get my thoughts in order; to record my dreams; to put every randomly floating image, sense and feeling into paper, so I can fine-tune my plans for the days ahead”. It is and it is not at all reflective but more akin your humble kitchen reset in between big meals preps. There are times of Yin and times of Yang, and it’s important to figure which one we are in. There are part of Yin and part sof Yang in a unique combination in our energy make-up and inputs important to harness our strengths, work on our weaknesses and balance the opposites.
External Reminders vs “Push Me!”
External reminder is an easy first step; and very often, when we are in peaceful times of our lives, very often it is enough to make our self care happen. However…there are times when we absolutely need other people’s support; we need support; we need other people actively present in our life and this “push me!” is a necessary not a luxury. Transitions times, crisis times, transformational times… I always ask my patients on their progress and what support they need and sometimes, we create together some extra tools which are suited for them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need help; don’t ignore other peoples request for help when they clearly need it – we learn equally import things on both sides of this; we help and we are being helped.
Here is the video transcript 🙂
“So, imagine that we decided what is important for us, what is our priority. Imagine that we decided that self-care is our priority and we are going to have our 15 minutes, half an hour, one hour – depends – in a day in a certain time, if more or less we live and work a predictable schedule. How to make it actually happen? First, you just need to put a timer on your mobile phone… and next to this timer which just rings every time this time comes and so you’re ready to go and it really tells you what to do. Because if we are so deep somewhere else and not with ourselves that we don’t make, we can’t make 15 min or a half an hour time for our self-care, basically we need reminders. And we need some external force to remind us. And it will be not very fair to put it on other people but our mobile phone can just do the job. So you put on an alarm and the alarm can let you know just say ‘self-care time’ and then you can put all these wonderful images and so so on which basically will prompt you to do exactly what you want to do. So this is one thing – this is time. And another thing is space. And this is equally important. So for example, you want to do your Colourpuncture for half an hour; you want to do your crystals. Hmm..with a cat it’s a bit difficult, right?? You can come up with your ideas. But basically we need to set up the space in advance. This is why it’s so difficult for the cat because cats come and go as they please and not necessarily they want to sit at this time that we decided we are going to stroke the cat. Anyhow, if we’re talking about something that depends only on ourselves then you really need to have the space. So your timer rings and it’s not like your battery is not working; your bulb is not working; you don’t know your protocol; you don’t know what to do – you need to have it decided. You need to create what is called a ‘leading task’. So for example you are going to – just imagine, so let’s go to another extreme – let’s imagine that your self-care or your A1 task in a day is cooking some complex meal; some complex for example meal with a lot of vegetables. Now, if you come into the kitchen and you want to cook this meal and you don’t have ingredients; you have to go to supermarket; then you need to bring them home; and you need to wash them; then you need to peel them; and you need to chop them; and you need to find a recipe…so the chances of you actually cooking this meal… are getting less and less with every step. But for example, if you already know what you’re going to cook; you already did your shopping; and you already even washed your vegetables; and they are already sitting on your countertop – so you come to the kitchen and you actually just get on with peeling, shopping, cooking – then it is done. Same with Colourpuncture: you know where your set is; your batteries are working; you know the protocol; it’s all sitting there waiting for you. So the easiest you can do it for yourself – because you can arrange the whole setup for yourself – the more success you are likely to have at a whole thing and the more pleasurable and relaxing it will be. And then it will become a routine. And when something becomes a routine it becomes so easy; it becomes a second nature; this is not even something that you need to put in your calendar. I found this with my morning writing, with journaling. At some point in my life – it was about 10 years ago; I always had some sort of a diary, some kind of a journal since I was teenager; it really helped me to just ‘digest’ life; to just process what was happening to me, really reflect, trying to understand who I am and so on. So every now and again I would have some kind of a journal. But about 10 years ago I decided that I have to start journaling in the morning. Because it was an interesting time in my life: I was already ‘on my Path’ in general, but this path needed some adjustment and some little change of direction -something wasn’t quite working even so I was in the right job and the right industry, with the right people and so so on. But my particular participation, it wasn’t so clear. So I decided to do this journalling. So I put it in my Google Calendar; not in my mobile – I can’t remember why – but it was in my Google calendar. So I would wake up in the morning and my Google Calendar would say ’15 minutes of Journaling’ – and it would say it every day. So I started doing it and in the beginning it was very very difficult. I found it really hard to keep to the habit. I had nobody to support me as there was nobody in this moment of time in the house and I didn’t have a life coach or a therapist – so it was just me and me with myself. I had to just go through this initial period of time but then it became such a Soul feeding activity that I was really looking forward to waking up and writing something straight away that it became really really easy. And with time it became a habit and then with time it became such a necessity that I just couldn’t start my day without writing something first! I just started doing it and I kept doing it pretty much every day for nine years, 10 years. I still journal in the morning – but not necessarily every morning and it’s not necessarily like deep reflection when I need to clarify something. It just changed; it went though the whole evolution. Some years into this, I looked at my Google Calendar to schedule something… because then I of course I just removed it because it became a second nature – and then I went several years back and I found those tasks, ‘writing every morning’ and I thought oh my God why did I put it there?? Obviously I write in the morning, how else? You brush your teeth in the morning, you wake up, you get dressed… At some point it became just part of life – but when I was starting the whole thing long ago that wasn’t so; and with any new hand it it isn’t so for quite a lot of time.”
This is a video fragment from our April 2022 Cafe Self Q&A, please watch the entire playlist for a better picture. Thank you for your great question – and if you feel you would do with any support or have further question, please get in touch using the form below. I’m here and happy to help 🙂