Today I am sitting down to write about self care as part of a special project and book being launched by two friends Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift called “The Declaration of You”. I am incredibly honored to know both of these women, although I have never met Jess in person, we came connected through online courses and the launch of her rain boot project several years ago. Michelle and I first met in Blogging Your Way, a course taught by Holly Becker of Decor8 and somehow our paths kept crossing until eventually I joined her mentor program called Golden Goddesses and ended up in New York last January filming a video and spending the day with her. Michelle has been a huge cheerleader to me and my business and yes guiding me in finding my true passions in my life.
(one of the first photos I took during therapy and the basis of the business you see here today)
My own journey to self care began about 4 years ago after I had shoulder surgery. After such a surgery you are connected with a physical therapist to help you heal and regain the movement you may have lost after the injury. My physical therapist was awesome. Three times a week we would meet and run through a series of strengthening exercises, icing and heat in order to free up the shoulder and increase its movement. Things were going well until we reached a point that my shoulder decided to freeze up and not go any further. This is an uncommon occurrence in the orthopedic surgery world but being the spouse of a physician my doctor and I figured it was probably Karma. Initially, I was supposed to spend about 3-4 months in therapy and would be able to return back to most activities that I did before the surgery. Instead, 15 months of therapy 3-4 days a week for 1-1/2 hours was in the cards. With the frozen shoulder, I soon came to the realization that certain activities would no longer be in my self care repertoire.
One day I came to therapy, overwhelmed and exhausted from not making progress. My therapist pulled me aside asked me to list the activities that give me joy and pleasure. I listed walks in nature, photography, and art. Instead of therapy that day, he sent me out with my camera and said give yourself an hour, take photos and let me know how you feel.
This simple task of listing my joys and pleasures and then acting upon them was the basis of my initial self care and is what has kept me on the path of healing for the last several years. My portfolio and all the photos I share on this site began from this little nudge in the right direction.
Funny thing happened with this little hour of me time. My shoulder began to loosen, I began to relax and healing was allowed to occur.
Self Care is Declaration #4 in Michelle and Jessicas new book and the chapter gives you all sorts of fun activities to help get you started on the path of more “me time”. The book is available online and at local bookstores but if you want a signed copy from these fabulous ladies you can find them at declarationofyou.
“The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 200 other creative bloggers. Learn more — and join us! — by clicking here.”