Self Care isn't the Point

By Jardana Peacock

Perhaps you are surprised I’m saying this.

We will never be able to enact enough self care to heal ourselves, and that isn’t the point anyway.

Here’s why:

Last week I practiced yoga and meditation for ninety minutes.

I took a walk. I answered email. I met with a client.

I took another short walk, took a bath, and went to the steam room and sauna at the YMCA.

I met with another client.

I came home to a house turned upside down with a rainbow array of lego, dirty dishes, diced onions that had fallen onto the floor and a screaming baby.

As much as we try to balance it all, to take care of ourselves, and to create harmony--it just doesn’t last for very long.

My teacher, Kelly Golden of Vira Bhava Yoga, says, “What if this is it? What if this is life--with the pain, the chaos, the disappointment? What if it just doesn’t get any better?”

What if it doesn’t?

Would that change things?

I say, yes.

Self care can maintain us but it will not sustain us.

Practices that connect us to our divinity, our humanity, and our interconnection with one another will, however. This is what I call spirituality.

Spirituality is a step beyond self care-- it is the acknowledgement that there is a reason to care for ourselves.

Over fifteen years of practices in yoga (meditation, pranayama, self inquiry, asana), art, organizing and other holistic healing modalities lead me to this belief: I deserve love and joy, and I am love and joy.

If in the chaos of day-to-day life, if at the memorial service of my best friend, if when working through the trauma my body and psyche have survived-- I can say “I love my life exactly as it is, I love myself, exactly as I am,” then I am more present, more full and more deeply connected to the celebration and pain of living in this world. 

Spiritual practices are liberating because they connect us with the meaning of our lives on this planet in this moment. It doesn’t have to be anything more than that. There doesn’t have to be God, or religion, or prayer--there can be, but there doesn’t need to be.

Keep doing the self care, but know it’s rooted in something deeper.

 


Jardana Peacock is a holistic healer, coach and writer who works with change makers internationally. She has studied yoga for over fourteen years, and recently released an e-book, Heal Myself, Heal the World: Practices for Liberation where she chronicles her journey through trauma and addiction and into social justice activism and healing work.  She can be reached at www.jardanapeacock.com.