The self care nobody talks about

Deep ✨, Lifestyle 🏃🏼‍♀️

The concept of self care is so hot right now. Everybody does it – everywhere you go. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is SO important. But self care almost seems the new religion everyone has just adopted. And while I love talking about the spiritual side of self care (just wait for that blogpost ;)) there is a side of self care nobody seems to talk about. Because it’s dark. Or hard. And not as convenient and comfortable as ‘self care’ might sound. But I’m a scorpio, so dark and uncomfortable attracts me. Let’s dive into this.

What we like to view as ‘self care’

Usually, when we talk about self care, we often actually mean self maintenance. Painting your nails, shaving your body, or getting your hair done can feel like self care, but they do not actually make us better human beings. Or make us feel better on the long run.

We might indirectly feel better on the inside because of what we do on the outside. Maybe we feel more worthy because we take good care of ourselves, and in that way we ‘care’ for our ‘self’. But other than that, making sure your outward appearance looks good is not the same as caring for your character, your mind or your soul.

And yes, there is a deeper and traditional concept of self care that we also talk about very often. Investing in your development, reading books or meditation also count as self care. Making sure you are okay, making sure you feel good about yourself, and feeding your self-image with positive mental states is self care. But there’s the catch.

What ‘self care’ also is

In order to take real care of yourself and your happiness, and in order to really get what you deserve, you sometimes have to be really hard and difficult for yourself. Sometimes, you have to grab life by the balls, and force yourself to do something you really hate, or that really hurts, in order to take care of yourself in the long run.

And no, this isn’t as fun or convenient as taking a bath or reading a book. It doesn’t instantly make you feel better, and it doesn’t sound like something we want to call ‘self care’ at all. But it is. Self care can be really hard, dark and ugly.

So it’s time we get used to taking care of ourselves in these ways too. Real happiness, real self worth and real fulfilment require a little more effort than the traditional, easy sense of ‘self care’. Because the things that make us feel unhappy, unworthy and unfulfilled are serious problems, which require serious measures.

You need to hear this

So, don’t shoot the messenger, but sometimes self care is not going back to your toxic ex-boyfriend, even though you love him. Self care is telling your friends that you can’t hangout tonight because you need time to work through your darkness or loneliness right now.

It is NOT wasting a lot of money on shopping, drinking or getting your hair done to suppress your emotions, but actually dealing with them – ESPECIALLY when it hurts. It is eating healthy and reasonably, even though ‘you really love food’. Self care is quitting your victim-mentality, and being hard on yourself just so you can pick yourself up because, well: nobody else can do it.

Self care is facing rejection, pain and hardship. Because dealing with it and being happy in the long run is what a person who cares for herself would do. Running away and staying in your dark hole because it’s easier in the moment, is what the girl who doesn’t love herself would do (because she believes she doesn’t deserve to be happy in the long run).

And yes, forcing yourself to work towards being the girl who loves herself and moves on, instead of the girl who hates herself and gets stuck – you guessed it – also counts as self care. Let’s get it into our system.

Let me know what you think! What types of self care do you practice? And would you like a worksheet with this blog?

xx Coco

So I finally read Psycho-Cybernetics

Geen categorie

For 2021, one of my goals is to read more (I mean, whose isn’t, right?). I aim for one book a month, which for a non-reader like me, is quite a commitment. One book I heard a lot about in podcasts was Psycho-Cybernetics, which apparently is a self-help classic from the ‘80s. Somewhere in January, my fiancé suddenly ordered it online, and so the universe had spoken: PC would be my February-read.

For starters, I have to admit my expectations were a little bit high. Once you’ve been in this selfrealization jazz for a while, it’s hard to find a book that blows your mind. So as I should’ve expected, this book didn’t. It didn’t leave me with many new insights or bright ideas. What it did do, however, was back up my already existing insights with some good psychological theory, and some good ol’ common – although very christian – sense. Here’s what the book taught me.

Our subconscious is a torpedo

The first thing PC thought me was that the subconscious (brain + nervous system) works pretty similar to a torpedo. Human beings overall learn stuff by aiming for a goal, striving like a rocket towards it, and correcting our errors and deviations as we go. Think of a young (still quite not self-aware) child learning how to walk: they stand up and fall down, stand up again and fall down again – learning from the errors what not to do, and learning from the successes what to repeat.

PC teaches how we can apply this principle consciously to our goals as well, and in that way, use our subconscious to our (planned or pointed) benefit. For example, imagine our goal is to lose a few pounds. If we admit and set this goal for ourselves, according to PC, our subconscious will unknowingly work towards this goal without you putting in a lot of effort.

Of course, the conscious mind has a say as well, so some work has to be done. In the case of losing weight, we shouldn’t eat donuts all the time and maybe exercise a little. But if we can believe PC, the subconscious will help you with this and make it a lot easier to make certain (wise) decisions.

Our nature wants us to thrive

To be completely clear: we don’t have to make our subconscious work to our benefit, because it already does. Always. It’s how we learn or accomplish anything at all. But in the goals that we have that are not completely natural and instinctive (like learning how to walk), we do have to set our goals.

The design of human beings is so beautiful, our brain and nervous system (or subconscious) is supposed to make us thrive in life. It supports our goals and dreams, and by means of survival, always gravitates (or rockets) naturally towards them. Thus saying – and this is my own conclusion – life doesn’t have to be a struggle. It is actually in our nature to get what we want.

This is also backed up by other theories and movements (though in other words), for example by the Law of attraction theory or Deepak Chopra’s Energy of Attraction. PC, however, tends to explain this phenomenon by the use of cybernetics. And even though this book was written in the ’80s, that’s quite refreshing.

Self-image is everything

However, whether you learn from your fails or judge yourself by them, is essentially and up to you. Because you decide what thoughts and ideas your subconscious ‘rockets’ on. Your subconscious doesn’t have a direct link to reality, so you and your thoughts are what feeds the system and tells it what to aim for. So while setting our goals and aiming towards them, something inside us has to believe that we will reach our goals and that we are worthy of them.

If you only ever remember your fails and forget your past successes, you will think low of yourself, unknowingly set low goals, and that is what your subconscious will work towards. You’re brain tells the subconscious ‘I will never get it’, and thus that is what happens. If you think highly of yourself because you focus on your past successes, you will believe that the goal is something you can reach and deserve, and your subconscious will start to work accordingly.

So if you’re someone who thinks low of themselves, hear this: you’re not inherently born with a low self-esteem, you’re just using your memory wrongly. Train yourself to focus on your past successes, or fake the feeling of being successful if you have to, and your subconscious will start to work differently and to your benefit.

What I love about this book is that it reminded me of some strong beliefs I already had. It supports the idea that our brain has a big effect on our biology, and can even explain how, for example, we can make ourselves ill or look younger, simply have having certain thoughts. It explains why we have a higher chance of winning a game when we truly believe we will, and why ‘practising in your head’ makes an actual difference when doing the real job.

I’m a big fan of ‘woo woo’ theories like the Law of attraction, but it is nice to have these theories backed up from another angle of science. I personally relate many human issues to a low or inadequate self-image, so it was nice to read a theory that relates self-image to reaching our dreams. The book also comes with very practical exercises to train your self-image, and to make your subconscious work for whatever you set your mind to.

The only downside is that since the book is already quite old, some of the other (psychological) theories PC refers to, are a little outdated. I also didn’t appreciate the writer using religious arguments to back up his theory, or to tie his lose ends. But all-in-all, this is a very good book to remind ourselves of our beautiful design as human beings.

Did you read Psycho-Cybernetics? Let me know what you think!

xx Coco