In my previous blog, I urged healthcare practitioners to practice self-care, to take care of themselves so that they could better serve their patients. These thoughts came about because I had pushed myself too hard and was paying the consequences. I needed to rejuvenate. I needed to practice some self-care.
The question is, how does one do this when time and/or finances are tight? Don’t get me wrong. I’d be the first to sign up for a few days of pampering and luxury at Carmel Valley Ranch if it were an option, and that may indeed be my birthday present to myself next year. In the meantime, I often ask myself, what can I do to recharge in 24 hours? How do I best care for myself? How do I treat myself as my highest self?
For me, it always comes down to using earth-based medicine – using the earth as a source to heal, empower, and rejuvenate. This does not necessarily mean taking medicinal herbs or increasing my whole-food nutrient intake. Sometimes it means using the earth and nature as medicine in and of themselves.
So that’s what I did this weekend.
On Saturday evening, I first went for a sunset run, then took a hot bath.
This was no ordinary bath. I added some essential oils and vitamin C salts (to neutralize the chloramines and fluoride in the water), lit several candles, dimmed the lights, poured myself a glass of my favorite organic red wine, and put on a playlist of gorgeous classical music. I thought “thank you” breathing in, and “you’re welcome” breathing out. Most importantly, I luxuriated in this divine, romantic gift to myself until my muscles were putty and my toes pruny.
After the bath, I made myself a little popcorn and watched a spiritual, uplifting film called Finding Joe, which served to remind me that the happiest, most successful people seldom fit into the boxes created by society, and that my inner hero was right there inside me, wanting me to keep following my bliss – which of course, is helping people to get healthy naturally for the long-term.
And then I went to bed smiling and slept a glorious 8 hours.
The next day I went over to the coast, as I had planned. The ocean is where I go to reconnect with my highest self and get back in touch with my feminine, creative side – my goddess, if you will. There is something so huge and unifying about the ocean, and I never feel alone at the beach, even if I am by myself, as I was on this Sunday. (In fact, I went a lesser known beach 20 miles north of Santa Cruz, and it was practically deserted.) I love the way the sand feels in my toes, the sun on my skin, the sound of the waves crashing and birds singing.
I felt myself transform. It was medicine to my soul.
Earth as medicine.
Using earth-based medicine for myself has an exponential ripple effect, because I can bring that healing back to my clients, my students, and my children, and this feeds my bliss. It energizes an upward spiral of innovative, joyful healing.
Taking care of Numero Uno doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take a week's vacation. Discover how to use the earth and nature as your own form of medicine. Being mindful of your need for self-care will transform not only your own life but those of your patients and everyone you love. And that’s what I call a job well done.