Self care is ultimately an inside job, right?
After all, you are responsible for your own well-being.
You hold the reins on the horse named “Be Well, Live Longer.”
And you decide what is best for you on any given day, because nobody knows you better than Y-O-U. Not your doctors, not your family, not your friends. Not even your favorite Tribe practitioner. 🙂
So we firmly establish (in this very authoritative blog post) that self-care is an inside job. Right?
it’s not a solo project.
Take a moment to breathe into that.
Here’s why you can’t go it alone:
Your mind is a powerful ally, always championing for your vitality. But it can also get easily tripped up in the difficult job it has to help you learn, think + grow every moment of the day. Especially in what may feel like the hostile work environment that is basic survival + safety these days…
It’s so easy for the mind to become cluttered with distorted thoughts as it filters all of your life experiences. Thoughts like:
I’m alone in this struggle…
Nobody wants to hear about my difficulties…
I don’t belong in a room with other people who already have it figured out…
Nobody will understand what I’m going through…
I have no room in my life right now for other people…
I barely have a minute to think…
I can’t take time for myself when so many others are relying on me…
How can I even think about learning or growing right now when all I’m trying to do is survive?…
And frankly, left to our own devices, the mind becomes a runaway train of habitual distorted thought patterns like these. The toughest part of this runaway train? We can’t even recognize that these thoughts ARE distorted when we’re hanging on for dear life off the back of the caboose.
This is why the best self care for your mind is not a solo project. It’s a group effort.
Now, I’m tempted to share with you the research + studies that confirm that being in community, getting support, having communal threads (both tight + loose) are necessary for your mind + psyche’s survival. Because it is COMPELLING. (And this is a very authoritative blog post, after all.)
But today what feels even more compelling is to share what our practitioners have to say about the unique potency of group work, of the healing capacity that is possible in a communal space (and why it differs from solo efforts + even one-on-one work).
“There is so much value in group programs. One thing I have found with groups is that people often feel alone in their struggles or challenges, whether that’s with food or other areas of life.
Even if people in the group are at different stages of their lives, there is often a level of understanding and ability to relate to one another’s experience. It can be eye-opening to realize they’re not the only one going through something, so they don’t feel as isolated or alone in their journey. Connecting with others can help reduce any guilt or shame they may be experiencing so they’re able to bring more compassion to themselves.
Also, by hearing other people’s experiences, it can really help deepen their learning and understanding of themselves because it can bring up things for them that they may not have thought of on their own.”
“The ultimate definition of self-care is understanding what you need and allowing yourself to have it. Self-care is a practice that takes many shapes. It can be passive when we need rest or quite active when we need the discipline to create a new healthy habit.
No matter what our needs are, they are only met when we give ourselves time and space to meet them, and a group environment is an excellent way to manifest that for yourself.
Gathering together for a shared experience creates social support, accountability, and positive energy that can catapult you into implementing changes you know you have wanted to make, but have struggled to make alone. The groups I hold are centered around examining all areas of life that improve our health and happiness and gaining an understanding of which areas you need to address to improve your self-care.”
As for me, a Holistic Health Consultant with 20 years under my belt in teaching, facilitating, guiding and most importantly, leaning into groups for my own health and well-being, I can say that there is something divine, sacred and tangible when we join in the family circle of community; when we allow ourselves to witness and be witnessed; when we awaken to all of the ways our distorted thoughts give us the illusion that we somehow don’t belong, don’t deserve, don’t need to be with others, when we allow ourselves be taken care of by others so that we learn, think + grow into taking the best possible care of ourselves on our own.
And in this way, the group project of collaborative self-care is not a model of reliance. Rather, it is a model of reciprocity.*
So ditch this authoritative blog (because the greatest authority is Y-O-U), jump off that runaway train in your mind, land back on solid ground, in your sovereign boots, and hop back on that sweet horse named “Be Well, Live Longer” toward the group program calling to you.
And let that inside job of your self care… be held in love.
*Reciprocity is a beautiful theme shared by a partner of mine in the meditation circle I facilitate, and the reason I will continue to weave the communal threads of healing for the collective. Please explore Laura’s, Meredith’s, or my upcoming group experiences in our Events Calendar.
Written by Cari Rogers, co-owner of Tribe and founder of HealThySelf. Cari loves to partner with people who believe that the body has an incredible capacity to heal under the right circumstances and with the right support.