Today I want to talk about something that’s frankly always been important, but I think many of us, myself included, have maybe been able to ignore it… until recently
That topic: self-care
Have you done a good job of self-care in the last few years?
I know I haven’t, but now I am very much in the process of waking up to what this phrase actually means
You’ve maybe heard the metaphor of self-care being like when you’re on an airplane and they ask you to put your mask on before assisting those around you
That’s a pretty solid analogy — and even if we haven’t really internalized this as our behavior, I think we intuitively feel the truth of being unable to adequately serve others if our tank is empty
That just makes sense
So we know it’s important, and we know we should do it
AND, I want us to talk about self-care in a way that pushes us to take it even further
So we’re going to talk about RADICAL self-care
Now, ’radical’ is an interesting word
In the recent past, it seems to me we most often use this word in a way that has a bit of a negative slant
That’s a ‘radical’ idea
That group was ‘radicalized’
Or even the movement around ‘radical candor’ in the workplace where we point out other people’s flaws
It’s all got a tone of harshness to it
But if you look up the word radical, a great definition you’ll see is that radical means it’s “affecting the fundamental nature of something.”
And isn’t this very related to everything we’ve been talking about in the larger Work Revolution conversation?
Surface changes are no longer enough.
We need radical changes.
We need to fundamentally alter the nature of our work systems.
And, I’ve come to believe, in order to do that, we need to fundamentally alter our own personal habits, too
This is a “healer, heal thyself” moment.
Which leads us back to radical self-care.
How do we do self-care so intently, so thoughtfully,
so consistently that it fundamentally alters our way of being?
Effective self-care is highly individualized — what it looks like for you is different than what it looks like for me
But we do know there are some common elements that seem to be unifying principles
Things like learning when to step away from my keyboard and take a break
Or noticing when I need to eat
Like learning how to breathe
Perhaps most importantly, it’s recognizing that NONE of these things really help over the long term if they’re not internalized into regular practices
Taking an afternoon break once a month isn’t going to cut it — and of course you already know this
So how do we turn these desires into new behaviors?
Well, it’s a little bit like the haircut — lots and lots and lots of tiny changes, micro-decisions, that we CHOOSE to make over and over and over
This is also related to how the future works.
You see, we don’t actually choose our future.
We choose our habits and they create our future.
So what are you choosing?
And how could you make that choice SMALLER and smaller to the point where it’s something you can actually realistically do every single day?
Because it’s these very, very small choices done consistently that help us make new futures.
And that’s radical.
See you next time.