Keep good company, read good books, love good things and cultivate soul and body as faithfully as you can.Louisa May Alcott
The awareness that something greater than me was working on the inside started at a very early age. Perhaps my father knew it as well when he named me Mecca. The Holy place for Muslims around the world. Before my birth dad set me apart as holy. Not bad for a teenager. However, my Puerto Rican grandmother was not having it so my name was changed to Leticia. As a child, I was raised between two very different belief systems that of a Catholic and a Muslim. I attended church and mosque as a child. It didn’t create confusion but a desire to nurture my spirit, which transcends religion. It all starts with caring for your spirit.
What is Spiritual Self-Care?
It’s important to start with a clear sense of what spiritual self-care is and of course this can be customized as you move and evolve in your understanding. I love Carley Schweet’s definition, spiritual self-care is any ritual or practice that we do to further our connection with our higher self. Your higher self is who you truly are as an individual, the real you. Your higher self is you that is disassociated from, and not influenced by, the ego or fear. Rather, this self operates from a soul-centered place that is aligned with your deepest desires. Simply stated, spiritual self-care is connecting and nurturing your higher self.
Connecting with your higher self.
Find a sacred place where you can connect with the beauty of the outdoors and disconnect from the noise of the world.
Many years ago while a seminary student I discovered that although I was there to grow as a scholar the classes I excelled in were those around the spiritual formation. How do I grow deeper and higher? One of my professors recommended Ignatius House, a spiritual retreat center located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is this sacred place that I go to steal away and surround myself with solitude and silence. Yes, I’ve spent days without a cell phone, t.v., and talking.
Create a community of like-minded people.
This increases your sphere of positivity. In order to change any behavior, we must stop drinking from the same well. I was and still am amazed at how quickly a meeting among teachers becomes a venting session. And 98.9% valid concerns. But it is difficult to establish a culture of self-care in schools because everyone is drinking from the same well and frustration is pervasive. However, there are people around that want to remain positive and live from a place of optimism. It is there that a community can be created and then can impact the larger school community. Surround yourself with people that are determined to be well from the inside out.
Creating a journal that focuses on your spiritual growth and intuition.
This has been a longtime practice of mine when engaging in the sacred text. Each morning during my devotional time I read scripture, reflect, and write what it is saying to me and how I can apply it to my life. It is easily converted into a short prayer or meditation for the day. The beauty of this practice is that it can be any sacred text, mantra, or inspirational quote. The ultimate goal is to grow spiritually and strengthen that intuition muscle. Intuition is critical to self-care because it is what allows us to become one with our bodies. Intuition warns us that our rhythm is off.
Spiritual self-care is the foundation of all self-care practices. It is foundational and yet is interdependent with all of the facets of our well being. We are so multidimensional and yet this practice doesn’t have to be cumbersome or exhausting. It is all about intentionality and making yourself a priority. My goal is to schedule 1-2 weekend spiritual retreats a year. But a retreat can be alone time at a park. Setting a calendar reminder for some journaling time or a walk for 15 minutes daily. The idea is to be intentional about your chosen practices.
Dare 2 Be Well!