This week I heard a brilliant expression that I have decided to co-opt:
Ferocious Self Care
I am pretty big on self-care in general and have noticed (as I'm doing The Artist's Way) that I kind of spoil myself rotten most of the time.
For instance, even though I know that wheat is the most evil substance known to man, I'm a big fan of eating cookies in the middle of the afternoon to palliate the soul, and that sort of thing. I also get consistent acupuncture, take Chinese herbs, start my day with warm lemon water, obsess about reflective journaling, practice yoga (kind of, shut up), have a fledgling daily meditation practice, and get bodywork on a regular.
So, taking care of myself is not something I think I'm particularly bad at. But taking FEROCIOUS care of myself is a whole nother matter.
Soon after I first heard this expression, I came down with a nasty head cold that totally floored me. And that's when I discovered what Ferocious Self Care really means.
It means that you cancel everything (no matter how allegedly important it may seem and how guilty you may feel for doing so and how much you truly believe that everyone in your life is counting on you and will fall apart if you don't show up... cuz guess what, you're wrong), and you go home and make beef barley soup, from scratch, and lie around in your sweats under a down comforter watching bad TV and not thinking about anything productive.
It also means you sometimes have to practice tough love with yourself so you don't get sick in the first place. That means making healthy choices, not compulsive choices.
I don't have what you'd call a tough constitution. If I had been born in the olden days I for sure would have been one of those people who died of the common cold. One day a sneeze, and the next thing... death. A tragic "she caught a chill" kind of thing.
And I am an extremely whiny sick person. I get into major self-pity downward spiral mode, fast. I'm not into the whole "power through it" thing. I roll my eyes when people say they're going to go to a hot yoga class and "sweat it out." When in doubt, I believe in sleeping it out.
Luckily, thanks to my talented acupuncturist (thank you Rebecca), my gourmet advisor at the hole (thank you Maynard), and my favorite guilty pleasure, Theraflu (thank you, pharmaceutical industry), I'm on the road to recovery.