Should I pause or keep going?
What does keeping going look like?
If I pause, how and when do I anticipate the re-start?
Last week, amidst all these questions, I had a great conversation about self care with a Zoom group of people I hardly know. Even though my vocation is helping you take care of yourself, I’ve never actually spent a full hour talking about what self care is, how we prioritize it and how it might slip through the cracks. We talked about what makes us good at taking care of ourselves and what gets in the way. This really got me thinking. Is self care something that should be goal driven? How can I be gentle with myself and also have the drive to push toward a hypothetical next-level me? I had an a-ha moment while shuffling these contradictory options around in my brain.
Maybe it’s all about RESONANCE.
What if the good stuff we associate with taking care of ourselves (physical health, joy, fitness, calm, clarity, and on and on) are really indirect, added benefits of increasing the time spent in a state of resonance? What resonates for you will be very personal and will undoubtedly change as you change—and as the times around you change.
If you are having a hard time getting excited about the things you usually do to feel grounded and calm, maybe they just aren’t resonating in this moment. Is there a little tweak you can make to your usual self care routine to get you vibrating at the right frequency? Or, maybe this strange time is not bad for trying something new—something more resonant—to support health in your mind and body.
The YouTube video that spurred this rumination on resonance described it so simply. Take a glass and tuning forks of different sizes, each tuning fork vibrating at its own frequency. When the right-sized tuning fork comes near the glass, the glass hums at the same note as the tuning fork. Resonance. Those words, ideas, and themes that get stuck in your head. Resonance. Ideas are tuning forks for the brain. Let’s find out what works as a tuning fork for the whole you–mind, body and all the rest.
I’m experimenting with letting resonance guide my self care right now. Some old stand-bys are still making me buzz, like eating a ton of home-cooked fresh veggies and keeping tabs on sugar intake. Moving my body is key for me, too, but my neighborhood streets just don’t make me reverberate inside like a verdant trail through the woods. Yesterday my friend Lua invited me to an online Zumba class. “It made me so happy when I did it for the first time that I literally cried tears of joy!” she said. Her buzz made me want to get some. I tried it today and bingo. A completely different experience than being in the woods, but my whole system hummed in frequency with the dance moves, the Latin grooves and the teacher’s good vibes.
If ever there was a time for taking care of yourself, it’s now. BUT, if ever there was a time when it’s hard to find a self care sweet spot, it’s now. I puzzle over how to find the right place on the continuum between relaxing into easy, feel-good moves and ones that require determination and self-discipline. I think I’ll let the pulse in my brain, heart and body be my guide for now. Can’t find something that vibrates your whole being? No worry. Spending time in resonance with an activity that lights up even one part of you will do a world of good.