This month let's continue to explore and play with the idea of Sustainable Self-Care using a triple bottom line of:
- People = our desires and strategies for our Relationships and Social Connections.
- Planet =our physical and emotional care, Health & Wellness strategies.
- Profit = Spiritual; how we live a joyful life of purpose, abundance and shared reward.
This month I considered, more closely, Profit -- how our definition and measure of profit may impact our commitment to, and success with, self-care.
When I first began to explore the idea of sustainable self-care, it was a natural, easy, and instant thought that had me equate "Profit" with "Spiritual". I realize for many, this connection may not be evident. After all, spiritual is characteristic of nonmaterial things and for many, the very calculation of "profit" is the tally of the material or physical bottom line.
But, when you have met your material bottom line .. then what? In the process of focusing on material reward has your spirit paid a price? Has joy been displaced by constant motion, stress and taking care of all you want to do and accomplish? In addition to your material success, if you also measured how many joyful moments you had, how would you do? If you measured the amount of physical and emotional energy you retained as a key indicator of a sustainable profit line, how would you do?
I have always wondered; if we would shift our thinking and consider not just our physical reward but our spiritual reward, how might our energy for self-care shift? Additionally, would a joyful spirit reward us with abundant energy to pursue our passions, share our gifts, and better serve the greater good?
I have found, over the years, that I have been more "profitable," and sustained that success longer, when I was truly happy. When I connected to what brought me joy, I woke each day, ready to meet the challenges and opportunities. This same principle may be an important key to creating a sustainable commitment to self-care. When we are connected to the things that bring us more joy, we are more likely to stay motivated. A playful spirit is relaxed; energy and intuition flow easily. When our effort feels like play, creativity, courage and confidence increase and contribute to our success.
In your approach to self-care, look for ways that connect you to activities that make you happy. Even small moments of simple joy can have a big return. Also, consider how taking a small amount of time for yourself now, will serve your greater good later. Ask yourself these three questions;
What can I be whole hearted about?
What activities can you include in a self-care plan that when faced with the choice to either do, or not do, you will feel the tug that comes from knowing you will experience a high return of "happy", even "joy" from the activity?
What do I love to practice?
Studies show that masters are simply people who have practiced something for 10,000 hours or more. To sustain that level of commitment requires love, not just like. To sustain your commitment to self-care, find activities that you are excited to give your time to.
If I felt stronger, more rested, and could name the joyful moments in my day, who would share in my benefit?
If you make time for yourself, and find time to do things that bring you joy -- that care for your physical being, and renew your spirit -- you will give the best "you" to the world, and all will profit.
To have profit of spirit is to have abundance. To live joyfully sustains your energy, to live with purpose sustains your energy, to have that sustainable energy to share your gifts is to bring it Full Circle.
Connect to Joyful Living through Playful Engagement and find your most authentic healthy self.