EXTREME is not a term often associated with the idea of self-care. After all, self-care is about gentleness, tenderness, loving yourself, being nurturing, etc. People don’t often think of taking extreme action when it comes to self-care.
Why is that? Two reasons. First, people have forgotten what Extreme really means. We’ve begun to associate it with dangerous – even foolish – action sports. Of course, that’s not what it is – at least not ALL of what it is. And second, most people don’t really know what self-care looks like or feels like to them.
Let’s start with what Extreme really means. When you hear the word “extreme”, what do you think of? Mountain Dew commercials? Winter sports with people flying through the sky willy-nilly? Skydiving? Rock-climbing without ropes and harnesses? Yes, those are all ways that people use to experience “extremeness” in their lives.
What “extreme” is really all about is trying something new, doing what you’ve never done in order to have what you’ve never had, pushing your own personal limits in order to experience the fullness of life.
Extreme SELF-CARE is about doing all of that with your approach to loving yourself. What if you tried something radical and new in order to show – really demonstrate to yourself – that you love yourself? What would that be? What if you did what you’ve never done, in order to demonstrate exquisite care for yourself?
What are the personal limits you’ve set for yourself in the area of self-care? Always putting others first (if you even get to yourself at all)? Focusing on one area while neglecting another? Saying one thing, but taking actions that are opposite to that?
Extreme Self-Care is about be willing to go where you haven’t gone before, because you KNOW that when you do, it will take you somewhere else.
The second issue affecting self-care is that most people don’t really know what it looks like or feels like to them. So to do it at all would probably be extreme for many of us. Most of us haven’t had great models in our lives, or even when we do, we usually find them after they’ve “made it” and have more resources available to them, so it looks to us like self-care is easier for them than for us. Here’s a secret. The people who are extreme – and exquisite – in their self-care now, started doing it before they had the time, money, and energy to do it.
Most people think that they’ll be able to take the time, or have the resources for effective self-care once they have reached a certain level of success or enlightenment. These are the if-then’ers.
The challenge is that you always end up waiting, in part because you haven’t developed the HABIT of self-care, so even when you do have the resources, you don’t know how to do it – and you definitely don’t know how to value it.
The paradox is that the ACT of taking extreme self-care is what actually creates the reserves, or resources, to sustain extreme self-care. By embracing the concept of EXTREME Self-Care, you not only develop the habits that will produce time, space, money, etc. in your life, you also figure out what it looks like and feels like to you, so it’s easier to sustain.
What would happen if you took EXTREME care of yourself?