This past weekend, I attended an Integrative Wellness and Life Coaching certification training. It was wonderful. All weekend I felt the sensation that I was in precisely the right spot at the right time. The training is where my journey took me, and it will continue towards certification. I have changed my life for the better and become a significantly happier and gentler woman. While I continue to work on myself, I am also ready and willing to help others in a more direct capacity. With this certification I will be empowered to do so. But for now, that work will continue through this site. So let’s jump in and answer the question of whether something is self-care or selfish, once and for all.
Although I am still processing the abundant knowledge I left the training with, an understanding of the concept of ecology is one of several things I have been able to immediately apply to my life. When something is ecological, there is balance in all four areas/aspects of self: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. These four areas of self apply to all areas of our lives, including the major areas of life: relationships, family, career, finances, health, self-development, and spirituality.
To live a well-balanced life, our actions must take into consideration all areas of self, and therefore all areas of life.
Imagine two women at the salon getting pedicures. One is at ease; relaxed and enjoying her self-care, flipping through People magazine. The other is uneasy, wishing the technician would hurry. “You don’t have to do that,” she says to the woman massaging her legs, despite how good it feels. “My family is waiting at home.”
The first woman considers the pedicure a necessary regular component to her self-care. The other woman feels guilty and selfish and considers the pedicure a necessary summertime inconvenience.
Is the first woman practicing self-care, or is she unknowingly selfish? Is the second woman selfish, or should she relax and enjoy some self-care? Let’s find out. First of all, selfish is defined, plain and simply, as lacking consideration for others and being concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. Each woman can discover the truth with seven questions.
1. Is this good for my relationships?
2. Is this good for my family?
3. Is this good for my career?
4. Is this good for my finances?
5. Is this good for my health?
6. Is this good for my own self-development?
7. Is this good for my spirituality?
A pedicure may be a very simple example, but it works just as well as major decisions and choices, like going back to school, relocating, or having another child.
Let’s examine the pedicure example. Is this good for my relationships? Not for the first woman. She blew off a friend in need to go get her weekly pedicure, rather than reschedule.
The second woman who is in a rush to get back to her family doesn’t realize that her getting a pedicure is actually good for her family. She’s been high strung lately and creates tension in her home. The kids are home having quality time with their dad and are happy for their Mom that she’s doing something for herself.
As for whether or not the pedicure is good for the career may be irrelevant in this example. But it often is a very important area to consider. And just for fun we’ll say that the second woman has an interview coming up and wants to look and feel her best.
As for finances, the first woman who considers her bi-weekly pedicure an absolute necessity is delinquent on her credit card bills and struggling to prioritize her finances. She doesn’t realize that $30.00 may be better spent elsewhere.
Is a pedicure good for one’s health? Sure, it’s great to have your feet cared for, assuming you don’t have any medical conditions.
As for self-development and spirituality, perhaps the pedicure doesn’t really apply.
But you can see just from these questions that the first woman maybe shouldn’t feel so entitled. She should re-evaluate her role as a friend and her priorities, particularly when it comes to her expenses. As for the second woman, hopefully she can overcome her limiting belief that self-care is selfish, and learn to relax and enjoy it.
I can apply these same questions to my weekend away in New York attending the training. Is it self-care to pursue the next step on my journey, or was it selfish to spend the money and be away for three days and spend the next two months focusing on my course?
Let’s find out:
- Is this good for my relationships? Absolutely. I came back from my weekend having learned how to listen with my entire body. I have already been given opportunities to practice this and have witnessed the benefits. There are many other benefits to my relationships, as well.
- Is this good for my family? Absolutely. My husband, Mike has a very simple philosophy: Happy Wife, Happy Life. Not only am I happier, but our communication is benefiting from what I’ve learned. As I continue to learn, I will continue to grow, and that will also benefit my entire family.
- Is it good for my career? Absolutely. This is a new pursuit and will advance my career in the direction I want it to go.
- Is this good for my finances? It could have been bad for them. But I approached my weekend away as frugally as possible. Rather than stay in the hotel for $600, I rented a room through Airbnb for $155. Rather than pay for tolls and parking, I relied on public transportation and walking. I packed my own snacks and ate almost all my meals at Whole Foods, where I could get inexpensive foods, like yogurt and a banana for breakfast.
- Is this good for my health? Considering I will be my own first client as I work my way through the course, I say yes, this pursuit is absolutely good for my health.
- Is this good for my own self-development? One hundred times YES!
- Is this good for my spirituality? One hundred times YES! Through this course, I will learn to better integrate my own spirituality into my life.
I think it’s safe to say that my going away for the weekend and taking this course is not at all selfish.
So there you have it. When faced with a decision where you’re not sure if it’s right or not, ask yourself these seven questions. Then you will know plain and simply if the decision is balanced and good for all aspects of self. And if it is, then go for it… and ENJOY!