Hello, soul friends! I have been trying to share more of my own personal journey and what I have learned and am currently learning. Self-care has become a HOT term where people are putting in their own opinions and expectations of what it should look like.
First off, I think that self-care should look like whatever you feel is best for you. You don't have to spend a ton of cash, time, or effort to self-care. Sometimes it can be as simple as canceling plans that don't vibe with your energy level for the day. Sometimes it is treating yourself to something that you have had your eye on. The biggest and most important factor in it being an act of self-care is that you check in with your SELF and do what feels best for YOU.
I have decided to share some of my current (and long standing) faves for skin and my own personal self-care routine, which you can read about HERE. But self-care is so much more than bath bombs, face masks, and pretty painted nails. It is those things and so much more.
My routine ebbs and flows and I don't mind that it isn't quite structured all of the time. There are weeks where I am on my self-care diligently and doing things daily, and other times I go weeks without really doing anything "special" for myself. It's a balance! And I am totally okay with it.
Are you too busy to take care of yourself? I completely understand! I work full-time (sometimes even 50 hour weeks at my day job), have clients almost nightly for this business, as well as email and Reiki clients, and have 2 kids (one in high school and one in elementary) and 2 large dogs. My partner travels a lot for work (usually for about 5 weeks at a time) so I am typically left to fend for myself. I have many roles to fulfill. Phew.... I am winded just writing all of that down.
I get it. I really, really, REALLY do!
Self-care can seem like some trivial thing to add to your list of things to do daily, but in making and carving a bit of time out for myself, I feel so much more grounded and connected. It helps me not feel so burnt out so quickly. I have done the holistic route in various things in my life. I have changed how I think, what I eat, who is around me. I have tried everything that was suggested (within reason).
I will also share other things that I do that help me feel less like a hot mess as a person. I want to discuss some other ways that I practice self-care with simple acts that bring me a lot of peace and grounding. Remember, self-care is about you. So please do what feels right for you and your current life/schedule.
Keep reading for some of my current obsessions and helpful hints in self-care!
Listening to Music
As a child, I always was drawn to music. It is a big part of my culture and I remember sitting in front of our stereo for hours listening to old records, cassettes, and CDs. Some of those songs and albums still bring me back to my childhood. I was even in band in elementary school. I loved reading sheet music, playing my clarinet, and also challenging myself to connect the music and notes.
Music is a HUGE part of my day. I have eclectic taste, and I like something from every genre. My playlists jump all over the board. So, given that music and lyrics are such an important way for my soul to express, it is also vital to how I can relax. By hearing and surrounding myself with music, I feel safe, balanced, and refreshed. There are times were I do nothing but just sit and bask in the sounds. It also revives me when cleaning, organizing, or just doing chores around my house. Who can actually sit there while some Celia Cruz or Selena is bumping? I gotta get up and shake it out!
Some of my fave types of music to relax to are Meditation music, Binaural beats, and also oldies such as classic rock (Fleetwood Mac, anyone?) or soulful music (think of Irma Thomas, Michael Kiwanuka, Leon Bridges, etc). I have even tried to create a playlist on Spotify, if you want to check that out here: Issa Mood Playlist and this Current Tunes Playlist. By surrounding my environment (especially at work), it keeps my mind focused and helps me stay relaxed. It also keeps me from stressing over whatever drama is happening around me.
What are some of your current fave songs? How does music affect you?
Journaling + Writing
I have always adored expressing myself via the written word. For some reason (perhaps my natal Mercury RX placement), I have never felt as though I could express myself very well by speaking and I have almost become afraid to really say things out loud, s they are often misconstrued or come off cold. I have always found myself in writing. There is a level of depth that I feel I can achieve by writing. Words just flow easily and without much damage in my experience this way.
Anytime I have felt alone and frustrated or angry, I usually prefer to write (or nowadays - type). It gives me an emotional freedom. I can release all that is pent up, and I don't have to physically give it to whomever it is directed at, and I also don't have to cause undue pain on another.
I also thoroughly enjoy journaling prompts. I find it to be therapeutic, and also gives me a new facet of a situation to focus on. One of my favorite things to do in my early 20's was to participate in creative writing challenges. I used to have a blog (when it was ALL the rage!), and participated in a fun project with other bloggers where we had creative prompts and we had to create a piece with the prompt. It opened me up to another side that connected me to my childhood love for weaving stories in my head. Reading, Literature, and English were always my favorite subjects in school as I so enjoyed being able to write long essays.
So one of my forms of self-care these days is writing. Even if I don't always share, I just enjoy it for the freedom it gives me and the emotional balance that is provided by something so simple.
Do you like to write or journal? If so, do you use prompts to help you or do you just write it all out?
Okay, okay... I know you have probably heard this a MILLION times, but hear me out... the hype is real. I actually kept it super simple when it comes to how I meditate. I used to listen to different led meditations, but they made me feel disconnected and like I was trying too hard - which is never the intent with meditation - but I have found an easy way that keeps it super simple for me and has been super effective for many, many years.
With meditation, the whole point is to focus on your breathing and release your mental activities in a manner that is relaxing and soothing. So, I have tried various ways to do this.
I usually start of with getting in a relaxing position in my chair, or in bed. I then just take deep (conscious) breaths. Once I feel aware of my breathe and a less tense, I breathe in deeply, and as I exhale - I imagine that the with it all of the troubles of my mind leave with it. I breathe in once more, as deeply as I can, only to exhale and picturing all of the weight I am carrying within my physical body is leaving in that breath. Finally, I take one final deep breath, and exhale this time - but focus on the burdens on my soul. I repeat this as much as necessary. Some days it only takes a few minutes, other days (hard, emotional ones), the process can take me about 15 minutes (crying spells included).
Once I feel physically and emotionally relaxed, I like to imagine being enveloped in a white light from head to toes. As this light covers me, I allow myself to imagine it spreading through my entire home and covering everything with the soothing and protective light. I then will call on my Spirit Guides and my Archangels to come and speak with me, or just allow myself to be lead by their divine guidance and assistance. Do I always request their messages? No. I try to remain receptive to whatever I may need. Doing this nightly has brought me so much peace when I rest, it centers me daily, and it also gives me a relaxing way to end the day - instead of worrying and being anxious of whatever is to come my way.
Have you ever tried to meditate? Do you enjoy meditating?
So, I am going to call all of this divination. I love to read cards, use pendulums, do self-Reiki, and also just relax and do automatic channeling and writing. You can check out my How To section on my website HERE to learn more about how to do some of this stuff yourself. I am always adding new content and trying to provide free helpful tips to anyone who is looking for advice or even just ideas on how to do things.
As with everything, please follow your own intuition and do what resonates with you the most. My way isn't the best or right way, but it is what works for me and has aided me in finding peace and most importantly - connection to myself.
This is a lot of different things, so I won't get into each one individually or give you specific examples, but I have shared what I have learned here on this site, and will continue to share what works for me and also what I have learned along the way. When I feel lost, I tune into my cards, I do my self-Reiki, and ask my Archangels to guide me through the tough spots. I love using oils and herbs to calm me and soothe me, as well as helping me bridge the gap between the divine and the physical. Feeling connected makes me feel balanced and ready to master any challenge.
Do you feel that your divination practices are a part of your self-care? What are some of your favorite divination practices?
I have a confession: I am a total bookworm. Always have been. This is probably why I love to write, as well. I have amassed quite a few books into my collection and in my lifetime. I hoard them a bit. I am a voracious reader. I recall reading Stephen King novels in junior high and all through high school. I would stay up until 2 or 3 am reading.
I love the horror and mystery genres the most for fiction, although I won't lie and say I don't own a few Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele books. I will even admit that I read the Twilight books and the Fifty Shades series. While Young Adult fiction is passable in my opinion, I prefer the 1000 page books by Stephen King. Or the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.
But as I am so busy, I usually can go months without reading and that makes me feel out of balance and grumpy. I have settled on reading at least a little bit each night. Sometimes a page or two, but it gives me some peace to have that moment to dive into a world other than my own.
I try to tackle a few books at a time (sometimes reading 3 separate books at the same time), and would challenge myself to read about 20 books a year. As I usually only have about 10 to 20 minutes of uninterrupted reading time daily, it takes me a while to get through books. So, reading has become a pleasure for me. I am currently trying to read at least one book to learn from, one to enjoy, and also one that challenges what I am doing. For example, I am re-reading How to Read the Akashic Records by Linda Howe. I am also reading The Body Thief by Anne Rice and lastly I am reading (and working through) A Course In Miracles by Helen Schucman. Now, ACMI is a beast of a book, so I touch and go, as it is literally like a bible. I have been slowly making my way through it for the last 2 years. I am not that deep into it. As I said, I take my time with things that challenge me, so I will slowly work through it.
My husband always looks at me wildly with my huge stacks of books on my nightstand, and he can't believe that I can read so many separate books simultaneously - or that I read physical books at all (#oldschool). I love it, though. He also is a techy person and has been trying to convince me to go Kindle, but I just love the tactile feeling of a book in my hands, turning the pages, and the smell. Oh, the lovely book smell! Nothing better than a rainy day to spend curled up with a good horror book, a steaming hot cup of coffee, my soft blankets, and a quiet home.
This is why reading to me is a part of my self-care game.
What books do you like to read? What are you currently reading?
Smudging + Incense
Smudging is like ALL that and a bag of chips, ya'll (lame 90's reference)! No, but on a more serious note, Smudging has become a part of my self-care. How in the world can that be? Well, I use it to energetically cleanse the space I am in, or even myself. I do it after speaking with clients, on hard days, and also about once a week as part of my weekly chores + clean up.
There are various types of ways to smudge, and my preference is using Palo Santo (from my bff Remember Love Jewelry, she literally has the best!). I love the scent and the light smoke. I used to use White Sage (and still do about once a year), but I find the smoke to be very dense and the smell is not something we enjoy in our home. I have also used sweetgrass, flowers, herbs, and other types of smudge sticks that offer varied results as far as density of smoke, smells, and also the energetic feeling left behind.
There are also mists you can buy, oils you can diffuse, and you can also use non-smoke, diffused oil methods of "smudging". I love using peppermint oil, dragon's blood, and also lavender oil. I have even used alternative methods to clear the space in my home with crystals and asking my guides to remove what is no longer beneficial.
One of my fun and fave ways to "smudge on the go" is the Witch I Love Your Hair Magic Mist. Yes, it is for hair and it is still MFing divine. I use it on my hair, my face, and my space. It smells like heaven. I have the large and mini bottles. I throw the mini in my purse and anytime there is a "Felicia" I need to say bye to, this spray comes in handy to re-balance ya girl. It has kept my hair feeling luscious, and also keeps me from losing my mind at moments.
While I smudge, I always speak my intentions into the space. You can find various smudging prayers to help you feel more aware of what you are doing. I recommend opening doors and windows to allow the smudge to carry out what no longer thrives in your home. Right now that the weather is delish here in Houston, I am taking advantage and releasing the stagnant energies in my home by smudging regularly.
What is your favorite way of smudging? Do you smudge at all?
I LOVE Nag Champa. It is like my absolute favorite incense to burn aside from this bougie one that I buy on occasion from a local metaphysical shop that I adore. If you are wondering what it is, here is the Amazon link to Esteban Paris Neroli Incense. It almost hurts me to burn it, but when I do - OMG... is it a gorgeous smell. But my tried and true incense love is Nag Champa. It just calms me down and makes me feel so zenned out.
I realize that Incense doesn't "energetically" cleanse like smudge does, but it does allow me to feel comforted and calm. I also love using crystals to bring more delish calming vibes to the space. Amethyst, Smokey Quartz, Rose Quartz, and Moonstone are some easy and gentle energetic crystals that help me feel calm and comforted by their soothing vibes.
What are some of your favorite crystals? Do you enjoy incense?
As much as I love vegging out at home, strolling through Facebook, while binge watching shows and movies on Netflix, one of my fave things to re-balance and reconnect myself is grounding. Plus, it is generally free, as I have a lot of beautiful parks nearby and a large backyard for when I am in a pinch. I can usually go in my backyard and take my shoes off and just be there in peace.
I also find that growing plants and gardening is a wonderfully rewarding and grounding experience for me. I am actually planning on doing some new planting this weekend and getting myself nice and dirty in my yard. It helps me stay focused and also put a lot of my intentions into whatever I am growing. I see my intentions like those plants and flowers, growing and sprouting and bearing rewards.
I have been lucky enough to get a chance to travel a bit with my family, and we are roadtripers. We don't fly to save ourselves money, and we enjoy driving long distances together. My husband knows that I want to get out into the national parks and hike around. We actually plan a lot of our excursions around potential (and easy) hikes we can do together. I love that we all get together and just spend a day out in nature, reveling in the beauty. Plus, it gives us time without screens, exercising, and also reconnecting with one another as a family. Sometimes just walking the trails together on a beautiful day makes me feel so grounded and connected to the pulse of life.
What are some of your favorite ways to ground? Do you like being out in nature?
Education + Learning
Earlier, I admitted to being a bookworm, and I completely mean it. I am currently taking a lot of courses online, as well as reading educational books to help me grow in various ways. I love to learn and I love the challenge of something new. I try to learn something new daily and to put that knowledge to good use. For me, learning is a beautiful journey. I love being able to master something with time and feel confident in my newly learned education. I also love sharing what I am learning with others.
Currently, I am diving back into my astrology studies, I am also taking courses through Udemy on everything from animal communication, herbal medicine, aromatherapy, cartomancy, and Reiki. They also offer other courses on just about everything. There are a lot of free courses available on their site.
I am also reading up on the Akashic Records and transit astrology. It may overwhelm others that I am in a million different directions, but my mind is used to moving at a very large pace. Not fast. Just large. I take big bites and chew on them as much as I need to. I really just enjoy gaining new information and using it in my work, or even just in my day to day life. This gives me something that allows me to tap into the curious side of myself, as well as challenging me to change into someone better. I a also so enamored with the fact that this day and age, I can learn about ANYTHING online. It is absolutely the best for this introverted lady.
What are you currently learning? Do you enjoy taking courses or reading self-help books?
Well, these are a few of the ways that I incorporate some self-care for myself that bring me peace, healing, and divine connection to myself. There are plenty of other things I do that help me find balance and support, but these are little actions I actively take to better myself and reconnect with who I am. What are some of your go-tos?
Remember, self-care is about you! At the end of the day, you can choose what works for you best! These are just things that I find helpful to me and in keeping my mental, emotional, and spiritual health aligned. I am still trying to prioritize my physical health, but that is a post for another day.
I can't wait to see your suggestions and incorporate new ways to discover new layers of myself. Thank you for being here!
Keep growing, glowing, and going.
I love you. Always. All ways.