STORIES OF SERVICE | Why Self-Indulgence Helps Us Serve Better

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Usually, my “Stories of Service” blog  promotes soul-centered entrepreneurs. But today, I feel compelled to expand the definition of service to include not only what we do to serve others (and the remarkable people doing it!), but also what we do to serve ourselves, to care for ourselves.

Whenever I think of self-care, I imagine my friend Tasha Ina Church. An eclectic entrepreneur with formidable dreams for women’s empowerment and her own spiritual journey (among many others), Tasha is radiant. With bright hazel eyes and a warm smile, she protects her time to practice yoga daily, to hike and bike in the luscious hills of Maui where she lives, and to savor quality time with friends and family.

Last month, wanting to embody the kind of radiance I see in Tasha, I saw my soul-based success consultant, Kim Page.  

The answer to what would replenish me involved something that would usually make me feel guilty. But now, it felt like a delicious sigh of relief: Self-indulgence. To do what I wanted to do, simply because I wanted to do it.

So often, we feel that if what we do doesn’t benefit others directly, it really isn’t worthwhile. And we continue to give, wondering why our well-intentioned do-gooding feels more like a grind and less, well, good.

We need to remember that our quality of service depends on the quality of our well-being, which requires a steady diet of pleasure for pleasure’s sake.

Which is to say, we need to indulge ourselves!

We give the most value when we make pleasure a priority.

I’m not talking about the kind of self-indulgence that empties our bank accounts or sends us into a spiral of addiction and greed. Rather, I’m talking about the simple rituals that restore the vitality, the joy, the resilience, and the deep, soulful presence that fuels our lives and service to the world.

Three weeks ago, I decided to take my commitment to self-indulgence seriously and found great deals for both Pilates and Cardio Barre. These are two forms of exercise that my body has been craving for years. And while I’ve exercised regularly for most of my adult life, nothing compares to the deep, body-balancing movements in Pilates and the vibrant, ballet-inspired challenge of Cardio Barre.

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Here I am with my creative partner, Michelle Engberg, enjoying a healthy dinner. So happy to have turned her on to Cardio Barre! I now have the added pleasure of her company during class when she can make it.

Beyond the classes themselves, the fact that I’ve invested my own time and money in doing what I love for me has gifted me an added spark of joy and stamina in everything else I do. Even the quiet car rides to and from class reinforce the bliss of “me time,” where I enjoy the company of the rising sun, sleepy streets, or even a friend who is equally in need of a little self-indulgence.

What does healthy self-indulgence look and feel like to you?

What are some affordable, realistic ways that you can incorporate more pleasure in your daily life?

No matter what type of self-indulgence feels right for you, establishing a healthy relationship with our bodies is essential.

To give ourselves the permission to truly enjoy ourselves, we need to feel at home in our physical being so we can actually feel the pleasure we want to create.

If you are a woman who wants to build a more loving relationship with your body, consider joining me at the Arizona Goddess Conference on the weekend of October 28th- October 29th in New River, Arizona. I’ll be presenting on October 28th from 2 - 3:30 pm MST on using writing as a tool for cultivating self-love and self-care.

I’m also developing workshops for all genders on this topic, so stay tuned!

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