Taking Care of Yourself vs. Taking Good Care of Yourself

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Taking Care of Yourself vs. Taking Good Care of Yourself

I am listening to the river
as it speaks my name.
I am feeling fully present
as I aim,
…To reach the stars,
…To pierce the void,
I am listening.
-Kris King

April 1993

Over the past year, I have been dealing with a number of major life situations, like realizing that my business partner and I wanted different and conflicting things and collaborating on ending our business relationship in a way that we both felt respected and loved; deciding if it is time to go into new markets; having my teenage son drop out of school; being financially stretched and stressed; taking on full responsibility for fulfilling my own dreams; and to top it all off, realizing that I’m almost a third of the way through life! I say a third because I want to live to be at least 157 (the year 2100—I want to see what it’s like), and on May 9, I will turn 50. (Yes, please, I know I’m loved when I receive birthday cards!)

During all this time, I thought I was taking good care of myself, doing what I needed to do to stay not only sane but healthy too. Well, one of my favorite quotes is, “An unexamined life is not worth living” (Socrates), and as I started to examine this past year, I had a major insight that I would like to share with you.

Yes, every single one of the life situations that I’ve worked with this year has been resolved in a way that aligns with my deepest values, and I am proud of the results I have created with the help of all those involved. However, one of the side effects is that I’ve gained ten pounds!

As I look back, I realize that I used food to soften the edges of my fear and stress, to feel peaceful for a while. I used food to comfort and reward myself for all my hard work, telling myself that I deserved the extra indulgence. I used food to deny feeling out of control, not knowing how things would turn out. I had been taking care of myself by eating to stay calm and grounded. I didn’t plan it or think about it, I just did it unconsciously and now I realize it has been a pattern all my life.

So was I really taking good care of my “self ”? As I stayed with the question, not judging or thrashing myself, just open to information, this is what I learned.

My unconscious found a way to slow me down while my conscious mind was deeply focused on survival during change and going a million miles an hour. There were times when what and how I was eating came into my consciousness, I noticed it, and because my other demands were so strong, I dismissed the awareness. Besides eating unconsciously, I stopped taking the time to walk each day. Other things seemed more important.

As I look back, I wonder what would have happened if instead of taking care of my “self” unconsciously, I had done it consciously. And what I see is, I would have taken good care of myself. If I had made my health and well-being as high a priority as the other things that were happening, I would have eaten more consciously and found other ways to slow down and ground myself. I would have taken the time to go walking each morning to move my body and clear the cobwebs out of my brain. The only judgment I have of myself in all of this, is wondering when I’m going to remember that my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being are as important as finishing a task on time, and that one need not suffer because of the other. If my intention is to create healthy balance in my life, I will.

Now that I’ve had my time to reflect and realize, I can move from unconscious ways to care for myself to healthy, conscious ways to take good care of myself. What a miracle awareness is!

Asking ourselves the right questions and listening to our answers without judgment is taking good care of ourselves too.

So when will I remember that my well-being is actually more important than the task at hand? Definitely now.
How about you?

Reflections:

1. Looking back over past events, in times of stress, what have you done to take care of yourself that has had negative consequences?

2. When you realized what you were doing to yourself, how did you feel? And what did you do?

3. What are some new behaviors you can do consciously that will take good care of yourself?

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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2 Responses to “Taking Care of Yourself vs. Taking Good Care of Yourself”

  1. Figuring out a way to touch bases throughout the day with my life purpose, philosophy, guiding principles. If I have more frequent view of my North Star, how can I continue to act in ways that are not congruent with it?
    Nia is helping me with this project… more to do.

  2. lisa thomsen says:

    Hi Kris, its been along time. Just wanted you to know that I played your podcast today. Taking Care Of Yourself. I have been on a diet with Metabolics Reserch Center and have lost 27lbs and over 35inchs. I too had stop lisening to myself and found myself out of control with my weight. I went through alot of changes in my life too and just forgot to take care of myself. I just wanted you to know your podcast really hit home with me today. God Bless you, thanks for sharing. Lisa P.S. Do you have any thoughts on hording things or just over spending on stuff that really isn’t nessesary. I sometimes feel out of control. Like knowing I’m eating right now but I keep buying stuff I can eat later after the diet.