Posted on December 28th, 2016
Badass Self-Care is the radical notion that women’s needs matter.
Badass Self-Care is the knowing that you, as a woman, deserve to be healthy and happy.
Badass Self-Care is the embodiment of that knowing – the understanding of how to tap into your needs and take care of them.
I completed my first act of badass self-care when I was 16 years-old. I was in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. Initially when I tried to leave, the violence escalated. I did not tell anyone. Instead, I quietly shoved my fear and pain down, down, down so that I could be who I thought I was supposed to be – a perky, cute teenage girl. Well, thankfully I was also a really fucking smart teenage girl. I crafted a plan to leave the relationship and keep myself safe. To this day, it is one of the harder things I have done in my life. Some part of me knew that I deserved to be safe and respected, despite the many messages I received to the contrary. Messages we all receive as women – still today. The truth is it took me about a decade more of abusive relationships before I really internalized the truth that I am worthy of safety and respect.
Once my basic safety was in place, I began to learn different lessons in self-care.
My next act of badass self-care was peeing when I had to pee. Yup, I remember when I would not pee when I had to pee. My worth was so wrapped up in checking things off of a to-do list that I would not honor my body on this most basic level. At the time, I thought sacrificing my most basic needs in service of getting shit done for other people meant that I was an amazing, hardworking woman. What I know now is that ignoring my own needs left me depleted and was a disservice to myself and others. I went on to learn other lessons in this area, including taking an actual lunch break at work (gasp!), always carrying a water bottle to help me stay hydrated, and the art of taking naps.
Once my basic bodily needs were cared for, I moved on to learn another level of self-care.
My next act of badass self-care was considering what I actually wanted for my life. I was 30 years-old and I honestly had not considered what I wanted. In my defense, I had been very busy doing what I thought I was supposed to do. Checking items off the productive adult list – get a degree, get a job, secure health insurance and a retirement plan, buy a house. And let’s not forget the special, unspoken be a good woman list – don’t be too smart or loud, be sweet and accommodating but also sexy, don’t make people uncomfortable, be thin but not too thin, be an amazing mother, lover, friend, daughter, employee and on and on. In the spring of 2008, I went on a yoga retreat and came home changed. It may sound trite but it is pure truth. I politely gave back the promotion I had just been given at work and asked to move to a part-time position so I could explore my love of yoga and think about what I really wanted to do with my life. A year later I quit my job and opened up my dream wellness center in the community where I live.
Now that my basic safety, physical needs, and life’s work/ interests/ passions were cared for, I began to learn another new level of self-care.
My next act of badass self-care was learning to identify and meet my emotional/ energetic/ spiritual needs. I started creating boundaries around my work. I learned how to say no and take back my yes. I learned that I am highly sensitive and empathic and I began to understand what that meant for me in terms of my needs for self-care (so much alone time! so many salty baths!). I learned to tune into the wisdom in my body and connect with my intuition. I educated myself on my menstrual cycle and began to plan my work and social life around it. I learned to honor myself as a woman, rather than simply tolerate myself as I had been for so long.
I am describing self-care in a phase-like manner but the truth is many of these stages may be happening simultaneously and they most certainly are not achievements to be accomplished but ongoing processes to be lived. I am still in the process and learning and I plan to be for the rest of my life. Badass Self-Care is my name for this journey of knowing and valuing myself as a woman inside of this patriarchal world.
We live in a society where women are repeatedly told, implicitly and explicitly, that they are less than. Therefore, when we as women prioritize our needs we begin to shift the sociocultural context in which we exist. The personal most certainly is political.
Badass Self-Care is about reclaiming our bodies, our voices, our power.
Badass Self-Care is about opting out of systems and structures that objectify and oppress us.
Badass Self-Care is about using our rediscovered power, time, and energy to contribute to a more just world.
If you’re like me you might have an ongoing refrain in your head asking, “When are you going to get your shit together?!” Even though you may feel like you are never enough, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. It’s the system that’s broken. Let’s opt out how and where we can and work together to create change where we can’t. Because women taking care of themselves is a form of revolution.
Badass Self-Care: The Coven is a six-month group program, a sacred container to explore the concept of taking care of ourselves as women in our current world.
We will explore caring for our physical bodies. We will discuss the messages we receive from society about our bodies, including the thin-ideal, diet culture, and rape culture. We will bring awareness to the ubiquitous messages we receive about women as objects and the repercussions of those messages. We will learn about alternative ways to be in relationship with our bodies, including self-compassion, body appreciation, and intuitive eating.
Month 2: RELEASE
We will bring awareness to our external surroundings, as well as our internal dialogue. We will clear space in our homes and in our minds. We will explore the familial, social, and cultural origins of beliefs that no longer serve us.
Month 3: LISTEN
We will examine how, when, and where we have learned to discount our truth. We will learn how the voices and contributions of women have been (and still are) erased from society. We will learn to tune into our internal wisdom. We will learn to trust ourselves and our intuition.
Month 4: SPEAK
We will explore what holds us back from considering what we want, both within our personal lives and within the broader sociocultural context We will name our dreams and desires. We will allow ourselves to want.
Month 5: ACT
We will take action to support our dreams and desires. We will create sacred structure to support our visions. We will practice setting boundaries to protect our time and energy. We will discuss why these tasks can feel so challenging for women.
Month 6: HONOR
We will explore our cycles as women – the moon cycle, the menstrual cycle, and feminine archetypes. We will discuss the many ways feminine characteristics and values have been demeaned in our culture. We will dive far back into history to a time where women were revered as sacred. We will embody the truth that being feminine – cyclical and inconsistent- is a gift to be honored.
Emails (part love letter, part prompt) every Monday and Wednesday at 5am EST
A private Facebook group for connection & deeper exploration of our topics
A monthly video where I answer your questions and share stories from my badass self-care journey
One monthly group call on the second Thursday of the month at 12pm EST (first call is February 9th)
(Calls will be recorded if you can’t attend live, final call will be the first Thursday in July)
We begin on January 16, 2017 and we will circle together until July 14, 2017.
Investment: $49/month, for six consecutive months