riding bikes w brian, instagram

Self-care has been on my mind quite a bit lately, thanks to Mara and Tamarisk’s awesome Perfectly Imperfect Project, which explores real self-care. (I’m sharing my post on Monday.)

So, today, I wanted to delve a little deeper into self-care, and the many ways we can look at nourishing ourselves.

I recently came across this incredible quote in Jen Louden’s book Comfort Secrets for Busy Women: Finding Your Way When Your Life is Overflowing: “Self-nurturing is more than pampering. It is about becoming powerful.”

Wow. What an eye-opening way of looking at self-care. I’ve been thinking about Jen’s words for a few days now. And I think this is a critical question to ask ourselves when contemplating what our own self-care might look like.

In other words, how can you nurture yourself so you become powerful? 

This brings up other important questions, such as: What does power mean to you in the first place? What does it feel like? What activities help you feel powerful? What activities, attitudes and perspectives sap your power?

To me, powerful is synonymous with empowered. In other words, when I feel powerful, I feel empowered. I feel capable, confident, strong, in the moment, in my zone.

Of course, I waver. Regularly. I think most of us do.

But self-care is a process. And when we slip, we slip. And that’s perfectly OK.

It’s in those moments that we try to send compassion our way, like we would to a loved one, and return to practicing the habits that nurture us.

Self-care can become our path to feeling and being powerful (whatever that looks like for you) and to cultivating a fulfilling life.

For me, one of the main ways I feel powerful is through movement.

Still, it’s been a journey to get to this place. Throughout the years, I’ve created many damaging stories around movement. I’m not an athlete. I can’t do that. I’m too weak. 

But what I’ve realized is that while I don’t have raw talent for hitting a tennis ball, with practice, I can do push-ups, go for a long walk and build up my endurance. And, more importantly, I like it.

I like moving my body, whether that’s lifting weights, kick-boxing or riding my bike. I love the feel of my body persevering, one pedal or dumbbell, at a time.

So rewriting these stories about movement has been empowering for me. And moving my body makes me feel powerful.

This prominent part of my self-care helps me clear my mind, boost my mood and confidence, appreciate my body’s amazing abilities, soothe my anxiety, and, again, revise the disempowering stories that used to swirl in my head. On repeat.

I love the question Jen poses in her book, because it gives us another way to perceive self-care, another way to ponder what we want our lives to look like.

For me this perspective is really a game-changer. While I think pampering ourselves is important — and I’ll get into that in Monday’s post — when I think about tending to my needs and nurturing myself, I’ll keep coming back to this beautiful question: How can I nurture myself to become powerful?

How can you nurture yourself to become powerful? What does becoming powerful mean to you?