“To see a World in a grain of sand And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.
― William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
“Self-care” is a phrase gaining popularity lately, whether thrown around in casual conversation or used more clinically in the helping professions. It makes sense that this would have made its way into the vernacular in an over-scheduled society where we hustle from appointment to email to call to text to meeting – and too often forget our precious selves entirely. Self-care, it’s an easy thing to say, slips from the mouth like a bubble from a wand. What exactly does this loaded phrase mean though, and, more importantly, how can we put this directive into action when we scarcely find the time to eat anymore?
The antidote to a busy world is intention. What do I mean by this simple statement? Although we may not find or make the time to spend an hour luxuriating in a bath or meditating – or, dare I say, actually sitting down to eat – we can put mindful intention into our actions as we’re doing them. Caroline Casey, author of Making the Gods Work for You, offers the perspective that ritual is any action done with intention. By simply imbuing our actions with intention and mindful awareness, we can elevate our daily activities to another level. Simply put, it doesn’t add extra time to our day to really mean what we do.
The importance of intention carries even further into the products we choose – not just the intention behind our own choices but the intention behind the things we put our money, time, and energy into. By choosing to partake in events, organizations, and products that are created with integrity and intention, we are choosing to invest our precious resources of time and money wisely. This is a form of self-care.
When we infuse our actions with intention and choose products that are also created with mindful intent, we can easily elevate our daily regimen to a self-care ritual. Instead of scrubbing our face hastily and slapping on some synthetic lotion, we can gently put self-love into our skin with our thoughts and with products that come directly
from plants and are crafted with devotion. It doesn’t take an extra hour to bask in feeling divine and cared for, it just requires the intention and awareness that you deserve it.