If you’re new to self-care, the idea that you can give yourself the healing or relief you need might seem far-fetched. After all, beauty brands spend billions trying to convince us that self-care is equivalent to bath bombs, sheet masks, and body scrubs. While there’s nothing wrong with purchasing products with the intention of pampering one’s self, we should also be aware that we never need anything outside of ourselves to practice self-care.
Self-care requires receptivity to decipher the body’s wisdom and discern what it needs. As you change, your self-care strategies will adapt alongside you. This ritual helps you create a safe space in the body that you can return to when feeling overwhelmed or triggered. No items outside of yourself are required.
Time commitment: 20-30 minutes
Find a relaxing space where you will not be disturbed. Depending on your preference, this ritual can be done sitting or lying down. Get centered with a few deep and cleansing breaths.
Begin to envision a place where you feel safe, free to completely let go and release all of your fears. Maybe it’s a log cabin in the mountains, an empty library with endless shelves of books to keep you company, or an underwater cave. It can be somewhere that exists in real life or a complete figment of your imagination, depending on what feels most secure.
Once you’ve settled on the external structure of your safe space begin to visual the interior. Maybe you’d like a kitchen for cooking, a clawfoot bathtub, or a plush king-size bed. Add as many rooms and get as detailed as you like. Think about all of the comforts that allow you to relax in a space and add them to your imaginary home.
Once you’ve finished building your safe space, take a couple of minutes and get familiar with its look and feel.
Next, consider where this home can reside in your body, somewhere you can turn to for respite. Perhaps you’ll build it somewhere that associate with pleasure or nourishment, like your heart center or stomach. Maybe it feels better to put it in an area of your body that feels reliable and sturdy, like your shoulders or your feet. If it feels too triggering to reside in your body, you can build your healing home in your crown chakra, which is above your head.
After you’ve decided where you will build your home, allow yourself to settle into this area of the body. When I first did this ritual, I pictured a simple tent with a blazing campfire on a mountainside. Inside the tent was a cozy sleeping bag and everything that I would need to take care of myself. I built this home in my stomach, an area that I associate with comfort and nourishment.
Whenever I felt triggered or upset, I would picture my peaceful tent and the fire that always burns for me. Sometimes I only needed to envision myself warming my hands on the outside fire before my anxiety dissipated. Other times, I would go inside of my tent and curl up in my sleeping bag, zipping it above my head as an extra layer of security. Because this place existed within me, it was always accessible and I knew that I could rely on it whenever I needed.
Over time, as I became more comfortable existing in my body, I allowed my home to expand beyond my stomach to encompass my entire being. Eventually, I no longer needed to imagine my tent and campfire anymore and I was able to find relief simply by tuning into my body in that present moment in time.
Once you have built your home in the body, rest in this space for 10-15 minutes. Soak up the feeling of being protected and relaxed. Affirm that this place is waiting for you whenever you are in need.
Feature Image by Lauren Crow