The Self is the center around which everything turns. I remember when I first realized the significance of the profound message we hear everytime we fly in an airplane on a commercial airline: “You must put your own oxygen mask on first, before you help secure anyone else’s.” It seems obvious we should all be parenting out of this ethic. In my mind, it almost seemed like an admonishment to all the enmeshed parents to remember to take care of themselves first, at least in this one potentially life or death instance. Somewhere in the back of my mind I also thought, what if we ran a company out of this ethic? I contemplated this further by thinking, how would our whole world be if we all truly took good care of ourselves first?
This is why self-care is a founding principle for Bridging Worlds Behavioral Services, the company I founded to provide Heart-Centered ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) intervention for all families. A true Heart-Centered ABA practitioner recognizes that everything they do to assist their clients comes through themself. In order to make yourself the most effective practitioner, you must tend to your own self-care everyday. The Self is the central organ within the field of the interaction between self, client, family and community.
Body’s Needs Come First
The body is the sustainer of life and the ground to existence in this earthly plane. When we look after the body’s needs first, we become the most grown up aspect of ourself * possible. By tending to our body we ensure we have adequate rest, nurturing food, supportive sunlight, clean water, fresh air, supportive touch, sexual stimulation, and nourishing activities to feed our passions.
In addition to caring for the body, we want to care for our soul. Time in nature universally helps us to relax and be at ease. Great art also nourishes the soul. When we fill our life with music, singing, dance, acting, and visual arts, we will be forever ensouled. When we do what we love, our soul sings. By placing the heart at the center of everything we do, love becomes the center of our life and self care becomes as easy as breathing fresh clean air.
Tending to Your Home and Your Life
Making our nest a supportive environment to grow in helps us to take care of ourself. It doesn’t matter what your nest is, as long as it supports growth that gives you a stable foundation to take care of yourself and tend to your life . After that, it is serving its purposes.
The Heart is the Central Organ of Self-Care
Connecting with the truth in our heart is the essence of self care. Often there’s something going on in the heart that the mind would rather not know about. When we admit the hard truths of the heart, we can center our lives solidly in our heart. Being in a strong moment to moment connection with the heart helps you to nurture your whole being.
Authenticity is Self-Care
When we are authentic, we transparently share what is going on inside. There’s nothing we need to hide. It’s caring to let ourselves be as we are. Authenticity is the most important practice we can do to take care of ourself. When we go into a client’s home, we want to be authentically professional. Oversharing our process with those who are not meant to hold it, is not valuable for the interaction.
Self-Centered, Not Selfish
We all must live our life as the center of our experience. The self is the central point through which we experience life. Everything and everyone else is the periphery. Selfish people forget that everyone else is a center of experience as well. Self-centered people are aware of others and attune their communication to others. Taking care of others in your environment is an act of self-care. Sacrificing yourself for others is not self-care!
Grounding & Centering
We are here on this earth. The more we sense our relaxed connection with the earth, the better equipped we are to connect with others. Feeling the energy of the earth supporting us and spending time in nature helps us ground. Centering is the practice of being with our self in such a way that we feel our center or core. Meditation, prayer, chanting, and many other practices can help us center in our heart and our being throughout the day. The more grounded and centered we are in everything we do, the more effective we are as Heart-Centered ABA practitioners and human beings.
Self in Service to All
The self that has filled their own well can be in the service to all. To serve the whole is the best use of the self. When we work on behalf of the whole, we become forces of love and light in the world. May all be served by every action you engage in from the love of your true heart. Be good to yourself in every action that you do for all the days of your life and beyond.
*A note about the word “ourself.” I know it’s not currently a word in the English language, but I believe that the collective singular form of this word is an important word for our understanding of humanity. We are one and we are many. It’s important to have a way to speak about ourself in a way that is both universal and singular. When we say ourselves there’s only one reader who reads this article in any given time, so I’m speaking to the specific reader who is reading this and that’s why singular is used.
Bridging Worlds operates using Heart-Centered ABA and the Heart-Centered Operating System (HCOS), developed in partnership with Heart-Centered Revolutions (HCR), a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to forging a world that works for everyone.
For more information about HCOS, please read HCR articles and find out how you can schedule HCOS consultation and training for your business or organization on our website. Heart-Centered Revolutions has helped us grow and flourish and they can do the same for you.