What Is A Self-Care Support System?

Self-care is often talked about as this thing we do by ourselves - taking baths, painting our nails, etc but there’s a missing piece because care and self-care is not a solo sport. It’s communal. Enter the focus of today’s episode : the concept of a self-care support system. Tune in to learn more!

Mentioned In The Episode

Julia Cameron's book "The Artist's Way" 

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to Inner Warmup where your inner work begins. I am Taylor Elyse Morrison, creator of Inner Workout and you as always are our expert guest. Thanks for being here today. Before we get into the content, a quick couple of updates for you. The first is super exciting. There's a giveaway of three months of free coaching that is happening at Inner Workout's, sister company, Gateway Coaching. So if you are interested in kick starting your own inner work and personal development, I hope that you will head over to Gateway.Coach or to the show notes to enter. And the more you share the giveaway with other people, the more entries you have to win that three months of free coaching. So share away and sending you all of the good luck I would love for one of the Inner Warmup listeners to win it. The second thing that I want to share is that our Building Your Self Care Support System Inner Workshop is coming up so soon. If you have been on the fence about applying, I hope that this episode will be clarifying in what a self care support system is. And whether or not you could use support no pun intended, on building yours out.

So if you recall, this month's episodes are all about clarifying key Inner Workout concepts. And today, we are clarifying the concept of a self care support system. Because I mentioned it, I've talked about it sometimes, if you've been to a workshop before, you may have heard it. But my understanding is there's a lot of people who are kind of unclear on what it is. So let's start by breaking things down. So the first part is self care. You've heard me say this a million times by now, but honestly, I don't think I can say it enough. We talk about self care as listening within and responding in the most loving way possible. And then the other half of things is support. So we have self care, listening and responding with love, support. And a support system is about the reality that self care and care in general is not a solo sport. And I see so many people, so many people who identify as strong friends or a self aware over achievers who think that they can just learn about care, and then do everything themselves, the way that they are used to doing most things in their life themselves. I really want to interrupt and disrupt that pattern in your brain. And I'm constantly working to disrupt that pattern in my own brain. Because care is not a solo sport. You deserve support and connection and care in the same measure that you so generously given out to other people. So if we are combining those two concepts together, then a self care support system, if I had to make a dictionary definition of it, would be a collection of practices, partners, and products that help you listen within and respond with love across all five dimensions of well being. So your self care support system is this robust, yet flexible framework, where you have all of these support touch points for your physical dimension, your energetic, your mental and emotional, your wisdom, your bliss. I say that it is robust, but also flexible, because the elements of your self care support system will change over time. This isn't new to you, you know that we believe and it's not like it takes a leap of faith to believe this, you're changing, the world is changing. The care that you need is going to change too.

So let's break down at a high level what those three elements of a self care support system are. And remember, you'll have these across all five dimensions of well being. And I also want to speak to some of the shadow that can show up around each element of the support system. Shadows that I've seen pop up for myself, for clients, for Inner Workout community members.

So practices, simply put are the things that you do related to care. Everyone has some self care practice, even if you think you could be doing better, even if you think that you should be building out a ritual or something, there is something in your life that you do to take care of yourself as a loving response to yourself. The shadow side of the practices part of the self care support system that I hear often, is getting caught up in this Protestant work ethic. And it creates this form of care that's actually about doing. So it's like, yes, I am going to listen within and respond with love. But then all of a sudden, it turns into, I have to go to this number of workout classes to be caring for myself the right way. Or I have to journal. I'll use Morning Pages, I sometimes pick on Morning Pages, if you're familiar of with Morning Pages from the Artist's Way, Julia Cameron's work, because I hear people talk about Morning Pages a lot. And the idea is you're supposed to do three pages of free writing. That is absolutely a self care practice. And sometimes, I hear people getting so caught up in having those three pages exactly, that they miss out on how that practice is supposed to help them take care.

So yes, when we're talking about self care as listening within and responding in the most loving way possible, there's some action involved, a response is an action. But I want you to be mindful that you're not caught up in this shadow where you are so focused on doing practices, that you're losing sight of the care that they are designed to provide for you. So that is the practices element of the self care support system.

Then there's partners. So those are the people that you work with. And I see two shadow sides that are extremes of a pendulum is how I envision them. And you may have heard this idea that pride and being self deprecating are actually two sides of the same coin. That's how I'm thinking about things when it talks about partners. So the shadow side of working with a partner, before we get into the shadow side, the benefit of working with a partner is that you have support, right? You are actually making sure that there is an exchange, there is giving and receiving that you are doing a type of care that is somewhat communal, depending on what the nature of the partnership looks like. The shadow is that you can get really caught up in doing everything on your own. That's one form of ego, where you kind of just say, oh partners, I don't need them. I can do this myself. I can take this course and learn how to do this thing. I don't need to reflect with anyone else. I don't need their help. I don't need anyone's insight. I've got it, I am the self contained form of care. All I need is me. That is one side of things. I've seen it in myself. I've seen it in others, even in sneaky ways. Where people, there's such a clear entry point to ask for help. And I'll notice people jumping through hoops to avoid asking for help. The other side of the pendulum is giving too much power to the people who support you. So in one, it's like it's all about me and I have the control and I can do everything on my own. On this other spectrum, it's all about the other person. They know everything, they know best. I need to follow what they say, they are in control of my life. That's where you get into weird culty dynamics. And sometimes it isn't intentional. But I can even see in certain coaching relationships, if the coach isn't being intentional about constantly reflecting the person back to themselves and encouraging them to check in with their wisdom, you get this dynamic where the person is so focused on what that partner has to say that they lose sight of the connection that they're supposed to be building with their own wisdom.

The last piece is products, which are what you buy. One of my favorite questions to ask people, if you've ever taken an Inner Workout survey, this comes up almost every time, is to say, "What is the last self care product that you purchased?" And I love asking that question because you learn so much. You learn how that person defines self care, what feels like care for them, what's important, what they like to invest in. There's certainly value in using products to augment or to support our care. And, as you've seen in these other examples, there's also shadow to this. Especially living in this increasingly consumeristic society that sees everything as an opportunity to make money, we can get into the shadow of believing that what we seek, especially those more intangible things, can be bottled and sold. So how many times have you bought like, what comes to mind for me is makeup, have you bought a lipstick, or an eyeshadow or whatever your thing is, if you wear makeup, because you think that it is going to make you more confident, what you want is the confidence. But what the marketer sold you is that the lipstick was going to give you the confidence. It shows up so so much. And it's so sneaky. Because we think if we just have this thing, if we just spend our money in this place, it will give us what we want. And in some cases, that might be true, you might buy something that does actually support your self care, there is a one to one relationship. But me speaking from the I, I see how sometimes I get tempted into buying things that really can never deliver on the promise that I'm buying into.

The first time I started working with my self care support system, looking at all five dimensions of well being, identifying the practices and the products and the partners, I saw that there was a big gap in my partner's area. I was speaking to myself earlier, when I was talking about the shadow, and how I can get into the place of ego that tells me I can be there for everyone else, I don't necessarily need people to support me. So I was literally running a self care company, helping people take care of themselves, creating spaces, facilitating workshops, but I was doing this hyper and independence in terms of my own care. And what's been cool for me is to see that as I enter the season, where the Inner Workout book is coming out next March, there's other businesses that are in the works, I'm not only seeking support, I'm also proactively seeking support. So I'm not waiting until I feel overwhelmed and thinking, Oh, maybe I should bring someone else in, I'm deciding to bring them in right now. That's huge for me. I'm like pausing to celebrate myself in this point of growth. So as you think of these elements of your self care support system, the practices, the partners, the products, is there a type of support that's missing? Or that's less than the other types of support? Or is there a shadow that you felt like you're currently falling into? Take a couple of minutes to reflect and I'll chat with you on the other end.

Thanks for taking the time to reflect with me. If you want to dive deeper into self care support systems and specifically how you can build a self care support system, get your ticket to the Building Your Self Care Support System Masterclass. And if you join the Inner Circle, you can get 40% off the cost of that workshop. Thank you so much for your time and thank you as always for your expertise. Take care.