Amy on Self Care
Self-care isn't selfish.
Self-love isn't vain.
In fact, learning the art of self-massage could save your life.
Recently, I decided to practice what I preach and take some me-time to indulge in a deluxe manicure and pedicure. However, my heavenly leg massage didn’t last for long…
My beauty therapist discovered a lump on my shin and brought it to my attention.
A lump? That’s impossible. I perform self-care face and body rituals every night. How come I never noticed this lump before?
I felt anxious immediately. Only the day before I’d read an article about a woman who had been diagnosed with breast cancer by her doctor. She had emphasised how important it is to know your body and get regular body checks.
I was thinking all kinds of negative thoughts…
What if the lump is cancerous? What if I’m faced with a life-threatening illness?
And as every mother does, I started to think about my baby girl Rose and played out worst case scenarios…
What if I was no longer around? Who would look after her?
All kinds of disturbing thoughts raced around in my head. I’m sensitive about cancer and it triggered me. My mum’s side of the family was plagued by it. And we were my grandfather’s main source of care before his death from cancer.
Looking after my grandfather during his illness had a major impact on me and my beliefs. This, along with being brought up around holistic beauty by my mother, directed me to my path in holistic health and wellbeing.
I made an appointment to see my doctor and he advised me to book an appointment for an x-ray and ultrasound straight away.
There was a week-long waiting period. I tell you, it was the longest week of my life. During this time, what I would usually whinge and complain about didn’t seem to matter at all. I was grateful for everything I had in my life and realised how lucky I was to have my health.
Upon reflection, I made the conclusion that I was performing my rituals on ‘autopilot’. It was obvious I was only skimming over my body and slapping on skincare products.
Even though I was taking time to perform rituals, my mind was elsewhere. I wasn’t present. I was letting all the outside noise take over my me-time. I was in a hurry and couldn’t wait to get to bed.
So I asked myself this…
How can I teach self-care rituals, if I’m not truly performing them?
I delved deeper with my own spiritual practice, began to research both online and through my trusted book collection. And I came across a book called Aromatherapy written by Judith Jackson, a professional health and massage practitioner, and certified aromatherapist.
In Aromatherapy, Judith shares that self-touch will allow you to take more control over how your body feels and functions. And with a tactile picture of your body, it can make you more aware of changes when they occur, including early symptoms of potentially serious diseases.
The test results came back clear and the lump was benign.
Yet this event has had a lasting impact on me in the way I teach the art of self-care in regards to body rituals.
How so? Here are my key lessons.
Be truly grateful and appreciative of what you have in life when you have your health.
Rather than slapping body moisturiser on in two seconds, be mindful with your practice.
Devote time to explore your body, not only with your eyes but with your fingers and self-touch.
From this day forward, I truly appreciate my amazing body and what it does for me. And by being mindful of your self-love practice, it just might save your life.
Below are three website links to assist you with changes in your body such as lumps, irregular moles and so forth. It’s worth knowing this information so you can be mindful of what to look for when performing a body ritual.
+ PINK HOPE #Bright Pink Lipstick
Know your risk. Answer a simple questionnaire to help you assess your personal risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer.
+ CANCER Council Australia
A cancer-prevention plan for women. Finding cancer early improves your chances of successful treatment and long-term survival.
+ Sydney Breast Cancer Foundation
The 3-Step Breast Check Shower Card explains how to check your breasts in three easy steps. Designed to hang in your shower as a reminder to be breast aware. The 3-Step Breast Check Shower Card is available free of charge from SBCF.