The self-care series features sensitive people across the spectrum – intuitives, empaths, indigos, whatever label you might know them by – and how they practice radical self-care. Self-care is a way of keeping ourselves centered, grounded and glowing – and ready to be of service to others. We can only truly nourish the world by first nurturing ourselves.
Elyssa and I crossed paths this past year; I felt drawn to doing energy work and taking up Reiki Level 1 and I was lucky enough to have her as my Reiki Teacher! She’s vivacious, ethereal and has an angelic nature about her, and you guys, she gives such an on-point description of what self-care TRULY is. I’m super stoked she’s the very first strong & sensitive lady kicking off the series. – xx K
This may sound batty, but I find that working full time in the healing arts, means devoting practically all of my off-hours to self-care in one form or another. Here’s how it’s not crazy: I believe that we can move in our lives with an attitude of self-care, lovingly holding ourselves through it all. This does not mean being inactive and spending all day lying on a settee and and eating cacao (though sometimes it just might, yum!) this means being very present with the emotional ups and downs of your life, being very present with yourself, and choosing love as often as possible. This might mean that you move more slowly or “do” fewer things than the average New Yorker, or 21st century human. And that, I want to assure you, is A-Okay by the universe!
I’ve recently been asked questions about self-care relating to selfishness such as: “Doesn’t it feel self-indulgent to take so much time for yourself?” And you know, when I started on my healing and self-healing journey, I wasn’t sure if I deserved all of the time I wanted to take to love myself and the answer was “yes”. Around this time, I went to a women’s retreat Chris Maddox’s Wild Woman Project. When Chris and wild women start circles, they light a candle, asking that that flame nourish the flame of all women, allowing all women to awaken their wild spirits. That idea really stuck with me: when we take the time to nurture ourselves, other women receive freedom, bliss and ease. If “self-care” is a block for you, I urge you to start there. Let your self-care practice be an act of prayer for all others in the world in need of love and nurturing. Choose a cause that is your cause (for me it’s almost always about women and sexual healing), and let your work on yourself be a prayer for that place. Now my taking time for self-care is as natural, and feels as necessary as breathing.
That said and that intention set, here are my go-to regimens du jour. I would say I do most of these things almost daily, and the practices are always evolving. One thing I have learned is that the mindset of “you must do this every day” doesn’t really jibe with me. I try to move away from punishment and more towards a sense of balance and ease with all aspects of my life. It’s a challenge, but oh is it a worthwhile one to address!
Take a Bath
Water is incredible, it is the gorgeous metaphor for our emotions. Water can hold our feelings, and water can wash them away. I like to bathe in sea-salt and/or baking soda as an aura cleanser. When I do this, I ask that any energy that is not serving me or does not belong to me be released. I also make little bath tonics depending on my mood. If I’m feeling heart-heavy, for instance, I add rose petals and rose quartz crystals to the bath, and line it with candles. Bath tonics are a great chance to be creative, kind of silly, and have fun. When I drain the bath, I picture everything washing away. For a quickie, I use sea-salt in the shower.
Set an Altar and maintain your space
I currently have several altars in my home, and the one in my bedroom is extremely dear to me. On it I put objects such as crystals, images of loved ones, positive notes to self, anything that makes me feel good or reminds me of aspects in my life in need of healing. Whenever things are feeling really “off” for me, I take some time to say hi to my altar and maybe re-arrange her. Re-arranging and cleaning your physical space, creates so much room in the real world. This goes for cleaning your home too. I know it’s not fun or particularly sexy, but taking time to love up your living space is so good for your psyche and the fairies love it! I had a dear friend once tell me “Fairies don’t want to visit your mess!” Speaking of fairies, I leave a fairy altar with trinkets and chocolate by my window from time to time too, to add more magic into my life.
The summer months have been a bit stressy and taxing for many of us, and this means we are more amped up than usual. Whenever I have trouble falling asleep or just need a re-charge, I listen to one of these awesome sleep hypnosis videos I found on you-tube. This is a new practice but it’s so great. Michael Sealey is my favorite—try this one!
I never grew up “religious” or following a particular faith, but now I pray all the time. I pray to the Goddess, I pray to God, I pray to any divine beings that inspire me. Recently, I’ve been praying to the Goddess Venus and Persephone. I call in Jesus and Archangel Michael too. This is something I don’t always share openly, for fear it will be polarizing or people will think I’m woo-woo, but I long stepped out of the woo woo closet, so might as well embrace it in print! I believe that prayer changes us and prayer changes things. I love to speak my worries and hopes and dreams out-loud, to the loving presence of the divine. Often I light a candle and just whisper or shout my hopes and fears to it, asking for help. This practoce reminds me that I am not alone and has brought so many beautiful miracles into my life. It will open up your channel to spirit and to cosmic energy, and it will be life-changing. Marianne Williamson is someone I turn to often who has inspired my thoughts about prayer, her book A Return to Love is an excellent resource for this.
Turn to Others
We learn and heal in relationships. As you work on your self-care practice (and please take it slowly for there is no rush, and it may feel HUGE), know that you do not have to go it alone. You can share. If you have a soul-friend who can hold you through your ups and downs (we all always have ups and downs), I ask you to turn to him or her and share your hopes and fears and dreams. If this friend isn’t here yet, she’ll come. Just ask, ask when you pray. She will come. When the friend in need wills it, the warrior-mirror friend will come. Turn to others to turn you on to your light. Go to group healing sessions. Invest in body and energy work such as Reiki, energy healing, tarot readings, intuitive readings, whatever that little heart-light tells you to do. I promise, you are worth it. And money invested in self-care will always come back ten fold. I promise.
Thanks for reading, I love you, and I wish you so many blessings on your journey to nourish yourself. Remember, you’re giving others space to do the same! I bow to you for that.
Elyssa Jakim is a Reiki Master, Hands-on energy healer, and intuitive channel. She is the co-creator of the Numinous’s Temple of Venus (opening visitors to love/abundance/beauty) and of Brooklyn’s Fairy School (keeping kids and adults magical). Elyssa found the healing arts through an intense, lifelong study of acting: she has always been fascinated by the facets of human nature. She received her BA from Harvard University in Visual and Environmental Studies and writes for The Numinous, The Huffington Post, and Mind Body Green. For more info, check out elyssajakimwellness.com
Instagram and twitter: @elyssajakim
Dear sensitive soul, what does self-care mean to you?