The Declaration of You: Take care of yourself, Damnit!

"Taking Care" by Debbie Styer 2013

A few months back, I heard that Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift were doing a blog tour for their brand spanking new book, "The Declaration of You". Woo Hoo! I was so excited for them! With all the amazing changes that have happen in my life in the past couple of years I just knew that I wanted to be part of this blog tour.

This might be a bit personal but a couple of years ago, I took part in "The Declaration of You" e-course. It was so amazing. I learned so much about myself and just who I wanted to be. One of the most life altering sections for me was, "Self Care". I knew that without taking better care of myself,  I would never be able to, well, "take care of business".

I'm sure that we all try to take good care of ourselves. We know what we should do, simply be kind to yourself. It should be that easy, right?  Like everyone, I have cabinets full of lovely herbal teas to drink and tell myself I really need to start meditating, and relaxing more. I try to work out more (even a little bit helps) but sometimes the lack of time or energy zaps away my progress. I suppose, the important thing is I've tried, right? Little by little, I've seen the changes and they're good. And Yes, I'm still working on being healthier and less stressed. I think I am improving,  but it is a ongoing process. It helps to remind myself daily to count my blessings and am so thankful for great friends and family especially my amazing husband.  

But deep down in my heart, when I talk about self care I suppose I'm talking about something more than "don't forget to smell the roses". I'm talking about self love. It was something I had a bit of a disconnect with myself for much of my life. When I quit my stable but extremely dead end job nearly 3 years ago, I was very hard on myself. I was feeling pretty old (39) to be starting a new career. I was scared to death to make any wrong moves with my art. And honestly, I was really mad at myself for not starting earlier in my life. There was so much to learn and I thought I could never catch up.

So, I started the e-course. I wasn't sure what to expect but I did know that Michelle and Jessica had great positive attitudes. Before long they got me writing out all of these pent up feeling I had about myself. At first it was pretty depressing the amount of self loathing one gets when you let yourself go there. But after you look at it from a distance, it's not so scary. I kept kicking myself for not getting my work out to the world faster. I had so many regrets. I guess, I was a little lost in what my next steps would be. I found that by doing the work, something changed. I started looking at these issues as just stupid excuses (it's pretty amazing how much writing it all down helps, don't you think?)...and I was done feeling sorry for myself. So, incredible done....

I stopped looking at myself as this underachiever and someone that wasn't enough. I cried a lot too. What an epiphany! I was done with the guilt! Suddenly, I saw that I was talented, a true artist and indeed I was ready to share my art with the world...

And it happened, a few months after "The Declaration of You" course ended, I opened my first Etsy shop. Things changed, I truly began to take that self care/self love more seriously. As an artist, I have grown so much. I'm even working on my first book!  And you know what? I'm truly proud of the work I've done in the last couple of years and although there are still mountains to climb as far as a career goes, I feel a little less heavy these days. I feel happy and truly understand the need for deep self care.

And when you take care of yourself, and love who you are and what you do, you can bring amazing things (and businesses) to the world...

So take it from me, this book, which was modeled after the amazing e-course, will be truly inspiring. Michelle and Jessica know how to ask the right questions to help get you closer to the person you always imagined you could be. I highly recommend it. 

Here's a little bit from Michelle & Jessica themselves...

The Declaration of You: The Book! from Pierre François Frédéric on Vimeo.

The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s Blog Lovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. Learn more – and join us! – by clicking here.”

Join the Discussion: What have you learned from practicing more SELF CARE? What would you like to learn? What are you doing to treat yourself with loving kindness?