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Self care tools for dealing with anxiety, depression, loneliness, wanderlust, lack of motivation and more! Upcoming release of self care themed playing cards decks. 

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Self Care Solitaire blog featuring self care suggestions, clinical examples, product recommendations and playlists to help readers identify healthy routines and habits they can incorporate into their own lives

 

The "Self" in Self Care

Lauren

In preparation for Self Care Solitaire's upcoming deck, which revolves mainly around symbolism, I have been doing a lot of research on archetypal images. In his theory of the human psyche, psychologist Carl Jung establishes the clinical view of archetypes as universal themes that make up different motifs residing within each person's subconscious. He describes the Self as an archetype that is the result of unification of consciousness and unconsciousness. The Self, according to Jung, develops after the integration and acceptance of all other aspects of our personality, and allows us to feel connected not only with ourselves, but with all existence. 

Jung received criticism for referring to the Self as "God within us," but, to me, his statement makes sense. Connecting with what Jung titled the Self leads to feelings of unity, acceptance, and increased generosity. In discovering the Self, we are better able to identify with ourselves as individuals, but we are also able to fully see and understand our connection with with the universe and all other life. The Self is the idea of being whole in and of ourselves, but also belonging to and existing as part of a larger whole. Whether we call this Self, or God, or the Holy Spirit, or Love, or the Universe, this ability to find meaning in mysticism has been enriching the lives of humans since the very beginning. 

Consider ancient mystic poets, such as Rumi, Hafiz, Lao Tzu, and Lalla, who wrote about connecting with the divine through deep exploration into their own souls. If the divine is located within us, it follows then that self care is a sacred act. Sometimes, their teachings on this matter are abstract. For example, take the Lao Tzu poem below: 

How does one attain One Mind?
By untying the knots to the self.
How does one untie knots to the self?
By accessing One Mind.

Other times, these poets have straight forward and helpful insight into how to access the divine within us in a way that helps us fully care for ourselves.  At my office, my computer background is a Rumi quote set in the image of a starry sky. It says, 

Stop acting so small. You are the Universe in ecstatic motion.

Another Rumi quote that I love is:

Everything in the Universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.

According to Rumi, we both are the Universe and contain the Universe. We are a whole and a part of the whole. In our creation, we have already been provided with everything that we need. We need only to look for the divine inside ourselves for the answers that we are seeking. Read through the poems below and consider what they are communicating to you about the purpose of self care, why it's important, and why you deserve it. 

Moving Water

When you do things
from your soul,
you feel a river
moving in you,
a joy.

When actions come
from another section,
the feeling disappears

Don’t let others lead you
They may be blind
or, worse, vultures.

Reach for the rope of God

And what is that?

Putting aside self-will.
Because of willfulness
people sit in jail,
the trapped bird’s wings are tied,
fish sizzle in the skillet.
The anger of police is willfulness.

You’ve seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment
Now see the invisible.

If you could leave your selfishness,
you would see how
you’ve been torturing your soul

We are born and live inside
black water in a well.
How could we know
what an open field of sunlight is?

Don’t insist on going
where you think you want to go
Ask the way to the spring.
Your living pieces
will form a harmony.

There is a moving palace
that floats in the air
with balconies and
clear water flowing through,
infinity everywhere,
yet contained under a single tent.
— Rumi

All the Hemispheres

Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.

Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire
Chatting

While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of
You.
— Hafiz

Day Will Be Erased In Night

Day will be erased in night.
The ground’s surface will extend outward.

The new moon will be swallowed
in eclipse, and the mind in meditation

will be completely absorbed
by the Void inside it.
— Lalla

What meaning do you glean from these poems? Is there one that seems especially relevant to your self care? Please share in the comments!