Cheryl Richardson has written a fantastic, easy read, entitled "The Art of Extreme Self Care." Many people in our society are stressed, overworked, feel under appreciated and resentful. Are you a "yes" man/woman? Is "no" a four letter word in your world? Does giving make you feel like a good person, yet resentful when you don't feel properly acknowledged for all you do? We all have experienced this phenomenon on one form or another. Part of living a healthy, happy, balanced life is learning to put yourself first. Cheryl's book provides invaluable tools, teaching you over a twelve month period how to transform your life and practice the art of extreme self care.
In the first chapter she discusses deprivation. Readers are encouraged to really look inside themselves and ask "Where do I feel deprived?" "What do I need more of right now? Less of?" "What am I starving for?" and several other questions that encourages the reader to examine what is needed to start practicing self care. Chapter two discusses the concept of Mirror Work, and encourages readers to say "I Love You" to themselves each time they pass a mirror. I touched on this subject in my June 21 blog entry: http://existingstricky.blogspot.com/2010/06/power-of-affirmations.html
The next few chapters teach readers how to say "no" with grace, creating balance, making a "no" list of things you absolutely will not do anymore, creating a "soul-loving" space, protecting your sensitivity, caring for your body, reawakening your hidden passions, and standing up for yourself.
Chapter Five definitely hit home with me and will appeal to fellow control freaks. Have you ever watched someone help you out by performing a task, and had to hold back that "backseat driver" monster trying to claw its way out? Then, after the person leaves, "fix" what they just did? Cheryl puts it this way, "Hi, I'm General Manager of the Universe, and you need to do this my way and in my time to keep me happy." When I first started working for my Dad, I was THE office person. As things got busier, more help was needed. It took me years, and several assistants, to finally learn to let go and let people do things in their own way and in their own time. As long as it gets done, does it really matter how? This was a really difficult lesson for me, but because I learned to let go, I started working 40 hours, rather than 60 per week, I held onto help for much longer and the work environment became more fun, and shockingly, more productive. Last fall I hired a wonderful woman to take over my position in the office, so I could focus on healing and writing. She's done a fantastic job, however, she has created many new systems and in some cases has a completely different approach to getting things done. And you know what? Things are running smoother than ever and I get to spend my days writing, talking to my tumors, waking Triton, making delicious vegan meals, and practicing my knitting. I wouldn't be able to do all this if I hadn't learned to let go a bit.
The final chapter encourages readers to create an Extreme Self Care kit, essentially a toolbox that can be pulled out in moments of crisis. All in all, this is a wonderful book, filled with great tips and inspiration. I highly recommend it.