“It’s okay” is at the basis of all well-being.
“It’s okay to not be okay.”— Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka’s decision to put her well-being first brought with it inevitable backlash. In our “hard-working society,” we don’t honor self-care first. It seems like pretense to most of us. A pretense to be lazy and not hard-working; a pretense to get out of being great; a pretense of entitlement; a pretense that hides our mediocrity… but do all of these pretenses really exist? Or are these all just vestiges of old precepts that we have actually outgrown – and are continuing to outgrow.
Are we evolving beyond these old staid ideas of “hard work” and the unseen brutality that often comes hand-in-hand with it?
I began writing this article awhile back. It was called, “Wanna Be Well?” and it focused on wellness and an ultra-simple self-care tool. This is all so relevant now in the face of all that’s come up (and continuing to come up) around what can be the difficult-to-hear subject of putting ourselves first.
So I am completing my love letter to you all and putting it out into the world. Hence, you’re reading these words now. This is an opportunity for us all to evolve the ways in which we relate to our birthright of love and joy. To put ease and an authentic affinity for our truest self-expression at the forefront of how we live our lives.
Heal. This word can evoke so much, and often not in the most relevant ways because it often lives in the realm of physical healing, doctors, hospitals or other healing modalities of the outer physical body.
Healing. The proposition of healing at the forefront of society is one that lives in physicality. Our bodies are what we reference when we think of what needs to heal. Except, if we’re speaking of a deeper kind of healing we must include that which is intangible. The heart and the mind.
it’s okay… really?
So where does this two-word phrase, that we use so casually in life, actually fit into the basis of well-being? Well, let’s consider this…
It’s okay means a lot of things to us.
Let’s consider all the meanings of the phrase as it already exists around us.
can we simply let go of the meanings we’ve given this simple phrase and allow for something else to be here?
There is ease available…
Incredibly enough, saying “it’s okay” to yourself can be the single most transformative and healing act you can bring to your heart. Saying “it’s okay” to yourself allows you to be however you are in a moment that might be completely overwhelming. Saying “it’s okay” to yourself about an embarrassing situation can halt your bullying of yourself into submission. Saying “it’s okay” to yourself allows ease to find its way into your mind and body in a moment of utter tension and stress. Saying “it’s okay” to yourself can open a conversation with yourself that can lead to softness in a moment when you’re making yourself wrong or being harsh or unyielding. Softness is always the beginning of well-being.
Consider the alternative of softness… In the everyday moment in which we stress, make ourselves wrong, deride ourselves with harsh words, feel humiliated in front of others and then begin our own berating inner monologue behind closed doors. There. is. another. way. However, to be effective, it must be practiced.
Let me ask you this… Is it okay for you to be human?
Not a robot that gets it all right. Not an automaton that never lets anything fall apart. Is it okay for you to be human? Is it okay for you to be an emotional being? Is it okay for you to be less than perfect (or better than your idea of perfect, depending on your point-of-view)?
If it is, then show yourself this is true.
There is so much of what we do that screams it’s not okay to be human. Not okay that you have emotions. That you really should have it all together. Not okay that you don’t know what you’re doing. That you really should be better. Not okay that you’re not strong enough, bold enough, brave enough… Not okay that you are where you are right here, right now; and not somewhere better, brighter, richer, cooler… That it’s just not okay…
Notice a theme?
Actions absolutely are richer than words when it comes to well-being.
So, practice is here. Make a reminder in your phone – I put a header in my calendar once a week (or every day) that puts me on notice of the gift I plan to give myself. And whether it’s a sweet nothing, or an actionable directive, I find my phone is the one place where my reminders work best. Try it for yourself.
Subscribe now by clicking the button below for a downloadable PDF of this simple self-care tool.
Say, “it’s okay” to yourself when your life seems to be out of control. Say, “it’s okay” to yourself when you haven’t a clue about what to do next. Say, “it’s okay” to yourself when nothing is going right and all seems to be lost. Say, “it’s okay” to yourself when you’ve lost hope. Say, “it’s okay” to yourself when you’re out of inspiration. Say, “it’s okay” to yourself to confirm that no matter what’s happening, you’re okay right here, right now, just as you are.
Are you nervous? Say, “it’s okay” to yourself that you’re having a valid emotion. Are you angry? Say, “it’s okay” to yourself as you remember that your emotions are not who you are, but a part of who you are. Are you sad? Say, “it’s okay” to yourself when your heart is broken and you allow yourself to fall apart.
no lip service though…
Putting something behind the simple two-word phrase makes all the difference. Willingness. Desire to have it work. Intention to assure yourself. Some love. You get to choose. This is your rodeo, cowperson. (Insert your own laugh track here.)
Say, “it’s okay” to yourself when your day sucks. Say, “it’s okay” to yourself when your boss is riding you. Say, “it’s okay” to yourself when you break up with a friend you love deeply. Say, “it’s okay” to yourself when your pet is in the hospital. Okay, now, you may have started to say, “Whoa there, Nelly! These are not okay with me!” Yes, I understand. I get it. Then don’t be dishonest; say instead, “it’s okay that it’s not okay” to yourself.
Take the sting out of your resistance. Saying, “it’s okay that it’s not okay” to yourself is just as powerful as the first. Because it acknowledges that you’re dealing with some emotions that are perturbing; that pull at you and want to be heard and felt; that don’t want to dissipate easily; that don’t want to be overridden.
And guess what? That’s okay.
this practice is now yours, grasshopper…
Will you make your well-being your priority? The kind of priority that supersedes what others think of you? The kind of priority that supersedes your inclination to forget all about it? Will you stop stepping over your well-being in order to “keep going,” to “keep at it,” to “plow through?” Will you heed the now faded and faint alarm bells that have been going off in your head for days, months, and in some cases, years?
Life is constantly evolving. As are we. Now’s your time to be conscious of your own healing evolution. You can do it. We’re in this together.
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