For the past two years I've been on a renewed journey of self-discovery. I had been so out of touch with myself, busily taking care of others as a distraction. I didn't want to slow down and focus on me because I didn't know what that meant or what that looked like. For so long I found joy through my labels, mother, wife, educator, sister, daughter. But who am I unrelated to those things? What do I like or want or need? I started taking more walks. Being in nature still works well for me. I bought myself flowers, took long baths, treated myself to a movie or dinner occasionally. These were all great outlets for self-care and definitely shifted me for a few days, but couldn't sustain me long term because they were stimulants..things I had to do in order to produce an effect, a feeling. Lately I've been spending more time a lone then I have in a while. I've found this to be so healing and such an act of self-love. Going inward, to reflect on who I am and why I do what I do allows me to come from a more authentic place. It also brings me more peace and clarity with regards to my healing. despite knowing the root cause of my trauma, there are so many layers that need to be uncovered. Just when I think I've arrived at a rest spot, so to speak, more is revealed to me. The healing is a catalyst for growth, the growth is a corrective action that resets me on the right path of who I am and what it is I am here for. To me this is the deeper level of self love I have been craving. It isn't as glamorous, or fun filled but it is full-filling. So full of substance and inner beauty. Connecting to self in a way that doesn't involve a reward system strips away any false need or desires that can get in the way of self-love and self-connection. Sometimes we don't even need to do shit but be! Just existing with our breath and an empty mind is freeing and allows space for a less pressure existence. Like why do we always have to be doing something in order to feel? Our society is way to focused on outcomes. Connection to self and spirit doesn't operate like that, on some time frame with measurable outcomes. You gotta be able to go deep which can be as simple as clearing your mind, or taking a walk, or meditating, or as complex as dropping everything and moving half way across the world! you will know what your soul needs and you will be able to connect with that more clearly when you have your higher self on deck leading the way.