True Self-Care: The Search for Sisterhood
By Michelli Ramon
I wanted to give you a brilliant piece about self-care, something you’d never heard before. But as I researched, I realized, “They’ve literally heard it all before.” The luxury spas, the exotic oils, stretch labs, cryo chambers, serums, and crystals. You can lean in, you can dare greatly, and you can read books (soooo many books) on the ins, outs, how’s and why’s of caring for the Self. It seemed there was nothing new or evocative I could offer you.
Twelve hours before the article was due, I laid in my bed, defeated. I took a deep breath, placed my hand on my heart, and suddenly, like magic, I remembered there is something I can give you – not a new self-care idea, but the original self-care idea. Weighed down by hashtags and algorithms, I forgot that true self-care resides in places we already know: In our bodies, in nature, and in sisterhood.
In Our Bodies
Inhale, exhale, relax your jaw and release your shoulders. This is self-care. We are comprised of trillions of cells. These cells work together to become tissue that becomes organs that become systems. All of your body’s systems have one purpose: Your well-being. There is no greater self-care regiment than the one you created.
Take off your shoes, stand in the grass, let the sun bathe you. This is self-care. In addition to the world inside you, there is also a world around you that is committed to your care. Every woman intuitively knows that the purest love comes from Mother Nature. We like to imagine ourselves as very complex, but the truth is we are no more complicated than a tall blade of grass.
Think of your truest friend, the one you call when life is eating you alive. She is self-care. Self-care wasn’t invented by Instagram; it has radical feminist roots and has always belonged to women. The term was popularized by activists in the 1960s. As they worked to revolutionize civil rights, they learned that in order to change the world, women had to take care of themselves and, inherently, one another. Their battle cry was sisterhood: When she wins, I win.
What About Spas, Oils, Serums, and Crystals?
I read an article estimating U.S. women spent $10 billion on self-care last year, mostly on beauty and fitness. At first glance, this reads superficial. It sounds like all women want is to look better, but I see more than that. Full disclosure, I’ve spent a lot of money on beauty and fitness. I’m a big fan of facials, but I’m an even bigger fan of Melissa Stoltz, my aesthetician. She’s an angel, and when I’m with her, I feel connected. Same with Sarah who does my nails, Mayra who colors my hair, and Sissy, who would work out with me if a miracle occurred and I decided to work out again. I think that $10 billion was really a bid for connection. The spas, oils, serums and crystals – all attempts at restoring our relationship with the body, the Earth and the sisterhood.
My Wish For You
Women have never been more awake than we are right now. We are revolutionaries. Two hundred years ago, we’d be burned at the stake for the work we’re doing. We are orchestrating a bold, new future while simultaneously healing centuries of generational trauma. If ever there was a time to take care, it’s now. Everything you do for yourself, you do for me. Your self-care practice is an act of solidarity with other women, and it is as close as your next breath.
Take care, Sister
Relax your jaw.
Drop your shoulders.
Buy some flowers.
Make a playlist.
Make an old family recipe.
Splurge on fancy bedding.
Hang twinkle lights about your house.
See Melissa Stoltz about a facial.
Read a magazine about women.
Say “yes” to help.
Say “no” to fake smiling.
Eat a cupcake.
Add extra cheese.
Michelli Ramon is a clinical social worker and nationally recognized educator on mental health. Her work has been featured on a variety of media platforms, including A&E’s Emmy Award-winning program, “Intervention.” To learn more, visit www.michelliramon.com.