Caring Lesson 14. Self-Care & Reflective Practice
Summary of skill
- Putting on, and keeping on, your own oxygen mask—being sure this does not “drop out” because of being “too busy” or “too advanced” etc.
- Bringing self-care awareness and reflective practice to your work in Caring for Souls
- DiscussionSelf-care means attending to the four quadrants of our being: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. For spiritual helpers, who often have richly developed intuitive, psychic, and spiritual lives, it is important to notice our grounding (are we in our bodies?) and to attend to our own unmet needs, longings, fears, and desires for greater emotional and mental well-being.
Self-care is an area where it is routine for many of us who are helpers to “go unconscious.” It helps to make a commitment to attending to self-care on a regular basis, and to create a self-care plan which you review periodically, alone or with a coach, reflective practice facilitator, or other helper or peer group.
Self-care can include reflective practice, a method of “looking inward” while dialoguing with a trained facilitator. It’s dedicated time for our own learning and growth to help us digest our emotions and thoughts and to re-organize our resistance, doubts, fears, etc. into a more coherent, flowing pattern of life. It’s a “reality check” in a safe space. It brings us out of isolation and into dialogue about our own unmet needs and longings. This gives us greater vitality and aliveness and helps us be more effective and clear in offering pastoral care.
Different kinds of reflective practice: supervision is a particular focus; also can have other formats; one possibility is Peer Triangle for Co-Creative Growth, or working in small groups
Resources for reflection & discussion
- Nancy Reuben Self-Care & Self-Empowerment Through Energy Awareness
- Michael Carroll & Maria C. Gilbert, “Overview of Supervision,” On Being a Supervisee: Creating Learning Partnerships, pp. 5 – 13
- Amy Skezas, Being Present and Starting Your Peer Triangle