With February being the month of  Valentine’s Day

I was excited about the opportunity there to open up the conversation about Extreme Self-Care and loving yourself first.

Have you ever run around like a mad dog on this holiday trying to find just the right gift to prove to someone that you really love them?

I think we all have. I also think many of us have run around ragged on many occasions, not just Valentine’s Day, doing everything for everyone as we watch ourselves slowly melt away or fade into the background.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.

Ahh, the Golden Rule we all want to live by, but first we ought to know what that really means.

There is an assumption in the Golden Rule, which is that you already love yourself. You cannot love anyone from a place of truth unless you love yourself first, otherwise it is not real, honest, aligned and authentic love.

It is time we take back ourselves, so the work we do each and everyday comes from a place of meaning.

Extreme Self-Care is not about doing radical things to overly pamper yourself.  NO!  Extreme Self-Care is about you being radical about your decision to take care of you and put yourself first so that you are healthy and awake as you connect with others. It involves not thinking of yourself more highly than you ought to, sure, but that doesn’t mean you place yourself on the bottom either. You cannot be any good for others if you are weak, sick, underpowered, used-up, stuck, unhappy, overworked, or walking in daily discouragement.

As a rational, loving human being you would never consider abusing another person, or an animal, or anything really. Yet so many great people abuse themselves. Somehow we think that’s OK, that it is not abuse if you do it to yourself, and it is not abuse if it’s the result of simply not paying attention.

If you wouldn’t do it to someone else, don’t do it to yourself.

Extreme Self-Care is simple. Extreme Self-Care means being extreme about embracing your responsibility to care for the only one you have total control over, and the only one you have been charged with caring for every minute of every day.

Extreme Self-Care is really about gentleness and simplicity, and loving yourself first.

I asked 25 experts (including myself) at the top of their game to share their thoughts on Extreme Self-Care, or on one aspect of it as a tribute to you on Valentine’s Day and as an impetus and motivating charge to take care of you so you will be there on may more occasions to love and encourage others!

So now let’s take a look at what these inspirational mentors, coaches, success experts, and thought-leaders want you to know to about Extreme Self-Care!

Warmly,

~Margo

 

P.S. This collaborative blog post is on a Pinterest board!

If you happen to be a Pinterest fan, go visit me there at http://pinterest.com/margodegange  and repin your favorite Extreme Self-Care tips from this blog post.  Look for the Pinterest Board names, “Our Experts Talk On Extreme Self-Care!”

Also, please SHARE this blog post through the social media icons below the post and on the left sidebar.  I would also LOVE to read your COMMENTS below! THANKS!  

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   Ann Thomas, Founder, Evolving Goddess

annWelcome to February – the month of love. Today, I want you to commit to falling in love with the most important person in the world – YOU! How? By practicing Radical Self-Love. Radical Self-Love is a practice, not a destination. It consists of four cornerstones.

Here are the four cornerstones of Radical Self-Love:

1. Connect to the Divine presence WITHIN you. There is an all-knowing, wise part of you that already has all the answers you need. Turn within!

2. Honor your body temple. One great tip is to take time during your shower to express gratitude for each part of your body.

3. Cultivate Emotional Authenticity. Give yourself time and space to check in and express your genuine emotions. As you do, you will gain clarity, freedom, and joy.

4. Master Your Mind. Like a bodyguard, stand guard at the front of your mind and make sure that you bounce any thought that causes you harm. If it makes you feel bad, then it’s a thought that is not worth having. Take the time to change it.

You have to work on EACH of the cornerstones consistently to achieve unshakable, radical, to the core self-love!

Website: http://www.EvolvingGoddess.com

Pinterest: http://www.Pinterest.com/evolvinggoddess

Twitter: http://www.Facebook.com/evolvinggoddess

 

Blaze Lazarony, Chief Visionary Officer at Blaze A Brilliant Path

blaze_lazaronyA colorful sign hangs over my desk with a quote written by me reads:

“Be Who You Love & Love Who You Be”

I’ve been a lover of inspirational quotes since I was in high school, they’ve guided me through some really dark times and inspired me to keep lighting up the world with my unique brilliance.

I encourage you to print out this quote, or search the internet for a quote that empowers you to love yourself and who you are being in this world. Allow your quote to remind you to learn to love all of you–the parts of you that are intelligent, purposeful, and sexy, as well as your quirky and weird parts too—because all of these qualities make you radiant and brilliant.

Turn on your self-love light and let it shine!

Website: http://www.BlazeABrilliantPath.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/barbaralazarony

Twitter: www.twitter.com/blazelazarony

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BlazeABrilliantPathwithBarbaraLazarony

 

Lisa Rehurek, Founder & CEO, MissSimplicity

lisa_rehurekTime is one of our most precious resources, yet we abuse our time more than any other resource that we have. We tend to think about time as something we will always need more of, something we will never quite get control of. In reality, it affects our physical and emotional health at a much deeper level than most people realize. Our lack of control on how we spend our time negatively affects our leisure activities, and increases stress and anxiety. This leads to declining emotional and physical well-being.

In order to live our most fulfilling lives, to live at the peak of happiness, we must be able to enjoy our hobbies, laugh, relax, and be present in our relationships. If we are not living at our peak potential and in complete fulfillment, we are unable to give to others at the level that we desire. So take time to do what makes you happy. Take time to be fully present in your relationships with friends and family.

Take time to love yourself, so you can be your best self for those around you.

Website: http://www.Miss-Simplicity.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/managemytime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/misssimplicity

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MissSimplicity

 

Noni Boon, Graphic Designer + Life Designer

noni_boonLearning to Love Myself

I was not born loving myself. It is something I have come to learn. It started of as inkling and then became a need. I grew to love myself as I achieved goals and came to realise that I could rely on myself. I often take myself on a date and now I really enjoy my own company. In fact, I crave my own quiet time, especially after having a lot of contact with other people. I have taken the time to really get to know my likes, dislikes, passions, desires and every minute detail about myself.

Knowing myself better helps me to love myself and accept myself for who I am. I am intimately familiar with my weaknesses as well as my strengths, my light as well as my shadow. I have grown into being comfortable and happy with myself. May I suggest that you spend the time getting to know yourself so that you can begin to have a fulfilling relationship with yourself? It’s worth the time and effort. Embrace every aspect of yourself. Laugh at yourself. Feel proud of yourself. Commit to yourself and no matter what happens, depend on yourself. When push comes to shove, you are all that you have got!

Website: http://www.bidesignco.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bidesignco

 

Stacy Nelson, Coach at LivingImPerfect & Founder iCoachNetwork  

I’m listening to my client rumble and grumble on the other end of the line. Every little thing about her current launch is driving her over the edge and by the way, her husband didn’t even do the dishes yesterday like he said he would and I can tell that I’m about to lose control of the coaching session unless I end the ‘poor me’ routine. She’s having one of those moments where the little stuff is overwhelming and becomes a completely insurmountable obstacle. And so I repeat to her my mantra – the ones my clients and friends know by heart – “Your car won’t run without gas. How empty is your gauge right now?”. And after a long pause, she gets it. In that moment, the best thing for her and her launch isn’t to power through and keep going, it is to step away and make a coffee date with a girlfriend.

If you are an Entrepreneur then your business is not separate from your life and from who you are. Everything about you is reflected in what you’re putting out into the world and in fact the success of your business depends on you having a full tank all of the time. People respond to other people when they are happy and fulfilled. They like happy people and want to be around them, buy from them and be like them. If you’re stressed out and overwhelmed people will feel that (even if you’re pretending to be happy) and you will not be their go-to person. When you practice self care every day as part of your life, you are able to approach your business activities from a place of abundance and joy and your clients will love you for it.

Website: http://www.LivingImPerfect.com

Website: http://www.iCoachNetwork.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/stacynelson

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/StacyNelson

Facebook: http://www.facebook/LivingImPerfect

 

Dr. Anna Garrett, Chief Mojo Officer

anna_garrett___Where are you on your to-do list?

Top, bottom, nowhere in sight?

Women by nature tend to be givers. And they give until there is nothing left. They believe that self-care is selfish, when nothing could be further from the truth.

When we don’t fill our own wells, we have nothing to give to others.

If you’re not on your to-do list, start with baby steps to create a new way of doing things. Try giving yourself 30 minutes a day to do whatever will make your heart sing in that amount of time. Read, take a walk, meditate, soak in a hot tub…whatever. Just make sure that you schedule it and that everyone in your life knows that you are putting up a big “DO NOT DISTURB” sign during that time. Enjoy!

Website: http://www.drannagarrett.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/adgarrett1

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/drannagarrettt/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drannagarrett

 

Steve Gutzler, Founder and President of Leadership Quest  

steve_gutzlerLet’s face it,  leaders are people lovers and givers at heart,  and if they’re not careful they can give at a level that is unsustainable.

That was my fatal flaw two decades ago as I wrestled with a blood disorder that nearly took me out of the leadership game.

The experience taught me not to neglect getting revitalizing sleep, enjoying recreation, fueling myself with wise nutrition, and getting regular consistent exercise.

My pace now resembles more of a walk than a sprint, and God willing,  I’ll be here for at least a couple more strong decades!

Website: http://www.SteveGutzler.com

Pinterest: http://www.Pinterest.com/Stevegutzler

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/SteveGutzler

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SteveGutzlerLeadershipQuest

 

Christine Marmoy, MBA, Magnetic Marketing Mentor & Dream Team Designer for Women Entrepreneurs

christine_marmoyLove is The Key

No matter how professional, dedicated and driven you are, there is one element you cannot dismiss without taking the risk of losing the reason why you are so motivated to begin with. You cannot expect to run a successful business, live a fulfilling life without taking care of yourself first.

Taking care of myself came under the form of love. For me love was the key. Loving myself enough to be willing to give myself some time, give my business a drastic makeover and give my environment the boot.

1. Give myself some time

The notion of vacation was really not clear in my head or in my calendar, however this year it became a priority. So when I say I’m off, it shows in my calendar and my computer is turned off. My ‘me’ time is schedule just like any other appointments because I’m that worth it.

2. Give my business a drastic makeover

Since 2012 but even more this year, everything I do under the name of my business has only one drive: I must love what I do at 100% otherwise I don’t even think about it. Every business decision goes through my ‘lovameter’.

3. Give my environment the boot

I used to hate where I was living, the lack of city life, the people, the cold, everything. End of 2012 we moved to Spain in a very ‘Paradise’ like place….I have it all to be happy: sun, blue sky, beach, city life….

The bottom line is that you call the shot. But remember that you are the one running the show and if you can’t run anymore, the show dies. Get into the habit of scheduling time for you, listen to your body and just do what you love to do….life is too short.

Website: http://www.CoachandSuccess.com

Website: http://www.TheWomensEdgeMag.com

Pinterest: http://www.Pinterest.com/ChristineMarmoy

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/CoachandSuccess

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/WomensEdgeMag

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/CoachingandSuccess

 

Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & Wine Educator, The Wine Key

charlotteThe moment you feel like throwing in the towel, giving up and booking a one-way ticket to a tropical island, is the moment you should sit still, be silent and stop thinking.

Instead of printing that boarding pass, grab your favorite book, watch your favorite movie, meditate, soak in a bubble bath, hug a teddy bear, and sip your favorite wine. It doesn’t matter what it is that comforts you. Just give yourself a timeout, much like when we were kids. Get lost in the moment. This will serve as an opportunity to regroup and to feel whatever it is we need to feel.

Giving ourselves a break and getting a good night’s sleep brings a sense of renewal and provides a fresh mind to create solutions to the problems which had us throwing towels around in the first place. Remember, each day we get a fresh start and by frequently hitting the pause button, (and perhaps indulging in some wine), we can show up refreshed and less stressed which will better prepare us for the day.

Website: http://www.the-wine-key.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/chipperc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWineKey

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheWineKey

 

Patty Lennon, Life Coach, CEO of Mom Gets A Life  

patty_manning_lennonWhat does it even mean to love yourself?  That was a question that floated around my head for years. As a self help addict I had read every book out there on how to improve your life and there was almost always a reference to “self-love” but I never quite got it. That was until one day I heard Cheryl Richardson ask “Do you have your own back?” and all of the sudden self-care and self-love came into crystal clear focus. Extreme self care means being relentless about having your own back. We teach the world how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves. If we want to feel safe and loved and have an abundant life we must first be willing to be there 150% for ourselves first. Once we hold that attitude the “what” we need to do to care for ourselves become obvious.”

Website: http://www.MomGetsALife.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pattylennon/

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/momgetsalife

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/momgetsalife

 

Christine Arylo, Best-selling author of ‘Choosing ME Before WE’ and ‘The Self-Love Handbook Madly in Love with ME: The Daring Adventure of Becoming Your Own Best Friend’

christine-aryloImagine what your life would be like from this day forward if in the moments when your inner critic wanted to tear you down, in the times you got scared to go for your dreams, or in the instances when you felt exhausted and needed a rest, you were able to wrap your arms around yourself, and give yourself permission to do exactly what you needed – without guilt, fear or judgment. This is what is possible when you make the choice to love yourself unconditionally and as a result choose to show up as a best friend, no matter what. A daring adventure indeed, but the only way really to live – in love, with yourself.

 

Website: http://www.christinearylo.com

Website: http://www.madlyinlovewithme.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/christinearylo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristineArylo

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/christine.arylo

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MadlyInLoveWithMe?ref=hl

 

Margo DeGange, M.Ed., Business & Lifestyle Designer,  Author, Speaker, Founder of Women of Splendor.

margoWe all know it, in life, in business, and in terms of caring for and loving self, the things that cause us to flourish,  succeed, and prosper are so simple, we almost miss them!

Our lives are busy, and we have many roles and more than we care to think about in terms of responsibilities. It is so easy to neglect ourselves. When we notice we are doing so, it’s time to reign it in.

My son Ryan’s girlfriend Danielle said something to me a while back when I was seeking to change a few things in my diet. She said, “It’s not about taking away. It’s about adding”!

That is unusually wise advice for a girl just beginning her twenties, but it is some of the wisest advice I ever received!

I have thought about what she said so many times, and in so many areas of life. Instead of looking to get rid of what I don’t want, how about if i simply add what I do want? What a refreshing re-focus!

Several years ago I put together a list that for me included everything I needed in my life to live well and to nurture myself. If all of these things were a part of my life on a regular basis (not just now and then), I would really feel healthy and whole.  It was really a self-care list, which I added to over time!  I am sharing it with you here!

As you look at the list and perhaps consider embracing it as a guidepost for your own self -care and wellness, keeping in mind Danielle’s words for EACH of the categories on the list, “It’s not about taking away. It’s about adding”!

When, where and how can you ADD into your life each one of the 14 items on the list? When where and how can you ADD greater quality, more variety, or richer nuances to each of those areas as well?

1. Fresh Air, Sunshine & Nature

2. Water & Hydration

3. Movement, Exercise & Physical Touch

4. Healthy Eating & Nutrition

5. Rest & Sleep

6. Prayer & Mediation

7. Love & Friendships

8. Service & Community

9. Creativity  & Artistic Outlet

10. Knowledge, Wisdom & Intellectual Stimulation

11. Pleasing & Supportive Interior Environments

12. Fun, Humor & Adventure

13. Spiritual Growth

14. Meaningful Work

 

Website: http://www.MargoDeGange.com

Website: http://www.WomenOfSplendor.com

Pinterest: http://www.Pinterest.com/MargoDeGange

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MargoDeGange

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/YourBusinessCoach

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/WomenOfSplendor

 

Beth Schneider Wachner,  CEO of  Process Prodigy

bethTo me self care is about so much more than the occasional massage. It’s not just about those occasional things you do for yourself, it’s about the bigger picture. It’s about deciding what’s important and determining how you want to live your life. Then it’s about creating that situation on a day-to-day basis so self care just becomes part of your routine.

Start by deciding what’s important to you. Is it spending time with your family, cooking, creating a passion driven business, doing yoga every day? Is it having a beauty routine that includes regular massages, is it travel, is it your spiritual life? Is it other things? Is it all of these things? Once you decide what you want, you can design your life to include all the things that matter most…and that’s the ultimate self care.

Website: http://www.ProcessProdigy.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/processprodigy

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/processprodigy

 

Stacie Jensen, Image Consultant and Co-Founder of Only 1 You

stacie_jensenGo ahead be selfish. You deserve it!

Giving your best to someone, starts with giving your best to #1-YOU!  There are endless ways to do so, that don’t take a lot of time, money or even, thought!

Here are few ways to get you started:

#1: Tea. Ahhh tea…what a wonderful way to relax, calm your body, mind & spirit and just be. 15 minutes and you can finish a soothing cup of tea and be on your way – be sure to drink one that has an inspirational saying on the tea bag tag too! To me, Tea stands for Take Enough Always.

#2: Read. Ahhh reading…another perfect way to fill your mind with new things – take 15 minutes at the beginning of each day to read something positive/inspirational, a chapter from a classic story, a children’s story – you will be glad you did and will find it hard to stop at 15 minutes

#3: Facial. Ahhh Facial, nothing better and you can do it yourself! There are many products out there and recipes to make wonderful facials from products in your kitchen – take the time, it will cleanse and refresh you! 15 minutes and you are done!

#4: Smile. Ahhh smile….it’s what you should do when you wake up and before you lay down to sleep. Every time you look in the mirror, smile at YOU. Smile at someone you don’t know just smile. It is magical and is the simplest way to change your mood and your day. S M I L E!

I will stop here for now…..are you smiling still?

Website: http://www.only1youexpo.com

Pinterest: http://www.Pinterest.com

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MikiStrong

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com

 

Dawn Falcone, Organizing and Design Expert

dawn_falconeGetting organized is a top New Year’s Resolution, but it’s a process that takes time and commitment to tackle. I always encourage my clients to begin with “baby steps” to clear away the clutter, but, before you dive in and start purging a kitchen cabinet – stop! Let’s shift the focus from the stuff to you. I want to you to begin by finding one small area in your home to create your very own recharging station. It can be the corner of your home office or bedroom, heck, it can be your laundry room.

Clear the clutter out of this area. Place something of beauty in the space like a piece of art, a printout of an inspirational quote or your favorite vase with flowers. Add something comfy to sit on – a small chair or floor pillows and put on mood lighting (floor lamp with a dimmer or candles). This is now your spot to recharge. And it’s truly YOURS. Yes, that means kids (and partner) free. Go here at the end of a long day to sit and reflect. Go here to set your intentions for the next day. Go here to regroup, drink a cup of tea, read a book, journal or make your to do list. Give yourself a daily timeout. This space can become your haven while you slowly work on conquering the chaos in other areas of your home and life.

Website: http://dawnfalconelifestyles.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DawnFalcone

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DawnFalconeLifestyles?ref=ts&fref=ts

 

Sarah DeGange, Cosmetologist, Proof-Reader, Anime Cartoonist

sarah_degangeThe Social Media Seduction
 
Social media has its charms and it can easily seduce us. Online, we can meet and greet without much risk, show our friends exactly what we think they want to see, and decorate our own personal cyber-spaces as if they were rooms in our homes. We’ve FINALLY discovered a place where our image and reputation is totally in OUR HANDS to control! We can post the enviable vacation, the perfect family, and all of our many accomplishments, without giving a clue about the disappointments or the struggles along the way.  So we’re HOOKED!

Online we have easy access to people with a low level of commitment! If you need advice on an article you’re writing, that brilliant colleague is only a click away. You can get a little help without a long conversation. Stuck at a family reunion God forbid, and forced to catch up for an entire weekend? Open that iPad or iPhone and you’re off the hook.  Who needs live relationships when we can get away with a “like” and an @reply a few times a day?

Social media has always kind of bugged me.  I grew up witnessing the explosion of the Internet, and it’s actually not social media itself, but the grand facade of it all that bothers my spirit most. A disturbing trend I’ve noticed is the obsessive need to include others in everything that’s happening in our lives. At what point do we recognize that life will zoom right past us if all our grand experiences are accompanied by a blinking red light?

Being 21 years old, the sweaty palms of my high school experience have only just begun to dry. So I can tell you first-hand that sites like Facebook and Twitter are just like being enrolled in one big high school, and it doesn’t matter if you’re online for business or personal reasons. Life just shouldn’t be a popularity contest or a perfection campaign. It has to be deeper and more authentic than that!

Social media is fun, even useful, but there comes a point when too much is not a good thing.  If your head is always peering at the screen, you sort of miss something quite important all around you. You miss the essence of life, and good self-care means you have to be connected with the essence of life!
 
OK, so how do we practice good social media self-care? Here are some guidelines. Focus on the importance of staying genuine! Be authentic, and don’t take it all so seriously. Then and only then can your message of co-caring get through to people over cyber space.

Be balanced! Have both an online and an offline approach. Don’t neglect face-to-face connections in your personal life and with your work. Although that door-to-door salesman is long gone, I find it refreshing to see anyone still finding opportunities to hand out their business card. And don’t forget that people talk to people. Being a cosmetologist, I was taught in school about the importance of the word-of-mouth clientele. And I saw its incredible results for myself. Ask any hairdresser and they’ll assure you that it’s their #1 form of advertisement. Never underestimate the power of real time. It’s much easier for clients to feel your potency with physical energy than through a cold, buzzing screen.
 
In a self-care nutshell, don’t abuse social media! Use it as a helpful tool, and reject it as a way to get the mass approval of others. Give yourself a reasonable time limit for the type of work you do online, and allow others to hold you to it. Spend more time investing in self-care outside of the online world. Kick your feet up with a carefully made snack and a great book. Swing on a swing at a local park. Remind yourself how awesome YOU are. Then take a stunning picture of yourself and hang it up in your own office. The simple bliss you find in the physical world, rather than the virtual world, may surprise you!

Website:  Not!

Twitter:  Deleted!

Facebook: Erased!

 

Lori Lynn Smith, The Passion Diva 

lori_lynn_smithTo love one-self is the beginning of a lifelong romance. ~ Oscar Wilde

Losing touch with the thoughts in your head? Feeling like you are going at a frantic pace? Not remembering the last time you had time alone? It is definitely time for an Extreme-Self Care retreat!

We could easily spend 30, 40 minutes or 30 years, feeling guilty about wanting… no NEEDING space for ourselves as women we are genetically compelled to nurture others. Which is fine, great, even noble, but we need to allow ourselves the time and space to re-energize and recharge we are just not emotionally available if we do not have love and compassion filling our hearts and souls.

So what is a self-care retreat? It can be as simple as spending an afternoon at home alone with uninterrupted time to do whatever you like. Or it could be a weekend away in a mountain cabin by a babbling creek, there where is not as important as the space. Time space and physical space; time enough to quiet your mind and your ego, time to be alone with your own inner voice and inner guidance, physical space that allows you to quickly feel comfortable and connected to the universe.

Your only goal for this retreat time is to FEEL joy and inner peace. When you make yourself and your practice of extreme self care a priority you allow for a constant connection to your personal inner source of personal compassion that flows to every you know and everyone you touch.

Website:  http://www.sacredearthpartners.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/thepassiondiva

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lorilynnsmith

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lori.smith

 

Nancy Meadows,  Lifestyle Interior Designer, Certified Interior Environment Coach, Owner of Nancy Meadows Design and Consulting

nancySelf-Care and Why it’s so Vital for Women

Why is it that as women, self-care ends up at the bottom of the 2-do list, if it’s on the list at all. It seems we’re genetically programmed to take care of all others first. Then and only then do we allow ourselves to think of “me.” It becomes a problem, both physically, emotionally, and spiritually, when we never, or rarely, get our turn. As women, we tend to feel guilty, selfish, or vain when we put ourselves before others. Well I say to hell with that! One benefit of getting older is the wisdom of knowing that if our emotional well is not filled regularly, there is nothing of real value to give anyone, even ourselves…everyone loses.

So here are a few suggestions to keep you feeling fully alive:

1)  Take time throughout the day to renew yourself. Take a walk, take a break from your phone and computer, read something inspirational, take slow deep Zen breaths. Take 5 seconds to inhale in while saying “I am… and 5 seconds exhaling saying in your mind “well, happy, calm” or anything you wish that’s positive. It really works and can be done anytime or anywhere.

2)  Plan one day a month for yourself and play. Treat yourself to something you want to do. Anything that allows you to retreat from your daily life. Mark this day on your calender so you’ll be sure to do it. You’re making an appointment with and for yourself.

3)  Bring beauty into your life; it’s healing. Engage all of your senses. Think color, texture, fresh flowers, anything of nature, aromatherapy using scents like Sandalwood or Lavender, relaxing music and the soft tinkle of a water fountain.

4) Laugh everyday.

5) Take time to dream.

P.S. If all else fails, enjoy a great glass of wine!    

 

Lillian Ogbogoh, The Goddess Creator

Extreme Self-Care An Extreme Act of Self-Love!

lillianIn our daily lives as women we have adopted, taken on board an idea that we are the main care givers in the relationships we have, so we spend most of our time wearing our many hats, from Business owner, CEO, Star employee, wife, mother, girlfriend, lover and best friend. This translates down to advocate, lawyer, bottle washer, cook, monster detector, Storyteller, Negotiator, Sexual and Sensual Goddess, and that ear that listens and the hands that heals, all rolled into one.  This often leaves us with very little time to nurture and care for the most neglected person in your life and I’m talking about you!

We are often taught that putting your needs before others is selfish, to that I say pish posh, this is so not true. Self- Care is an act of love and survival. So here are my two tips for extreme self-care.

Tip # 1.  Put Yourself On The List: We as women are great at generating lists for all and sundry, from the never ending to do lists, to our perfectly laid out shopping lists. When we check these overwhelming lists of ours, what we desire the most just does not feature on them and in some extreme cases, our lists are all about other people and we barely make the top 30 things to be done. It’s time to put you on the list. When I think of this, my mind skips to the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where he skips school and creates a day of magic and mayhem. So it’s time to skip your everyday to do list and play hooky. Call up that friend who is your fellow mischief maker and go and have some fun. Go to that art exhibition that you heard about and had so wanted to go to but you just could not make the time. Have a spa break during a week day. My personal favorite is taking a bath and just making it a ritual, nothing says self-indulgence like a long hot soak during the middle of the day. I’m talking about a bath that Cleopatra would have approved of, fine you may not be able to get the asses’ milk or honey but you create your own sanctuary. Unearth that desire that you have left in the dark for too long and put it into action.

Tip #2.   Say No! This is a biggie for self-care. Many of us women have this serious condition where we can’t say no to certain requests from our nearest and dearest as well as colleagues, employer and clients. I’m also talking about you saying no to yourself when you are attempting to put more things on your already full plates. This is not about refusing to help others or be there for friends. It’s about being conscious, that saying yes to that request, will be taking time away from your own pressing needs of nurturing you. Be honest with yourself and others that if you said yes, that decision will leave you feeling resentful, exhausted and will bring a sense of frustration to your own life. Being honest and saying no at this point is the honorable and selfless thing to do because if you took on that request and did it you will be doing it with all the wrong energy and intentions.

So these are my two tips for taking that time to nurture and care for that person that is usually last on the list and is so exhausted from the many hats she is wearing.

Unbridled Joy and Brilliance!

Website: http://www.lillianogbogoh.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/goddesslillian

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LillianOgbogoh

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PhenomenalGoddess

 

Lisa Montanaro, Productivity Consultant, Success Coach, Business Strategist, Speaker, Author

lisaJournal Writing as a Form of Self-Care

To me, journal writing is one of the best forms of self-care. My journal has always been a safe haven to work through my desires, dreams, problems, obstacles, challenges, and goals. Journaling is a great way to dialogue with yourself, and often leads to powerful breakthroughs. There is something magical that happens when you put words down on paper. Words are powerful in and of themselves. But writing down words is even more powerful! I received my first journal as a gift when I was eight years old. I have filled countless journals since then, and the act of journaling remains an important one to me up until this day. So think of a journal as a gift to yourself.

For years, I wrote daily. But now I write whenever I want, for however long I want, and in whichever format I want (see a pattern here?). Julia Cameron advocates writing “morning pages” in her book The Artists Way. I did morning pages for years, and liked how it seemed to help me look forward in my writing, as opposed to when I wrote in the evenings, which felt more like I was looking backward and reporting on past events. But you should write whenever it is convenient for you to carve out the time.

In fact, as you have probably surmised by now, everything about my journal writing experience is positive. There is no Must or Should – no rules to follow. I give myself permission to let it flow when I want and how I want. In this regard, my journal writing has always been a release for me. If you keep a journal, I hope you continue to enjoy the process. If you haven’t tried journal writing yet, give it a chance. You may love it. I know I do. And it is a wonderful gift of self-care to give to yourself. You deserve it.

Website: http://www.lisamontanaro.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lisamontanaro

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/LisaMontanaro

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lisamontanaro

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LMOrganizingSolutions 

 

Aime Hutton, Canadian Ambassador for Freedom & Empowerment Teen Campaign 

aime_huttonWhen was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and said to yourself  “I love you” , to look past your scars and what you look like on the outside and truly go inward, loving yourself where you are now in this journey and dance called life? Do you love your body? Do you love the way you look? It’s time to love yourself as you are now.

Here’s an activity I invite you to consider doing. Put on a soft sensual piece of music and slowly start to sway to it. Remember to breathe……Use your own hands. Run them from the top of your head down your body all the way to your toes and press love into your skin. Take your time, use the entire 3 minutes of the song. Whisper to yourself “I love you” as you do it. Make sure you get every inch of your skin. During the 3 minutes repeat it over and over again, going up and down your body in a loving way.

Website: http://www.wondergirlscamp.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/aimeh

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AwakeningGoddes

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aimehutton

 

Sandra Conway, Independent Brand Partner for Nerium Int’l Skincare 

sandy_c___Love What Is Precious!

Love what is precious and that includes you!

I’m sure you are wondering, but how can I do this?  It it starts with guarding your heart. Your heart includes your eyes, ears, soul, and everything that makes you who you are!

First of all, you need to love yourself so much that you guard your eyes. Your eyes are the windows to the soul. Pay attention to what you see at all times. Make sure the things you view are kind, lovely, precious, and positive. If you are viewing negative and destructive behavior, you are not taking care of what is precious! There is a lot that is negative in this world, but make a conscious decision to stay away from it. Don’t spend anytime reading negative material or watching negative shows. Only read and watch what is beneficial to the soul. Those things should be positive, uplifting, encouraging, and kind. Guard what is precious and that is you!

Next, love yourself so much that you guard the ears. Pay attention to what you are listening to in music, news reports, and conversations. Make sure the things you are allowing in are beautiful, kind, loving, encouraging and positive. If you are listening to things that are negative, violent, and destructive, you are not taking care of what is precious. Love what is precious and that is you!

Last, but not least guard your environment! You have a choice about where you go, who you are with, and what you allow into your world. Love yourself so much that you protect your world! If you are around people who are negative and bring you down, get rid of those people in your life. Don’t allow drama in! Get rid of the drama and maintain a peaceful existence. Only allow true friends into your world! These are people who will love, encourage, and support you! Hang around people who are world changers and you will become a world changer! Choose to be with people who are reaching for the stars and you will want to reach for the stars too! Like imitates like! Love yourself so much that you guard the place where you live! Your world is precious!

Remember, you are precious! Guard, protect and love yourself so much! Keep the bad out and only allow the good in! Love what is precious and that my friend is you!

Aloha from Maui!

Website: www.sandycmaui.nerium.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sandycmaui

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/sandycmaui

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MauiSkincare

 

Suzette Mariel, Producer, PR Strategist, Media Stylist     

suzette_marielPay yourself first

There are a million different things that pull at your energy everyday and all of them seem to need your undivided attention. So how do you take care of everything and still honor yourself? The answer is simple… pay yourself first. If you pay yourself first then you have something you can withdraw. It really is that simple.

Paying yourself doesn’t have to mean money, it can mean giving yourself the first share of energy in your day, or the first taste of the chocolate cupcakes you had to make, or even a simple smile in the mirror. In today’s fast paced world, giving away all of your energy means that you aren’t honoring yourself and treating yourself with the special attention you deserve. We give of ourselves with reckless abandon for our family and friends; we too deserve a generous dose of happy payments.

Be undeniably ruthless with taking what you need from yourself FIRST!

Websitte: http://www.suzettemariel.com

Pinterest: http://www.Pinterest.com/suzettemariel

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/suzettemariel

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/Mariel.Suzette   

 

Bonnie Rogers, Clinical herbalist and Wellness Coach   bonnie_platt_rodgers

How would it feel to walk into a messy home, a kitchen that has a sink filled with old dishes growing who knows what and a damp stinky basement?  Do you know that you could be walking around with the inside of your body as dirty, toxic, and moldy as the insides of that house?  When we ingest toxic substances such as pesticides, (eating processed or genetically modified foods, white sugar, table salt and more) use chemical laden skincare and cleansing products in addition to filling our bodies with handfuls of pharmaceuticals we are polluting the insides of our bodies. This shows up in the look of our skin, and hair; for many they find that they have brain fog, they can’t focus, have very low energy levels and just plain don’t feel good.  All of this is STOPPING your body from creating optimal health.  

Are you suffering from anxiety and stress?  Are you always bloated and feel like your digestion will never be normal again?  Are menopause symptoms giving you a run for your money?  Do you know that so many of these “symptoms” are caused from the toxic substances we have put into or on our bodies?  ARE YOU READY to create vibrant, radiant health in your body and remove these toxic substances so that your body can heal?  It’s really not so hard.  By making simple changes in the foods you eat, the water you drink and adding some herbs and supplements to your diet, you can create major shifts in your health.  Our bodies are amazing machines and with a little help you can be on your way to feeling great.  How would it feel to wake up every morning feeling fabulous and ready to take on the world?  

Website: http://www.RadiantHealthforLife.com

Pinterest.com: http://pinterest.com/bonniesherbals

Twitter: http://twitter.com/_RadiantHealth

Facebook: http://facebook.com/RadiantHealthforLife.com

 

Tatyana Gann, Intuitive PR Consultant, Publicity Coach, Mompreneur, and Creative Writer

tatyana_gannHow do I love myself and where do I start?

We are looking for a magic self love blueprint, and I’ll be honest and say it does not exist! I’ve searched and searched for that “perfect” self love formula. I was raised in a very interesting family. I studied math, physics, chemistry and English. I was a nerdy girl with long black hair who studied all the time. I had fun solving complicated math problems with my grandfather who taught me everything I needed to know. If you’ve seen the movie “Princess Diary” then you know what I’m talking about—a girl with long black hair, thick eye brows and nerdy friends. Back then I did not know how to love myself. I loved pleasing people, including my parents and teachers, and the only time I felt myself was when I was in my ballroom dancing school where I could express my heart and where I felt FREE! That was self love but I did not recognize it at that time!

I always loved solving problems and using my logic. Even later in life I was so logical when it came to love and self love. I would say “I need A, B, C to get me to Z….” and I was impatient, yet I waited and waited for that perfect self love blueprint to be revealed to me. But it did not exist. I was suffering inside. I felt I lost, and lost all my energy reserves.

I hit the BIGGEST inner wall, which was made of my ego, stubbornness and perfectionism. I had to break it down start rebuilding. I needed an architect to design the NEW me. I turned to God completely and asked God to guide me to people who would open their hearts and be honest with me so I’d get rid of my “mind poop”.

I was ready for a total detox and to breath again! I am fortunate to work with an amazing life coach, Ariaa Jaeger, a spiritually evolved teacher and intuitive who told me that self  love started with self care. It meant I had to focus on me, talk less, meditate more and be silent to regain peace.

Often we feel self pity and don’t recognize the blessings around us. Knowing what we have is the key element of self love! Self love means trusting God enough to bring peace, joy and all you need into your life. Self love does not mean you are selfish and careless. Actually you show MORE love to others because your “Love Bucket” is filled, with so much love to give. Learning about self love is one thing, but learning how to love yourself is the best life schooling you can get. It includes learning about Divine God, your own power, trust, faith, courage and becoming a teacher to others.

You may have lost everything in life, and have nothing to left lose, but to go forward! Your best asses is not real estate, cars, money in the bank and fake friends who are there only when things are good. Quite often your spiritual journey starts when you are wrecked, when you fall apart and when everything in your life has drastically changed. For a brief moment, you do not believe what is possible, but then you regroup. You move forward. You can look at it as the most challenging time in your life, or you can see it as the most beautiful, because God is FINALLY revealing your true power!

One of the most important principles in spiritual growth is SELF LOVE. Learning to love you is step one in spiritual growth. Don’t leave it for later. Allow God’s love in your heart. It will move mountains and open new doors. It will give you strength and wisdom to do what you never did! Love is the force that opens the hearts of others to see the light in you—God’s love—that changes the hearts of the ones who hurt you most. This makes you a big believer that God’s favors are coming your way. Believe it, trust, and take actions, even small ones. Self love opens doors to serve others, to bring healing or hope to somebody’s life. You carry the power in you, but first you must focus on filling up the Self Love Bucket with loving kind energy that God gives! Ask him! He gives! 

Website: http://www.TatyanaGann.com

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/TatyanaGann

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/TatyanaGann

 

Celebrating the Month of Love: Our Experts Talk On Extreme Self-Care!
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11 thoughts on “Celebrating the Month of Love: Our Experts Talk On Extreme Self-Care!

  • 02/18/2013 at 4:18 am
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    Simply amazing! This is the second time I read this post…I love it so much that I bookmarked it. LOL I needed a boost today and found it. Margo, what I realized after reading them all twice on a different day is that the one tip you need stands out by itself (a little bit like us in our business). This is a real treasure to be shared and read over and over. Today Tatyana Gann’s post was the wisdom I needed to hear.

    Thanks Margo for this wonderful example of what women can achieve when working together and how greater the impact is.

  • 02/13/2013 at 12:04 pm
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    Good job, Sweet Girl, for putting this together. You introduced me to some very special ladies whom I might not have met otherwise. When you think about it, it’s a wonderful sisterhood we can all share, and breathe in such loving and giving from the heart spirits. Thank you!

    • 02/13/2013 at 1:04 pm
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      Oh yes, and I love putting people together, connecting those who would never had thought to open a conversation. I find we all have so much more in common than we could have ever imagined!

      Nancy, your work is so valuable to others. I am so blessed to know you. Thank you for being a part of this fantastic love-fest of a project.

      Hugs,

      Margo

  • 02/13/2013 at 9:16 am
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    Margo, you really have gathered such an wonderful variety of self care experts. If we all just added a few suggestions that we see here, what tremendous changes we would all see in our bodies, minds and spirits. For everyone out there. “Love Your Body” no matter what it looks like, love yourself and you will begin to feel amazing shifts. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • 02/13/2013 at 12:59 pm
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      Great words Bonnie. I myself will take several of these tips and make them a part of my life. There is a plethora of beautiful wisdom here, for both everyday life and business too. I am loving it!

    • 02/13/2013 at 9:14 am
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      I love it too Tatyana, and I have enjoyed reading all of the excellent advice for self love and self care. Thanks for being a part of it!

      Hugs,

      Margo

  • 02/12/2013 at 10:36 pm
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    Wow! Feeling so blessed and honoured to be among so many amazing women, and one brave man who are all willing to share their wisdom.
    Brilliant ideas for self love/self care. We all deserve to love ourselves! Thank YOU Margo for putting it all together!

    • 02/12/2013 at 11:21 pm
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      You are so very welcome Aime. It is wonderful when caring business people get together to improve the lives of others! Thanks for being a part of it all!

  • 02/12/2013 at 10:23 pm
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    Wow, what a goldmine of self care advice. Some amazing posts here. Thanks Margo for pulling this all together. I have a list of things that I want to implement in my self care regimen immediately! Happy Valentine’s Day to me! 🙂

    • 02/12/2013 at 11:23 pm
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      Lisa, a VERY HAPPY Valentine’s Day to you too! Yes, you are so right, this is a goldmine of tips! I plan on putting many of these tips to use right away. Thank you from the heart for being a part and sharing your wisdom with others!

      Hugs!

      Margo

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