“It’s really ok to exercise extreme self-care.”
How does that sentence feel in your body? How do you access that truth within you,
the part of you beyond the florescent lighting of daytime to-do lists? The part of you fed by your senses that asks of you to find nourishment in your own way each day?
These are the kinds of questions that arise when speaking with Jen Bowers, a luminary in our midst who has been on a fully incarnated and blossoming journey of the senses, one that has brought her healing and a radical truth about what it takes to care for ourselves.
“It took an honoring of who I am as a sensory individual, and how I experience the world. A heightened sensitivity to smell, taste, touch. It was gradual, but I had to let go of feeling out of place around that, of being different,” Jen told me.
“Because taking time for ourselves is so often the last thing we do.”
When we talk with Jen, her gifts begin to resonate in that part of us waiting to awaken. As women we hear a lot about self-love, self-care, but how that makes its way into our lives is often disjointed, occasional. Jen says it needs to be personal, our own unique expression of accessing ourselves and how we feel and move in the world.
“Our belief systems are the beginning, understanding how our ideas about self care are tied to self-worth. Do we feel deserving? In our culture, it seems to come down to time and money: can we get a massage? Do we really have time to take a bubble bath?”
Jen said for her, the initiatory part of the journey was around fertility. She began to take exquisite care of herself when trying to get pregnant. Yoga, massage, acupuncture, but also spending more time with friends, laughing, really giving herself the gift of her hobbies, one of which was exploring natural perfumeries.
“It was a cascade of learning that began through my wish to have a child, led me through my sister’s illness, and eventually made absolutely clear what I wanted to create in my life. My time in Color of Woman really helped open this up for me.
I want everyone to know that really loving and pampering and nurturing yourself is ok. You are that little puppy or baby with the sparkling eyes you want to snuggle! I want to support people so they don’t miss out on the opportunity to be with themselves in an intimate way that is enlivening and nourishing, so they don’t miss out on themselves.“
Maybe, like me, you’re beginning to wonder: Why don’t we do more of this? How can we do more of this? How can we truly nourish our deep selves so we can go out to nourish others.
Jen said, “Self-care can be more than drinking green tea and pursuing someone else’s idea of health. For you it might be reading a great book while relaxing in nature, or it might be going to a tea-making class with a dear friend and creating a regular morning tea ritual for yourself. On so many levels we haven’t given ourselves the time to establish how to really live our self care as a lifestyle.”
The place to begin is with the senses.
Always, it begins in some way with a sensory experience
and feeling that through our body.
Here are some tips from Jen on how to begin a practice that is enlivening and beautiful for ourselves, each in our own way!
Think about your sense of smell. Think about your sense of taste. And maybe your vision. Just start with those three.
If you smell something that you like, what is it?
This is about making a trail of breadcrumbs… being present to these senses.
Next explore taste. Go deeper into what your favorite tastes are, by allowing for the texture, the temperature. Begin to feel the connection.
Allow a deepening into self-care. Consider what you like to look at. For instance, what is your screen saver, the image on your phone? Maybe it’s a place you’ve been, someone you love, laughing. There are many clues around us when we pay attention!
This can give you ideas around how to begin cultivating your own plan for self-care. If you love to look at the beach, or smell the ocean, consider a walk on the coast or an elaborate vacation to the Seychelles Islands or, perhaps, imagining the experience and creating your own tropical fruit smoothie!
This is a great entryway into what can eventually become the fullness of your self-care on a daily basis. Give yourself clues. Instead of getting a prescription from someone to practice this many yoga classes, or receive this kind of massage, it allows you to discover your own style of self care.
I think of it as a exploratory adventure for ourselves! Where do I find pleasure in my life? And to really allow it the time and space to come through as it wants to.
This is what I love. I’m always continuing my education around self-care, I’m living this so I can bring it to others as well, and support people around developing their self care through their senses. So they can shine and feel value about who they uniquely are.
Cowgirls, it was such an honor to share this time with Jen Bowers, and to see how she is bringing her gifts to the world. She’s letting us have a sneak peek of her next evolution of sensory work at her website coming soon here.
We’d love to hear where you are on your journey as well!
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
to be part of our monthly Cowgirl Round-Up.
With great heart,
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Danna works with creative women entrepreneurs and artistic beings who love to express themselves and assists them to reveal and celebrate their unique vision through the specialized lens of the internet world. She guides her beloveds through the journey so they have a vessel to connect effectively on-line and engage with their community in a way that feels right for them. Danna welcomes adventurous women ready to open to wonder and create with her in her vision-quest style of website design at InspiredEyeCreative.com and through her private mentorship program Queen of Your Domain for learning to create your own space on the web.