Passionate Self Care – A Recap

Over the last several months, I have been writing about how to practice Passionate Self Care. Here are the 12 keys:

  1. Stop struggling & seek solutions
  2. Heed your internal guidance system
  3. Surrender control
  4. Identify & diffuse your buttons
  5. Mind your own business
  6. Feed your mind only what you want more of
  7. DO sweat the small stuff
  8. Position your physical body to serve you
  9. Bask
  10. Measure for what you want
  11. Only take inspired action
  12. Give back

Although I can type out the list in the wink of an eye, living it every day is challenging. It’s always been so for me but even more so now because of the life-threatening health challenge my beloved Bill is going through.

There are days I want to isolate. Okay, most days I want to isolate. Because my mind is prone to the dramatic, I used to think that what isolation looked like was someone locking the doors of the house, closing the curtains so no light could get in, and ignoring phone calls or any knocks on the door.

Because I thought that’s what isolation looked like, my intellectual brain (the one that’s out to get me) convinces me that I am doing nothing of the sort. But I know better (because of #2).

For me, isolating looks like this: I keep myself busy with things that prevent me from going out into the world. I don’t return phone calls or emails because “I’m not in the mood.” And for SURE I’m isolating when I don’t reach out to others to either extend a hand or ask for one.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Those who most need to learn how to practice Passionate Self Care are those of us who are always ready to help others but won’t admit we need help ourselves.

All the tools listed here are great and they work. The most important one for me to keep in mind is #3. You see most of the things I do that are not so good for me are attempts to control the world around me. If I do all the “right” things, maybe the world won’t come crashing down around my ears.  It’s a nice thought but the Serenity Prayer says it best:


There are things I do for Bill that we hope will delay the march of the cancer (reference #1). I feed him well, make sure he takes his vitamins and do everything possible to create a restful and healing environment. “The wisdom to know the difference” is my knowing that there really isn’t a damned thing I can do about his cancer. As I go about performing all these loving and nurturing actions it must be with full knowledge that they are as much for me as they are for him and that I am not in control here.

Which sucks. Big time.

The tools that are serving me very well during this time are #6, #9 and #10.  Every day we wake up together I am grateful and if he’s feeling pretty good, even better. I bask in the here and now and do everything I can to keep my crystal ball in retirement. I don’t know what the future holds. I only know what I fear it holds so why dwell there?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that these tools work. And the one I plan to consciously practice this week is #2. It’s what will keep me from isolating. When I pay attention to how I feel when I’m isolating, it’s very clear that it’s not working well at all. So…off I go. Out of my head and into the world.

This is the thirteenth installment in my series on Passionate Self Care.  Go to for related articles.

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