Cynthia Occelli

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Self-indulgence, Self-care or Self-abdication?

February 13, 2013


Self-care: Doing what it takes to make your life easier, healthier, brighter, and more comfortable so that you can express your gifts and potentials.

Self-indulgence: Doing whatever numbs or suppresses an upset or problem or temporarily makes you feel better, only to make you feel worse or have a greater challenge later.

Self-abdication: Doing what is not in your best interest because you think you should.

For example:

It’s been a long and challenging day. You come home, plop down in front of the TV, grab whatever’s convenient to eat, and sit there for five hours flipping channels and snacking. –Self-indulgence

It’s been a long and challenging day. You come home, take a bath, put on something sublimely comfortable, play with and love a pet, choose food that will both heal and satisfy you, watch an hour of a show you love and then journal (or read Sweet Dreams) as you release the stresses of the day and set your intention to make tomorrow a better day for you.–Self-care

It’s been a long and challenging day. You come home and your drama-queen friend is distraught because she caught her playboy lover in bed with another woman, again. She’s calling you incessantly and wants to come over. She says she needs to talk. Against your need for self-care, you tell her to come over.–Self-abdication

You’re on vacation. Each day consists of eating and drinking yourself into a stupor as you lay by a pool. When you’re vacation is over you’re heavier, foggier and dreading the return home. –Self-indulgence

You’re on vacation. Each day, you explore your environment and identify things that you could incorporate into your life to bring your vacation home with you. You take care of your body and nurture your dreams. You set time aside to look at your life from a distance and assess whether the way you live is consistent with what’s most important to you. You enjoy great food, friends and libations.–Self-care

You’re on vacation. Your friends decide they want to party til dawn at the Four Seasons, take a limo the Ritz and spend the day at the spa. You’re trying to save money, but you don’t want to miss out on the fun or be perceived as tight, broke, rude or unsociable, so you go along and spend way more than you should.–Self-abdication

Choosing to care for ourselves is often not the easiest choice, but when we make self-care our constant and consistent priority we will create a life that fulfills our deepest desires. Begin to observe your lifestyle and your choices, without negative judgment. The point here is not to blame or feel bad; it’s to create a habit of extraordinary self-care.  As you become aware of the ways in which you indulge yourself or abdicate, you gain the power to choose differently.

Can you think of some more examples of self-indulgence, self-care and self-abdication? Please share them in the comments below.

~ Cynthia



7 responses to “Self-indulgence, Self-care or Self-abdication?”

  1. Tina says:

    I love this post. I love how you broke it down into individual choices that are part of our daily lives. I think I can take something from this today, I just need a healthy-fun replacement for the thing I’m used to doing when I’m in a certain mood. This is perfect timing. Thanks :)

  2. Alicia says:

    Thank you for defining and giving examples of what self-care means. I have always been very low maintenance so I don’t know what to do. I ask myself ‘what would Cleopatra do?’ but a lot of the time, I have no idea.

    I like to have a glass of wine in the evening. I normally drink it out of a regular cup but tonight, I have a real wine glass. I feel decadent. I’m pretty sure Cleopatra wouldn’t drink her wine out of a plastic cup, right?

    • Cynthia says:

      LOL! YES! So sorry to have missed this comment. My dear, GODDESS, you definitely deserve the glass. It’s an easy and beautiful way to adore yourself. I love it!

    • ResurrectingVenus says:

      LOL! YES! So sorry to have missed this comment. My dear, GODDESS, you definitely deserve the glass. It’s an easy and beautiful way to adore yourself. I love it!

  3. Wanting to lose weight. Taking part in activities you enjoy like yoga, long walks on the beach with a loved one, playing sports with friends and eating foods you love in moderation, while also eating lots of healthy foods too. Listening to your body and what it craves. Self care.

    Wanting to lose weight. Starving yourself until you binge. Binging on hours of cardio. Taking diet pills. Working out until the body becomes injured then continuing to workout through injury. Partaking in self hate over your body image. Self indulgence.

    Wanting to lose weight. Trying fad diets you hear about on tv. Going to aerobic classes you’re friends go to even though they aren’t you’re favorite. Counting calories though it’s a pain, but you’ve heard it works. Self abdication.

    I know which one I would follow :)

  4. powerful, clear examples…. Love it!

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