Radical Self-Care, Dry Brushing

I’m in the midst of a busy stretch at work and feeling incredibly grateful for my commitment to maximum self-care. Tremendous benefits, including increased awareness and steady energy,  are emerging consistently. I’m making lots of small decisions throughout the day based on what would be kindest for my self in that moment. This is a huge shift for someone who tends to follow a routine and stick with what she “thinks” “should” be the best option. Tuning in moment by moment allows me to be more authentic in my exploration.

Today my attention is drawn to the rewards of body brushing. If you’re not familiar with this technique, Google provides articles and videos galore to guide you. Basically you stroke a brush with soft, natural bristles over the surface of the body to exfoliate skin and stimulate lymph flow. I’ve done it for at least a decade now and really appreciate the softness of my skin as well as the fact that I rarely get sick. Healthy skin and lymph flow are two key components to promote a strong immune system, so this practice has double benefits.

brush

I had a steady habit of dry brushing before I get into the shower each evening. However, since it’s been so hot and sticky icky here in Philadelphia this summer, I’ve been skipping it. Today I realized it’s time to upgrade this habit so that it works for me, rather than avoiding it through the summer. This morning I decided to brush first thing. Even before I meditated! I might fine-tune the timing, but it felt wonderful to get back into the swing of this healthy habit by releasing my attachment to the “when” aspect of dry brushing.

I’m learning that alongside commitment, flexibility is a major component of self-care. If the routine is too rigid, it will break rather than bend when there is a challenge. If there’s no commitment, it remains a lofty ideal, but never happens. Finding balance seems to be the key, in the arena of self-care as well as in life in general. Since my intention is not perfection but kindness and optimal wellbeing, it makes a lot of sense to allow the freedom to mix things up. Otherwise I’m just checking things off a to-do list, and really there’s not much joy in that.

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