S1E2 - Self Care: WPP Nov 10, 2019
What is -- and isn't -- self care.
Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, ReallyPhilReese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no bleeping censors (sorry Mom).
Thanks for joining me today, Sunday, November 10. Let me tell you a little about me, I'm a loving, lovable, fat, hairy, queer, inked, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, video producer and deejay in DC. Now that you know a little about me and where we are, let me know a little about you. Tweet me, at reallyphilreese, I'd love to meet you. Let's start the show.
Today I want to talk about one of my favorite topics: self care! Self care isn't just about putting mud on your face and cucumbers over your eyes and splurging on fine leather goods -- which, as an ethical vegetarian I never do anyway, but you have your own values.
Self care tracks back to a fundamentally important piece of what I believe the meaning of life is and why I believe we're here. So let me start there.
I believe the meaning of life is to serve others, and I believe we're on this planet -- or if you're listening from Nebulon 16, in this Universe -- to leave it better off than we found it. The reason we exist is to improve the reality we have contact with, for the other beings in it.
So, how could self care possibly fit into that? Self care seems selfish on the surface, right? Well, you may know that the theory of the mind is that the mind is theoretically split into 3 parts: the id, the ego and the superego. The id is our basest instincts, the most selfish, self-serving proclivities we have. Immediate gratification and crass consumerism comes from here. The ego is the part of our mind that deals with rational thought, socializing, moderating ourselves, judgement, and so on. The superego is basically our conscience, the part of our psyche that acts as the counterbalance to our id.
Usually when people are talking trash about someone else's ego, they're really talking about their id. Or at least implying their ego is out of balance and leaning too much toward the id. These all-id people lack empathy and are completely self-serving. I would say our President is all id. Kanye is all id. Martin Shkreli is all id. Jeffrey Epstein was all id. Most internet trolls are all id. Cult leaders are all id.
On the opposite side, being biased too far toward the superego is not good either. Being all superego means being full of guilt, regret, anxiety, trauma, resentments, lacking self-confidence, and self-esteem. It's paralyzing.
A healthy ego is balanced between; making sure that the person is tending to themselves and their well being without being selfish.
A healthy psyche makes for a better performing mind. Someone with a fucked up psyche cannot function well in the real world. If you're paralyzed with doubt, fear and anxiety, how can you make the world better? How can you serve others.
In Alcoholics Anonymous we talk sometimes about keeping your side of the street clean. That is, to say, before you can effectively help someone else you have to get things in order with yourself first. That's why self care is CRITICAL for being of service to others. If you're taking care of yourself you can be fully present for others and their needs. Self care is actually step 1 to saving the world.
So what is self care, and what isn't self care?
Self care is about putting your important needs first, but not about putting everything you want first. It's not about feeling happy; it's about feeling safe, secure and at peace, and that feeling can make you happy.
If you're sick, tired, hungry, irritated, emotionally hurting or physically in pain, you can't be present for the needs of others. Getting enough rest, staying hydrated, eating well, seeing doctors, taking your medications, and extricating from your life people and things that take advantage of you, disrespect you, or hurt you is fundamental self care.
The news is terrible to read these days, and we can get caught going down a rabbithole of despair when we're too exposed to it. And if I'm in a rabbithole of despair, I'm paralyzed. I can't do the stuff I need to do.
While it's important we don’t just stick our fingers in our ears, cover our eyes and pretend bad stuff isn't happening -- that's id right there -- you need to taper your news diet so that it's helping to keep you energized for the fight, not overwhelming you with disillusionment. When the news is starting to make you feel irritable, turn it off. Close Facebook or Twitter, and go consume some content that makes you feel less anxious instead. Or better yet, turn it off, and go volunteer for something worthwhile.
Every day take time to make sure your needs are met: you're rested, you're fed, your bills are paid. And also try to work meditation into your day. I recommend meditating a little in the morning to help you start the day with a peaceful, happy mind, and at night, but I also stop and take small meditation breaks during the day when the stress and anxiety are getting to me. And I'm finding the more I commit to my meditation practice, the more dividends it pays. I'm less anxious, less reactivate and more pleasant to those around me.
And sometimes I just play a quick game on my phone, or do a little Sudoku, and concentrate on slowing my breathing down. Anything to get me back to that peaceful but energized feeling that I need to be at my best.
And of course having routines, especially when you wake up, and before bed, is critical to regulating that psyche and feeling secure. I recently blogged on phillipjreese.com about night rituals, you should check it out for more on that.
Having a psyche that is in the right state helps me do the work I believe in doing: making life better for other beings.
That's it for now. Thanks for joining me today. I'm probably going to be releasing these episodes only once a week at first until I really get going. So for the next few months, I'll probably be dropping them on Sundays or early in the week once a week. But someday I hope to be releasing them more rapidly.
If you're in the DC area, I hope you can join me at one of my upcoming DJ gigs! I'll be at JR's on 17th Street for Showtunes Sing-A-Long, tomorrow night the 11th starting at 8:30pm, get there early and plan to stick around a while if you plan on making any requests, because there's always way more requests than I have time to play, and I generally stop even accepting requests by 10:30 or 11, because by then the list is always full. On Thursday come for our watch party for RuPaul's Drag Race UK at 8 hosted by the one and only Vagenesis of the Haus of Stone, followed by my weekly all request top 10 Music video countdown. Vote for your favorite new music videos at bit.ly/JRsThursTop10VOTE, and I'll be accepting your votes all the way til the lip sync on drag race, and you can vote as often as you want, so vote every day and see your favorite rise to the top! I've got another party at The Green Lantern with my friend Ben -- together we are Kicks and Giggles -- coming up Friday, November 22, Kicks and Giggles Go Pop, an all inclusive queer underwear dance party! All genders, gender expressions and body types are welcomed and encouraged, it's a safe space to wear whatever you want and dance however you want to our funky house music. No cover at ANY of those events. I hope to see you there. Tweet me about your self care routines at reallyphilreese and like me on Facebook just search Phil Reese the DJ. Thanks for listening and I'll be back very soon. Take care of yourself, love yourself and remember we're all in this together.
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