love yourself

written by Anne Bolender

I’ve been involved with an online group recently that is focused on learning and practicing the fine art of self care. Yes, self care is a form of self love, but it is not about being selfish or narcissistic.  Self care is basically loving your self enough to want to take care of yourself in order to ‘show up’ better and more fully in your live.

When you show up more fully and more authentically in your life everyone around you benefits.

Discussions in this group have recently revolved around topics like eating healthy food; getting appropriate exercise; spending time in nature; pampering ourselves with massages, manicures, flowers, exquisite chocolates; developing strong relationships at home, with friends, at work; beautifying our environments; etcetera, and how these activities improve our overall health and wellbeing. And when our overall health and wellbeing improves, so to does our ability to deliberately create our authentic life and way of being.

When we are not participating in activities that we love doing decreases our energy and when our energy levels decrease, our ability to accept and sustain changes decreases. Our ability to manifest things in our lives also decreases.

One of the more important discussions we’ve had so far, explored how many of us miss out of any number of marvellous self care rituals because we are too busy, or too tired, or not aware of how beneficial these rituals are to our overall well-being. After all, if we as individuals are not operating at our best, how can we expect to get the most out of this beautiful life that we are living?

Well, the latest call revolved around the topic of Ethical Hedonism as a form of self care. Ethical Hedonism was defined as …..

believing that pleasure is the only intrinsic good of real value to individuals. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize their personal net pleasure. “Ethical Hedonism is the idea that all people have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible to them. It is also the idea that every person’s pleasure should far surpass the amount of pain they experience” Pain includes stress, frustration, sorrow, depression….Ethical Hedonists also believe in helping others maximize their personal net pleasure (that’s where the ‘ethical’ part fits in.)

We were asked to define how we experience hedonism in our lives – how we maximize our personal net pleasure on a daily basis – and there were the usual rounds of physical pleasures like eating various delicious and luxurious morsels like expensive chocolates, or drinking favorite wines, along with other physical pleasures that shall remain left to your imagination.

For me, ethical hedonism is not really any of the above although all of the above are part of hedonistic experiences.

For me, travel, particularly travel that gives back to places visited, is the ultimate example of ethical hedonism – pure and simple.Young female traveler photographer

For someone who experiences travel as the fulfillment of their authentic self, traveling to new places immerses all of their senses into the pleasures of “new” – new pleasurable sights, new pleasurable sounds, new pleasurable scents and fragrances, new pleasurable thoughts, ideas and memories, and so on…. how could life get any better than that?

Even the experience of something going wrong – a lost ticket, a missed plane – provides adventure and excitement that become part of the pleasure experience….. eventually!!

Travel as Ethical Hedonism is not to everyone’s taste. For some people, travel is more pain than pleasure and that is perfectly fine!! Their hedonistic centre revolves around something completely different that allows them the opportunity to maximize their personal net pleasure. And whether they choose to refer to themselves as Ethical Hedonists or not, every individual deserves to find their own authentic life, one that is filled with their style and forms of pleasure.

But for me, who’d have guessed….Ethical Hedonist and travel as my best form of Self Care!!! Time to get my travel on 🙂

How about you….do you have any self care rituals or routines that border on or are totally into ethical hedonism??

Till next time………


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