Being able to forgive has proven to be one of the most incredible acts of self-care and self-love in my life.

Self-care has been on my mind big time this week because back to school means back to a busier schedule for my family. There’s less time for me to work, more running around driving kids to after-school programs, helping with homework, doing the shopping, cooking and more.

One thing I know for sure is that even though the time I have to do my work is shorter, I cannot sacrifice my self-care routine. If I am maxed out, stressed or feeling depleted, everyone suffers. I am sure you’ve heard the saying: happy wife, happy life. Well, it is my job to make sure I am happy and healthy mentally, physically and emotionally. It is my most important job really, because if I don’t take care of me, I cannot take care of others. My self-care is not just a self-serving practice; I do it so I can serve something greater than myself. That includes my kids, my wife and my mission.

My self-care routine varies, because each day I need something slightly different. Sometimes I need to get up early and sometimes I need to sleep in. Sometimes it is a workout and sometimes it is meditation. But if I had to pin it to one practice that is at the basis for everything, it is my daily forgiveness practice.

If you watched my video where I tell the story of learning about the power of forgiveness (above), you understand. I learned first hand how toxic resentment is. How life threatening self-criticism is and how criticism of others leads to a life of hell. Truly. No understatement. We have to find the soft spot in our heart and be open and loving towards ourselves and others. No amount of “doing good” will do you good if you harbor resentment and criticism towards yourself or others.

My mom raised 11 kids; she worked hard every single day. Her greatest lesson to all of us came during her last few days when she finally turned her life around, and it is a lesson I cherish with all my heart because her courage to forgive showed me there is no greater act of self-care, no greater gift we give ourselves and our loved ones but self-forgiveness and forgiveness of others.

I can workout, take a bath, meditate, eat well, feed my mind, hug trees, burn incense, use essential oils all I want, but if I am critical of myself and others I am in a prison that only I hold the key to.

May we all find within us the courage to heal our mind and hearts so we can be fully alive and thrive today.

Read this daily for the next week and see if it helps strengthen your commitment to self-care:

  • I have permission to value my health, to treat myself well, to take care of myself.
  • I take care of me, so I can care for you, so I can be my best, so I can serve the rest.
  • I deserve my own love; I give what I need.

  • I am precious, love liberates me.

  • I respect my body, I honor my time.

  • I only have one life; the choice is mine.