The Power of Sustainable Self-Care

Shelly Tygielski explores how consistently showing up for yourself first lays the foundation for our life’s purpose—showing up for others—and how to create your own self-care practice.

Have you ever pruned or cut back a tree or a plant, then been shocked at how barren it looks? Only to then watch with amazement as each branch explodes with new life? I used to be reluctant to cut back any plant until someone told me that it is actually good for plants.

It goes against everything that we think is “healthy.” How could inflicting such trauma and stress help plants grow and, yes, even thrive? This is just a simple example of nature’s fight for survival. When we prune the plant or tree, it then puts even greater energy into growing more. Having been hacked to pieces, plants and trees could decide to give in, to just shrivel up and die. But they don’t. The same is true for us. When things get tough, we can choose: to give in or to give more, to get bitter or to get better. We can choose to mirror nature and face our problems rather than run from them. We can choose to meet the stressors we are facing and use them to help us expand our capacity for resilience, and perhaps even thrive as a result.

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About the author

Shelly Tygielski

Shelly Tygielski, is the author of the upcoming book, Sit Down to Rise Up: How Radical Self-Care Can Change the World from New World Library. She is also the founder of Pandemic of Love, a global, grass-roots, volunteer led mutual aid community that has directly matched over 1.7 million people since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic, accounting for over $57 million in direct transactions. Her work has been featured in over 100 media outlets including CNN Heroes of 2020, Forbes, Upworthy, The Kelly Clarkson Show, CBS This Morning, the New York Times and Washington Post. Shelly has been hailed by individuals from President Joe Biden to Arianna Huffington, and Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn to Maria Shriver. Shelly is a trauma-informed mindfulness teacher named one of the “12 Powerful Women of the Mindfulness Movement” by Mindful Magazine in 2019. She teaches formalized self-care and resilience practices at organizations around the world, and is widely regarded as a self-care activist.