Lifting the glass ceiling on self- care?

The reluctant spinner gets philosophical….

So, you would have been proud of me today. After a long week at work I woke up early and made it to my spinning class. Having attended a few sessions now, I found there were brief moments during the spinning class when (instead of pedalling at zero I was actually able to turn up the tension on the bobbin (WOOHOO). So, OK, it was only a bit – but that’s progress! It felt good. I barely noticed the 45 minutes whizz past. I’d been focusing on the spinning, not the clock.

In my time-poor life, I’ve have been prioritising the spinning and have missed my ‘in-the-zone’ swim sessions. But today, it was time to take the plunge again. So, after my sizzling spin, I made it to the pool. I noticed it was quite busy and my heart sank. But I remembered my lightbulb moment last time in the pool – about remaining in the zone. So, I decided that however many people were in the pool, I was going to try and stay in the zone.

And get this – I was able to do this relatively easily, oblivious to people trying to overtake me or cut me up (in the slow lane – come on?!). At one point I looked at the clock and realised I had been in the pool for half an hour. It seemed the blink of an eye. My body was pumped full of adrenaline, with all that exercise. After over a year of virtually nothing, it was thankful for the return to a regular workout regime.

My body has not always felt this way. For many years, I struggled with my health and spent a large fortune trying out different therapies. This is what led me to discover craniosacral therapy. I remember one session in particular, when I had arrived stressed, virtually at breaking point (due to crazy work stuff), and after a single session of cranio, left feeling vibrant, and serene.

The interesting thing was that I felt so good, I could no longer remember how bad I had felt before. Of course, I had a memory of how stressed I had been – but it was just that – a memory. My body had released the tension it had been holding and at that moment, it connected with health.

I remember asking myself, ‘Why can’t I always feel like this?’ The answer was pretty immediate: you can, you just need to make some changes in your life! I knew then it was time to look for another job.

Reflecting on this now, makes me wonder if we have a glass ceiling around our perceptions of what adequate self-care looks like. Why not? After all, most people have an internal gauge, a sort of measuring device that tells them how much ‘good stuff’ in their life is ‘enough’. This might include a sense of happiness, or fun, or love, but might also include things like money. They will know when they have ‘too little’, ‘enough’ or ‘too much’ of anything. This will differ from person to person.  

I guess the challenge is how to raise that bar without feeling guilty or over-indulgent.

By our nature, human beings have a tendency to dwell on their limitations, rather than their potential. What would happen if we gave ourselves permission to be the best we could be? Beginning wherever felt comfortable but leaving the possibility open to further raise our glass ceiling. Again, and again.

What would it feel like to feel this good, all the time? Is that even possible? Unless I ask the question, and be open to a different experience, I won’t know.

So, in my 12-month pledge to self-care, I am asking the question – and look forward to seeing what the answers manifest.

Invitation for feedback

Let me know:

  • Consider your self-care. What activities are essential, optional or decadent?
  • How can you raise your glass ceiling on a couple of these, switching them from optional or decadent to essential?

Related posts, comments, sharing

Lots of examples of how to raise your glass ceiling here:

Rachel McGinnis’ article on Boring Self-Care is helpful in putting everyday essentials into perspective:


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