Guest Post: Jenn from The Bold Thing, on Self Care

Hanging out with The Sith and Batman (prone, kissy suit) on a sunny day at Mazeppa.

Ever feel ready for something, but just not quite ready, all at once?

I know. Confusing. In all the time I’m not writing, I’m hoping to write. I’m also hoping to improve processes so that I can write soon (and have more tacos. Let’s be honest.)

A few months back, I connected with Jenn Shull, a local coach, and yogi. And, it turns out, way tons more.

She writes the blog The Bold Thing. It takes someone bold to write a blog called The Bold Thing. Jenn’s perspective and ability to see someone’s potential – through endless tarnish even – is remarkable.

Our sessions on self-care and focus have changed my perspective in life.

I’m honored to share her wise words here. If you’re local – or even if you’re not – check out her page, and consider a conversation of your own with her. She’s an inspiration to anyone who wants better.

[Check out my guest post on The Bold Thing here!]

Self CARE. Self LOVE. Well BEING. WellNESS… We are being inundated all the time with tips, tricks, techniques, and advice on the aforementioned topics. New experts in these (and related) fields are being born every second of every day.

Fair to say this is some important stuff?! You get to chose. For me, the answer is YES!

What I believe to be true — Self care is: a divine responsibility. Not selfish. Not something to perfect. A practice. A commitment. Not always easy. Different for everyone. Absolutely necessary if you plan on tapping into the magic that lives outside your comfort zone. A reflection of your relationship to yourself. I could go on.

If the resounding YES wasn’t enough to get the message across that I’m a stand for self care, clearly, we’re on the same page now!

Rather than tell you that you should be eating your fruits and veggies, getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night, getting your heart rate up for, at least, 30 consecutive minutes per day,  giving and receiving nourishing hugs, etc., I’m going to share about self care from a deeper level…

Self love. AKA — your relationship to you.

After all, if we aren’t practicing loving ourselves more fully each day, self care is only going to do so much. And, the more we fall in love with the reflection in the mirror, the more easily self care just kind of seems to happen…

While I could be the poster woman for self care present day, it wasn’t always like that. In fact, I related to a robot, or what I now call a human doing, more than I did a human being, I think.

I don’t really remember hearing the phrase self care (or any of the other buzzwords that are so trendy these days) until some time in my early 20’s — I’m pretty sure that it was in one ear and out the other because I thought I was some invincible outlier that didn’t require much sleep, food, or rest. I was robot Jenn.

Like so many others, I wasn’t motivated to make changes until I was forced to.

In July of 2012, just 2 months after moving to NC to begin a new chapter of my life, I was t-boned by a van breaking my pelvis and collapsing my lung.

That was the best day of my life.

I had to begin admitting I couldn’t do it all alone.

I had to practice asking for help and allowing it.

I couldn’t get as much done in a day.

I was human.

I’d like to be able to tell you that right then and there I turned over a whole new leaf and began showering myself with so much love that I practiced exquisite self care like a champ, but that’s not the case.

I healed.

I wasn’t mindful enough to keep gleaning gold from the lesson I learned. I didn’t know I could rewire my brain to work for me instead of against me.

As soon as I was better and I had no need for the “new way” of doing things, I went back to my comfortable, independent, hard-working little setup. I mean.. Look how far it had gotten me — I wasn’t even out of grad school, and my job was already lined up. I had a new car.


Fast forward a few years to where I began experiencing odd neurological sensations in my leg during the middle of the night. It began getting so bad that I’d have to physically move it with my hands. I had to make some changes again.

It was at this stage of my journey that I took to seeing an upper cervical chiropractor, which supported me tremendously!

Shortly after, I discovered yoga. As a certified yoga teacher who teaches two weekly classes, incorporates yoga into coaching workshops and retreats, and practices regularly, it’s clear that I’m smitten, but I made the mistake of thinking it could “fix” everything.

Instead of choosing what would be best for me, I chose what would be more comfortable for my wallet and quit the chiro.

For a while, things were great. And then they weren’t. And that’s what happens when we make changes instead of transformations. We run around in our hamster wheel repeating the same cycle over and over and over again.

Being a little more accustomed to asking for help, I brought in the support of massage, acupuncture, energy work, chiropractic. I even signed up for a yoga teacher training!

I was on fire! I was the self care master!

But I wasn’t.

And I still didn’t get it.

Just four short years ago during my coaching and leadership training, I learned that what it’s all about is self love.

The more we love ourselves, the easier self care is.

While it’s mega important to get massages (I get one monthly), receive acupuncture (also monthly), pamper ourselves with mani/pedis (every 2 weeks for this gal!), therapy, coaching, yoga, or whatever it is that floats your boat, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t treat yourself kindly.

When you make a mistake, acknowledge yourself for trying. The only failure is to do nothing because you’re too afraid to “fail”.

Look in the mirror and tell yourself you love yourself in the face of all the things you find hard to love. Let those parts be seen. Forcing them to hide in the shadows will only cause dis-ease, which will later turn into disease.

Remind yourself all the time that you are not your fears. You are not your thoughts. You are LOVE.

Instead of judging yourself, practicing being curious.

Commit to transforming because you can not because there’s anything wrong with you. There is no such thing as perfect, so don’t even waste your time.

Anything IS possible, and you CAN have it all, but without self love guiding you, the journey will be more arduous and you will not create with anywhere near the same amount of power.

Sometimes the most extreme act of loving oneself is making the choice to do so over and over again without always knowing how.

To learn more about Jenn, click here.


  1. Lindsay says:

    Sing it from the rooftops! We all need to take care of ourselves more and BETTER and we need to be more kind to ourselves. Myself included. 😉


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Sounds kind of resolution-y doesn’t it? I think it’s hard sometimes to take care of ourselves when the world around us treats us badly.

  2. Akaleistar says:

    I like the idea of being curious instead of judging yourself!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We all need to foster that part of ourselves, right Ash?

  3. We all need to be kinder to ourselves. I know I would never talk to another person the way I talk to myself at times. I have a tendency to not be as grateful as I should also. This creates negative vibes that are contagious to others. I try to see myself through others eyes and I do not like what I see sometimes. I think “Wow.. I wouldn’t want to be her friend, she is not a very nice person!” and then I really feel bad.
    Had a situation recently that could have really turned into a major disaster if other people had been involved. I had to eat some crow, swallow some pride and be the bigger person (even though I was FAR from being the only one who was wrong) and apologize for my part. I was not without fault but that was a hard thing to do. It is so difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see things through their eyes, but I try to do that. If I see or feel the motivation, it helps me to cope with the behavior even though I may still be hurt. I also self preserve more than I used to and make sure I am not making myself vulnerable to the wrong person. It is a hard balance to find..

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s a common practice to put ourselves last. To not see the good in ourselves. It’s easy for these things to conspire against us and really sabotage how we see ourselves.

      The balance is very difficult to find, as you know. Woudln’t it be easier if more of us were self aware like this?

  4. It starts with never saying anything to yourself that you wouldn’t allow another person to say to your best friend.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I love that rule, Meems.

  5. ksbeth says:

    such a great, great message. and i love the journey along the way.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Good reminders, right?

  6. says:

    Love this post so much!

    Self care is not selfish – it is essential and being kind to ourselves is so important!

    The quote: “Remind yourself all the time that you are not your fears. You are not your thoughts. You are LOVE.” is just what I needed to read this morning.

    Last Saturday I took up yoga and with the busy festive season I’m not making enough time to go to classes. I’ve been hard on myself for not making the effort but now I’m going to be kinder and see what I can re-schedule so I can go.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      So glad this resonated! We’re so good at putting ourselves last in taking care of everyone around us.

      The quote you quoted, I’ll carry with me this week. Fears and thoughts can really impact the way we see ourselves.

      Kindness is probably the best precursor for a wonderful yoga practice.

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