1.4.11

How to Invest in YOU





I go through seasons of painting my nails.  I won't paint them for a year and then all of a sudden I'll paint them religiously for a few weeks or months.  Right now I am in a nail painting phase.  And there is purpose for this silly vanity.  It helps me see that I am taking time to invest in myself.  I sometimes need that little shine of color on my nails to remind me, yes, I did take care of myself this week and yes I deserve to be treated well.  I deserve to respect myself, love myself, and be true to myself.  The silly act of painting my nails reminds me to slow down and take a moment each week to just meditate on peacefulness, cleansing, and that constant joy finding new aspects of self by trying something new.

I had a really hard day on Wednesday after a very intense therapy session with my counselor.  I am starting a therapy called EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.  It will help me tackle some traumatic memories that still deeply effect me today, helping me to focus more on positive thoughts and to not be as highly distressed when memories arise.  You can read about the treatment process here.  Now I am mentioning this because I have briefly talked about counseling on my blog before and how I think it is a powerful and wonderful thing that, I think, everyone should take advantage of.  By my rip old age of 24, I think most people have experienced a traumatic event or two in their lives.  I have experienced a LOT of trauma, an incredible amount of deaths, a lot of having to grow up too fast, and many other things.  I have been able to see the positive that has resulted in me because of difficult and traumatic events.  I believe I always have a choice to do something good or be something good despite something bad happening.  I don't tell myself I am a victim, and I can bring beauty and goodness to life out of hard circumstances.  But that doesn't fully heal me.  It creates something good and new in me.  But the pain and trauma still remains.  And I am sure that at least some of you may relate.
My counseling session on Wednesday was incredibly hard because I had to start with targeting my most distressful memory and then had to let my mind wander through the experience, checking in every 45 seconds to see where my mind took me when processing the experience.  I left the office with incredible knots in my shoulders and my mind felt so spacey.  My mind and body felt like they were in a dream, and as my counselor recommended, I went and sat in a coffee shop for awhile to gather myself together before I drove home.  But I did come to some really good realizations, as sad and hard as they were.  And I felt my distress that is attached to the memory decrease a little bit which is really really good.

How this all has to do with silly old nail polish is that, I've decided to start painting my nails on the same day that I go to counseling.  I always give myself about an extra half hour to go sit in a coffee shop by my counselors office before our session so I can really center myself, be still and quiet, and let my mind rest before we start digging in to reprocess my traumatic memories.  And where the nail polish comes in is that I want to start a new ritual for myself where, after my counseling session, when I get home, I want to take at least a half hour to just be still, reflect, focus on the good that came out of my counseling session, and make that tactile mark on myself that says, "You took care of yourself today."
When I look down at my nails while I work, while I make food, while I brush my teeth, while I open a draw, I see my colored nails and they are not just a pretty thing on my finger.  My nail polish represents the fact that I invest in myself and take care of myself emotionally by going to a counselor.  My nail polish reminds me that I am worth the investment of counseling.  The change of my nail polish every week reminds me that I make a new change, a new step towards healing every week.  And the fact that my nail polish stays on my nails all week reminds me that the changes and new realizations that happened in my counseling session do stay with me all week.

It's not the actual nail polish that does anything for me.  But what the act of painting my nails each week represents for me is what is most profound and wonderful.  Each week I grow.  Each week I gain a leap towards healing, towards reprocessing the trauma of my past.  Each week I make a mark on me and inside of me that says, "you are constantly you, but you are free to make new changes to be more of you.  You are free to experiment, you are free to evolve, and you are free to believe that you are whole and always truly loving yourself.  You are valuable and deserve to be treated that way, not only by those around you, but YOU deserve to treat YOU well."

Visuals are powerful.  And nail polish can just be a fun vanity thing.  But for me is represents something really important.  I am taking care of me.  
This week, why don't you try painting your nails why you contemplate how you can love yourself better, take care of yourself better, invest in yourself better in the coming week.  Let every time you see the flash of color on your nails be a reminder to take care of YOU.

If you paint your nails this week in representation of taking care of you, why don't you send me a little photo of your hand or hands and I will make a big collection of all the ladies who are making the marked investment to take care of themselves.  I'd love to create a big collage of all of your hands that I can present on my blog so I can show you, we are all in this together to love ourselves and love one another.  Email me at mooreaseal{at}gmail.com with an attachment of your photo of your painted nails.  Or click the "Contact" button in my navigation bar at the top to send me an email with a link to your image.  


If you don't like painting your nails, tell me, what reminds you that you have taken care of yourself today?

Love you friends, I hope this post was a bit of encouragement for you to remember to invest in yourself today<3
xo Moorea

36 comments:

  1. this is lovely and thoughtful moorea. counselling can be really stressful but it really does force you to think and reflect. something i don't do as much as i probably should in my daily life. when i was going to counselling my counsellor totally "dumped" me. i loved going though.
    and...i painted my nails already this week after months and months of not doing it :) it really is good to take time out for yourself.

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  2. moorea I loved this post, I too have been through traumatic events and it's tough to swallow certain situations sometimes. how brave of you to speak openly about this! you are strong!

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  3. What an amazing collage! My nails are a very chipped bright pink right now. I'll do something about that and get you a pretty pic :) LOVE what it represents.

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  4. such a beautiful post... loved reading this.. trauma? Oh yes... I've had plenty. I will do this.. I will do this.. paint my nails and think highly of me. xo love you and all u do. xo

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  5. moorea,

    this post was beautiful. and really, just what i needed at the moment. you have an awesome way of looking at things. and i do know what you mean about traumatic events or deaths, and having the option everyday to make good of everything that is left over. it really does come down to being a choice, and a daily one. good for you! your a beautiful soul, and kudos for sharing this.

    we are in the middle of moving, and all of my nail polish is taped up in a box somewhere, ha ha. ill have to think of a new idea, but i love this.

    peace,
    laura

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing this. I also see a therapist weekly, but I haven't yet found the courage to discuss it on my blog. I love that you have!

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  7. Thanks for sharing this intimate thoughts.
    It helped me a lot, thinking about myself again.

    Wish you a nice & lovely weekend!

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  8. You. are. amazing.
    Really. Love how you've created your own little ritual to help put another positive on a stressful process. Keep at it + stay strong, I know you can- you're a supergirl!
    Zo xox
    P.S. I'm gunna email you a nail pic this weekend :)

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  9. I love what you say to yourself!

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  10. Moorea-

    I am a recent reader and I'm so glad I found you. This post really hit home for me. I surprisingly have not only gone through a lot of difficult things in my life at such a young age, go to a therapist every other Wednesday, but also have the hardest time seeing the good in myself practically everyday. Your post reassured me that I'm not the only one out there who has a traumatic past, and I'm so thankful that you said something this personal. I am also very proud, for I don't quite have the courage to say something like this. It's inspiring and motivating. It helps me to feel better about myself, and be more confident in who I am.

    I also wanted to say that the colored nails is just a brilliant idea - for anyone and everyone who needs a little reminder that they're taken care of and that they deserve to be taken care of. I am a very visual person, and I bet this will help me a lot :) I will be sending you a photo your way of my newly painted nails and with a fulfilled, happy heart.

    Thank you so much for this, you've definitely encouraged me in more ways than you can imagine :)

    Lauren
    http://laurensloudwhisper.blogspot.com/
    lrnspear[at]gmail[dot]com

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  11. This is such a wonderful post. I, too, have gone through counseling, although I never quite saw it the way you have written here - I am so glad I took the time to read this. I love what your painted nails mean to you, and I just might have to do this as well!

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  12. I love every word in this post! I definitely relate, and have actually started to paint my nails for a similar reason - I have a tendency to let myself "go" during the weekdays because my job is working with dogs, so I don't have to look nice. However, this also makes me feel frumpy and a little sad. If I just paint my nails, I feel special and a little bit happier :o)

    Therapy is wonderful - I went for a couple years after my grandmother and mom passed away. Good luck on your journey!

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  13. I fully agree therapy is a great thing, and just like nail polish, it is a small path to a long journey of learning how to take care of yourself. Even making the appt is a big step for some.

    I have had a lot of personal trauma in my life. I may be 30, but I feel like I'm living the most luxurious life thanks to being drama free for now. I won't get into it here, but if you ever want to chat, send an email :)

    also, i don't do my nails to take care of myself (but i'll be happy to participate!). my way of taking care of myself is straightening my hair. it's the first thing to go when i'm busy!

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  14. As someone who works with the stigma that surrounds issues of mental health and wellness, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this thoughtful, honest and vulnerable post. It was so encouraging to scroll through my Google Reader and see some pretty nailpolish and then click-through to read this great post. Actually, I paint my nails for the very same reason.

    So, thank you again very much. I'm so glad you're walking toward healing and by letting us into that process it just shows that you're already moving forward by leaps and bounds.

    <3

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  15. I find it really beautiful that you feel so safe here to be open and honest and really talk to us. I feel like you just sat me down on your couch and opened up to me, as if we know each other, even though we don't at all! I haven't gone through super traumatic experiences in my life but even still I need moments like painting my nails to remind myself to care for me and to love me. Actually I use that same little ritual in that way - I sit down to do my nails as a time to CARE for myself and feel good and nuture myself. When the nails get chipped (they are right now) then I know I haven't thought about me in a while and it's time that I do!
    I will definitely send a photo of my freshly painted nails :)
    Lots of love and hugs xoxooox megan

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  16. What a great history :O eveybody should talk more about the problems, traumas, etc. its a great liberation!! I like to go a terapy and dishka, something indu :D

    I love that color of pollish nail, I am going to try to take a photo of my new color,, its plum, lovely

    take care

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  17. One of the things that my therapist and I talk about is self-care. Doing my nails has been a great part of my self-care ritual. Thank you for sharing this, I really appreciate your honesty and openness. I hope the emdr does well for you.

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  18. Lovely post Moorea, I totally agree with councelling of some sort and I have also like you been through many things in my 29 years and had to grow up fast too and know that it can be a real strain on our fragile selves. Everyone really should take more care of themselves because there is really only one of us!!

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  19. I love you, friend. Simply, truly.

    Thank you for being a light. My heart is full knowing that you are seeing just how valuable you are... and, in turn, helping others see their value, too. You are a gem.

    xoxoxoxo

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  20. That's a really good point. I, too, go in stages of painting my nails and then not, but whenever I do, I just feel prettier somehow. Maybe you're right that it's not the polish so much as it is the feeling of being cared for.

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  21. I think that this is an amazing strategy! Unfortunately one of the first things to go when things are not quite right is taking care of oneself and investing in the little things. Stand by for my mani :) I will be participating!

    M - Even Artichokes Have Hearts ♥

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  22. What a great message, and one that I can really use in crazy busy times (and when is it ever not?)
    When it comes to really taking care of myself, I always feel I have more important things to do. I didn't even take the time to put on some mascara for a while, even though I look way nicer if I do and more importantly, feel ten times better. I have started doing that again, but painting my nails could be a great next step. I wonder if I'm going to take the time to go out and buy some nailpolish and then actually use it, I guess we'll see when you post that collage...

    Also, loved all the comments and seeing how so many people relate.

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  23. Moorea, this is such a wonderful post & it really resonated with me! I actually had the urge to paint my nails a few days ago - for the first time in months!! It felt so great to be spending some time on me, though I still managed to feel a tad guilty about it (esp receiving comments like "you did that yourself?? You must have far too much time on your hands!") each day since when I see the crazy nails I painted it makes me smile :)
    Investing in ourselves is one of the most important things, & many of us just never make the time (or feel guilty when we do!)
    The events we go through mould us, good & bad, & I know I haven't dealt with many of them. :( I had a crash course on dealing with past traumatic events at the beginning of the year & it sent me on a downward spiral that i'm still trying to dig myself out of...
    I hope you have a wonderful week & thank you for sharing this with us all
    Cheray xxx
    cheraynatalie@gmail.com

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  24. Thank you for your open post. It made me think of important things in life again. I did also EMDR in the past.

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  25. Thank you for being so open and inspiring! I would love to paint my nails more often...someday...hugs to you!

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  26. You know, what you said couldn't have been written more perfectly. You've touched a lot of people, including myself. You're in my prayers today! I have been stressed beyond belief this week studying for the GRE, and I think I'll take some time to paint my nails after work today :)

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  27. Thank you for sharing this...it is so beautifully written! I too have had a life filled with trauma and heartache, having to gfow up way too fast! Enjoying the little things can be a therapy session in itself, taking a walk, soaking in a warm bath or painting your nails a pretty new color! Your quote really hit home for this week, I guess I just need to be more of ME! Thank you again for sharing this lovely post!
    xoxo~Meg

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  28. I could not have found this post at a more perfect time. Today has been an especially tough day and reading your post was like getting a virtual hug :)
    Thank you for sharing!!

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  29. I'm currently in the process of losing quite a large amount of weight. I weigh in on Wednesdays, and from now on I will be taking some time on a Wednesday to reflect on what I did right or wrong that week in terms of getting myself healthier and happier. I think Paint Your Love is a fantastic idea and I will take great pleasure in taking part. Thank you so much, and good luck with your counselling! God bless xxx

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  30. oh boy I have seen ur nail painting posts before but something told me today to read thoroughly today and gosh you really nailed (no pun intended) allot of how I feel, although I haven't experienced much death or childhood traumas my recent few years of life have been very trying & I've suffered with PND, anxiety & crippling self-doubt, I'm also trying to build on my difficult marriage. I've just gone of my anti-depressants as I feel less depressed & know allot of my problems are that I'm my own worst enemy & I lack real motivation. Being off the meds feels great but I still feel worn out & powerless often & I try to change but find myself crawling in my shell & going online to protect my feelings but it makes me worse. I ebb and flow with inspiration & I have big dreams & desires for my future but I need this kind of encouragement that I've just re-read on your blog- "you are constantly you, but you are free to make new changes to be more of you. You are free to experiment, you are free to evolve, and you are free to believe that you are whole and always truly loving yourself. You are valuable and deserve to be treated that way, not only by those around you, but YOU deserve to treat YOU well." Wow I'm with you... I want that to. I want to change & look after myself encase no one else will.
    I've always had a thing with buying nailpolish (makeup for that matter) but not often investing in me & feeling like I don't deserve to wear nail polish because I've not done x,y & z chores (yet I'll waste time online, go figure) so I'm gonna start your nail polish challenge & read through your other nail polish post.
    Thanks for inspiring me.
    xo Katie

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  31. oh boy I have seen ur nail painting posts before but something told me today to read thoroughly today and gosh you really nailed (no pun intended) allot of how I feel, although I haven't experienced much death or childhood traumas my recent few years of life have been very trying & I've suffered with PND, anxiety & crippling self-doubt, I'm also trying to build on my difficult marriage. I've just gone of my anti-depressants as I feel less depressed & know allot of my problems are that I'm my own worst enemy & I lack real motivation. Being off the meds feels great but I still feel worn out & powerless often & I try to change but find myself crawling in my shell & going online to protect my feelings but it makes me worse. I ebb and flow with inspiration & I have big dreams & desires for my future but I need this kind of encouragement that I've just re-read on your blog- "you are constantly you, but you are free to make new changes to be more of you. You are free to experiment, you are free to evolve, and you are free to believe that you are whole and always truly loving yourself. You are valuable and deserve to be treated that way, not only by those around you, but YOU deserve to treat YOU well." Wow I'm with you... I want that to. I want to change & look after myself encase no one else will.
    I've always had a thing with buying nailpolish (makeup for that matter) but not often investing in me & feeling like I don't deserve to wear nail polish because I've not done x,y & z chores (yet I'll waste time online, go figure) so I'm gonna start your nail polish challenge & read through your other nail polish post.
    Thanks for inspiring me.
    xo Katie

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  32. I'm an actor. I have this habit of painting my nails only before an audition. I'm very lazy otherwise. Today though I just felt like painting my nails for no reason. A beautiful colour - Coral. And I just came across your post. The timing couldn't have been more perfect! Thank you for the wonderful words!

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    1. aw thanks! i love coral, great choice :) And thats a great habit to have before auditions, one little extra self investment boost to remind you that you are wonderful before an important audition!
      xo Moorea

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  33. This is such a well written and fantastic post. Totally on topic for me this week too!! I'm a mom of two young kids and take almost mo time for me. I'm also a massage therapist so I've been doing very little with my nails for nearly twent years. Arrgh, really? Oy.

    Anyway, I splurged this week on a shellac manicure. I've heard oil won't remove the polish. We'll see. Such a small thing but I've felt livelier, more focused and like I did something for me just by simply having my nails a deep red.

    I just found you a couple of weeks ago, via Ali Edwards re: 52 Lists and I'm so happy to have found your blog. It's a daily now. And I'm joining you on the list project.

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  34. I happened to stumble upon your blog this morning, and I am so glad I did! What a wonderful and encouraging thing to see on a blog. have a wonderful day! :)

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