Self Care Is So Gangster

When I was twenty-four years old, I got "Be Kind To Yourself" tattooed on my rib cage. It was designed backwards so that I could read it in the mirror and be reminded every day. I was coming out of a particularly turbulent few years, and this idea seemed like the perfect beautiful reminder to treat myself well, and often.

 

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I think at the time I thought of self love as a destination. If I put in enough time, energy and intention - maybe one day I would arrive at this mystical place of fully loving myself. Now, at thirty-four years old, I realise it is not a destination - but a matter of habit, daily actions and rituals. I am pretty consistent with these actions nowadays, but when I'm feeling off or not vibing high, I ask myself one very powerful question: 

 

     "What would someone who loves themselves do?"

 

Suddenly everything becomes clear and I usually know what action to take. Usually this means to take a 30 minute break and run a bath, even if it's in the middle of the day. Those are the best ones! Often, if I am feeling particularly exhausted or drained, it means ignoring my phone. Totally and completely. If nothing is of high priority and does not require an immediate answer - the texts, emails and messages can wait until tomorrow. They really can. Sometimes it is as easy as drinking a big glass of water and taking some deep breaths to ground myself in the present moment. 

 


 

Honouring yourself and your energy is always a good thing. 

 

Since my car accident in March, I have been very focused on my journey of recovery, healing and self care. I have to listen to my body, and my leg, and honour what it needs. If I don't, I often pay the price and spend the next day in pain. Every single day, I am making sure that I am doing something to honour and treat myself well. I have to say, I've become very good at this since that tattoo was embedded into my skin ten years ago. 

 

If you don't take care of yourself, you can't be your best for the people you love. It is a win / win situation. 

 

How can you tune into your self care today? Maybe it means going to bed a little earlier tonight. Maybe it means quitting that dead-end job that you hate. Maybe it means leaving that piece-of-shit husband / girlfriend / wife / boyfriend once and for all. What if you're a mom of three and can't get a single minute to yourself no matter how hard you try? Ask your husband, friend, family member or hire a babysitter. Have a bath. Wine and dine yourself. Take the night off. You out of all people definitely deserve it! 

 

Does it make you feel good and add value to your life? No? Let that shit go. 

 

Other examples would be extra rest, skipping the gym, eating the burger, rescheduling plans or the extreme - cutting ties with people who are energy vampires and add zero value to your world. I do all these things with zero guilt, because I know myself and what is best for me.

 

 
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Loving yourself and treating yourself well is one of the best things you can do. For you, for your family, for the world. Everyone benefits.

 

 

Let this mug be a reminder to take the best care of yourself today. You can feel good about this purchase because partial proceeds will be going to a group who is doing good really good work in the world.

  

 

 

 

 

 

Hello.

Welcome to the first post on this blog. Chances are if you clicked on this, you are going through a recovery journey of your own right now. 

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kate Matthews. I am 34 years old and was born, raised and currently live in Vancouver, Canada. I'm a DJ and have done that job in many different countries all over the world: Bali, Australia, Maldives, Singapore, France, Switzerland and more. I take a LOT of photos. My amazing fiance Brodie makes fun of me all the time because I have over 35,000 in my phone. I can't go a single day without taking photos. It brings me such joy! 

This past March, Brodie and I spent two weeks on a volunteer mission for a non-profit dental group in Guatemala. I held hundreds of tiny little hands on that trip, as I guided tiny little Guatemalan children ( mostly orphans ) to their dental chairs. They were were so brave.

True little warriors. 

The days were long and often physically challenging, yet so very rewarding. It felt so good to help, to be a part of something, to give back. Brodie has been volunteering with Dentistry for All for 7 years. It is one of the reasons I fell in love with him two and a half years ago.  

Coming home from Guatemala. We arrived safely back in Vancouver, collected our bags and got into a taxi. We were so tired after the two week mission and almost home to our warm beds after a long day of travel. What was to come next in our lives is something no one saw coming. It was late on a Sunday night and we were turning left at a light. The only other car on the wide street blew through the light and hit us head on. When the screeching of tires, sound of crushed metal and broken glass had subsided, Brodie and I assessed each other for any injury. I don't know if I saw it first or felt it first, but nothing prepared me for it. My lower leg was broken, very badly.

Nothing quite prepares you for seeing your own leg almost broken in half like a bent toothpick.

 

The pain was unlike anything I've ever felt. I howled into the night like a broken animal. Brodie kept me as calm as possible, given the situation, telling me to swallow big deep breaths of air - yoga breathing. I had been doing a ton of yoga in the months leading up to the accident and managed to find a little bit of calm amongst the chaos. If I hadn't done that, it is almost certain I would have passed out from the sheer trauma. The ambulance came fast ( thank god we were back in Canada ) and within a few hours, it was decided I would need surgery to repair my tibia. It had shattered into six pieces, with the top of it fully snapping off. I am so very forever grateful that I was treated by some of the best surgeons in Canada. 

My recovery journey for my leg began on March 19th, 2017. My journey of healing goes back a lot further that than though. More on that later.

As I began to heal from this trauma to my body, mind and soul, I started to meet and connect with a ton of people on Instagram who had the same injury as me: a tibial plateau fracture. We were on the same recovery journey! 

These people get how totally shitty, frustrating and difficult this mother-fucking injury is. They got it.

 

One evening after a weekend away of crutch-camping in the wilds of BC, an idea visited me. It felt so right. I realised that my new friends on Instagram weren't the only ones recovering from something. I started to peruse hashtags on Instagram. Tens of thousands of people were on a recovery journey of their own. And there were so many different versions. People who were recovering from alcohol or substance abuse, people recovering from disordered eating, depression, abuse, PTSD, anxiety. The list went on. These people were everywhere and they were all over the world. These people have one thing in common: 

They are strong as fuck.

 

I needed to create something. I needed to gather an army together. I needed to connect us somehow. And what better way than the internet? Because one thing is for sure: we are gangster. And by gangster, I mean resilient as fuck. If you're recovering from something, you are already in my gang. This group is based on self love, self worth and loving yourself for the journey you are on today, right now. 

 

Wanna join me on this journey? It's going to be fun. And now that I've told you about me, it's your turn ❤

 

All the love, Kate