Self-Care VS. Selfish: How do we navigate cultural messages that tell us to never put ourselves first?

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I know so many who have struggled with the line between self-care and selfish.

I, too, have done my own dance with it - wondering if it's safe and okay for me to be extraordinarily happy, abundantly wealthy, and continually receive more.

Or perhaps I am just a selfish bitch. (Thankfully I can't even type those words without laughing out loud!)

We live in a culture that says things like: 

  • "No pain, no gain,"
  • "Nothing in life comes easy," 
  • "Wealthy people are evil,"
  • and who knows what else!

Well, that is just old programming. Messages that were based on beliefs, that were based on experiences, that became patterns passed down through generations.

In my life and in my work, I know that we can choose a new experience, a new pattern and a new story. One where it is safe to expand because my expansion, growth, healing and abundance helps others expand, grow, heal and receive.

We get to choose. We get to choose something different than our parents, or even our friends. 

Any discomfort I feel in the process is merely my own resistance to love. And when I remove that resistance, I feel good. Like really good. Open and at ease, connected and loved, supported and seen. It's profoundly yummy. Self-care gives me those feelings. Self-care allows me to be of high service and help everyone around me feel these things, too. It's AWESOME!

Now, if you're still dancing with it all, then please, take a moment to watch this week's Ask Kelsey. In it I provide a potential definition (my definition at least) of what self-care is and the difference between self-care and selfishness.

I also talk about some big names in the self-less giving world - Jesus and Mother Teresa - and argue that even they had a version of self-care!

So check it out and tell me what you think in the comments below.

Expanded Definitions:

Self-Care: Love-centered. Based on the knowing that we are all interconnected, that what I do affects you so as I am truly loving to myself, I can show up in the world with more love, helping to raise everyone. Example: I pause and take a deep breath or put myself in a calming Brain Gym pose during a heated conversation so I can speak honestly and truthfully with love rather than from a space of reaction. 

Selfish: Ego-centered with disregard to others. Based on separation and temporary satisfaction of the Ego. Example: I do something to put myself above another. It feels "good" on a very base level and does not actually raise my or their vibration in the process.


We all are selfish from time to time. It takes practice to love ourselves and others and I often find that the first loving action needed is forgiveness. 


In the video I mention the book, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, by his Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams. Click here to view it on Amazon.

I also mention these stunning women and moms as models of self-care and service: 

  • Latham Thomas: Founder of Mama Glow, Author of Mama Glow: A hip guide to your fabulous abundant pregnancy and Own Your Glow: A soulful guide to luminous living and crowning the queen within, Speaker and Doula. 
  • Tara Stiles: Founder of Strala Yoga, Author of many books including Make Your Own Rules Diet and Strala Yoga, Speaker and Ambassador of Ease.
  • Kate Northrup: Founder of Origin, Author of Money: A Love Story, Speaker and Abundance Educator.

If you have more models of motherhood and self-care for us to check out, mention them in the comments!

As per usual, thank you for joining me. If you didn’t get this in your email inbox, then click here to sign up for free love and updates.

I'll be in touch soon.

Big love,


PS. Have a question that you would like me to answer on my Ask Kelsey Series? Click here to submit it. Otherwise, keep taking excellent care of you.