What is Living Upp?

8 dimensions of self-care wheel

What is living upp exactly? For starters, it’s knowing how to invest your time and energy so you can bounce back from life’s heavy moments and live up to your highest potential.

Living upp is about expansion, and it involves reclaiming your joy and independence regardless of your life circumstances. It helps you slam the door on the self-imposed beliefs you’ve carried around with you for a lifetime, and invites you see things differently, to see possibilities.

The 8 Dimensions of Self-Care is a practical framework that you can use on a daily basis to identify and prioritize your needs so you can design a life you love.

Here’s an overview of the 8 dimensions:

The Systemic Dimension

Within the systemic dimension, living upp means honoring your physical body with nourishing food, restful sleep, and regular physical activity. Because let’s face it: while the healthcare industry may have more advanced medical technologies and treatments, professionalized care isn’t getting any cheaper. A seemingly innocuous illness can destroy the financial integrity of an entire family, which is why it’s imperative for us to reclaim ownership of our well-being.

Several years ago, I injured my shoulder. I’m still not quite sure whether it was related to sitting behind my computer for extended periods of time, working in the yard, or trying to prove that I could still do a cartwheel at the tender age of 37. But whatever the cause, it was painful. And expensive. Despite weeks of costly physical therapy, the pain was so severe at times that my sleep quality was impacted. Since then, I’ve incorporated regular massage into my self-care plan as a preventive measure. We hold a great deal more power than we realize when it comes to taking care of ourselves.

How are you supporting your physical well-being? Are you managing existing health conditions to the best of your ability? Are you doing everything you can to improve or maintain your health?

The Emotive Dimension

Within the emotive dimension, living upp means having healthy outlets for your emotions and giving yourself permission to feel, rather than suppress or ignore, the full range of emotions that come with life’s ups and downs.

When my marriage unraveled, I struggled to regain my footing and pick myself up again. The truth is, I’m still working through the healing process and I probably will be for a long time. We all experience heavy moments, and we all have within us the ability to move through those moments with grace and strength. Self-care helps us do that.

How are you supporting your emotional well-being? Do you have healthy outlets for intense emotions?

The Luminescent Dimension

Within the luminescent dimension, living up means knowing who you are and what you want to experience in life, regardless of what other people think of you. It’s living in alignment with your unique values, strengths, beliefs, and personal brand.

I often describe my personal brand as “Champagne & Chickens” because it connects the unusual pieces of my personality perfectly. It also serves as a decision-making guide. I often refer back to those two words when determining if a potential opportunity is a good fit for me, when buying clothes, and even in my writing style. It reminds me of who I am and what makes me feel alive.

How are you supporting your inner truth? What makes you unique? How do you describe your personal brand?

The Financial Dimension

Within the financial dimension, living upp means knowing what your “enough” looks like and adjusting your lifestyle according to your resources. (Most of us live it the other way around.)

I’ve been debt-free since 2008. While the process may not have been easy, it sure was simple. My commitment to paying off debt required me to examine a lot of my beliefs about money, and it helped me see that I had the ability to manage my finances differently. It also helped me see that I needed to get clear on what “enough” looked like so I could design my resources around the life I wanted to live.

How are you supporting your financial well-being? How much does your life cost to live? Do you know your numbers?

Ready to design a life you love? Start here.

Reserve Your Spot

The Cognitive Dimension

Within the cognitive dimension, living upp means understanding that your reality starts with your thoughts. It’s cultivating a positive mindset to maximize creativity and problem-solving, and it’s being able to recognize patterns and shift your focus accordingly to stay on track with your goals. Work in this dimension requires a spirit of openness and acceptance.

My morning practice includes meditation, rating my 8, reviewing my vision board, reading, journaling, and self-care planning. It’s how I stay grounded and focused on my goals. And on the days that I skip it, or half-ass it, I immediately regret it. Mindset is powerful.

How are you supporting your mindset? Are your thoughts propelling you forward, or holding you back?

The Aptitudinal Dimension

Within the aptitudinal dimension, living upp means enlisting your strengths to make a meaningful contribution to the world. It’s being able to enter a state of flow regularly, to create, to add value to your community.

In 2015, I quit my job without having another one to go to, and a year later I felt more focused and energize than I ever imagined. I realize now that having that time away gave me the space to find clarity of purpose. But writing that letter of resignation wasn’t a spur of the moment reaction. It was a well thought out, and carefully planned, decision to take a bold risk in order to move closer to my vision. Not everyone needs to quit their job to make a meaningful contribution to the world. But some of us do.

How are you supporting your purpose? Do you use your innate gifts on a daily basis?

The Relational Dimension

Within the relational dimension, living upp means developing connections with others that are supportive and encouraging. It’s knowing when to say yes and how to say no. It’s allowing people to come in and out of your life without manipulation or resistance. It’s knowing how to both give and receive support without falling into a cycle of codependency.

I’ve been exchanging holiday cards with my high school chemistry teacher for over 20 years now. Every once in a while, a special person enters our lives and offers encouragement, mentorship, and support in ways they sometimes don’t even realize. I’ve invested time in maintaining this relationship over the years because it brings me a great deal of joy to express my gratitude year after year for the positive impact she has had on my life.

How are you supporting the important relationships in your life? Is your inner circle adding value to your life, or is it time to weed the garden?

The Environmental Dimension

Within the environmental dimension, living upp means being a good steward of the earth and respecting all life. It’s taking only what you need and doing what you can to leave the world better than you found it.

A few years back, a black bear put an end to my chicken flock. It devastated me in ways you probably can’t understand unless you love chickens they way I do, but it also taught me that life is a gift that’s worthy of our respect and care. Self-care isn’t a solo gig, friends. It requires us to connect with other living things so we can understand that the flow of giving and receiving begins with love.

How are you supporting the world beyond your inner circle? Do your daily habits have a positive impact on your community? The world?

What I know for sure is that you are designed for greatness. You are unique. You are brilliant. And you have important gifts to share with the world. Are you living up to your highest potential? Do you know what you need to be your best?

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