When Self-Care is Required

Right Relationship

D

ear Miracles: The notion of self-care is one that many of us who are called to be of service both preach to clients and those we assist, while then turning around and not taking the time to do it for ourselves. It was best explained to me like this: if a little child was tugging on your skirt and saying, please feed me I’m hungry, please let me rest, I’m sleepy, we would do so, in a heartbeat. And yet. When it comes to our own needs, rhythms, cycles, and creature comforts so often it is a constant mantra of “wait just a little longer.” Wait just a little longer until this final paragraph is finished and then you can have lunch. Wait just a bit longer until the final stroke of paint is applied and then we can go to the bathroom. Wait just a little bit longer until there is more money in the bank, less war in the world, no suffering and then finally, maybe, you can rest.

As someone who has had a history of driving her body to the brink of exhaustion I relate to this, strongly. And yet as I have matured and now especially that I am a mother, I see that the old saying about an ounce of prevention is so very true. This lesson really came home to me last March — I was attending an intense workshop led by two of my teachers. For three days we were deeply immersed in other world work and then it was back to work for me, seeing and speaking with clients, creating ritual, lighting candles — doing all of the work that I so love to do. I knew by the third day that two days from now I would not be ready to speak to clients as I would still be allowing the words, ideas, images, and promises made to settle into the many layers of skin. So I doubled up on my vitamins, took extra supplements, made good use of my flower essences, and allowed myself to simply be, to rest, to make soup, read novels, and listen to music. It worked so well that I have started building in these little moments into my weeks and months.

In the Waldorf educational system they refer to these moments as “in-breaths” and I really love that. For every out-breath, outer activity, external engagement, social event there must be an equal in-breath — a time to reflect, relax, and recollect ourselves. We are often told to do these things so that we may go forth and be of service — the illustration of the oxygen mask is one I have both used and heard others use too, you know the old canard, put your mask on first and then assist your child? But I think it goes deeper than that. If we do not know how to serve ourselves, if we cannot make the time to care for our own bodies, then our service to others is but a shadow of what it might be.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Make Space to Shine

Prayer and Blessing

D

ear Miracles: Happy New Year. I DO have a New Year’s Eve wish for you all… Make space to shine. I have heard a lot of intriguing ideas this New Years: there are the resolutions, anti-resolutions, and rituals floating out there in the ether to help you ring in 2012. And though I am a bit late in on the game, when I sat down and journaled and thought about what word or practice could be my mantra for 2012 I drew a blank.

It could be because my family was rocked with the news that late on 12/31 my paternal grandfather, fondly known as grandpa, passed away–ending a year in which we lost: a close family friend, aunt, grandmother, grandfather, and other grandfather. At the same time I was blessed with the most amazing child ever, my sister moved back home, my husband and I bought a house and turned it into a home, and business exploded (in a really good way). Gain. Loss. Life, death, and life again. Para Vida! To life! So much has happened in 2011 and I realized that before launching into 2012 I needed to recapitulate what 2011 meant for me. For me the phrase for 2011 was: be grateful.

Grateful for food brought to me for the first week after giving birth, for all of the help from all of the quarters so that I could continue my work and not simply survive but thrive. Be grateful that I had these amazing people in my life, that I got to speak with them, kiss them, laugh with them, and love them for as many years as I did. Grateful to my family that sees me through each and every day, to my husband who stands by my side as the most solid and loving support ever. Grateful to girlfriends who call me and leave me long, winding, love-filled giggly voicemails, or emails that say “I’ve had enough! I’m coming to see you and we are drinking margaritas!” Grateful to teachers, mentors, and creatives who inspire and intrigue. To advisors that teach me to craft my work and to allow it to craft me, to clients that teach me to give, give, give, and when you think you are tapped out give some more, give better, give brighter.

 

I am grateful. Thank you-each and every one of you.

 

And as I finished those thoughts I made ready to enter into 2012 with this one: make space to shine. It came to me, as so many thoughts do, in yoga class. I showed up with my mat and a baggy top because let me tell you–it has been awhile–and went into the first asana, creaking, bending, popping. Stayed there in the pose, stretching, breathing, sweating, and then finally-back to center. And what did I feel? Space…a little bit more space, a little bit more room for those tired and cramped muscles. And filling that space was light…whirling, swirling, hot energy that shouted with jubilant affirmation-I am here! I am a leg! I can walk and run, and hold a child on me, and twine myself around my beloved. I can do all of these things! Look just look! And so it hit me that my mantra for 2012 is: make space to shine.

 

For me this means:

  • not overbooking myself and giving each client I encounter PLENTY of room.
  • Creating routines that sustain me *and* my business and ditching anything that is “for the business” without taking my needs into account (read: regularly scheduled yoga classes are a GO!)
  • Forging alliances with friends/family members/and like-minded businesses that nourish me and my work.
  • Carving out time, like on the calendar, for finishing up some of the projects that have been simmering on the back burner and making room for new opportunities that send a tingle up my spine!
  • And in case you are interested, I started the process off really practically by cleaning out my closet and all of my clothes drawers–the difference is HUGE.

 

So…what resolutions, words, or practices are you bringing into 2012?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.