Self care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self, and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” –Parker J Palmer
Sometimes it feels like my life gets moving at such a rapid pace that I don’t have time to take care of myself. I think this is a common feeling. I am wondering if I am really moving at a rapid pace, or if my perception is such that I allow my body to become absorbed with the speed of the activities, rather than turning my perception to the pace of the natural life around me. When I move through my day believing that I have to move so quickly, holding tightly in my chest, breathing shallowly; my whole being becomes tight and my brain believes that I have to be this way in order to survive. When I realized this tightness was making me unhappy, unfulfilled, unhealthy; I believed that I had to ‘work’ to change this. I had to plan differently, I had to actively change my life. I didn’t see that this approach was just another form of busy-ness. Another form of doing rather than being. I am so absorbed in the doing, that I lose track of the being. In some ways, I forget what it even means just to be.
When I remember to just stop, even for a moment, to breath and really see the world around me. Let it in. Let my soul open up enough and be vulnerable enough to take it in, I suddenly realize that everything else in nature is moving at a very different pace. I take a breath. It occurs to me that I don’t have to work at changing everything in my life. Rather, I have to be open to a more natural rhythm. If I allow it, this rhythm will inform my life. As I become more aware of this rhythm, I cannot move as quickly, but I am more intuitive and more sensitive. I am less reactive. I make better decisions in my relationships. I make better decisions for my family. I make better decisions for my soul and for my health.
If I try to change my life from the perspective of busy-ness, then my life stays busy and it increases my busy-ness to take on this project of change. If, on the other hand, I acknowledge the fullness of my life and choose to breath deeply and move through life with an awareness of the natural rhythms of nature, then my life begins to adjust. Not necessarily rapidly, but change begins immediately and continues as long as I hold that awareness.
Being aware of and perceiving the natural world around us is a form of self care. As we take care of ourselves and have compassion for ourselves, it opens us up to allowing the world and our bodies to take better care of us. Over time, it allows us to care of others with authenticity and compassion.
I will share a simple story of self-care.
My friend Toni always tells me I don’t take good enough care of my skin. My feeling always is that I don’t want to take time for all that fuss. I have been using the same wonderful moisturizer for many years and it does just fine. A few weeks ago, I ran out and decided that it was about time that I tried our Rejuvenating Facial Formula. Well, I will never go back to the old moisturizer routine. This Facial Formula brings a feeling of calm, loving care to my being. It is surprising how aromatherapy can change my mood. This formula just slows me down and makes me breath more deeply. Every time I touch my face during the day it reminds me again and I get the same sense of calm. And, it makes my skin feel so soft and cared for. I guess that is the best way to describe it – it makes me feel soft and cared for both in my soul and my skin. I find that I am using it daily, just like Toni always wanted me to do. I have come to the conclusion that the contact with these specific plants is doing what I suggested earlier. It is causing me to slow down. Without even realizing it, I am connecting to the natural rhythm of these plant essential oils and slowing my body down. Not all plants will cause me to slow down, but these surely do.
Most important, I am taking a moment to be aware, to be present in my body, to take care of myself. This simple action changes my life.
How do you take care of yourself?
What pace is your life and your body going?
At this moment, what is your awareness of the natural world around you?
When you are aware of the rhythms of the natural world, what emerges in your soul?
I invite you to share your reflections by commenting on this blog post.
To natural rhythms! Kim