Sunday, July 8th, 2007
I can’t say I have entirely mastered the art, but I have found that taking care of oneself, that loving oneself, is revolutionary.
It seems like a little thing…an afterthought or a rebellion against a family in which one did not do such things. A phase in which we treat ourselves to something, or take a vacation. When loving oneself is not a phase or special occasion, ones life changes forever.
I think we get pretty caught up in focusing on the world because we think that is of better service. It is the hottest item on the new age agenda, and in most cases I greatly appreciate the intention. But I am afraid that if we don’t know how to take care of ourselves we are not going to be able to do a damn thing for caring for the rest of the world.
Perhaps we have postponed self-care because we think it takes too much money or time…but that is just a tactic of avoidance. Self care is simply an attitude of gentleness with oneself, and awareness of one’s own needs and feelings. It is born of little things.
The woman in the painting here is in the midst of brushing her hair. A little thing. However simple the action is, brushing my hair always feels like a ritual to me…cleansing and nurturing. I have made a habit of finding those things that nourish me, just for me, and doing them as often as possible, and with great consciousness. Having awareness and presence allows us to drink in the nourishment of an experience.
I like a cup of hot tea, or a cool drink on the porch. I like a walk in the woods near my house. I like a quiet moment (like the one I am taking right now) when I have been surrounded by people or activity. I like a bathroom with good acoustics for singing or a great cafe with a picture window to sit and write by. I like green coconut water. I like conversations with my beings. I like sitting in my garden and talking to my plants. I love being embraced by my love, and the bond I share with my cat and our three dogs.
I could write forever.
But this is because I have cultivated my awareness of what feeds me. So that even in the toughest moments I have something to go to, or to cull from, in order to be held.
Some of us are experiencing fantastic growth and blossoming in our lives with such joy and gratitude. Others of us are experiencing great heartache and suffering…just know that anywhere you are on the scale, this self-love and self care will be life-enhancing and of amazing spiritual sustenance.
And either way, start with the small things…and do them often. Buy yourself flowers every week, or go out and get a massage. Or give yourself an hour to write about your feelings right now. Or just go lie in the sun for a brief time and imagine that it is an example of the great love and warmth available to you at all times. Know that love and care is always there once we learn how to most deeply give it to ourselves.
May it bring you healing and incredible joy…