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By Stephanie McKenzie
When was the last time you took a moment for yourself? A moment to gaze at the sunrise or to sit with nature and observe her rhythm. When was the last time you took a moment for yourself and did not feel guilty? A moment to recharge. A moment to remember who you are and why you do what you do. Even if you can answer these questions with a truthful “yesterday”, how do you feel? Deep down at the core of who you are; how do you feel? We all need moments for ourselves to tune-in and discover how we are feeling. Moments dedicated to taking care of ourselves. We need these moments. We need many of these moments. Often times, we put this need at the bottom of our list. On the back burner of our lives as other things, other people, other moments take the front row. Often times, we choose to make others our priority. And most of the time it feels really good to be of service but then there comes a time when we feel we simply can not do it anymore. We are burned out. This is a very real issue for those of us who offer ourselves in service everyday. Those who serve others in their jobs, in their homes, in their communities and beyond. Our wells runs dry quickly. The more we offer in service to others, the more we deplete our reserve of self- nurturing. We must find balance. We must give to ourselves with the same intensity we give to others. In the beginning, it can be very hard to focus our efforts and awareness on ourselves but in the end, it is the absolute best thing we can do for ourselves and those find on our paths of service. Here are a few ideas to inspire you to take time for yourself. You deserve your love and attention more than anyone else. Don’t be shy; indulge in self-care today.
If you have one minute:
Close your eyes. Take a deep inhale and a slow exhale. Imagine yourself. Look into your eyes. Continue to breathe deeply as you say to yourself “May I be safe and protected. May I be happy and content. May my body support me with strength. May my life unfold with ease.”
If you have five minutes:
Take off your shoes. Turn on your favorite music that makes you want to dance. Turn it up!!! Dance Dance Dance through the whole song. When it has finished playing, stand in stillness as you feel the sensations of your body. Your breath. Your heart. Your skin. Your mood.
If you have twenty minutes:
Draw a warm bath. Add your favorite essential oil such as lavender or ylang ylang. Play music you find beautiful that does not have any lyrics. Music only. Bring a washcloth with you into your bath. Dip the washcloth into your scented bath water. Folding the washcloth, place it over your eyes. Now simply be. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go.
If you have a full day:
Plan your breakfast the day/night before. Wake early. Start your day outside sipping a warm glass of water with juice from a lime. Bath and dress according to your plans for the day. Take a class, take a walk, take a boat/train/bus ride to nowhere in particular. Eat when you are hungry. Rest when you are tired. Nap under a tree, on a lawn or near a lake. Read or write or sing a song. Do what you daydream of doing when life is too full to allow for such moments.
If you have a full week:
Make reservations to come to The Centered Self Retreat. This week is dedicated to discovering self-care methods, rituals, and approaches that can easily be integrated into your everyday. We will spend the week taking care of ourselves so we can return home refreshed, renewed, and ready to return to our lives of service.