The Journey – by Mary Oliver

Sometimes,  in choosing time for self care we are actually saving ourselves…

Poetry 
By 
Mary Oliver
The Journey
 
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.
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Five Ways To Find Time For Self Care

Let’s face it.  You’re a busy mom who barely gets time to go to the bathroom alone, let alone practice self care!  Or, you’re taking care of your aged father in your home, plus you’ve got kids and a partner AND a job.  How can you possibly find time for self care?

1. Set an intention.  Be committed to finding 15-30 minutes of ‘me’ time every single day. 

2.  Rise 15-30 minutes earlier than everyone else. Having even a small amount of time to yourself to meditate, pray, do some stretching, or journal can make all the difference to your day.

3.  Schedule ‘me’ time into your daily routine.

4. Evaluate your ‘time-wasters’.  How much time do you spend on facebook?  Are you a person that checks their emails twenty five times a day?  Do you run to the store three times over the course of the day because you don’t have a list?  Take a few minutes each morning (while the kids are eating breakfast, perhaps?) to prioritize your day – a short to-do list can work wonders in giving you some extra time.

5. Say “NO” sometimes.  You really don’t have to be there for everyone, all the time.  If you’re a true giver of all your time and energy, saying no will feel uncomfortable at first.  And it might surprise the people around you!  That’s ok.  Saying no to some things in order to nurture yourself is important!

Sometimes, thinking of ways to find ‘me’ time can seem overwhelming.  The one thing that will help with actually finding time is going to be setting an intention.  You’ll be amazed at how you are able to find time when you decide you’re important enough for some ‘me’ time!

Take Time For You..,

daily love

Why is it so difficult for a good many of us to take time……just for ourselves?  How did it become so wrong in our society?  What causes us to do everything for everyone else,  before we give ourselves even a tiny thought? (If we give ourselves that tiny thought!)

And, thing is, even if we have extra time nowadays, we fill those moments with gadgets.  Cell phone, tablets, laptops, computers…sometimes I think it’s almost as if there’s a conspiracy somehow to keep us from actually stopping long enough to check in with ourselves.

I don’t know the answers to those questions.  I can make some guesses, though.  Our upbringing, our religions, just being a woman can do it!  We women in particular have learned that everyone else’s needs must always come before our own.    But there’s a major problem with that belief.  We are being robbed of our best – and not only us – but those around us as well!   We cannot give from a full place if we’re empty!  That is what we need to learn.  And when we have learned that, many of us will still need to give ourselves permission to ‘dive into self care’.  Because it can be scary to give yourself that time, that space – especially  when we’re not used to doing it.  It can feel awkward, even.  Downright uncomfortable!

One small step toward honoring your self today:  Turn off your cell phone/computer/tablet for one entire hour.  Find a cozy corner and start that book that you’ve been wanting to read.  Or make yourself a cup of tea and gaze out the window.  Try. Doing. Nothing.  For one hour – without guilt.

We owe it to ourselves to care enough to choose good things….just for us.  Who is the world to tell us we don’t deserve it?  And why do we listen?

5 Small Steps You Can Take Today To Honor Your Self

babysteps

 

Five Small Steps

1.  Look into your own eyes in a mirror.  Tell yourself “I Love You.  You Are Enough!” Do this, morning and night.  Don’t think it’s dumb.  It isn’t.  It’s powerful.

2.  Hug yourself.  In our society today, there is not enough hugging, in my opinion.  Sometimes there’s no one around to hug!  So, Hug. Yourself. It might feel awkward at first.  Keep doing it.  Soon it will feel awesome.

3.  Say NO.  The world won’t disappear if you say NO.  But, YOU might feel a whole lot better.

4.  Go to bed on time.  The house doesn’t have to be perfect.  Facebook will still be there tomorrow.  Your body needs sleep in order to heal itself.  Give it some – preferably lots!

5.  Journal.  Find 10 minutes at the beginning of the day, or at the end, to journal how you feel, or about your day.  This is NOT a to-do list!  Spend some time free-writing.  Don’t worry about structure, or spelling, or any of that – this is for your eyes only.   Don’t use a computer.  It’s just not the same.  There is something powerful in the (hand) written word.  Trust me. Journal writing helped change my life.

Try these 5 small things today.  Your ‘self’ deserves to be honored in this way, and in many other ways, which we’ll talk about as we continue…

Have You Met Your Inner Child?

i heart me

The moment I began to heal from my dark-night-of-the-soul was the moment I met my inner child.  She had the answers I had sought for most of my life – and once she felt safe enough to give them to me, huge waves of relief poured over me, and I literally began to relax into my life.

And, too, that was the moment that I realized that, for her, for this child part of myself, I was going to have to learn to love myself.  Because, in not loving myself, and in not living my life in line with what I deep-down knew to be true, I was betraying her.  And the thought of not wanting to betray this fragile child within me is what enabled me to begin to get strong again.

Because, you see, every single time I hated on myself – I hated on her.  And did she deserve that? Absolutely not.  She had already endured years of self-loathing – and that had to stop.  Believe me, it wasn’t easy.  And it took a long time.  There’s no quick  fix for years of abuse -self abuse or any other kind of abuse, for that matter.  It took dedication, time, and literally immersing myself in positivity.  With time and practise, I healed that spiral of self abuse.  And every single time I wanted to quit, or hate on myself, or tell myself the work I was doing was stupid or not important, I envisioned that tiny girl inside me.  Was she stupid?  Was she not important?  And I had to keep going – for her.

We all have an inner child, whether or not we call it that.  That child comes out when we are tired, stressed or angry, or have been triggered by something or someone.  I believe when we feel the purest joy, that’s our magical child inside.  Meeting and having a relationship with that child has been, for me, the most profound experience in my life.

Babystep:  Take out a picture of you as a child, if you have one.  (If not, remember yourself as a young child, picture her or him in your mind).  Does he/she deserve to be hated on?  Does he/she deserve to be told they are too ugly, or too fat, or too stupid?  If you were the parent of that child, how would you parent them – the way you longed to be parented?  Then do that.  Carry that picture around with you and every time you feel the need to hate on yourself, or tell yourself you’re not good enough, look at that tiny child.  And refuse to  abandon her, ever again.  Then choose love instead.  If you begin to do this consistently, your life will change. I know that from experience.

Wednesday’s Self Care Tip – Say NO!

saying no

 

 

Affirmation:  Today, I give myself permission to say NO to something I don’t really want or have time for.

Babystep:  Say NO.  Without fear, or guilt, or shame.  We  have the right to decline something, or someone, or some event or occasion.  Our time belongs to us-no one else.   Don’t be afraid to say no…sometimes it can be the kindness thing we can do for ourselves.

Tuesday’s Self Care Tip – Celebrate Your Imperfection

imperfect

 

Affirmation:  I am imperfect.  AND in that imperfection, I am beautiful!

  How does the thought of imperfection make you feel?  For me, it was NOT ok to be imperfect.  To admit imperfection meant admitting I wasn’t good enough!

Babystep:  Give yourself permission to be imperfect.  AND be ok with it.

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