Self-care needs to be a non-negotiable part of our existence. We would all get along much better if we took regular time out to nurture and nourish our physical, emotional and spiritual needs. There should be no “if, or, but” attached to it. But there often are. People are addicted to leading a ‘busy existence’ because rushing and striving gives a false sense of purpose. In the long run, it leaves them feeling empty and unfulfilled because leading a ‘busy existence’ doesn’t create space for us to connect with who we truly are and ask the questions that we need to ask of ourselves like:
“What do I really want or need in my life”
“How can I give it to myself”
“Why am I creating these situations for myself?”
“What changes do I need to make in my life?”,
“How can I create more joy in my life?”
“How can I create more meaning and fulfilment in my life?” and so on.
This ‘busy existence’ gets us into trouble because it keeps us glued to a false sense of identity, to repetitive patterns and sabotaging reactions. All of which can create a vicious cycle of stress, tension, overwhelm, anxiety and depression.
To me self-care has a lot to do with self-awareness. When we take time out to for ourselves, our attention gets re-directed from the physical doing world to a non-physical beingworld, and it’s in this being that we start to hear, feel, sense and connect to that which is not readily accessible in the doing.
By taking time out, be it on a weekend retreat away by yourself, a walk on the beach, travelling, or meditating we get to create space to direct our attention to our inner experiences. When we do this, it’s like lifting the cover off something we’ve forgotten was there. And from this lifting comes expanded awareness, insight, clarity and understanding about who we are.
When in a ‘busy existence’ we operate from our rational mind. When we can be, we can transcend the rational and drop into our wisdom which holds knowledge that is otherwise suppressed in the doing.
When we stop and pause to be, we notice any gripping that is occurring. We become conscious of any tension in our body which also means we can start to release this tension. And when we release tension, our physiology and brain chemistry changes and allows all atoms to move and in doing so significant shifts and changes can occur.
Without adequate self-care we can remain ignorant and fixed on how things need to be. We remain judgmental.The more we immerse ourselves in our own presence,the more we understand who we truly are and become better equipped to deal with daily challenges and the rest of the world. Through increased self-care and time out, we allow ourawareness to expand. And really isn’t that why we are all here, ultimately?
Having returned from a Byron Bay trip this past weekend where I took lots of time to be by meditating, walking and spending time in nature with good friends, I can see that my level of awareness has expanded. If my level of awareness is expanded, it means I have more insight, information and knowledge that I didn’t before. I can do something good with this. I can help someone with this. It’s an obligation to myself and the world I live in to take responsibility to ensure I do what I need, to stay connected to who I truly am. This valuable time out gives me a chance to take stock of my life by asking important questions like what do I need to change, what do I want more of or less of?
So, today and everyday, take time out to remember you. Gift yourself small moments of just being. A moment to connect to your breath. A moment to make yourself a cup of tea. A moment to sit down and feel the sunshine on your face. Immerse yourself in these moments and think of them as little rituals to remember Yourself, your essence. Do it with delight, intention and presence. It will expand your awareness.