I invite you to take a pause and bring your attention to the breath in your body. Consciously begin to make your inhales a bit fuller, and your exhales a bit slower. Let the full, slow, circular breath massage and calm the inner workings of your body and mind. Sweetly repeat to yourself, “I have arrived, I am home.”
Let’s take a moment to reflect on self-care. Oxford defines “self-care” as (1) the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health; (2) the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
There are so many ways to practice self-care, and what we need at any given time varies based on what is going on in our lives. Let’s reflect: As you survey your life, what area is most calling out for your love, compassion, care, and priceless attention? Another way to pose the question is: What is currently holding you back the most? Does it involve your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual?
The innate reaction is typically to push away, ignore, or numb out annoyance, discomfort, and pain. However, for the density to pass and balance to restore, what is actually required is the opposite of our initial response: loving presence. The parts of us that suffer want to be seen, held, comforted, and invited in.
As scary and foreign as it may seem, give yourself space to feel your feelings. Studies show that if you take the time to feel the strong emotions as they arise, they will pass in 90 seconds. When it comes to discomfort, resistance leads to persistence. The more we try to push something away, the longer it sticks around. If we want to create a change, we have to surrender and confront what is coming up through presence with trust, patience, and compassion.
Also, look at your day-to-day schedule, lifestyle, and habits. What throughout your day fills your cup and what empties it? To be balanced, vibrant, and lush in body, mind, and soul it is important to make sure you are regularly filling your cup. What are some of the things that replenish you? The answers to this question are incredibly individual, as they largely depend on your personal constitution and conditions. As you reflect, I invite you to imagine your answers as your tools. Tuck them into your imaginary tool belt. Being aware of what rejuvenates you prevents reactivity, and using these tools in the moments you need them increases your personal power and the control that you have over the course your life takes.
There is so much to say about self-care, but to keep it simple we can care for ourselves well by continuously opening our awareness and taking aligned action. To conclude, keep in mind that your answers are in your body. Spirit talks to the body, and the mind is a magnifying glass. Quiet the mind of its chatter and place its attention on your body so that your body can reveal to your mind what is needing your attention. A good mantra for this practice is, “I listen, I trust, I honor.”
We invite you to join us at Ocean Bliss Yoga Studio for daily classes and monthly workshops geared to fill your cup, bringing ease, flow, and balance to your body, mind, heart, and life. Sign up at oceanblissyoga.net.