I am someone who has always operated at full speed. I used to believe that the only way I could get everything done was to relentlessly live my life in fifth gear, rushing with much intensity from one task to the next. I kept this up for many decades, until my body finally started screaming so loudly that I had no choice but to stop and listen. My wake up call came in the form of a health crisis.
Initially, I became devoted to self-care because I had no choice. Now I do it because it makes me feel so much better: more healthy, joyous and calm.
I think many women feel selfish when we focus on giving ourselves what we need and enjoy, but in truth, taking care of ourselves is not selfish - it's essential. When we take even a little time throughout the day to tune into our needs for rest, nourishment and fulfillment, we actually add more value to the lives of people we care about, and set a great example for others, especially our children who learn from our example.
Another big part of self-care for me has been learning not to sacrifice myself for others so frequently - to set limits that honor my energy level, interests, and time constraints. One of my favorite sayings is: "A 'No' to you 'Yes' to me." Protecting myself from overcommitting my time and resources is being my own best friend, and I believe that learning to be our own best friend should come in the owner's manual about how to live a good, healthy life as a human being.
So many people believe that they don't have time for self-care, but carving out even five to ten minutes for ourselves a few times a day can increase our vitality, clarity and a sense of peace - especially when we do it regularly.
Self-care can take many forms. For me, in addition to a short daily nap and fifteen minutes of qi gong, it's often literally taking the time to stop and smell the roses. That simple act of treating myself to something delightful - really looking at a beautiful flower and savoring its delicious scent - both fills me up with energetic nourishment, and helps me change my deeply ingrained pattern of focusing much more on what I need to accomplish versus on how much I am enjoying my life.
We all need to figure out what bring us relaxation and delight. These days, I often take a break from my work to dance to a great song, or make staying fully present while brushing my teeth my meditation instead of planning out my next project. I put yummy essential oils on my wrists and take three deep slow breathes when I wash up in the morning, and then again before I go to bed at night. Simply asking myself, "What would feel really good right now" and then doing it, is a powerful act of self-care and self-love.
Guided meditations are a very efficient and effective way to find a place of deep relaxation within ourselves, and they are especially welcome during this pandemic. No matter what is going on in the outside world, there are no limits to where we can travel - or what we can accomplish - with our imaginations.
Our free gift to You: aÂ delicious Mother's Day self-care meditation! Treat yourself to 20 minutes of deep self-care in the form of a relaxing and restorative guided meditation.â€¨â€¨As a Mother's Day gift for everyone, Hilary Nicholls will be conducting our first ever liveÂ Quest for Eternal SunshineÂ event - a free call-in guided meditation on Mother's Day, May 10th, at 2PM PDT/5PM EDT.â€¨â€¨Everyone is invited - moms, as well as anyone who ever had a mom. All who signÂ up will receive a recording of the event, but there is something special about joining live. The real-time energy of a large circle of people coming together to experience rest, regeneration, and joy feels especially powerful. Please join us!
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