September 28, 2012

Jewels of Light.

image: Catrin Welz-Stein

Yesterday was just one of those days.

I’m all for practicing presence but yesterday, I couldn’t wait for the day to end; the minutes of daylight couldn’t gain enough speed to cover the ground fast enough to satisfy my desire to just be snuggled up, safe, sound, resting from my responsibilities, fast asleep in my bed.

One of those days.

The kind where your child, your job, your relationships or even worse—all three—are pushing you to the point where you have to draw on all reserves to make it through without totally loosing your shit.

Five. Million. Times.

One of the ones that are packed and pounded full of opportunities to practice all those qualities that you’ve been meaning to master: patience, unconditional love, compassion, non-judgement, selflessness, understanding and sanity.

One of those days where everything seems to be challenging you and teaching you…and trying to break you down.

Yesterday was definitely one of those days, highlighted by frustration and mild furry, accented by the deep desire to let loose and scream or secretly shatter something—annnnyyyything.

But somehow, I made it through without any major breakdowns, while everything around me relentlessly seemed to be spinning out of control.

The tasks at hand—my daughter Ayanna’s melt downs every fifteen seconds, because her teeth hurt or because she wanted chocolate or because I wouldn’t let her stand up in the pram or because she wanted more time at the park—or she wanted me to carry her up the winding steep hill the entire way back home—required me to whip out all of my tools of the trade.

There was a lot of deep breathing and pausing and re-focusing and shifting.

There was a lot of listening and a lot of self-talk and a lot of slowing down.

There was a lot of practice going down in my body yesterday, although I actually wasn’t doing any kind of asana; I was drawing in.

I was pulling out stores of patience and love and understanding and calm that I’d been cultivating and growing, nourishing and watering and fueling-up during my time to myself this week, during the time on my mat.

In the times spent breathing through the rough spots and through the contractions, through the spaces where I felt like I may lose it, melt down, break down or shatter, seeds of calm were practiced and then planted.

Calm breeds calm breeds calm; practice makes perfect—or better—at least.

My reserves were refueled during the savoured stillness and quiet, slowly sipping my velvety coffee, alone in the sun, alone in the house.

Alone. And quiet. And alone.

Ten minutes in the shower, water running, sun dripping in, heart filling up; it was encoded and ingrained in 5 minutes of undisturbed self-time, stretching in the kitchen, while by some miracle of God, Ayanna played quietly in her room.

It doesn’t always take something drastic, some huge amount of time or some exquisite, perfect experience, to create the peace you need to be full enough and calm enough and grounded enough to give.

Regardless of how busy you are, how many responsibilities you have, regardless of the weights you wear around your shoulders, you need to take time out for you.

If you want to be a good lawyer, good mother, good athlete, artist, student or engineer, you have to continually fill up your cup…your tank…your heart.

So even if it’s just ten minutes while your child plays at the beach, thirty minutes in the bath before you go to bed or twenty minutes at the park during your lunch break, take some time out for you.

You need to give back to yourself; you need to fill up and relax, rest and rejuvenate—you need to give back to you.

Nourishing yourself isn’t a luxury; it’s a priority.

You have to take care of you—who else is going to do that for you?

It has to be you.

Only you can create that time and create that space, to fill yourself up; only you know what you need—a massage, a yoga class, an acupuncture treatment, a retreat, some time to write, a trip to the art gallery, some time with your camera…or some time on your own.

Remember, you can’t give something from nothing. So fill up. And don’t feel guilty about it.

Take some time out of work, out of your relationships, take some time out of your day-to-day responsibilities, to just give back to yourself.

Re-fuel before you try and re-offer.

It is impossible to work and work and work and give and give and give without offering a little bit of that light back to yourself. You have to have something to give; you have to have energy to offer energy.

If you’re run down and burnt out, how can you be of service to anyone else, even to yourself?

It’s simple: you can’t.

So, take time out for you. Stop waiting until you’re at “that” point, until the stars are aligned, stop waiting for the perfect moment to arrive, finally, to give something back to yourself.

You will never regret self-offering; you will never regret having that bath, reading that book, doing that class or going on that retreat—you can’t lose when you invest into yourself.

Your heart will thank you. And you will have more to give—to your job, your friends, your partner, your child.

You have to serve yourself first before you can be of service to others.

Make yourself a priority. Give back to yourself. Make yourself feel loved and feel good and connected and inspired and light.

Go for walks. Pick flowers. Do your practice. Go for a bike ride. Swim. Surf. Meditate. Cook. Eat chocolate. Golf.

Whatever connects you to you, whatever fills you up and soothes you, do that. Do it now.

It’s those tiny jewels of light shining back onto your own heart that gives you the invaluable fuel to continue to ignite and inspire and illuminate.

Go on now—take five minutes to yourself—you should shine a little bit of that Divine light of yours back on you!




Editor: Bryonie Wise

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