Today, self-love looks like this:
Eating a fresh scramble with organic eggs and veggies, next to the flowers I bought for myself. 💖
It is highly unusual for me to prepare a meal for just myself. I happily cook every day for my kids or friends, but there is something inside of me (down deep!) that doesn’t think I am worthy of taking the time to do this for just me. My norm these days is eating on the go or forgetting the meal altogether.
Here’s the good news…
This week, I have taken the time to make myself breakfast—twice—and it is only Wednesday!
Just writing that sentence causes me to pause and take a deep breath.
The honest truth is that making time for me these days causes me great discomfort. I have gotten off track and fallen into our cultural norm of do, do, do! I feel like there is a tremendous amount to take care of, and I need to put myself last in order to make time to hold up the people around me.
The irony is, I am a yoga instructor and much of what I teach is about self-care and self-love.
Daily, I offer ways for people to care for themselves, and I share how it is these things that allow us to be fully present and available to be of service to others. In fact, I strongly believe in the ol’ airplane analogy: “Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then your child.” It is true that if we are dead, it is impossible to help someone else.
So, if we can accept that being dead gives us nothing to share, one can infer that being severely depleted and running at about 50 percent gives us only half of what we need to function and then be able to help someone else.
It’s like we are on the plane and offering our child next to us only half of the oxygen available!
When I look at it like this, it seems selfish—and downright ignorant—to not put my own oxygen mask on first.
Hmmm, selfish to not live a life of self-care and love.
Pause. Deep breath.
And, what I have learned, over and over again the hard way, is that this just isn’t about our physical bodies. This expands to our entire being and includes our mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies.
When we feel depleted, we are certainly not thriving. Our internal cup of patience and availability is certainly not full for the offering. And, there is no living up to our fullest potential or being able to even get in touch with a source of strength that allows us follow our dreams.
Well, like I said, the good news is…
Today, I made myself breakfast and took the time to sit down (at an actual table!) to eat. I savored each bite. Noticed the flavor. I took some deep breaths and gazed at the sunshine daffodils on my table.
So yes, the good news is:
Today, you can make yourself a meal. Slow down. Enjoy the taste of the food you are eating. Go for a walk. Take a bath. Get to a yoga class. Sit down and meditate.
Right now, you can have five deep breaths and feel the sweetness of being alive.
Right now you can stop being selfish and choose self-love.
Author: Michele Bickley
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Catherine Monkman
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