Taking Time for You
In a world with twenty-four hour news, and instant accessibility to information, it can be a struggle to find quiet time for ourselves. With the busyness of our lives, setting time aside for our own emotional health can appear to be selfish. What if we redefine selfishness to include our self-care? Is it selfish to go for a walk in the fresh morning air? Is it possible we can fit meditation into our self-care routine? Is our routine rooted in self-love?
How often do we sacrifice our self-care for the benefit of others? This may be to their advantage, but does self-sacrifice help us in any way? Are we pleased with our sacrifice, or do we become bitter because our deed may go unappreciated?
Each morning I head to the gardens to pick flowers for the floral business my wife and I own. Although picking flowers is part of the job, I don’t see it as work. I pick flowers with the same mindset as I do when I begin my meditation. I silence the mental chatter, and then focus on the flower I’m about to pick. To center myself in the moment, I recognize the beauty of the flower, and the smell of its sweet fragrance.
I notice if there are any bees, or other insects within the flower gathering nectar.
Whether I’m picking or processing flowers, I consider this moving meditation as part of my self-care routine. Is this time in the garden selfish? It could be. I intentionally leave my phone in the house, so I won’t be bothered as I enjoy the beauty of flowers.
With all that is going on in the world today we have to take care of ourselves. Our self-care is an inside job, no one will do this for us. We are the ones who know what is true and right for us, and only we know what our body needs to maintain our emotional health.
When we begin to take care of ourselves, we start to love ourselves more. This love then becomes the way in which we experience the world. Do you have an activity in your life that you can turn into a moving meditation?
Something that allows you to quiet your mind, and search for the stillness found within.
If I continue to focus on what is going on in the world, I can become distracted. While my mind is wandering, I start to feel unsettled. This unsettled feeling is a warning to me that I have lost my focus. Once I recognize the warning, I can quickly shift my attention away from the distraction to preserving my positive state of mind.
It is not only in the gardens where a moving meditation is part of my self-care routine. When I head to town, I work at maintaining a place of emotional center. In this way, I do not allow traffic, a line at the gas station, or the difficulty finding a parking spot to upset me.
I know that getting upset will disrupt my self-care routine.
One of the ways to improve our self-care is to make a list of all of the positive things we appreciate about our lives. This list will help prove to us that we are worthy of love, and worthy of finding time to be kind to ourselves. My list of appreciation includes the gardens with its beautiful flowers, my relationship with my wife, and many other aspects of my life that bring me joy and happiness. When I become stressed out or down in the dumps, I turn to these things as a way to reconnect with my self-care routine.
Self-care is not always about bubble baths, or pedicures, although if this is part of your self-care routine, keep it up. Self-care could mean walking the dog, or finding time to read, or write in a journal. Even painting a picture, or learning to play a musical instrument would be considered self-care. Finding a bit of time in a busy day for yourself tells your body and spirit that you are worthy of loving yourself. This love then emanates out to the world, telling everyone you are taking care of yourself by loving yourself.
Nothing says self-care like living a self-loving life.