We all breakdown, we all do too much. Life is difficult, unpredictable, scary, it causes physical stress, anxiety and a worried mind. Finding time for self care is almost non-existent in the hurry of everyday life. For those that regularly take time to care for your mind and body, congratulations! If you are like me, daily activities can provoke hectic situations, with constant allowances made when you are responsible for other people's health, safety and care. Work and financial stress is a major prohibiting factor in finding that extra time needed to rest, gather your thoughts, or even take a breath. There are days when I feel like a toy wound up too tight, and I am spinning in all directions. These crazy days weaken me, and then I go to work without my armor on, feeling vulnerable, and overly sensitive. Not performing at my best, my defenses are lowered, miscommunication and mistakes happen, the heavy weight on my shoulders pushes me down, everything seems more overwhelming than it actually is.
It is from this point of depletion that I am in need of strength, support, and love. I could close myself off from others, lash out with anger to those I care for, keep my feelings inside, let them fester and eat away at any healthy piece of goodness left, or I can reach out to my trusted network of friends and family, and slowly begin the process of replenishing body and mind. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband and caring boys who are on the ready to give me what I need, when I am down and out. They can help me physically, by allowing me rest time, they make me meals, clean the house, and keep up with the mundane tasks of dishes, laundry, and home maintenance. But, in order to feel whole, to pick up the pieces of my broken self, I must do the inner work.
No matter what your situation, there will always be struggles. We are all unique and must forge our own paths of health and happiness. Listen to each other, lift the weight off another shoulder, find support, utilize resources, ask for help. Nourish and care for yourself from the inside out.
As we close out this year, and prepare to begin a new one, I would like to share my tools for inner healing with you. These are just ideas and suggestions, that I know from experience work for me. One of the greatest delights of life is finding out who you are! Recognize that you grow, change and develop constantly. Every experience, positive or negative helps to reshape your confidence, worth, motivation, power to love and be loved. Discover what heals you, what makes you happy, and what makes you feel better in a wholesome, beneficial way.
"You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." C.S. Lewis
When we are born, we are born with a soul. Our soul is made up of everything that can't be seen, touched, or held. Your soul connects to your personality, feelings, thoughts, morals and values. It is your inner identity and has many layers. Each layer comes together to form the person you are right now. As you experience life, there are growths and hindrances that steer us toward or away from our purpose. Find the elements that strengthen your soul, this is the key to engaging a more fulfilling, and universally connected life.
"Home is a refuge, not only from the world but from worries, and terrible concerns. Surrounding yourself with beautiful things delights the eyes and lifts up the soul." M. Angelou
Your home should be havens where quiet, rest, and security abound. It is your sanctuary from excess stimulation, fill it with love and a sense of ease. Find a place in your home where you can go to sow down and feel content. If you live in less than 1000 square feet, like I do, add two young children with wild spirits and very loud voices, then finding that space may pose a challenge. But, if I can do it, I know you can too! Find a corner, near a wall, or a window, make it cozy, lay out your yoga mat, use cushions and pillows, or sit in your favorite chair. Enjoy natural light and celebrate the season of your day. In the morning or afternoon, allow the rays of the sun to warm you, in the evening, let in the moonlight if possible. Soak in a cloudy day, listen to the thunder, rain, the whistling of the wind, or feel the stillness of gently falling snow. Create your own sacred space, set up an alter, light a candle, find strength and beauty in your surroundings.
"Quiet the mind and the soul will speak." M.J.S. Bhagavati
Time. There is goes...ticking away the moments that make up your day. Take it back and slow down! We are talking five minutes here. I have an egg timer that I use to help me make a commitment to myself. If five minutes seems excessive to you, start in smaller increments that seem attainable. Sit or lie down, start by breathing in and out. A whole breath is a full inhale and a complete exhale. Five whole breaths can easily turn into ten whole breaths, and before you know it, you are on the path of inner calm and rediscovering balance to your soul. Either way, if you choose to take back a moment for yourself, I guarantee you will feel better after.
"Dining with one's friends and beloved family is one of life's primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul satisfying and eternal." J. Child
Eat good food. Delicious food. Enjoying warm, comforting, nutritious dishes should be an exciting and pleasurable experience. The texture, smell, and flavors of different foods hold memories and create new ones, specific moments in time are captured. Eating food you love is healing, prepare it slowly and with care in your home. Create a sense of wholeness as you care for yourself. Reliable recipes, or new and inspired, the possibilities are endless, choosing foods that are fresh and in season is a good place to start. Stock your kitchen with healthy foods closely connected to their source. Sharing a meal with those you love is a meaningful experience, and fills you up in more ways than one.
"My soul is in the sky." W. Shakespeare
We have enjoyed mild weather for December, and this alone we can all be grateful for, but no matter what the weather is, get outside and enjoy nature. All the seasons offer wonderful ways to move your body, get your blood flowing, and your lungs working. Breathe in the air, near the ocean or the mountains, in the forest, or after a rain storm. Feel the earth, the sun, the wind, watch the clouds go by, observe, and listen to all the life around you. Surround yourself with trees, plants, and flowers, dig in the dirt, or relax by a fire. Enjoy the elements, they are grounding to the soul, use them as healing sources. Connect yourself to a larger world.
"Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money or fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow." K. Vonnegut
"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." Rumi
Thanks for reading, and for the continued inspiration. May you find joy, comfort and stillness in many moments of your day. Wishing PEACE & LOVE for ALL now and throughout the New Year!
My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the light, love, truth, beauty, and peace within you because it is also within me. In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.