The Importance of Self-Care

The Importance of Self-Care

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is becoming the new buzz word in the world of wellness.  What is self-care and why is it so important?

Self- care is simply you taking care of yourself.    One of the things that I appreciate about being challenged with my health is that I have a great appreciation for my body.  I understand that when my body fails me, that I am greatly limited with what I can do and then other desires may not be able to be fulfilled.

Our bodies need to be cared for.

They need good food, exercise, water and rest.  And taking good care of our bodies require a commitment of time and energy.  Rather than driving though a fast food restaurant, are you willing to commit the time and energy to shop for healthy food and cook it?  Are you willing to take time to move and exercise your body on a regular basis?  Are you willing to give your body 8 hours of rest every night?

Are you willing to sit quietly for 15-20 minutes each day to allow your mind and nervous system to unwind and reconnect with your divine essence?

Are you willing to spend quality time with your loved ones?  Do you have a date night with your spouse, go to your children’s events?  Do you play with your kids?  Do you take time to stop and check in with your partner or children when they are experiencing difficulties in their lives . . . or are you running so fast that you don’t even notice?

Are you willing to spend quality time with yourself?  Perhaps journaling or engaging in self-inquiry?  Take a warm bath? Watch the sun set?

These are the kind of things that we can do that increases the quality of our lives in each moment.  But they also increase the quality of our lives into our old age and can add years to our life.  We get so caught up in keeping up with society and the latest greatest external event or product that we miss the beauty of living simply and simply living.

Self-care is about paying attention

Self-care is about paying attention to the things that reconnect us to our self and treating our self with love, compassion, and respect.  It is about stopping to recharge your battery before it runs down.  Self-care is a tangible way to say to yourself, “I LOVE YOU, YOU ARE IMPORTANT.”  Wouldn’t you like to hear that from someone, so why not say it to yourself by making YOU a priority in your own life?  And the better you take care of yourself, you will have more to give to your loved ones.

This month, notice where you are with self-care.

Do you take care of yourself, or are you to busy taking care of everyone else, from your family to your boss to your coworkers or friends?  Is there one thing that you can add to your life that you do just for you?  What would that be for you?  Find it and then implement it into your life.  Let me know how it goes.

Are You Listening?

Are You Listening?

Paying Attention.

Mindfulness means being aware of what is happening now in this moment.  Paying attention.  Our body, our heart and our soul and our mind is talking to us all the time.  The body sends us messages through the vehicle of sensation.  Our heart sends us messages through the vehicle of feeling.  Our soul sends us messages through the vehicle of “knowing.”  Our mind sends us messages through the vehicle of thought.

Hearing our body, mind, heart and soul.

In our society, we tend to listen to the mind/thoughts over our body/sensation, our heart/feelings and our soul/knowing.  We value the mind over the feelings of the heart and the sensations of the body and the knowing of the soul.  Unfortunately, the mind has a limited perspective and so if we only listen to the mind, we don’t see the whole picture.  It would be like cutting off three of your fingers.  Your hand would be much less useful with only a thumb.  That is how it is when we only listen to the mind and not the body/sensation, heart/feeling and soul/knowing.

The body, heart, and soul have important and very useful information for us.  We need to learn how to listen and respond favorably to these messages and balance them with the thoughts in the mind.   The question then becomes, how do we do this?

Listen

Listen to your body when you eat.  How does it feel after eating a certain food?  Listen to your body when you exercise.  How does your body feel after exercise?  Self Inquiry suggestions are also tools with which you can deepen your connection with the body, feelings and knowing.  The Breathing Break is an important exercise to practice on a regular basis to stop the habit of being only in the mind and reinforce to be aware of the breath and body.

In our busy lives, it is often difficult to slow down enough to pay attention to the messages from within.  We are used to being guided by the mind and by listening to others through news, media, magazines, books internet.  We are overloaded with information from the external world.  In terms of balance, we also need to “hear” what our internal world is saying.   So, once again, how do we do this?

Mindfulness

Mindfulness, is the practice of slowing down and paying attention to what is happening in the moment as you are moving through life.  It can be as simple as taking deep breaths and feeling your body.  It can be really paying attention while brushing your teeth.  It can be taking a deep breath and feeling an emotion rather than distracting yourself with something or pushing the emotion down.  You can ask yourself, what is happening right now, physically, mentally, emotionally in any moment in any situation.