The Ripple of Self-Care
I have been speaking a lot about living with purpose and intention in class. With the New Year upon us, it is a time of reflection, evaluation, letting go, vision, and creating new goals and dreams for yourself. It is a time to become focused on what really matters to you. A new year brings with it a clean slate and a fresh start to living authentically, and following your heart wherever it is calling you to go. I wanted to share with you one of my big intentions for the New Year.
My intention is to begin a morning ritual of self-care. I have always been a morning person. I used to get up early around 5:30 AM and start my day with breathing, yoga, meditation and writing in my journal. It was hard at first. I remember several mornings my alarm would go off and I hit the snooze button about 20 times and would never make it out of bed. But, I kept setting it. And when it would go off, I would have that talk with myself, "GET UP MICHAEL ANNE," and force myself to do it. I ALWAYS felt better when I did. And I always could tell a difference when I did not. It became a ritual that I looked forward to.
I began to notice that my entire day was smoother, more relaxed, more calm, and focused. I even noticed things around me that I hadn't noticed before. The sky. The trees. The warmth of the sunshine on my face. The sound of the wind.... The beauty that was all around me. I slowed down my thinking, my walking, my "busyness" and my "doing", and I started to just be more immersed in the moment. It was like a light had been turned on inside of me. I felt more joyful, lighter, freer. More like myself.
Then, I had my babies, and it became harder and harder to make this happen. I would wake up and slowly work my way out of bed "like a ninja" from underneath my daughter's arms as quietly as I could and tiptoe to my living room, spread out my mat, sit down and take my first calming breath and hear screams of "MOOOMMMMEEEEEE" from the other room. This self-care usually ended up being cut off before I even got started. I honestly felt like crying. I just wanted five minutes. "JUST FIVE MINUTES!!!!" It was so hard at the time. I didn't realize then, how much I would miss it. I would give anything now, to go back in time and cuddle with my sweet babies again. They are a little older now, and some things have changed. But it is all just different stages of life. And I still make them cuddle with me! :)
Though, it was harder for me to find moments for myself then, I had to be creative in finding them. It didn't always work the way I had planned, and part of my journey was learning how to stay calm and be connected to the stage of life that I was in, knowing that "This Too Shall Pass."
When the new year came around, I realized that I hadn't really been giving myself this "me" time anymore, that I so desperately needed. I had started to feel a little lost and scattered, not knowing what direction I should take. Feeling out of sorts and emotional, tired, tense, and SUPER CRANKY. I just wasn't myself. I started to dig a little deeper and figure out why I was feeling this way.
The problem was, I wasn't "filling my own cup." I hadn't been following my own teachings, and listening to my own voice. I tell my students to do this, but, I hadn't been doing it. How can I preach this to others and then not do it for myself? I knew that I needed to get back to my own self-care again.
I have started getting up to do my yoga, breathing, meditation and writing again, and although its only been a week, it has made a huge difference in my day. I have to get up a little earlier now to make it work, (like 4:30 in the morning early)....OUCH : ) But, I promise you that I have felt so much better. I have felt more energized, clearer, calmer, peaceful and joyful throughout my day. My light has been turned back on.
I hope that you will join me in finding ways to bring self-care back into your life and making "YOU" a priority. It doesn't mean you have to wake up at 4:30 in the morning, like me, to make it happen. It just means that you don't make your self-care a "side note" or an "after-thought." You make it a priority and at the top of your to-do list!
We are in charge of raising our own vibration and energy and creating more peace and harmony within ourselves. It is nothing to feel guilty about or to be put off for a later time. It's a necessity. When we are in touch and connected with ourselves, we are more in touch and connected with others. We slow everything down. Our speech, our thoughts, our steps, our breath. We take time to look people in the eyes when we talk and really listen. We take time to smile at a stranger and hold the door open for them. We get our faces out of our phones and become aware of what is happening around us. We notice more. We begin to have real communication again with people face to face and not just through technology. We aren't always trying to be somewhere else than where we are. We get outside and breathe in the miracle of nature that is all around us. We enjoy every breath and every step. We pay attention to how we are feeling and notice when our energy becomes low and our tempers flare, and take a moment for ourselves to do what we need to do to lift ourselves back up.
When we take the time to slow down, be still and listen, we begin to feel a river of love and peace flowing through us. This same love and peace is shared with everyone we come into contact with. It automatically affects everyone around us, like a ripple. Ghandi said, "If you want to change the world, start with yourself."
I hope that this inspires you to begin your own ritual of self-care. To nurture, love and come back home to yourself. ~Namaste~ Michael Anne