One of the simplest, best ways for on the spot self-care:
It's real easy to feel overwhelmed. At those times the motivation to take care of ourselves might fall away. Here's a simple practice that only takes a few breaths. It starts rewiring your brain for self-care.
Bring to mind a time when you did something that felt like good self-care:
going for a walk or a hike, spending time in nature, exercising, eating healthy food, taking a drink of water, pausing to take a time out, saying "no" when that's what you needed to say, saying "yes" when that was what you wanted to say.
Recognize that you did something that was personally relevant for you and for your well-being. You carried through on something that was important. You put your mind to it. You followed through. And when it was done you might have wondered, why did I resist that? That felt good. I'm glad I showed up for myself.
See if you can remember or imagine how the feelings of caring for yourself seeped in. You had more energy. Your outlook was clearer. Afterwards you could think back to the choice for self-care and feel good about yourself again. You deserve/d to care for yourself.
Thinking about good feelings or feeling worthy of taking time to care for yourself, isn't about getting puffed up. It doesn't deny the negative in life. It isn't positive thinking. It's positive feeling.
This is a simple way to stay motivated to care for yourself even when it's hard. When we take care of ourselves and have enough inside us we have something to give others. You might want to try on this practice when you're rushing around or feel overwhelmed. It is adapted from H.E.A.L.
1. Take a deep breath.
2. Bring to mind a time when you did some good self-care. Remember it for about about five or ten seconds.
3. Enrich the memory, remember how you felt when you were all done. More energy, more clarity. Take another breath.
4. Absorb the good feeling of really being there for yourself, being on your own team. One more relaxed breath to let it in.
5. Experiment with practicing this 5 or 6 times a day for a month. That's about a minute a day. It's a great way to let your brain know what you pay to attention to, what you want it to focus on and grow more of.
Let's keep renewing our energy, our choices to care for ourselves, a little bit every day.
Take good care,
Sustainable growth requires a solid foundation
I've had a number of second rootings myself. The trick for me has been to be faithful to each one, to grow it as a living thing inside me.
Inspired by John Philip Newell
Second Rootings refers to a most amazing gift of these times we live in. We might have lost, given up on, didn't have a tradition of spirituality from birth, or no longer feel fed by the tradition we inherited. Yet we have found/are finding a connection back to what is essential through another tradition, through a connection with the Earth, through acts of kindness, through spiritual practices that aren't religious.
John Phillip Newell spoke this weekend in Ashland. He told a story of banyan trees. Banyan trees grow large, then at a certain point, their long branches, extended 20 feet or so, send out essentially what looks like a trunk toward the earth. They root again and continue to extend the girth. With it the shelter that the tree gives expands.
In a community in Florida, where banyans had been planted along a street, there was a decision to tidy up the trees. Their second rootings created an eyesore in some people’s minds so they were removed. When the very next wind storm hit, the banyans were all lost. The second rootings had anchored them. When they were taken out the trees couldn’t sustain themselves in a heavy storm.
A take away is that these are rich, challenging times. For many of us, having a second rooting, another place besides what we might have learned from our family to root ourselves in, will help us make it through. Instead of thinking everything has to come from one body of teaching, that everyone has to believe or practice the same way, if we let ourselves expand we will benefit from a stronger base. A second rooting may help us better understand and live into the one that we were given at a young age.