A Lesson in Self-Care

Today I flew to San Antonio and I have to tell you something that really hit me today when the flight attendant was doing her little routine…

She says…in a nutshell…”be sure to help yourself before you help others” Don’t put the breathing mechanisms on everyone else while you suffocate, struggling for air…only to help the next person….just one more person….eventually, you’re going to collapse….

do whatever it takes to protect your soul

and, then you won’t be any good to anyone……

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST! :)

I am yelling that in a nice way because I’ve collapsed before, and it takes a long time to be revived again…it’s so much better to just put your breather on first….it takes a little bit more time…but then, you’ll be able to help as many people as you want to, because you are whole and taken care of!

What does it mean to take care of yourself?

Well……it means to respect your limitations, to honor your soul, to take a break when you’re tired…to stop and smell the flowers, to stop and plant the flowers….to remember your dreams, even if they’re on a shelf for now…at least to take them off of that shelf once in a while, dust them off and tell them you’ll be back when the time is right….

please be brave enough to dream

I hate limitations…I have to tell you that. I absolutely can’t stand the fact that there are only so many hours in a day and so much energy in a body….it drives me crazy. I have had to learn to be disciplined enough to ration all of my big dreams and ideas and zest for life into only 24 hours each day….well, actually 16-18 hours. I spent a few years trying to manufacture more energy so I could have more hours…I drank energy drinks nonstop and exercised obsessively…..I didn’t know what else to do…everyone everywhere needed so much from me….and I wanted SO much to give all that was required and expected…so I put myself into ‘energy debt’

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You really can put your body into serious debt if you take more out of it than it has…there are lots of ways to do it…but, the bill always comes due, usually with interest.

In January my doctor told me I had to slow down or very bad things were going to happen to my body.
She told me that I needed to rest, to sleep for a week or so, to get back in touch with how my body tells me what it’s limitations are. And, although she’d told me this 6 months earlier, I didn’t believe her…I thought I was different…that I could just run and run and run, and swallow manufactured strength and energy when I needed it…But then, the day came that I just couldn’t do it anymore, I really couldn’t even get out of bed.

don't beat yourself up just get back on track

So, I went to a place that my friend Patti told me about…I just left…I told everyone that I had to go away and I left for almost a week….a place called Red Mountain….

I just tracked down my journal entry from that time…

***

What I learned at Red Mountain:

I learned that keeping it together is a constant process, just like everything else in life that is worthwhile. That you are never ‘there’…that you have to take care of yourself every day.

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I learned that I still have a lot of wounds that need healing

I learned that I like myself, a lot. But that there’s still a voice inside of me who wants to pull all of the other voices down…a scared voice, one that I used to think was really mean and horrible and vindictive…now I know that it’s just a very scared voice, not a voice that hates me, but a voice that is trying to protect me from moving forward, because she is so afraid of what that will mean.

I learned that I have a lot of fears still, but that I have also overcome a lot of fear.

I learned that resting and thinking and being feels really really good, and that I really enjoy my own company.

I learned that my mind is still brilliant and full of life and ideas, even though I had feared that I burned it out.

I learned that I have been severely missing and mourning the absence of my intuition. I know that there was a void there, a very painful void, but I didn’t know what it was. I learned that I have been drowning my intuition in caffeine, too many appointments, too much work and excessive exercise and obsession over my body.

I learned how much better I feel without caffeine.

I remembered how much I love healthy, fresh food

I remembered what it felt like to sleep all night

I remembered and learned about how deep my love runs for my husband and for my children. I learned that I am afraid of that love.

I learned about yoga, and I learned that I love it and want to make it a part of my everyday life.

I learned and remembered how beautiful a person can look, more beautiful than any other time, when their inner light glows through their skin.

I learned that music can be a powerful healing, cathartic, moving vehicle for change, creativity and self-awareness

I learned that there are wonderful people from everywhere.
****

I hope you will take care of yourself. I have to do a better job of it too…I forget….or I think I am ‘there’ and I let it slip. It is a constant process and it is so important.

Make a date with yourself right now to take a bubble bath, go for a walk or write in your journal. Little excursions, even if only 10 minutes, will give you the oxygen you need to help everyone else.

don't be afraid to sparkle

Speaking of taking care of ourselves…it is now 2am and I really gotta go to bed!