Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Taking Good Care of Yourself
Our sensitive, unique and wonderful bodies really are miracles, these magnificent temples of the soul. They allow God to not only know but experience herself, through us. Our bodies deserve our utmost care.
As I write this, I'm sitting with my feet up, looking out the window at the green grass, beautiful tall trees and the long rays of light from the setting sun. The low light sparkles on the leaves that dance in the breeze. Stopping to really notice scenes like this is one of the ways that I take good care of myself.
There are many ways, individual to each of us. If we listen, we will hear what our bodies and our spirits need. One tool I use often is to simply ask myself, "What do I need to do right now to take care of myself?" Stopping for a moment to ask the question shifts our attention from details and busyness to remembering the truth of our own innate value and importance in the world.
Focusing on doing what we need to do to take good care of ourselves helps relieve stress, and makes us more effective in our roles and in our lives. When we are good to ourselves, the world can dish out what it will, and we remain our own best advocates. No matter what, we can find deep joy in nurturing our own hearts' desire.
I believe that the more often we choose to act in a way that honors our own needs, the healthier we can be physically and emotionally. Our bodies and minds relax as they become accustomed to being treated with care. We learn to trust ourselves.
Self-care may come in the form of spending time in nature, or practicing a creative hobby. It may be found in getting more regular physical activity or eating foods that nurture our bodies and feel right for us. Taking good care of ourselves may mean saying no, even when someone else is disappointed or angry, or making sure that we honor our need to spend time alone.
Splurging a little on the perfect pair of shoes or on some article of clothing that we feel great in could be a way to cherish ourselves. Or it might be in planning a schedule for our days that includes time for our spiritual practice, or for other kinds of self-care.
We glorify God, and our blessed existence, when we remember to consider what we need to do to take good care of ourselves, and then do it.
May you find many joyful ways to cherish yourself, and may this tool be a blessing. . .