As you may have read from my previous blog, I embarked on a self care journey the beginning of this month for 14 days. The goal was to take care of my four health basics related to the four basic elements (nutrition – fire, water – water, breathing and movement – air, and sleep and meditation – earth). I didn’t realize how difficult of a journey it would be (ironic, yes). Also, I’m surprised by how many lessons I learned about myself and self care during those two weeks.
I think the hardest lesson I learned was to Let Go of the Things of Love. Before this journey, I sacrificed my self care time in order to multi-task and try to fit in everything I could possible. It’s difficult to let go of things and people that don’t serve you but you feel obligated towards (like the friend that drains your energy, or taking a course because you feel you have to, or being the family mediator, etc.). It’s even harder to let go of things and people that you love in order to make time for your self and the things you need to do in order to learn and grow. Last week I decided to let go of a part-time job and a committee that I enjoyed (and worked at for the last 3 years) in order to make more time for my family, my business, and my health. It was a necessary, yet hard, decision as even though I enjoyed these things and felt comfortable there, I was becoming static and unchallenged, keeping me from progressing further in life. Needless to say it was a heartbreaking Valentine’s Day.
The day after I was feeling low, so I decided to bring my favourite mug to work in order to elevate my mood (sometimes something shinny makes us feel happy). If you are a tea/coffee or mug person, you understand how important your favourite mug is. If you aren’t, imagine your favourite material possession that brings you comfort (like a purse, shoes, book, painting, etc.). I had this cup for years and had fears of it breaking. And then, in alignment with the day I was having, the mug flew from my hands and shattered on the floor. For five minutes, I just stood there standing in disbelief. I couldn’t believe I had lost the one simple material thing that brought me joy. It was a metaphor for how I felt – shattered, broken, and confused.
It was in that moment, staring at my shattered ceramic mug on the floor, that I realized that I would get through this and be stronger from it. That things need to be broken in order to be repaired. That I can loose a thing that I love and still be okay. We don’t need materials or experiences to define ourselves and our happiness. You need to let go of things to let other things into your life. It’s analogous to gardening – we have to break up the soil and prune the plants in order to bear the best fruit. We have to let go with love, and let in with self love and care. Even if we aren’t sure what will come, have faith in your intuition and decision to let go and keep yourself open for the new opportunities and challenges to come.
So needless to say my self care journey was enlightening, challenging and cathartic. I learned universal lessons of letting go and taking time for myself and health. I have been inspired by the experience to include a self care day every Sunday (which I’ll be doing a facebook live for with tips and tidbits) for the next year. Each week will be a new journey in self care and I look forward to it with optimism and openness.
(ps – to find my facebook lives every Sunday follow me at www.facebook.com/maplenaturopath)