With a suitcase full of chunky sweaters, leggings and cozy socks, I will be making my way to a retreat in the woods. Four days of yoga, reflection and connection with 12 other women. Meals provided. No reason to leave the premises… And it feels completely SELFISH! My son is home on break this week. My daughter needs rides and support. The money could go towards so many other things. Should I really be doing this for myself?
Well, I'm going. So obviously I have decided… YES.
It is just recently that I truly started to embrace taking care of myself first. And I still slip out of it VERY easily... Taking responsibility for the happiness (and unhappiness) of certain people in my life. Trying to meet their (assumed) needs. Basing my very own well-being on the emotional state of those around me.
Putting other people (people I love dearly...) first just. doesn't. work. It becomes impossible to creatively and authentically respond to my family, friends, events, circumstances, requests, emotions, thoughts... that are life. I get easily agitated, frustrated, and overwhelmed. I react, not respond. Resilience? Forget it. So although at times like this I am operating under the guise of selfless service… who or what exactly am I serving?
(Aside from regret… worry… doubt…reliance on external validation…)
It is only when we are grounded, centered and clear… when we are balanced and strong emotionally, mentally and physically… that we are able to be fully present, alive and engaged.
What if we made sure our own selves were in beautiful working order? If we tuned in and fostered physical, emotional and mental self-awareness. Self-trust. What if we treated ourselves as if we were someone we loved and cared for and were responsible for? And strengthened the practice of coming back to center again and again and again.
When we show up fully present, living our purpose, allowing our true selves to be expressed… that's where the magic is. And who knows how far that awesomeness will ripple?