I realized a few years ago that the schedule I was keeping was not sustainable over time and that unless I did something, my health was really going to suffer. There were already signs; weight gain, body pain that would come and go, fatigue. I told myself that I was fine – really, I did not feel unhappy, I was managing. But I was also exercising way less than I used to, I was spending less time with my friends and oh yeah, my marriage was falling apart!
Meditation and yoga were my lifeline. My practice served me very well helping me to keep perspective, stay motivated and not burn out. Still, it was clear that I needed to make a change, I just could not find my way to how.
Getting divorced finally gave me the real kick that I needed to stop making excuses – there’s so much to do, people need me, I can’t afford to work less….. I decided: no more.
And so I stopped. Well, I didn’t really stop completely – but for several months, I went home early. I started getting out and walking more again. I sat and daydreamed. I went to concerts and movies. I planned some trips. I started having a life that was more focused on me again. And I started feeling better. I got re-inspired. And I stopped doing some things that I didn’t find fulfilling or fun.
I have continued to look at how it is that I need to work in order to do the work I feel I am meant to do in the world AND be my very best self. I know absolutely that I must be my best self in order to do that work. I teach about being one’s best self…. (don’t they say we teach what we most need to learn?).
I don’t have all my own answers yet. I am looking deeply into what it means to really do self-care. I know all the basics and more… – I drink enough water, eat great food, get enough sleep, have a dog, exercise, meditate, do yoga, get out in nature, talk to friends, read for inspiration and growth ad nauseum….. These things are all so important. Still, there is so much more.
I am asking myself questions.
what nurtures my heart and soul?
what do I really want my day to day life to look like?
who do I want to be a part of my life?
what do I need to feel fulfilled?
how do I want to be?
how do I want to work?
am I playing?
These questions are not new to me but my approach to them is changing and I see the responses being enriched. I am taking more time with them without expecting specific answers. I realize more than ever that the questions, not the answers, are most important. I see that when I am living with the questions alive in my awareness, I recognize the answers and those things that are not the answers, much more clearly.
There is a part of me that is afraid of really living these questions. The part that sees that I am going to disappoint people. Because, in order to really do self-care, in a way I have never done it before, I have to change. And change is always hardest on those around us. But change I must because I am committed to truly being my best self.
How about you?
Please leave me a comment to let me know what you are thinking about!