I’ve been attempting to write blog post number two for weeks now. I’ve started writing so many times, and failed to come up with something I deem publish worthy. Some attempts have turned into lengthy journal entries, which have been cathartic, but not worthy of sharing with you. It’s been frustrating, and has left me wondering, at times, whether I’m cut out for this whole blog thing after all. But I’m choosing to hang in there.
My aim is to write content that will uplift, inspire, and delight you. This is where my problem currently lies . I can pretend all I like to be a shining beacon of positivity and “perfection”, full of sage advice on how to live an awesome life, but that would be a big fat lie.
The truth of the matter is, that right now, my head is a very messy place to be.
This truth came to its latest peak on Saturday, with a series of three mini meltdowns. Exhausted and emotional, I spent a good chunk of yoga class hiding my mental turmoil and my tears in child’s pose. When my beautiful yoga teacher showed me some love and kindness with a hug after class, I disolved into a fresh set of tears and escaped as quickly as possible to the privacy of my car. Later in the day, whilst having my hair cut, the conversation with my long-time hairdresser (13 years and counting!) had me admitting that I was unstable, whilst a fresh set of red-eyed tears washed over me, and she spent the rest of my appointment giving me heartfelt advice and love along with an awesome haircut and blow wave (not to mention a dreamy head massage!).
This is certainly not the day of someone who’s got life all sorted out.
So, instead of pretending to have “it all” figured out, I will instead just tell the truth, with the aim of sharing the lessons I am learning along the way.
My beautiful, clever, wise and loving hairdresser made me promise that I would get help. I’ve been mulling over my options and talking about it with my husband. I’m not certain yet what all of that help will entail, but I’ve finally made a commitment to myself, to take care of me. It’s time to take responsibility for myself.
We’ve heard it a million times – to take care of your family, you must first take care of yourself. Almost every article I’ve ever read on the subject refers to the in-flight emergency oxygen mask analogy: fit your own mask first, before helping others. But it seems I’m a little slow and stubborn to allow this message to really sink in, or to actually take it on board. I needed close to 5 years of motherhood related meltdowns to learn this crucial lesson. I know I’m not the only one – too many mothers I know follow the same pattern, putting the needs of their family, and especially their children, before their own. The inevitable result: meltdown (like my day on Saturday), breakdown, physical ill-health, mental ill-health. The lesson is clear: MY FAMILY NEEDS ME TO TAKE QUALITY CARE OF MYSELF, IN ORDER FOR ME TO BE CAPABLE OF TAKING QUALITY CARE OF THEM.
Perhaps I should give myself “lines” – write this sentence out 100 times!
So, for me, it begins with this: I commit to care well for myself, body, mind and soul.
For me, it seems logical that whilst I need to care for all three of these parts of me in order that they all work indiviually, the key aspect is caring for my soul. Without nourishing my soul, what is the point? It’s the essential part of me, the eternal part of me, and without it, I am nothing.
I recently watched Oprah interview Gabrielle Bernstein on Super Soul Sunday, and it spoke to me deeply about how I can nourish my soul, and be a spiritual person. Gabby, a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, yoga and meditation teacher, video blogger and self-confessed “spirit junkie”, described the following steps as nessesary in order to become more spiritual:
1. A willingness – to become more spiritual.
2. Pay attention – when you’re willing, guidance, opportunities and assignments will appear, if you pay attention.
3. Show up – when the guidance and assignments appear, you must show up for the assignments.
So, I’m willing. I’ve stated my commitment to self care, body, mind and soul. I’m paying attention, and it amazes me how the universe has given me the exact guidance I need. Specifically, I need to sleep (who would have thought?!), and I need to meditate. Step 3: show up. That is my task now. I’ve begun. Early to bed, and I’ve begun with 5 minutes daily meditation. Simple.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
What about you? Do you practice quality self care? If so, what does this include? If not, what’s stopping you, and what’s the first step you can take to change this habit? I look forward to hearing from you.