The See Saw of Self Care
In our last chat Playing in the Muck we chatted about playing in the muck: the emotions that don’t always feel so good. Well that process continues to unfold for me and the path continues to be enlightening. As you may have come to realize, I am very intrigued by astrology. In one recent astrology report about the Full Moon in Cancer this Wed/Thursday, it spoke about how Cancer energy is about nurturing the self while balancing that without retreating more than would be healthy. I can really feel that pull this week. I bought me some new pajamas yesterday and have been enjoying a very slow quiet day at home today. Nurturing the self is not always an easy task especially for those that struggle with being caretakers for most people in their lives. It is like riding a see saw that often feels like you can never quite find that middle path. For me, a practice of self care has come over time. The path continues to unfold as I become more receptive to listening to the messages that my body is telling me. Such as today, my body says stay home while my ego is telling me to go out and have fun. The path of self care is beginning to listen to the part of yourself that is yearning for a little momma love and quieting the part of you that says that that would be a waste of time. Easier said than done you say…to that I say uh huh. It is in my nature to be more outward, to be high energy, and in motion a good deal of the time. I gain my energy by being around others and it is also my nature to nurture others. I have a lot of internal fire that burns bright and strong. When the fires stoke for a long time they deplete me. Therefore learning how to engage the energy that feels like it’s my nature with tempering it’s fires enough to rejuvenate is an elusive balance at times. Just earlier this week, I was having a discussion with some people around striking that often spoken about but subtly challenging to find….balance. Isn’t that what the astrologer I read was speaking about with embracing the positive aspects of Cancer energy without tipping the see saw in the direction of seclusion and isolation? What does it mean to find balance? Hmmmm let’s discuss….
The concept of balance reminds me of a line in one of my favorite movies: Eat, Pray, Love. I know, I know.. .I have talked about this before. I can’t help it, I’m a chick who likes chick flicks. So anyway….the movie is very loosely based on the book which is a biography of Elizabeth Gilbert’s quest for deeper meaning in life. As I have previously stated, there are so many lines in the movie that are so apropos but this one sticks out at the moment in thinking about how to embrace self love and nurturance. Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert states to a medicine man, Katut, she met in Bali that she separated from her boyfriend because she felt that she was losing balance in her life and felt that it was taking her away from center. Katut states to her “sometimes losing balance for love is part of living life.” Now they are talking about intimate partner relationships but we can think about it as a metaphor for life in general. Given the complex nature of our world, it is highly unlikely that we will find a state of balance and be able to stay there forever and ever. That would be like expecting that somehow all you have to do is find the magic recipe for life and you are set for all eternity. Hmmm if you find such a thing I would be extremely grateful if you let me in on the recipe. Together we can enmass a great fortune spreading the word to all who care to listen. Unfortunately, the recipe is of your own making and like a lot of recipes, we don’t always have all of the ingredients all the time. It therefore looks a little different each time we strive to find center again. The key to the recipe is awareness. Knowing that you are off balance and then having practices that help guide you back towards your center that are key. I always talk about the process with my clients as learning how to be not only like the trunk of a tree that is rooted into the earth but more importantly how can we be like the branches. Branches often have the ability to sway one way and then the other while mostly being able to come back to center when the storm is over. Gotta love nature and it’s plethora of metaphors for how to live life in harmony.
Do you ever find yourself lost on the bottom of the see saw of self care? What helps you be aware of your need for nuturance? Do you ever find yourself on the other end of the see saw isolating and retreating in a way that is not helpful? What helps you become aware of this and move forward to reach outward rather than inward? The see saw of balancing time of introspection, self nurturance and self care with time spent with your tribe, community, or loved ones is crucial to building the true meaning of self care. Knowing what we need and then being willing to follow through with feeding ourselves that nurturing recipe is all the balance we can really ask for. Life is often a storm. Sometimes that storm is violent and sometimes, just like a beautiful snow storm, it is quiet and still. One thing we can always count is the consistency of change. Using practices such as journaling, quiet reflection, meditation, yoga, or a variety of other practices can bring you into union with your soul and give you messages of what it needs to feel safe, secure and nurtured. Overtime, this allows us to fall in love all over again. Except this time it is with ourselves:)
May you have a nurturing and loving day:)
[…] keeps coming up, I guess I am supposed to listen. First a reader commented on our recent chat The See Saw of Self Care about how children have this innate ability to have fun but as we grow we lose that ability along […]