Perspective

Last Saturday while I was at Esalen–a beautiful, legendary 40 year-old retreat center in stunning Big Sur, CA–leading a women’s retreat, I participated in a writing exercise that I assigned to the women in my group.

As I lay on my belly on the grass with my journal and pen, listening to the ocean waves crash against the rocks 100 yards away, my attention was repeatedly drawn to a 200 year-old tree whose trunk was the diameter of a small yurt. It held court like a wise grandmother with outstretched arms, watching over me with wisdom and compassion. And I felt her quietly and persistently whispering a word to me: perspective.

Lying there on the lawn—-I saw my life from 30,000 feet up. All the tasks, to-dos, and deadlines I was juggling two days ago that had seemed sooo timely …no longer were. All the emails and calls that had seemed so urgent on Friday, were now distant memories. Even my biggest work projects—like completing my book edits for my publisher—-took on a different hue.

I felt a warmth spread across my chest and sitting with this, I recognized it as longing –for my husband and son. I missed them. And I realized what huge blessings they are and how much they enrich my life. Gratitude flooded my body and I dropped my pen and journal, rolled onto my back and rested my head in my hands.

Often when we’re gifted with a mile high view, we try to hold onto it for as long as possible. Grasping and wishing that this new, lighter, looser take on things could hang out with us for another night or two.

This morning in yoga, I anchored back to this higher perspective.  And what came flooding into my awareness was that this way of seeing things—where “people first, deadlines second” and “choosing love over fear” rule the roost—was my true state of being. My innate nature. My birthright.

Perspective is not a remote island I get to visit on occasion, but a large, vast, place within me that sees things as they really are.

I just have to let go and surrender long enough to let my boat dock, anchor and rest awhile.

A MOTHER’S DAY GIFT FOR YOU: In honor of dia de las mamas, we’re giving away a Year-of-Self-Care Package, which includes an all expenses paid trip to my Kripalu retreat (a $2700 value). Learn more.

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Photo: My tree at Esalen. Artwork on the path to our retreat space. The front lawn at Esalen, facing the Pacific ocean.

Comments

  1. What a lovely gift. I have been working on re-defining self-care as something other then self-indulgence. And now that I have a 5.5 year old I am learning how setting limits and saying no to myself and my child is an exquisite form of selfcare

  2. Self-care means that I, too (in addition to my loved ones) need attention, nurturing, creative space, and time. This includes appreciating the moment, unplugging and going off the grid, and enjoying nature. I am much more available to my little ones and adult ones when I consider myself as “valuable.”

  3. Self care—acknowledging that I am worthy of being cared for. Knowing that time for devotion is worth rising early every day. Nurturing the real me, my heart and soul’s need for quiet, creativity, and expression. Desiring, pursuing and working toward self care helps to make me the person God intended and allows me the freedom to give to those around me in an open and loving way.

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