A few days before Thanksgiving, I attended a yoga class. As I lay on my back relaxing before the teacher began, I could hear the light, easy, excited chatter in the room. You could feel the anticipation: a holiday break was coming!
Why were we all so happy? Because a holiday usually signals to the body, mind and spirit that you’re about to slow down, to unplug a bit, to spend more time connecting with family and to live at a more “normal pace”–rather than the 24/7 breakneck speed most Americans keep.
It got me thinking … what if we lived in a world where self-care (the concept of attuning and responding to your needs/desires) was an integral part of the fabric of our lives?
-Your boss approached you when you looked overwhelmed at work and said, “You need to say no to any new projects—you look overworked and you’ve already got too much on your plate.”
-Your kid said, “Forget about basketball practice tonight Mom–you need to stay home this evening and rest, you’ve been doing too much lately. It won’t matter if I miss one night.”
-Your best friend reminded you, “Be extra easy on yourself this week—the anniversary of your dad’s death is coming up, it’s a fragile time for you.”
-Your co-worker told you after you’d been beating yourself up all morning, “Cut yourself some slack about that presentation—it was your first time to deliver the new material, you did great.”
-Your Mom encouraged you, “Ask for help and let others support you—there’s no reason you need to juggle everything on your own. Call on your tribe.”
-Your neighbor reminded you “Practice ‘good is good enough’—the party doesn’t have to be perfect. People would rather have a happy, relaxed host than a sparkling clean home or homemade food.”
-Your husband called to say, “Be gentle with yourself right now, you’re in the middle of a lot of transitions; take a day off for rest and rejuvenation. I’ll pick up some Thai food on my way home and then bathe and put the kids to bed.”
Hmmmm …imagine a world where everywhere we went, we all encouraged one another to slow down, attune to our physical/emotional/spiritual and mental needs and the practice of self-care, self-compassion and self-nurturance became part of our value system. Part of our everyday experience.
It’s hard to envision, isn’t it?
It would have been hard for me to imagine eleven years ago that I would work, live and play the way I do now. (I probably would have called the current, more relaxed Renee– a “slacker.”)
But what I’ve come to know after years of mindfully focusing on self-care and all that this has come to mean for me, is that I’m wiser, more prosperous, more focused, more productive and have more fun when I put my needs at the top of my to-do list before supporting and serving those around me.
And, the exciting thing? That those closest to me are beginning to do the same. Ripple on friends …and who knows, maybe a year from now we’ll all live in a world where each of us is a bit more kinder and gentler to our sweet selves than we were before. Imagine that.
FIND YOUR TRIBE, ATTEND A RETREAT/WORKSHOP OR JOIN THE DIALOGUE: Would you like support for focusing on self-care and learning to slow down and be more present in your everyday life? Join or become trained to facilitate a Personal Renewal Group, or visit our calendar to learn more about upcoming events.
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The Journey, a blog about coach/author/entrepreneur Renee Trudeau’s personal journey to life balance and living life from the inside out, comes out weekly.