Self-nurturing in difficult times
Day 75/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Mood: heart-centred
Nurturing ourselves can prove one of the most difficult exercises to undertake for many of us. Many traditions and religions value and reward selfless giving of oneself in service to others.
At times this form of social conditioning can leave us so habituated into service to others that it forms the fabric of our lives, and leaves us bereft of the skill and ability to turn that caring towards ourselves.
The paradox is that we really are only able to give as well as we ourselves are cared for. What I mean by that is, when I feel cared for, supported and loved, I am more able to give those qualities in my service to others.
You cannot give from an empty cup. Since learning this very useful rule of thumb, and attending to my own self-nurturing, I have discovered that I am able to give with more compassion and support.
Today's challenge is to really take a good look at how well you nurture yourself
Make a list of 10 things that you can do to nurture yourself, pick one and do that today.
At this time self-nurturing takes on a whole new meaning. We're not talking here about getting your nails done nor spending the afternoon at a spa treatment. By now most of us have taken measures to socially distance ourselves to protect ourselves and others during this COVID-19 pandemic.
We're looking for a deeper self-nurturing. Something that touches your deepest fears and soothes them as best you can.
By self-nurturing I mean caring for myself deeply. Caring enough about myself to discover my inner most hurts and regrets. Discovering the stories that limit me and undermine my self-worth. Revealing where I have been wronged and coming to terms with it. Exploring where I have inadvertently hurt others and forgiving myself. This work is deep inner work, and work that has often been supported and facilitated by others. It's also work I have been doing for decades.
The end result of this work is that I have developed a great deal of resilience. Times like these will test that resilience when fear challenges me most.
Opportunities to explore this deep sort of self-nurturing has been mentioned a number of times already in this challenge with suggestions to:
make time for yourself each day
journal your thoughts
spend time in nature
create a toy box
create a creative box of lovely things that you like to reminisce over
take one day each week to do fun things on your own
explore your stye
As we are confronted with this global health crises with the COVID-19 virus, we will confront many opportunities for self-nurturing and many challenges with it as well.
The greatest challenge will be fear coming to the surface often. Fear persists when we are confronted with a challenge that feels too big for us.
It's taken me a few days to run through my preparation and make sure I have assessed all the resources that I may need to overcome this challenge, and to prepare myself with enough food and essentials to sit out any self-isolation periods that may be imposed.
Yet fear still surfaces from time to time. This is when self-nurturing is really important, otherwise I find myself becoming immobilised.
For me that begins with really getting to the bottom of what that fear is really about. With my knowledge and experience of supporting my own and my clients' emotional wellbeing I have the tools for this work.
My discovery is that this fear is about dying alone. Even though I know it's an unlikely occurrence, that fear will still surface from time to time to remind me that I'm human. Each time it does, I'll sit with it and get to know it better.
With that discovery I can now resolve to bring everything back to my heart space. To live from that heart space in everything I do. To be in appreciation for the things in front of me and those that are supporting me, and when I find myself being distracted, to return to my heart and take all my concerns there.
This time of self-isolation for me will be a time of deep self-nurturing. With a chronic respiratory condition, the prospects of this virus are real for me and whatever happens, I want to take this opportunity to advance my personal growth and self-mastery.
Find at least a few ways to nurture yourself and sooth your soul during these difficult times. Stay well. 🌷
My work continues at present both in clinic and online. You are welcome to contact me if you would like support.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.