2/1/2013 0 Comments
Welcome again to the Guilty Pleasures Revolution!
Today, on Day 3, we're going to talk about simple, stress-free self-care rituals - and the key to the right self-care ritual for you.
My mother was the most self-less individual I have ever known. Back in her time, this was revered as being a good mom. And she was a good mom, but today, looking back, I can’t help but wonder if she was a perfectly happy one. I really don’t recall her having any rituals for self-care, other than her much-needed afternoon nap because of her heart condition.
So when I became a mom many years later, very unconsciously, I mothered in much the same way, until I met a woman who taught me one of the greatest lessons of my life.
When my daughter was about 7 years old, she became friends with a lovely little girl who had just been diagnosed with childhood diabetes. One Sunday, her mom invited our family to their home for a bar-b-que. I remember noticing little things about her. She seemed centered and calm and moved about with grace. Classical music played in the background, a sweet smelling candle wafted throughout the house, and a drop table at the end of a long sitting room wore a lace cloth along with a small vase with delicate tea roses in shades of yellow, orange and pink.
I considered that perhaps she had done all this for our visit. But there was an air of permanence about things. As we spoke, she told me of all she was doing to give her daughter as normal a childhood as possible, along with the dietary cares and daily medical checks.
I looked at her and said, “You seem so calm; how do you manage it all?”
She walked over to the drop table, and with care, caressed the petals of one of the roses. “This. This is where I get my energy. Every time I pass by, I touch the flowers, and they give me energy.”
I was so struck by the power and simplicity of her words. She created an environment that fed her emotionally and spiritually. This was how she was able to move through her day with strength and grace. The music, the scents, the visual and visceral beauty were not there to impress us, but were there for her sanity and her soul. This was the first time that I had an up-close experience of a woman purposefully and lovingly taking care of herself. I suddenly felt like I was missing out on something. In the days and weeks to come, I became hyper-aware of what would bring me joy and experimented with the little things.
The keys here are:
1. Make it easy (and stress free)…. If you overthink it, it becomes just another “to do.”
2. Have fun with it!
3. Make it visible and a part of your everyday life.
4. Make it something that has significance for you.
One thing I love to do – even if I don’t do it every night (forget the guilt!) - is after everyone is asleep and the house is quiet, I make a cup of chamomile tea. I have special and uniquely beautiful cups that are reserved for my use only (sorry, family), and I only use it at this time of day (this makes it more of a special ritual).
I especially like my Buddha bowl (www.amazon.com) that cradles in my hands just so, that it feels sacred.
So now it’s your turn! Answer these questions:
What would be easy? (Remember, if trying to figure out what to do gives you anxiety, then it’s not the thing to do. It should feel stress free and be a no-brainer!)
What feeds me and gives me energy?
What things of beauty can I surround myself with? (I have seashells from last summer’s trip to the beach. They make me smile each time I pass by.)
What sacred time and space is mine alone (even if it is in the bathroom)?
Day 3 Affirmation: My soul is fed by simple and infinite beauty.
Be sure to watch your inbox for Day 4 of the Guilty Pleasures Revolution!
Here's to choosing you!
Paula G. Rosario
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