Today I am finding small ways to nourish my happiness. While the babies nap, I take water and a sandwich outside and sit with the sun on my face. I stand and stretch, make a few phone calls to people I love. I chat and make plans to plant seeds with the neighbor- we haven’t seen each other’s faces since before the winter.
I don’t know where the point was in my life that to do some yoga became a necessity and not just a thing I did. Now it’s like…maintenence. On the days I let go by without it I become constricted, sore, and negative. I get headaches more often and have less to give to my family. It is knowing all this that is slowly coaxing me to make sure I get what I need.
I’ve said it before, but I must care for myself so that I can care for my family. I must take what I need so that I can give. Doing this, I can turn outwards to the world with what I have to offer. When I neglect myself, I am much more apt to turn in and only see disaster. At those times I have very little to give to the world.
This is my experience, but I have a feeling that it is not that different for other people. We all take care of ourselves in varying ways, but we must take care nonetheless. Otherwise, we are just shadows. Within those shadows is an unmistakable light, but it is our job bring out the brightness, to find the things that make it shine.
I used to think that there was one thing that would turn me on like a light switch. Now I find that it is many small things, and that everything in my life can brighten or dim the light. It becomes an exercise in deliberate choices.
For example: I choose to take the time to make myself lunch, because I will be able to think more clearly and I will have more energy for the rest of the day. I could choose to skip it because the effort to make it seems like a lot, but then I will be condemning myself to a much more difficult afternoon. In the moment, the choice to do the nourishing thing usually seems like the more difficult choice, but once I have done it, I am always glad I did and life is easier in the long run. When I take the “easier,” less nourishing route, I am regretful of it because things are harder in the long run.
This may seem very simplistic, but I find it extremely helpful to notice small things like this.
What do you do to care for yourself? I would truly like to know.