"Self-care isn't selfish. It is a gift to all concerned. You can't serve from an empty vessel."- Eleanor Brown
I've lost count of the number of times I have invited people to one of our workshops or retreats only to be told that they didn't have any time for self-care. They always run down the laundry list of things they have to do and how they are so exhausted they can barely function, and how they know they need to make time for themselves, but how now is just not the right time, but maybe after blah blah blah happens. It's as if busy has become a badge of honor of sorts. For some of us, it even seems to be competitive, as if some imaginary Mother of the Year award goes to the busiest among us. But the only thing winning that award will get us is burnt out. There will come a point where we will drive ourselves over the top of Martyr Cliff if we don't put up our own roadblocks as a safety precaution against ourselves. Those roadblocks are our self-care practices. And simply put, the more self-care practices we have built in to our daily schedules, the better off we, and everyone we come in contact with, will be.
As mothers, the hustling and bustling starts off innocently enough. The children are beginning school and we want to support our child's school, so we volunteer to help in the classroom or make copies in the printer room. Before you know it, we have volunteered our time for this committee and that position, and we barely have time to sit in front of our own child and ask them how their day was, let alone take time to meditate or go for a walk. And then we actually judge other moms who have the audacity not to volunteer, when really we might just be a teeny bit jealous that they had the guts to want to actually ENJOY their life, since one day the kids will be gone, and then we will wonder what the hell we've been doing the last umpteen years, ignoring the now undeniable fact that you not only deserve your own love and attention, you actually NEED it.
Reconnected to Life is all about redefining what it means to be "Self-Centered". Long denoted as a negative term, living a self-centered lifestyle is about restoring balance to your life through The Four Seeds of Self-Care. When you are consistent with your self-care practice, you will more easily accomplish your goals, foster more meaningful relationships, and better connect with your community. The ironic thing about our constant state of busy-ness is that we are actually hampering our abilities to do all the things we want to do like serving others and volunteering, because we are never fully giving of ourselves. We can't be if we are never really filled up. I'm speaking energetically, of course. If we cannot find the time to properly care for ourselves first, how can we possibly expect to bring the best version of ourselves to anything we do? And in that case, we aren't really showing up wholeheartedly like we think we are, thereby doing a disservice to the people and events we've overcommitted ourselves to show up for.
"When self-care becomes a priority, everything in your life gets a little easier."- Michelle Farris
I spent many years as the mom breaking her back to show everyone what a great mom I was through my school involvement and volunteerism. That's not to say I didn't enjoy plenty of it. However, there were plenty of times I said yes to things I should have said no to, but was afraid I would be judged as "an uninvolved parent." And the truth is, if your kid has a roof over their head, clean clothes to put on, food to eat, and they KNOW you love them because you tell them and spend time with them, you win the Mother of the Year award already because that's all they want and need. So I promise, be it the tiniest bit, you CAN find time for a little self-care. If people think that's selfish, so be it. They don't have to be you for the rest of your life.
I remember a family member, after a heated disagreement, making a snide remark about my business, saying I sure named my business right(referring to the self-centered part). I laughed and thought, "You're damn straight!" Because I had spent so much time practicing self-care and knowing in my heart what a happier person I was in general for it and how much more pleasant my kids thought I was to be around, I took it as a compliment. That's the opposite of selfish I thought it then, I think it now, and I hope very soon, after beginning a new commitment to your own self-care, you will join me in saying, "If being self-centered is wrong, I don't want to be right!"
With love and gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel