Think it’s crazy to decide on a Monday to go to Central America on Friday for the weekend? Me too. But then I did it anyway. Here’s why…
I was in that grey place. I’d been in it for a while. It didn’t matter that I did my morning meditation, or that I took a walk or brewed my favorite coffee before work, I still was not feeling good. I was functional. I could get myself in an inspired zone to connect and teach but I couldn’t sustain it. I had the winter blues and I wanted them to go away for my sake, the sake of my family, my clients and anyone who would ever listen to me play a song (if I’m bleak, what then?)
So, at the last minute, I went to one of my favorite places, Costa Rica. I walked in the mountains, listened to birds & did yoga in an outdoor pavilion. I talked with a group of retreating women. I got a massage, slept, ate home cooked meals and 60 hours later, I flew home.
One of the things I realized while there is that I have a lifelong obsession of trying to do more with less (the more out of less idea is fun when it’s a creative challenge, but oppressive when it’s an internal mandate). And, I realized that within me lives romanticized storylines around the role of the martyr. Notions such as If I succeed without a lot of help, I’ll be a heroine or a “good girl” OR If I don’t need too much (and I manage to have a full cup without really filling it), I’ll somehow have accomplished something amazing! It’s silly, really, and a construct of my ego even though I didn’t intend to create it.
Whether I was born this way or it developed out of notions of what makes a good person, a good mom, or even an early-life admiration of well-known people like Mother Theresa, I’ll never know. But I do know that trying to do less with more (or creating martyr-like circumstances) when one has other options is not the best way I can be in this world.
In admiring people like Mother Theresa, I was picking up on a truth: That nothing is more loving, energy-producing and happiness-creating than service to others (in fact, I think it’s the only thing that makes us truly happy), but this service doesn’t exclude us!
Self-care is a real buzz-word these days. I prefer to think of it as letting my true-self lead. Going where I’m called to go on the level of my soul, giving myself what I need, allowing the flow of life to go through me instead of trying to control the flow of giving and receiving based on ideas about my role or definitions of what makes a good person.
What about you?
Are you great at taking ongoing care of yourself? Or do you tend to do one nice thing for yourself and then see how long you last?
What can you gift yourself this week that, in turn will gift the world?
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts