I have been pondering an interesting concept this week, one which is really helping my physical and emotional wellbeing resulting in more control over my reactions and emotions.
I took my usual yoga class last Saturday morning and the Sankalpa; or intention, we worked with was around creating and observing the relationship with the Self. The class was lead by the inspirational yoga teacher with the biggest smile and warmest soul, Lisa Ball. She mentioned the words “sitting down and having a relationship with your Self”. Just read those words again. “Sitting down and having a relationship with your Self”. Have you ever done this? Have you ever been the observer of that relationship? That one relationship that is perhaps the most important of all? How do you talk to your Self? How do you perceive your own thoughts, your own inner voice and your own actions? Do you fully accept yourself and trust your intuition?
These words stayed with me and intrigued me. It wasn’t until a few days later that I actually thought about the relationship that I have with my own Self. A few realisations washed over me as I noticed that this relationship needed some attention. Being a mum, wife, friend, daughter, sister, aunt, employee; most of my thoughts and energy are poured into my relationships with others. I haven’t dedicated much energy into nurturing my own Self. And when I do, I feel like I am being selfish and self-absorbed. When observing how I perceive myself in my own inner world, I find this often comes from a place of harsh judgment rather than love and care. This is very much the polar opposite to my relationship with others.
So this week I have been trying to build a stronger connection to my Self. As the saying goes “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. This is so apt. How can I give my all to others when my own self is depleted? I must put on my own oxygen mask before helping others.
So how am I giving myself an oxygen mask this week? Treating myself that little bit kinder. Being gentle with myself. (I sound like I am talking to my 3-year-old!). Talking to myself with less judgment and more leniency. Restarting a meditation practice but instead of rigidly practicing every day and feeling guilty if I haven’t, doing it when I can and not worrying that I haven’t done it for 5 days. Buying a fancy water bottle to encourage myself to drink more. But the thing that has had the most profound effect was finding one way, each day, to do something just for Me. I have actually started scheduling these activities into each day. With the first day doing exactly that. Planning. Planning in what I will do and when I can fit in my daily self-care for the week. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive. For me, most of the time it is just sitting down for 5 minutes, putting on chillout music, essential oils in the diffuser and having a cuppa with no phone or computer while the kids are asleep. The main thing is to find ways that refuel your own wellbeing. It might be exercise, socialising or personal development, it is different for everyone.
And what have I noticed?
- I am laughing more.
- I am more patient with the kids.
- My shoulders have relaxed.
- Some things that seemed a big deal are now not.
- Life seems a little smoother.
I highly recommend taking an honest look at your relationship with your own Self. Not judging or resisting. Just noticing. Observe your own thought patterns, prioritise yourself and perhaps recognise any areas that need a little TLC.