For many years I’ve focused on practicing self-care, like a strict ritual I use to top myself up, so I’m able to keep moving forward. Like many of you, I learned all the things, diet, proper amount of rest, exercise, stretch out with some yoga and mindfulness, hobbies that make me sing… all the right ‘things’ to do.
It was during one of my ‘Tam Days’ when I was out trailing with Apollo, something happened that shifted every way I treat myself from that moment on. I was feeling overwhelmed with the love and gratitude for my beautiful life, one of those moments when you just feel this heart-melting preciousness for life. My very first instinct, prior to any thought, was to share the love I felt moving through me. To very quickly find someone, anyone to share it with, give it to, care for… as I began thinking who I would call or what I would do to share this experience, I caught myself out.
I realised how often in my life I do this, when I feel the enormous power of love arrive, I look to give it away, to push it quickly out in the world. So… I stopped. I realised this is one way I’m not completely surrendering to love, to the unknown depths of my heart. This is one way I hide from it’s enormous force. I allowed all that love flowing through me, to flow back into me… this arrived with so much power, it broke my heart wide open. Tears poured down my face, and I physically needed to relax and open with the power of this loving energy now finding it’s way home through me. I felt in awe at how this love can be experienced by ourselves, not just for others’. I wondered if this is what it feels like to be loved by me, I experienced the preciousness of the gift of love, for myself. This simple stopping was one of the most loving things I’ve allowed for myself. So simple, and more powerful than 100 massages or early nights.
I’ve since really started to explore, just how loving are we with ourselves? I’m surrounded by really special people in my life, and I watch how much we all give, care for, and generally loves those around us. How often do we treat ourselves with that same quality of loving care. How often do we truly turn love back inwards to ourselves, and love ourselves as we do others’.
From this depth of love and care, we can then enjoy all our things, the self-care we know is good for us. But what I notice now is that my intent behind the actions has changed. Previously I would practice self-care in an attempt to top my tank back up, just enough so I could go back to the art of busy-ness without my body interupting me with needs. (Well caught!) It was not an act of love at all. Like feeding your children only when they are screaming and crying with the hunger pains, then just enough care to stop them screaming. Who would ever consider that a loving way to parent and nuture our children. Yet I discovered this was how I was practicing caring for myself.
Ironically, now all of life feels more loving to me. My work, play, sleep and all the self-care feels so much more loving to myself. So… it’s not so much about Self-care as a practice – but LIVING loving yourself every moment of every day.
Living love is your gift to you – so give it!