Powerful Caretakers - Taking Good Care of Ourselves First
Our community consists of powerful caretakers. We do a great job of assisting and loving those around us. However, many of us fall short when it comes to taking good care of ourselves. We expend our energies giving to our kids, our jobs, our partners, our schedules and more. Then, at the end of the day, we have nothing left for us. If this goes on for too long, we can begin to experience our lives as less than fulfilling.
However, more of us are becoming dedicated to the idea of putting ourselves first through radical self-care and self-love. If this sounds selfish, it's only because we've been conditioned to value the needs of others over our own. But, consider for a moment that being run-down, exhausted and stressed-out lessens our ability to take care of other people. So taking good care of our selves is actually very unselfish. Following are some ways to immediately begin the journey toward more peace.
Our community of men and women are argumentatively the most prayer-minded people on earth. We're incredibly spiritual, and seem to have a special connection to inspiration. However, when the word meditation is mentioned many of us shy away. It's time to change that paradigm. Meditation is not a replacement for prayer and no formal religion shuns its practice. Meditation is the practice of attuning to one's own spirit, mind and body through focused awareness.
In many formal religions we tend to pray to an entity outside of ourselves. In meditation we focus inwardly, on the spirit within. We become aware of our aliveness through our breath and listening closely to what Spirit wants to express through our lives. This may come as an answer to a question you have about your life. It may also show up as a strong desire to move in a certain direction or make an important decision. Meditation is quite simply the attuning to the wisdom within.
The additional benefits are deep, calming stress-relief and a stronger mind-body connection.
Nature Walking or Hiking is gaining popularity within our community. We're beginning to spend more time in nature in an effort to connect deeply with the spirit within. The alertness that is required to observe the natural beauty around us is calming, energizing and edifying. Noticing the colors on the trees, listening to the sounds of the birds, and overlooking scenic landscapes or wonderful bodies of water can heal the soul very profoundly.
To be alone with your private thoughts in the space of your own company can be highly euphoric. Moving at you own pace and experiencing the freedom to take any path that looks interesting or simply stop to relax or read is very liberating. You can listen to inspirational music, messages of personal growth or a guided meditation on a portable CD player. Other times it's better to simply listen to the sound of our beautiful natural world. Stop to journal when hiking. The insights you'll get while hiking are rarely achieved during the hustle and bustle of work and family life.
Hiking with a Partner
If you feel uncomfortable hiking alone a partner is a great alternative. You can still get that special time with your own thoughts and feelings by hiking together to a destination, then separating enough to get some private space where you can be alone with your thoughts or listen to some media of your choosing. Agree upon an amount of time for this (a half-hour to an hour is usually good) then re-commune and hike back to the car. Try to keep the conversation as positive as possible. Use this valuable time for spiritual reflection and healing. Give encouragement, love and support to each other every step of the way and hiking with a partner can be powerfully rejuvenating and healing.
Practical Items for Hiking:
Always bring water. And, if you're hiking for more than a couple of miles it's a good idea to bring some food, i.e. sandwiches, trail-mix and/or fruit.
You don't have to invest a lot of money, but a good pair of hiking shoes will make your experience more pleasurable. They absorb the rocks and irregularities of the trails/paths you'll be walking on.
Dress in layers that are easily adjustable for body temperature. Wear a breathable shirt next to your skin, and a jacket with a good zipper for variability.
If you bring a backpack, it should contain the following items:
Water and Food
The most important thing about hiking is your personal space. View it as aMini-retreat.
If you haven't already done so, please start keeping a journal today. It is one of the most effective ways to hear your own voice. You should not share the information in your journal with anyone. These are your private and innermost sacred thoughts. You should not hold back in any way when expressing yourself within your journal. Let it flow freely, using any language that most accurately conveys your true thoughts. It is incredibly healing and calming to get your thoughts down in written form. Later, you can return to your entries to see how you've grown or are handling similar situations differently. The key is in knowing that no one else will ever see your entries.
Keeping a paper journal offers you the advantage of being able to make entries at any time you feel. You can also express yourself through drawings or sketching as well. I've even pasted pictures inside. You'll notice that you write larger and with a heavier strokes when angry or anxious. While feelings of appreciation and peace will show up differently in your handwriting. All of this is a wealth of great information when looking back on your earlier entries of several months or years ago.
If you can type privately, an on-line journal offers the maximum in privacy. You will log-on with a unique user name and password (Just remember to log-off each time you finish an entry). You can set up your journal to contain categories such as: daily entries, goals, gratitude, nighttime dreams, etc. Later, it's easy to search your entries using key words or dates. Just think about this for a minute, the possibilities are awesome.
I suggest using the journal on the Oprah.com site. She takes incredible measures to ensure privacy. I've been using it for over four years now and have more than 2000 entries. It only takes a few minutes and you'll be up and journal keeping. Be sure to use a very unique, but easy to remember user name and password. Try to make a minimum of one entry per day. You'll be amazed at how good it feels.
Reading great books or listening to audio on the issues of spirituality and personal growth is yet another way to get stronger and move more consistently toward the life your desire. What we absorb into our spirits through reading is vitally important to our personal growth and sense of well being. Try to place a high priority on reading a spiritually engaging book at least every two months. During times of life-transition and change, read more.
As you move forward on this path, you will notice that you have more patience for others, and that the constant chatter in your head will be quieted. You will begin putting yourself first in an unapologetic way, with the understanding that the healthier you are, the more positively you affect the people around you.
Copyright 2005 Shades and Reflections All Rights Reserved
Delano Garner is a writer for Shades and Reflections, a resources site for African-American self care - http://www.shadesandreflections.com.
Good Morning... Please...Thank-you!!
When I was a child, I remember that my parents instilled these words into my brain. At first, it seemed difficult to remember these 3 little phrases and I had to be constantly reminded of them. But soon they became an ingrained part of me, and my parents no longer had to remind me of when to use these words. They still remain a very large part of who I am. Some people say I am an extrovert, yet at times I know I am shy and can be an introvert (although my friends will find this hard to believe-ha!). So, if you are a shy person and you make these 3 phrases a constant part of your vocabulary---you will fool people into thinking you are an extrovert.
Healing The Abandonment Wounds
I have counseled individuals, couples, families and business partners for the past 35 years and authored eight published books. Every individual I've worked with has had some abandonment wound to heal, and most relationship problems stem from abandonment wounds.
Sissys Show of Support
I had been fighting with the software program that I used to build my website. The software program had a bug in it and would occasionally anger the main brains of my computer. Without warning, my computer would lock the program shut and forbid me to enter the website's file. I never knew from day to day which time I saved the file and closed it would be the last time I'd be able to open it. It didn't happen very often, but when it happened, it was like the file no longer existed. My computer had put an invisible prison wall around it and I was no longer allowed to enter in and work within the file. I would have to recreate the website from scratch every time this happened.
Inspiration From Other People - Is It Worth Listening To A Film Star?
Yesterday, I listened to an interview with Michael York, the film star. I listened half-heartedly at first and then with fascination. By the end of the conversation I had discovered at least one inspiring truth i.e. It is well worth listening to other people without prejudging what they can teach you.
Encouragement--Heart At Work
Encouragement can have a very powerful effect on bosses and co-workers. The literal meaning of the word, encourage, is to put heart into. When this definition is applied to work situations, it suggests:
I call myself semi-retired. I work at a job that takes up 5 hours of my day, 5 days a week. I go home and I lock myself in my office and I work on the computer for 5-6 hours a day. I try and break up my routine by doing household chores in between times when I become brain dead. On the weekend I go out for breakfast and cruise the mall, check out some book stores and go shopping.
Meatballs: Friend, or Foe?
We all have those moments, don't we? We're right in the middle of a project, and it's simply not going well.
You Reap What You Sow
There is an old principle: You reap what you sow. In fact, it is about as natural of a principle as you can get. When you put an apple seed into the ground, you always get an apple tree. You reap what you sow.
Accelerate Your Abilities
In today's fast-paced life, the wins usually go to those with exceptional skills and abilities. The old quote is true, "The race is not always won by the swift and the strong, but that is the way to bet."
Patience - The Antidote for Stress
Why is it so difficult to hold steadfast to a commitment to the very thing we desire? I'm sure you've had the experience of challenging your client with something to do, or to be, in service of moving them closer to their heart's desire. As you reconvene again and again, you note that the client can't seem to stay committed to the steps that will realize their dreams. Certainly the age-old response is fear--but perhaps there is more going on.
Clicking to Good Vibrations!
Recently my dad visited me in Victoria, BC. He is THE most appreciative person I know!
Believe In Yourself And Become a Winner: Lessons from Hollywood
Copyright 2004 Priya Shah
Psychic Sponge Syndrome: The Easy Inner-Centrifuge Remedy
Here's a nifty trick to use to clear yourself of any psychic "stuff" you may pick up as you move through the world. I learned the basic format for it from a woman who had the booth space adjacent to mine at a tradeshow. Being someone who had not yet mastered the art of being open-hearted without sponging up the energy of others, I was walking around like a zombie on day two of the show, after having been immersed in the circus of conflicting energies the day before . My booth neighbor asked me what was going on with me, as I was obviously not as radiant as I had been on day one. When I explained that I had soaked up too much chaotic energy and didn't know how to rid myself of it, she said, "Oh. You just need to spin it off." And I said, "Cool! HOW?!"
Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Raise Your Frequency with These Divine Gifts
The volatile essences of aromatic plants contain potent, complex, natural chemical compounds that work at multiple levels to catalyze physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Science is at last looking in earnest at the mechanical action essential oils have on organisms, but perhaps the oils' most important, and at the same time, most under-explored, factor, is their inherent frequency-their intact Life Force Energy and intelligence. Indeed, their greatest gift may be in their very consciousness, divinely encoded, and energized by Earth and Sun, that is available to help us raise our own. It is said by some that "Christ Consciousness" is in the oils. It surely appears that there is higher electromagnetic patterning in essential oils that assists our minds in realigning with the Divine Design for Harmony and Wholeness and that catalyzes a shift in our brains that can open us to higher awareness.
This article was channelled through me by an entity called Joseth (My name for the creator)
Withstand the Test of Time
As I drove home from work late one wintry afternoon, chilled from the freezing temperatures, I noticed the beautiful trees aligned on both sides of the road. Amongst the evergreens and the pine trees, one tree in particular caught my attention as it majestically stood, with its strong branches extending outward. This tree, bare from the many leaves that had once hung from its branches, daringly saluted the sky. I thought about how this deeply rooted tree stood year after year, withstanding the test of time through the altering seasons. I thought about how this tree stood -- regardless of the many changes brought about by the sultry summers and the chilling winters. Through all of the changes, through the bend of the limbs and the fallen leaves, there it stood -- through the test of time. Many times in your life, you may feel as though you've taken all that you can take -- that you have stood all that you can stand. You may feel like throwing your arms up and just giving up -- simply giving in. My friend, you are where you are today because of your ultimate strength to withstand in the midst of failing relationships, heartbreaks, getting no breaks, of so-called friends becoming your worst enemies. You are where you are today because you withstood all of those changes and many more. You are where you are today because of the many obstacles that you have already successfully surmounted. You are where you are today because you daringly saluted the circumstances, sometimes not even realizing how. The very strength that brought you here, will allow you to withstand your present circumstance. Don't throw in the towel. Don't give up on yourself. Don't give up on life. Just like this majestic tree, it is imperative that you are deeply rooted in your beliefs, in God, and in yourself -- so that when life-altering events come to weaken you, or to make you bend, you will daringly withstand the test of time. Attest today: I will no longer bend to the life-altering events that continuously come my way. I will stand strong, realizing that through my inner strength, and hope in God -- I will be like the majestic tree that withstands the test of time -- for I too -- am strong. Copyright 2003 by Audrina Jones Bunton. REPRINTING THIS ARTICLE: Permission is granted to reproduce or distribute this article only in its entirety and provided copyright is acknowledged. You can find other articles to choose from at http://www.purposefully-living.com/mailing%20list.htm
Unconditional Love is Absolute Freedom to Screw Up Your Life
In my lifetime, I have never witnessed enduring unconditional love from another human being. I do not believe it is physically possible. I think that once we have reached that position of being able to give it, we have already passed over to join with the one that is unconditional love. I believe that this state is only experienced spiritually.
Big-Wave Mindfulness: Surfing For A Connection
Surfing is mindfulness in action. Riding the biggest waves is an all-out, fully-present-or-die-trying proposition.
The Miracle of Personal Development
One day Mr. Shoaff said, "Jim, if you want to be wealthy and happy, learn this lesson well: Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job."
Anamchara - Living From A Deep Place
I live in a beautiful place.
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