Community//

Slowing Down for Self-Care

Notice the Forest

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As you enter the winter months, let the cooler weather and change of seasons remind you that all life is impermanent and fragile. Resilience isn’t a given.

You have worked hard to stay focused and persevere during crisis.

You have used your last bit of energy to keep “it” together.

You had hard conversations with those you love.

You sacrificed so that others didn’t have to. 

You developed new skills previously not available to you. 

You did the uncomfortable thing, because you knew it was right.

You have been through a lot. Give yourself permission to “be.” Allow yourself to process the changes, experience growth and take action, choosing the right things for the best future. Proper rest is still the #1 recovery tool.

Use this time of symbolic slowing down to develop new habits and relationships that bring joy and optimism to your life. These are the foundations of a life worth living.

Take time to listen to yourself with compassion and gratitude for the path you chose and the experiences you have had. Then you can move forward, leaning into your strengths.

Be like the trees, patient and rooted to the earth. Learn to develop skills that help you weather the cycles of life with deeper grace and resiliency than you’ve known before. Create relationships that foster balance and equality. Find movement and exercise that helps you release stress safely. Above all, stand tall. Believe in yourself so that others can believe in themselves.

Our impact is greater together with one other – like the trees standing side-by-side. As the French say: “L’union fait la force.” Notice the forest.

Follow my 5-step process below to help you slow down and feel more grounded.

Step 1: Find a quiet space where you will not be interrupted for 20 minutes. Nature soundscape on noise canceling headphones are helpful to reduce outside noise.

Step 2: Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, visualizing the earth beneath your feet, the sky above your head, and your spine as the neutral space between.

Step 3: Again, imagine yourself on the earth at a beautiful space in nature. Take a few breaths and see yourself planting a tree in a garden. See yourself watering the tree and seeing it grow.

Step 4: As the tree grows in your imagination notice the deep roots in the ground and lush branches reaching to the light above. See the resilient trunk that provides stability. Feel this expanded and grounded state as you breathe. 

Step 5: When you feel complete with the process of slowing down and feeling grounded gently come back into the room and the physical space around you.

Copyright by Darren Becket

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