In our society it is common to go about life with full force and to sacrifice our own self care for others, our job, or our community. It is often considered selfish to do something that supports our own well being. Many of us go about our daily lives completely ignoring ourselves and are unconscious zombies to the present moment and our daily world. As soon as we wake up, the chatter and frenetic state of being begins. We read email on our iPhones while still in bed — eyes having been open for mere moments. We go to the kitchen and make coffee while checking Facebook. We go to work where our minds are met with one incessant demand after another. Afterwards we continue the psychotic game of being, dead to our Selves by involving ourselves with our kids, making tv, go, go, go! Then begins the ritual of mindless activities such as TV watching (which, I don’t mean to imply is completely negative — not in moderation). So often there is no to little time for ourselves. No moments of silence, stillness, or introspection. When are we refilling our energy reserves?
There is no other creature on the planet that so completely unconscious and so fully ignores their own self care as the human, as to do so would mean death. Yet so many of us do it. Day after day. And we pay for it with poor health, psychosis, dissatisfaction in life, anxiety, depression, and heart attacks.
You are the most important person in your life and you are the one responsible for taking care of yourself — in most ways, you are the only one who can take care of yourself. Buddhist teachers are quick to point out that while we are admonished to have compassion and love for all beings, we must not forget to extend that all important compassion to ourselves! We can not take care of others or our tasks to our fullest capacity, with mindfulness, grace, and passion, if we are not taking time to care for ourselves, to fill our well of being with more vibrance and light.
We all need periods of aloneness, space, and silence. Our being needs a chance to speak to us and to process the world. This opens us up to more profound avenues of being where we notice the deep and sublime interconnectedness we have with all beings. Further, there are countless other practices we can engage in which will help recharge and nurture our our beings. I urge you to find practices that speak to you and engage with them regularly. Some great examples are yoga, working out, journaling, spending regular time in nature, meditation, arts and creativity, and massage.
I make it a top priority to do daily yoga, meditation, and journaling at least six days a week. For me, yoga is an utterly powerful practice that makes life so much better! It gives me equanimity as well as physical and mental strength. I honestly don’t understand how anyone lives without it! Journaling gives me a tool to process my thoughts and emotions, to work through what is going on in both my mind and my outer world. And meditation provides daily time for silence and space, where god and my spirit can speak to me and I can bask fully in the sublime ground of being.
Find time for you. No one else will. You are a sacred and noble being who deserves it. And in doing so you will imbue your life with more resplendence, beauty, and passion.
Originally published at medium.com