Has anyone else noticed that the world we are living in appears to be on the verge of a collective nervous breakdown? You’d have to be living in a cave or avoiding the news altogether to not be aware of the extreme levels of stress most of us are experiencing.
We all have the usual stuff to contend with; the family responsibilities, the bills to pay, the health challenges, relationship crises, etc. The list goes on and on.
Add to that, the stress in our country, the political infighting, the fractured relationships with friends and family due to the most contentious election in our lives. And now, the very real concern of an escalation of tempers that could lead to our ultimate demise through nuclear annihilation. Yes, these are challenging times.
My morning today started like most people’s mornings. I took yesterday off due to the holiday. Today I awoke to a flurry of emails, text messages and phone calls. While fielding these necessities, I was preparing my last minute documents for my appointment with my accountant tomorrow to do my taxes. As a self-employed person, tax prep, for me, is complex, stressful and time-consuming. On top of that, I am fighting off the flu.
By 11:00 am I felt kind of fried. I could have kept pushing through, but instead I decided to stop. I shut off my phone and meditated for 30 minutes. I know what you are thinking, “I don’t have time to do that!” Actually, you don’t have time to not do that.
Once done meditating, I felt centered and able to collect my thoughts as to the most productive thing to do next before my afternoon and eve of client appointments.
I always felt that the world would be a better place if each person worked on their own healing instead of projecting their wounds onto everyone else. My choice of careers was guided by the belief in individual responsibility and the desire to help the world one person at a time. That’s my particular calling.
I am fortunate to work with clients who want to become better people. For the most part, they are sincere, vulnerable, hard-working and committed to their personal growth. Yet, the problem I have seen so frequently is the difficulty that most of them have in being kind, compassionate and loving towards themselves.
Why is that so hard? Unfortunately, it’s the conditioning of our culture to push and push. It really does all start at home. We cannot give to another what we don’t give to ourself. Sometimes clients tell me they feel selfish to stop and do something loving for themself.
What if this is exactly what is needed, especially right now: acts of deep self-care? I often sense that people need permission from another to do this. I give you permission. Does that help?
Stop, slow down, listen within. What is it that you truly need right now in this moment? Do you need to take a day off, cocoon at home, take a break from electronics and the non-stop news, cook a good meal, get out in nature for a walk, call an old friend, spend time with your pet, get a massage, read a good book, …?
Do it. The rest of the world will be fine while you take a break. Then you can bring your best self back to the table. You need your best self. We need your best self.
If everyone did that we would not be in the mess we are in. It is not selfish to do self-care. It is one of the most altruist and benevolent things you can do. Try it and see.