Oh, that trendy, woo-woo, buzz word again (insert eye roll here). Aren’t we all tired of hearing it? Yes, Yes we are.
At the risk of adding to the sound of the broken record that has been playing in the women’s wellness community for some time now I’m going to go ahead and talk about it; because the thing is, most of us still aren’t listening.
In a world where we have more conveniences than ever before, conveniences that should provide us ample free time for leisure and the things that bring us deep, soul filling joy, many of us are overworked and undernourished. We are stuck on the hamster wheel of modern society, lacking purpose and deep connections. This has been our human trajectory since we left our nomadic, tribal lifestyles behind. For women this is an especially complicated issue.
With the rise of “civilized” life we were told how to behave, how to mother and essentially, how to serve men as they saw fit. We women are adaptable and resilient though and after a little turbulence we learned to settle into our new roles under the thumbs of men. We found connections and created community where we could. Our connection with one another and to the land held on in many ways for quite some time. In our gardens and kitchens, while washing our clothes and raising our babes. Our tasks, though they required much time and effort, provided us with space for mindfulness. There was a rhythm to kneading bread dough, running clothes over a washboard, milking the cow and stitching the garments. Deep bonds were formed with our children and other women over tasks that were carried out on a slow simmer.
Where are we now? Can we even imagine what life would look like on a slow simmer? Most of us run at a rolling boil until the water has evaporated and the pan is scorched. If you’re a mother there is a good chance you work two full time jobs. You work 8 hours a day at a job helping support the capitalist ideal of our country and 8+ hours a day at home doing your best to keep the household running smoothly and the tiny humans safe, healthy and loved. At a rate like that it doesn’t take long for the water in the pot to dry up.
We have machines that clean our clothes and our dishes, kitchen gadgets that speed cooking times, an industrial food supply chain and rapid transportation from place to place. All of the tasks that provided us built in opportunities to practice mindfulness have been taken from us. All of our day to day tasks are done in a hurry and when we have a moment to slow down we turn to the television, our phones, and alcohol. We numb ourselves so we don’t have to feel the effects of our disconnection. Our disconnection from our hearts, our earth and each other. Most of us have never seen it done any other way. This is why we are still talking about self care.
Since getting serious about my own healing journey it has become clear to me that mindfulness is the number one, essential self care practice. Being present in each moment, aware of each action and each pause; feeling all of our feelings, the good and the bad. It is only from this place of awareness that we can hear our hearts sing, it is only from within this place of pause that we can make decisions that bring its song to life. Your heart's song will guide you, reminding you how to fill your cup, it will tell you what you need; but you will never hear it if you don't pause to listen. It is a simple concept, but one that can be incredibly challenging when we have been conditioned to ignore it for generations. Planning time for self-care is a way to make sure you pause.
I am not sure that I would have ever been able to listen to my heart without my yoga practice. Giving myself permission to take time for me, my breath and my body, completely changed my life. It shifted my relationship with myself and in turn, with all those around me. Caring for myself made me a better partner to my husband, a better mother, a better daughter and friend. My moments of planned self care created space for me to hear the voice of my heart and align myself with its song. In many ways I am busier than ever before trying to build a business, but I am also happier than ever before, because it is slow and steady, doing what my heart has called me to do.
This is why planned self care is so important. We can not break the cycle of suppressing our desires and ignoring our hearts without it. The rolling boil of modern society simply won’t allow it.
If you are ready to schedule space for your own practice of self care please check out my offerings, including my upcoming Seasonal Self-Care Retreat. It would be an honor to support you on your healing journey.
Every time I practice I hold space for all of our hearts, we are all one.