You aren't alone if:
You can also start to take steps to shift how you are feeling...
I've been walking about 3 miles every morning. It is a glorious experience. I typically walk and listen to a podcast or audio book and use the time as my exercise, fresh air, self care and personal development time. I love walking the same route and taking in the subtle changes that occur from day to day. Seeing the trees blossom and then turn bright green, smelling the fresh cut grass, watching the birds sail around - all of this makes me feel both free and connected to God and Mother Earth. I feel elated, connected and whole. Walking is gentle and I'm appreciating that gentleness as I engage my senses and connect with what is happening around me.
I talk, teach and write about self care because I have struggled with it and I see your struggle too. Self care, actually the lack of self care, is what brought me to Kundalini Yoga when I felt like my life was falling apart. All my life I found myself with opportunities to serve and take care of others - I was the oldest child, raised Catholic, with a parent who was an alcoholic, and as an adult, I became a Social Worker. Helping and taking care of others fulfilled my need to matter, and taught me to be selfless, but at a price. While I found and created opportunities to serve others in my life, I rarely even considered myself.
This is not uncommon. If you are good at taking care of others, if you enjoy being of service, if you identify as being a helper - it is likely that you find yourself struggling to care for yourself, to know what you want, to attend to your own needs, to make time for yourself. But you can. My teacher told me years ago, if you want to continue on this path, you have to find a way to take care of yourself.
So I say to you, if you want to continue on this path, you have to find a way to take care of yourself.
Allow that to cut through your inner resistance, negotiations and reasons why you will start once school ends, in June or tomorrow. Don't wait for crisis to be the catalyst for you to make a change. Just make a decision to start now.
It can be very simple:
The bottom line is: self care creates space for you to have more energy & passion, knowledge, love & trust for yourself so that you can be that force that you dream to be.
In life you can always hit the reset button.
Simply take a deep breath in and exhale. Each breath offers a fresh start. A connection into the here and now. A new opportunity to be.
When you listen deeply, what do you hear?
When you go deep within, what do you witness?
When you are quiet with yourself, what do you feel?
Allow yourself to be still. Hear your thoughts, feel your feeling, notice what you are experiencing. Get quiet. Be with yourself.
When you are with others, offer space for sharing, listening, expressing and be-ing with each other.
Compassion is everything.
For the planet.
Anxiety inhibits problem solving.
When you are worried, you are less likely to find positive solutions.
If you CAN change something, problem solve and take action.
If you can't change it, it isn't worth worry about.
Close your eyes, inhale deeply and stiffen every muscle in your body like the tin man.
Hold for 20 seconds.
Then exhale and relax, become like the scarecrow with relaxed breath and body.
Repeat this exercise.
Bring your focus back to your task at hand with a calmer mind and relaxed body.
Uncertainty delivers us the opportunity to be present.
The next time your thoughts are spinning or you are feeling anxious, angry or worried, here are 4 simple steps to bring yourself into the present moment (as a matter of fact, go ahead and try them now 😉):
1. STOP and take a long deep breath in (through your nose). Bring the breath down past your diaphragm, feel the belly then ribcage expand. Now slowly exhale through your nose. Feel the chest drop down and gently draw the navel back toward your spine - exhale completely.
2. Close your eyes and take 2 more long deep breaths.
3. Open your eyes and engage your senses. Immediately identify something you can hear, see, taste, touch and smell. No need to over think it, just name what you are sensing.
4. Close your eyes and take 1-3 more long deep breaths.
You can practice this exercise anywhere at anytime. Engaging in your breath helps you to slow your mind, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and the vagus nerve bringing a wash of calm and wellbeing. Engaging your 5 senses roots you in the here and now, brings you out of your head & thoughts and connects you with the beauty & life around you. If you are feeling overwhelmed you may feel like your senses have dulled. Engaging the senses again will reinvigorate them and allow you to feel more connected, restored and alive.
Mornings are all about me. I take my time in the morning to nourish myself with self-care. I wake up early to do this, but it's worth it as it gives me the time I need to be with myself and my thoughts, to have some peace and to work on myself. I start with yoga and meditation. My pup Ollie is always by my side and our cat Cody recently started lying on my lap during meditation. I love having their presence during this time of morning. I end by journaling and after my practice, I feed our animals and then take Ollie out. If he is up for a walk we go for a long walk, but often he isn't so I return him home and head out on my own. I have been loving my morning walks and I use this time for mindfulness, observation and reflection. I also like this time to listen to an audio book or podcast which helps me set my mind for the day. Once I return home, I may have a little breakfast, depends how I feel, and then I start work. By the time I start my day, I have often spent 3-4 hours pouring into myself which allows my jaw to soften, allows me time with my breath and my thoughts and allows me to be able to serve others as I have already served myself.
I am an animal loving-Vegan runner, I practice and teach Kundalini Yoga and I love to cook and eat flavorful plant-based food.