I recently taught a training on Restorative Yoga at Just Om.
Like all trainings it took on a life of its own.
The original question was “what part of teaching takes care of you?”
But since we had non-teachers in the room it evolved into “what part of life takes care of you?”
This opened the doors to some important introspection.
We’re normally not taught how to take care of ourselves beyond our basic needs; food, sleep, showers, flossing etc.
What we’re usually expected to think about is how to take care of others.
Are we taking good care of our partner, children, pets, clients or students?
Of course, it’s important to do that but a lot of times we forget how to nurture ourselves.
I love to use the analogy of flying and the instructions they give in case there’s an emergency.
Before helping anyone else put your oxygen mask on first.
If we can’t breathe, if we can’t self nurture, how can we have the energy to take care of someone else?
Don’t feel guilty about drawing a bath, or lying in a hammock under your mango tree.
Don’t feel like you’re leaving someone out when you take a walk by yourself and look at every flower along the way.
One of my teachers always used to remind me to “date myself.”
Yes, have a date with you!
Take yourself to a movie, buy yourself some flowers or cook a delicious meal and set the table with candles and beautiful plates.
Need some more suggestions?
- have breakfast in bed
- write a letter to your future self
- sit by the water and create a poem
- paint a picture or assemble a collage.
It doesn’t matter what you do. Just make it about YOU, for an hour, a whole day or a weekend.
It’s ok, no one will tell on you.
The purpose of this exercise is really to get to know yourself a little better.
Be kind, compassionate and loving to the one you always leave for last.
After all, you’re the only one traveling the journey of your life from beginning to end.
Others will come and go.
I guarantee when you self nurture you’ll be more loving, patient and a joy to be around.