When summer arrives, we all think of vacations, breaks from school and routine, and leisure. I was thinking about "breaks" this past week as I contemplated taking a few days for myself away from this work that I love. And that in turn got me thinking...
However you choose to take a break from routine, make it a special occasion that feeds you, mind, body and spirit, and really enjoy this summer.
What does flourishing mean to you? At this season we usually think of a flourishing, thriving garden, full growth, lush fruits and flowers. But what if your garden is arid, unproductive, dwindling? Of course we realize then that something is missing – water, nutrients, sun, or some other live-giving property.
This is your life. Is it arid or flourishing? Abundant and lush or weedy and sparse? The same properties apply: how are you nourishing your life?
Do you feed, nourish and rest your physical body? How can you change your nutrition and eating plan? What forms of mild exercise can you add? What changes can be made to your sleeping to enhance your rest?
And what of your spirit? An important “nutrient,” your spirit governs how your mind and body thrive. What attention are you giving your inner life? Meditation? Prayer? Journaling? Find a way to give more attention to your spiritual connection to whatever you call The Source. It makes no sense to complain that your device is not working if it’s not plugged in – the battery needs fuel!
If you want your garden to thrive, make the changes necessary in your life. Only you can decide what those are. Pay attention to your inner “knowing” – your “higher self” knows exactly what is needed.
Right this minute, on the cusp of a new year, STOP IT! Stop being harsh to yourself, stop scolding, "shoulding," rushing, blaming. Do you ever catch yourself with self-talk you would never use on a loved one?
Self love means nourishing yourself, guiding yourself, not worrying and punishing yourself. If you do not have love for the self, how can you properly have love for others? It all comes back to the frequently-used analogy of the airplane's oxygen mask. Take care of yourself first so that you can help others. FIRST...not instead-of, not in-spite-of, not only...FIRST.
In my work I have occasionally caught myself completing tasks for clients first, before those I need to accomplish for my own personal or professional life. The awareness is a good thing - a "re-routing" on my GPS. Mixing metaphors freely here, if I don't ensure that my well is full and I allow it to run dry, there's no water for any of us!
Choose to pay attention to your self-talk, and be gentle. Instead of "Well that was a stupid thing to do," try "I could have made a better decision and next time I will." Rather than "Oh, crap, you fool - you forgot to.....," try "I choose to use this new method to manage my time and my tasks." Focus on all the wonderful things you know about yourself, and remind yourself of them every day - preferably in a mirror. And soon, your well will be abundant and flourishing with sweet water for all!
In our Midwest colloquial language we refer to the twilight of the year as "fall" more often than "autumn." I assume that's because of the falling of the leaves, but I don't know the origin. The season signals a shift in light, a change in weather, and the accompanying change in our lifestyles and moods.
So go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground.- Oprah Winfrey
I just had a fall of another sort. Confession time: I "fell down" on the job. Good ol' Holly, she can handle it, no problem, bring on the work! And in my bravado, I made some mistakes. HORRORS! I was reminded of my humanity. I was reminded of my boundaries. Reminded that my expertise is based on having the time to produce the quality results that I normally produce. And so my falling down was a great time to shift.
The world indeed looks different from the ground - with a new viewpoint, I was provided the opportunity to renew my procedures. I was, in a very firm and powerful way, reminded by Spirit that I need to take care of MY business and MY life before providing to others. And reminded to provide to others within my abilities, so that I can serve honorably.
And so, now that I've given confession to you, my readers, I absolve myself by taking action toward a new way of living and working. And that feels really good!
If you have a similar lesson to share, don't hesitate to comment below!