Self-care is a funny concept on paper; it sounds so straightforward and simplistic when you break it down to action = results. In most cases it means when you dedicate time to a self-care practice (action) makes you feel better (result), improves sleep and quality of life. However, it's never as straightforward as that. Things always crop up that we deem more important than looking after the most important person in the world, you!
Ask ourselves how can we be divine beings of love and light if we don't show the same love and light to ourselves?
I know life takes over, especially if you have family or relatives to care for and a hectic job or no work-life balance. At some point something has to give, something always has to give afterall we are not superhuman..
I'm writing this on the back of a deep plummet into utter darkness and feelings of hopelessness and lack of purpose. A few weeks ago, I packed a bag and turned my phone off and went for a walk via the local shop to purchase a clean blade. I didn't want to die but I didn't know if I wanted to live either. I walked and walked with my head bowed, aiming to disappear into the abyss and find silence from the monsters in my mind.
After sitting on top of a hill overlooking the sea, I struggled to find joy in what is usually my happy place. My heart belongs to the sea and I always find solace surrounded by crashing waves, a light breeze and the salty aromas of one of mother nature's greatest achievements, the deep blue sea.
After what felt like an eternity, I removed the blade from its packaging and started to cut through the skin on my arm; every drop of blood that fell to the earth felt like a teardrop from the depths of my being, after all my tears had dried up I was no longer able to cry.
It sounds ridiculous on the surface if you know my life. I'm blessed to be a Yoga & Spiritual teacher with incredible students and not to mention my amazing, devoted husband and family. I'm the founder of two amazing organisations that have taken me on a journey I would never have deemed even possible. I actively help people feel better and to live their lives in abundance of self-compassion. So it sounds straightforward, doesn't it? I teach people spiritual practices to enhance their lives. I swear by these teachings and only ever teach what I know has brought positive change to my students or me. So why the deep personal dives into darkness? You would expect I would have the cure, right? Wrong, I may be a yogi and spiritual teacher; these philosophies and practices are ingrained in every part of my being and for that, I'm eternally grateful. One thing is essential to acknowledge and accept that we are not invincible from the grasps of darkness. We can actively search for the light but sometimes the dark clouds feel like they envelop us into a spiral of darkness.
Fundamentally we are conditioned to always be doing, instead of just being. It's so important to understand it's ok not to be ok. It's ok to shatter into a thousand pieces but hold onto the assurance that I see you, and you are not alone. The past year has brought even the most resilient people to their knees after stripping away our freedom to connect with others energetically.
Be gentle with yourself; take time just for yourself to go to a yoga class or a meditation class. Go for a walk in the park. No matter what you choose to do, dedicate at least 10 minutes a day to the most important person in the entire world, you!
You will rise again from the darkness; the light always prevails. Consider every trip into the depths of our minds as a learning and remind yourself of the fragility of life. Focus on yourself, surround yourself with people that spark joy in your heart, leaving you feeling truly blessed to have many positive and like minded friends and family.
After reaching deep within myself for an explanation I finally realised that the route of my plummet into the darkness was my own making and that I was burned out. I was stressed doing too much and never saying no. My mantra for now is to ensure I stick to set boundaries and have learned to say “no” more often.
It is more empowering and authentic to say no; than to offer a yes, knowing the yes would tip the balance.
When people ask you how you're doing, don't just say the automatic response, I'm fine? Be honest, speak up, help break the stigma. You are not alone; search mental health support in your area if you feel like you need some help, don't suffer in silence.
Love & Light