My husband and I had the honor of meeting one very cool woman, Iyanla Van Zant, at the Omega Institute some time ago. Iyanla is truly an inspiration, not only for what she has overcome and accomplished – with a deck stacked very much against her- but for who she has intentionally become.
“Intentional Becoming” is a theme I will be writing about in 2020, a year “branded” for seeing ourselves with a razor-sharp focus that yields clarity, insight, strength, and compassion. To intentionally become one’s self – the one we were before we morphed and adapted, bought into the expectations, signed up for some version of the rat race, ran for shelter, put on the masks, the personas, and the armor to deal with it all – that’s the one I am talking about and hoping that wherever SHE is, she is listening. I hope that as you give thanks and give of yourself this season, you consider Iyanla’s wise words: “Self care must be a priority every single day…it is simply not possible to give from an empty cup.”
A priority, not an after-thought, and never, ever, something for which you apologize.
Doing so can be a challenge because we often think in “all or nothing” terms. Self care? That’s for people who have the time, money and support system in place to indulge themselves. All or nothing thinking is misguided because it defeats us based on a ridiculous absolute.
Or maybe the challenge is even more basic, along the lines of There just isn’t enough time in the day. I know, I know, and while I am not disputing the time limitation, I’m not accepting it either. Here’s an idea to kick-start your self-care mindset: Start small. Really small. Need an example? My morning walk is sacrosanct, a non-negotiable that keeps me sane, grounded, and fit. It usually consists of walking our neighborhood loop two times around. But this morning, the November sky beckoned, and though I had lots to do, that beauty called to me. So Miss Noelle (my 14 year old mini poodle) and I did another 300 steps. A mere drop in the bucket, yes, but a Thank You God downpour in terms of self-care, of paying attention to my needs and wants.
In this season where we take particular joy in giving, make sure your cup isn’t empty. Remember the giver. Care for her.