Looking After Yourself

We all pretty much do look after ourselves to some degree. We exercise, try to eat better than we might if we didn’t care at all, try to treat others politely or with kindness, but often neglect the other part of us that need tending to as well. Maybe it’s about time to think about looking after yourself more.

Start off with looking at ways you can honor your vessel, the body you were given to experience all the good things this life has to offer. The least you could do is to treat it like a car that you love, or even better, like the priceless treasure that your body is. While you might take your car in for a nice detailing, your body might be worth a little pampering too. Think about treating it to a massage, or a visit to the spa.

Hold sacred space aside for you to honor yourself. Make time to relax and settle into a peaceful state of mind. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, even if it’s only 17 minutes out of your day. This seventeen minutes is your sacred time, without interruptions. You might enjoy just closing your eyes and practice deep breathing, getting in tune with your heart or inner self. Just try it and see how this little, sacred space in time can affect the whole remainder of your day and your life.

Inside each of us is a little child version of us who longs to come out and play every once and a while. Honor this part of you, there’s no need to deny him or her, he or she is a part of you, so invite him or her to come out and play with you. Try to find occasions to make time doing the things that you used to like to do when you were younger. Remember the things that brought you joy in your youth? It’s different for all of us. It could be anything from riding a merry go round to playing ancient video games, and anything in between. Make time for your little guy or gal to come out and play.

Find your safe place. It could be a physical safe place or a safe place you can find in your thoughts and mind, where you can immerse yourself in the comfort of security. It doesn’t have to be a safe room or stronghold. You might find this level of safety and serenity soaking in a bubble bath, curled up in a comfy blanket listening to your favorite tunes, inventorying memorabilia, or reading a book accompanied by the dancing light of a scented candle. Whatever it is for you, wherever it is. This is your safe place, make time for it.

Think about taking the time to dream, daydream, or creative visualization. Using the creative power of your mind and imagination, you can go anywhere and do anything. This is youthful and powerful art that is often abandoned as we get older. When you were younger, the whole universe was at your beck and call, using the power of your imagination, and it still is. Look for opportunities and take the time to rekindle the flame of your power of visualization.

Every once and a while, schedule yourself for a Me Day. Make this day (the whole day, or at least a nice, big, fat piece of this day) all about you. Set aside a specific start and end time, and just get away. No thoughts about the cares of life, things that get you down, worrying about this or that. Just take the day and allow yourself the mental break from anything that might hinder your possibility of having the best time with yourself, and have fun being you. No judgment, just have a good time. This is your day.

Take a break from procrastination. We all have stuff that we’d rather put off ‘til tomorrow, and we know for some things, tomorrow never comes. Not this day. Just like you would take a day for yourself periodically, same goes for something that you might be putting off. You will be surprised how good it feels to do that thing you’ve been avoiding. Now you don’t have to carry around guilt about it any longer. As a matter of fact, you could do the thing first and celebrate its completion with your Me Day.

Go to the park or the beach and kick your shoes off. Take a hike in the woods, or whatever is your fancy, but connect with Mother Earth. Find the time to take a break surrounded by her magnificence, the green grass, the pebbles or sand, the sound of lapping waves or birds chirping. Take a dog for a walk. Don’t have a dog? Borrow one from a friend or neighbor. This is a great way to put yourself in a position to receive energy from Mother Nature.

I hope these ideas inspire to spend time looking after yourself more. You will be amazed at how much this will raise the frequency of your life, and better prepare you to enjoy all the good things this life has to offer, and by all means, be creative and come up with even better ways to look after you.

Here’s looking at you, kid.

Preserving the Servants Heart

I have a servant’s heart, as do many of my clients. There is a downside to being of selfless service to others, and that is neglecting the self-care necessary to maintain a healthy life for the person possessing a servant’s heart. The result is a decline in emotional health, that left to deteriorate, will affect the biological system and adding undue mental stress. This could result in lack of self-respect, angst, premature aging and a host of other health-related issues.

Preserving the servants heart self respect healthy boundaries

The servant must find ways to preserve themselves to be able to better serve their clients, community and/or world at large. Often, the servant feels as though, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one,” (Spock, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan).

There needs to be a healthy balance, even so – rarely – one may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good. Many have had to answer the call, including my 20-year-old son who answered this call on a particular 4th of July while serving in the Armed Services in Afghanistan, though most of us in the service of others will not face paying the ultimate price on their behalf.

That said, to better serve others best, we in service must pay enough attention to our own needs to maintain a healthy platform to work from enabling us to better serve our communities.

Servants need to stop feeling the needs of others are more important than their own. If you have neglected your own self-care, it’s time to take back your life to increase your effectiveness in servitude. Your needs are important and only you have the ability to tend to your needs. It can be uncomfortable, but taking steps to preserve one’s self is paramount to your success in effective service over time.

The key is balance

Learn to say, “No”

For the servant, it can seem counter-intuitive, but you were created with an internal sensor to help you monitor when and what serves your highest and best performance of your service. Some call it intuition; at the very least it is that undaunted feeling of overwhelm, a clear indication the situation at hand is not congruent with your personal terms of service.

In this moment it is certainly prudent for you to exercise your ability to simply say, “No.” (I can see that grimacing expression on your face. Stay with me…) you must start using this word. Uncomfortable as it may be at first, trust me, it will get easier. It’s a small two-letter word that will help you create enough space to establish a basic parameter. It is not your calling to be all things to all men and besides, saying no doesn’t imply that you don’t respect or like someone; it only means no. That’s all.

You may need a little wiggle room to muster up a firm, “No.” If so, you could offer up a stall tactic, like, “Let me check my schedule and get back to you.”

If you have a long history of always saying, “Yes,” when it was not in your best interest, you could dress it up a bit by saying, “Now is not a good time for me,” or, “that’s not really my area of expertise,” and refer them to someone more keenly attuned to that particular circumstance or project.

You can refer them to someone who is better suited or equipped to take on the task, or encourage the person approaching you to examine their own abilities and some insightful review might lead them to the conclusion that they may have the skills necessary to undertake it on their own. Why not use your intuition to give them the opportunity to grow?

In the event you have accepted a particular responsibility and felt uncomfortable or resentful for having accepted the challenge, this is a clear indication, that when approached with this type of offer in the future, declining the assignment is certainly in order.

For the persons who call on you to serve them, and have little respect for all that you do, ask yourself, “Would I let this person treat my son or daughter, like that?” If the answer is no, then it’s time to start setting some healthy boundaries.