I hope you are having a great month so far!
I have been thinking a lot about why it is so easy to put ourselves last. So many people I talk to have a hard time with staying consistent in doing things for themselves, feeling guilty when they do or being able to saying no to others for their own needs. Myself included.
We learn at a very young age that the way to show love or to be a good person is to do for others first and that being selfish or putting ourselves first is bad. We are taught that the ultimate joy should come from being selfless and to always put other’s needs before our own.
However, Yoga teaches that in order to have anything of true value to offer others, we must first take care of ourselves. If we do not fill up with things that give us energy, health, happiness, peacefulness, satisfaction, etc. we give from a place of emptiness. It is so important to fill our own cup and then serve others from that fullness. If we are not mindful, always giving what we really don’t have the capacity or desire to give can lead to resentment on the part of the giver and expectations on the part of the receiver.
One of the ways we can start to take care of ourselves is to ask those we trust for help so that we can carve out some much needed time for ourselves in our time starved days. With so many responsibilities and so much to distract us, it is easy to get caught up in just putting off our own needs until a later date which tends to never come.
I have several things that are very important to me that I do to take care of myself on a regular basis and some of them have become like brushing my teeth. However, I still have a hard time saying no to certain things even when I don’t really have the time or capacity. It happened recently and fortunately, I was able to back out (albeit with much guilt) before I got in to deep but I did recognize it before it took me over and for that I am grateful. It is a practice.
So, perhaps make a list of the things that give you the most joy, energy, health, inspiration, etc. and choose a couple to start working into your life every day and just notice how that feels. If this is new for you, start small. Take your time. Practice giving to the number one person in your life and see what happens (and just in case…that person is YOU 🙂
I am so happy to be in town this week and teaching several more times and am particularly excited about co-leading the Chakra Immersion this weekend with Bekah which is a great opportunity to fill up and take care of you.
Details on all we have coming up are here. I hope to see you in a class, at a workshop or around the studio.
With love and infinite gratitude…