“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.”—Deborah Day
The nature of living or “be-ing” is activity, especially for women. It’s not possible to be in this life and not experience that. Or at least become aware of that. Living is movement. It’s creative. It’s doing. In the doing we’re usually invested in the outcome. The results are generally predictable given the effort expended. When done, we take pride in the accomplishment, elevating it to the next level, and then jumping right in as the next idea comes along. As soon as the idea takes form, a new level of activity begins.
Women also have a nature. Like the bees in a collective, we soar when nurturing, caring, tending, cleaning up or doing for others. If the bees were not around the food supply would end in four years. Like the bees, if women were not around the gentleness and nurturing we exude would also disappear. This caretaking is who we are and it’s what we do.
But one day something happens. After being “actively out there” for so long you come full circle and realize care taking also means taking care of yourself too. On that day you say, “Stop! I need time off.” It’s a break from whatever work you’ve been doing or whatever activity has been consuming your time. Time off gives you permission to get away, recharge your batteries, travel perhaps, or do something totally different. It can be scary for some, or a glorious opportunity to re-invent yourself.
In one scenario your work is known and accepted and loved. The awards or accolades prove it. But if you stop that activity you might wonder, what if no one is there when you’re ready to come back? That’s the sticking point for many who think about taking care of themselves. The very act of being away for a period of time will stop them from experiencing renewal or the reinvention of themselves. They become stagnant like the lobster whose shell is too tight. The lobster must shed the shell then somehow protect itself from predators while the new shell grows and hardens. Either way, if the lobster doesn’t shed the shell it dies. If it does shed the shell, it might also die. The lobster always chooses to shed the shell. It’s the activity nature of lobster!
The process of “caretaking” ourselves begins with periods of deep self-reflection. It’s a form of “taking stock” of where you are, mentally, physically and/or spiritually. Ask the hard questions. Where am I in my life? What do I want to be doing this time next year? What compels or motivates me? Where do I want to be spending my time? Will that fulfill me? Write down the answers then ask the questions again and again until the answers are refined.
When the self-reflection is done and you have a course of action outlined, ask yourself the most important question. Now what? That question puts into motion the next step for the direction you wish to go. Whatever the next step is, begin from right where you are. It’s the most perfect place. If you’re a mom or a teacher guiding children, it’s the perfect place. If you’re a grandmother taking care of grandchildren, it’s the perfect place. If you work in your own business or for someone else, it’s the perfect place. No matter where that place is, each of us has a role that contributes to the wholeness of all of us. From that place a new beginning emerges and your role in it is gloriously guaranteed.
Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Along with Patricia Cockerill, she has guided the Women’s Meditation Circle since January 2006 where it has been honored for five years in a row as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings Magazine. Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to www.starsoundings.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.