My two favourites: Laughter and Sunlight.

I was so moved by what came up during our first self-care brainstorming session. My two favourites:

Laughter and Sunlight.

Whoa! Neither one costs a penny and both are freely available to all of us in limitless quantities.

So I have taken to sitting in my apartment in one spot on my couch where the sun shines while drinking my morning brew with a big smile on my face.

Such bliss. Warmth. Comfort.

And what I have found from these self care bliss sessions is that I can build a reservoir of comfort and care inside of me that enables me to feel safe and cared for – from the inside out.

In caring for myself I feel cared for.

I can actually build an emotional reservoir of kindness and patience not only in my relationship with myself but in my relationships with others. This ‘care reservoir’ enables resilience. I can ‘bounce back’ from disappointments and be patient in the face of a cruel comment without reacting in ways that injure myself or others.

When I feel attacked or stressed, I am at the edge of encountering feelings I do not want to experience. It is during these volatile moments that I can draw on my reserves of compassion and patience that I build during self care.

This reservoir of compassion steadies me and provides me with emotional space so that I can be present with what is happening around me. I am less likely to react because I am better equipped to be wth uncomfortable feelings.

Self-care teaches me to allow my feelings to unfold within me amidst compassion and care. No need to ‘do’ anything.

I can just be. Like on my couch in the morning sunlight.

This stablization – this coming into presence even in the face of volatility – results from the degree to which I practice caring for myself.

In caring for ourselves we encounter an embodied sense that we are loved. And as we practice being content with ourselves, we are practicing emotional self sufficiency.

We learn through self-care that simply being – with sunlight, in laughter, or while eating an orange – is enough.

In my self-care practice I have uncovered within me a mix of self-compassion, appreciation and gratitude. Self-care enables me to fully realize that these (and not reactivity) are what connect me joyfully with myself and (who knew?!) with others.

We may be fairly good at self-care in our own homes and on our own. But what happens at work? During our commute, or in our relations with a difficult colleague?

The Greeks used a word to indicate a quality of being; aletheia. The word “aletheia” means to not (‘a’ as in atypical) forget (‘letheia’).

In other words, don’t forget yourself. Don’t forget this quality of presence that you are cultivating through your own practice of self-care when you are in the presence of others.

Being in presence with full attention allows your being-in-this-world to manifest in all its glory.

And herein lies a wealth of riches!

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