You’re sitting on an airplane, flipping through a magazine when a voice over the intercom asks you to give your attention to the flight attendant. She directs the audience, in the event of an emergency, to fasten the oxygen mask over one’s self first, before assisting children and others who may need help. These are indeed words of wisdom and not just in the case of flight emergencies.
How many of us have been burnt out, running on fumes, at wit’s end… but still pushing through our never-ending to do list without a break in sight or even a thought to put it all on hold? As a society who tends to look favorably on those who “succeed” at any cost, no matter the state of their health, family, or spiritual life, many of us forget to resuscitate ourselves first, before helping others.
To be our best selves, we must love ourselves completely and unconditionally. This means giving our minds and bodies time-out to be at peace, enjoy life, feel love, and appreciate the abundance that we work so hard to build and maintain. In our home we have a motto, work hard, play hard. While there are times when we must work late into the night or over the weekend, we generally keep to rules that help regulate work-play balance.
Establishing boundaries such as the following help us to better love and care for ourselves:
- Give yourself a set time to stop working for the day;
- Keep fun activities that you are excited about on the calendar;
- Schedule regular date nights with your significant other;
- Make time to prepare organic meals with love that are tasty and healthy;
- Play soul stirring music throughout the day that lifts your spirit;
- Spend as much time as possible outside.
Make time for yourself! Do the things that make your heart sing. No one ever said on their death bed that they wished that they had worked more hours! Loving ourselves requires that we consult ourselves before saying yes and feel comfortable saying no. It requires us to take time to enter into quietness and ask ourselves how we are feeling and what do we need to feel whole and balanced?
We all know people who are constantly working, incessantly talking, always moving around… it never ends! Where is the peace? How can we truly know ourselves and what we need if we are not in tune with our bodies, listening to their subtle messages, or even cries for help? How many of us ignore our bodies when we are feeling ill? Just pop some over-the-counter pills and keep it moving to the next appointment? Love yourself enough to ask, Self, what can I do for you? What are you telling me about my life and my relationships?
Take time to nurture a relationship with yourself. We should love ourselves more than anyone else could. And when we love someone, we spend quality time with them. How can we spend time with ourselves to discuss ourselves when we are constantly running from one thing to the next? Just as we schedule time to meet up with friends or travel to visit family members, so too should we put time for ourselves on the calendar. Make you a priority.
Eye-and-eye mantra: Be the woman you want to be at all times!
Copyright 2014 Ajua Hawkins