I was inspired by my son Blaine and his quest to help his classmate Liam, who speaks very little English. Day 1 of him entering class, Blaine came home concerned. The next I heard about Liam was receiving a note from his teacher saying how Blaine had taken upon himself to guide him through the day. Last week, Blaine was frustrated with their progress and daily asked me to buy him an English to Hebrew dictionary to aid in their progress and communication. Hence the lesson I received from Blaine, how can I be more kind and compassionate in my daily interactions?
Article originally published via Eat Live Life
We are number one, yet many times we forget to take care of ourselves. We are caregivers by nature and taught to please others. At a young age, we learn what makes others happy and we do that, even if not aligned with which we want to do. If I am able to teach my children one thing, it is to speak your truth, be kind, but always let others know where you stand. Just last night, my nine year old son was brave enough to tell his Dad he did not want to go to a party with all his friends. He wanted to stay with me and have a quiet evening. He asked, “Can you tell Dad, I don’t want to go?” I told him, just tell your Dad what you want and why. He put on his big boy underwear and calm and brave as brave can be and stood up to his Dad and he respected him and said of course. As I am a recovering people pleaser, that is one aspect of me, I do not want to pass on.
Here are some of my five favorite self-care tips that allow me to have super power capacity to tackle two jobs I love, be involved with my kids and still have time for friends and family.
1.) Do something you love daily. Ask yourself, what brings me joy? We get so caught up in the day to day of being tugged in so many different directions, it can come to the end of the day and we have not given ourselves any love, attention, that one special treat that will make us smile, bring us ultimate joy. What brings you joy?
2.) Spend time alone. We all require downtime to process our busy lives. Time alone allows us to tap into our creative nature, solve a problem, what to say to nurture our kids or our lover. Time alone can be in meditation, a walk, a run or even driving in our cars. Be mindful of the alone time, take the necessary time to decompress. I personally love to have the first hour when I wake up to myself in which I spend in various ways and if I don’t, I find myself being all out of sorts. How do you spend your alone time?
3.) Nurture your body. Eat healthy food, use organic lotion/oils on your skin and practice self-massage. An easy self-practice I do each night is to put sesame (warming) or coconut (cooling) oil on my feet with a self-massage each night before I go to bed. It not only keeps my feet well moisturized, it promotes sound sleep and is an effective way to give back to my body at the end of each day. How do you nurture your body?
4.) Check in with your feelings. Many times we “think” we should feel or act a certain way. When was the last time, you checked in with how you were truly feeling? When I started this practice daily, I was amazed at my own personal insights throughout each day. When you are feeling stressed, check in, and ask yourself how you are honestly feeling.
5.) Gauge your mental chatter. What is going on in our minds can be mind-boggling. My teacher Rolf Gates always told us during meditation to label the boat and let it go. Do you have a boat that is full of to-do items or one filled with worry? Either way, it is okay, just label it, and set it off to sea. What is your mental chatter?
The bottom line is to determine what self-care rituals/routines work best. We all desire to be cared for and we are the only ones that truly know what feels good to us each day. The daily commitment is what will set us apart from others – help us have more energy in all facets of our daily life. We deserve the best! Remember, small daily doses of self-care will keep us mentally, psychically and emotionally sound. And the good news is that once we start, it truly is contagious, and we will want to do more and more for ourselves.
I called both of my 90 year grandmothers and sent my Grandmother Greco in Florida flowers to lift her spirits. Earlier in the week, Audrey sent her a card with pictures of us making food she taught us how we cook. We love GG's recipes and such a blessing that Audrey has been able to know her Great Grandmother.
Blaine received the Play it Forward game for his birthday. We have been having fun with the cards. To copy the game, we made our own cards and would love if you join us today or any day and play it forward by letting others in front of you and then hand them one of the cards so they pass it on. Download print-out.
Our Actualize Consulting NY office is supporting the Doe Fund on an on-going basis as we support Cornerstones in VA. At Actualize, we like to be more hands on with our giving. When I went to visit the Doe Fund, one of the ways we will support them this year is to provide 245 scarves for their HIV/AIDS facility. I immediately thought of grandparents who need something to occupy their time or those that are disabled. I personally have a high school friend my age that is completely disabled, yet is an amazing seamstress. She has agreed to make 100 of the scarves and embroider the ones she makes with The Doe Fund. Our very own Denise who is extremely crafty is also going to make a few.
I have the fabric and pattern, so if you know of anyone or an organization that would like to give back, please let me know and I will send some fabric to them. It is a WIN/WIN :)
Today's March Kindness Challenge is to send one letter via snail mail. With all the technology we are loosing the craft of letter writing. Make someone smile with a letter, handmade card, purchased card, etc. And if you want to use technology, I love sending cards via the two apps below on my phone.
This past weekend, my teacher Rolf Gates was in town and I had the honor of three days of his teachings. Years ago in his training, I was inspired to write a children's book called Audrey's Journey: Loving Kindness. With loving kindness or metta, it is a way to offer love and happiness to ourselves, to people we love, and to all living creatures. To offer loving kindness, you first offer to yourself and then to someone you love. The last step is to offer love and happiness to everyone.
As Rolf reminded us this weekend, we have to love ourselves, forgive ourselves, be our own best friend before we can offer that love and compassion to others.
Today, we have loving kindness for ourselves and ask how can I forgive myself, how can I act as my own best friend? Repeat these words a few times aloud or to yourself.
May I be safe.
May I be happy.
May I be peaceful.
May I be healthy.
May I walk with love in my heart.
Feel that and believe in yourself and then offer loving kindness to others. Let's just focus on being more kind and loving today.
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