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Self Care

Freedom:  It's an Inside Job!

Freedom: It's an Inside Job!

In letting go we are free.  Its that simple and that difficult all at once. The issue of bondage is in the head.  We become attached to ideas, thoughts, people and places and when it is time to move on, we tenaciously cling. This is where the suffering begins, but the good news is, it is where the healing begins as well.  

Freedom begins the moment we let go of our limiting beliefs and the thoughts and ideas that no longer serve us.  

It sounds easy, but it’s an intense discipline that takes continuous practice.  In the book of Romans, Paul writes: “do not conform to the patterns of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” When I first read that, I memorized and used it as a touchstone to remind me how to find freedom and transformation.  We move beyond the patterns of suffering by training the mind.  This idea is reinforced in the yoga sutras when they explain the two wings of the spiritual journey of yoking or integrating mind, body and Spirit as abhyasa(practice), and vairagya (renunciation –letting go).  It has taken me countless years of practice and letting go to experience a taste of freedom.  It is the sort of freedom that is worth fighting for.  

I recently hit a rough patch in my journey.  Although I was teaching about freedom and letting go, inside I was suffering.  When I feel overwhelmed, sometimes I just put myself to bed in hopes of rebooting the system.  I fell into a deep and restorative sleep instantly.  When my alarm sounded an hour later, I awoke with the words of my wise teacher in my head.  “As long as you cling, you will suffer.”  I had to turn in and scan my mind, body, and heart for the clenched fist, only to find I had grabbed onto my college aged son with two hands.  Although I sent him away to college and let go 2 months prior, I keep trying to hold tightly to the reigns of control and guide him from afar.  It is not working and so…. I suffer.  I relinquish control and ahhh I am free.  He is on a journey and my job is to love and trust and let go… moment by moment and breath by precious breath.


Resistance to Care

Resistance to Care

Every time the flight attendant on the airplane instructs me to put the oxygen mask over my own face before tending to my children, it reminds me of the importance of self care.  This tendency to take care of ourselves first somehow gets lost in the daily acts of caring for all those around us.  It seems selfish and counter intuitive to do things for yourself.  Self care or asking for care is taboo in our culture.   Most of us are over-functioning and running on empty feeling exhausted and depleted and proud of the way we are getting it all done.  We are moving so quickly and don’t realize we have a need until we are broken down on the side of the road with no idea of how we got there.  This resistance to care is familiar to most human beings and it is the very thing we at SOW that… hope to eradicate.  When every person in the world takes better care of themselves, every person in the world will feel better taken care of.  Then, and only then, will we finally be able to take better care of others.  Caring for others begins with putting your oxygen mask on first!

How do you take care of you?  The first step is to “Be still and know.” When we enter the quiet and push pause on all activity, we learn the importance of being present and begin to experience the peace that is always there.  When you give yourself time to simply be, you begin to realize that you are enough as you are and that you are worthy of care.  Once you return to this simple truth, a profound paradigm shift happens and you are able to allow yourself to receive again. 

Why is it so hard to receive?  Brene Brown said that if you have a hard time receiving, you have unwittingly bound shame to need.  This is where the work begins!  The work of mining your story for the place where the vows were made and your heart turned to self preservation.  I remember being small and powerless.  I remember wanting much more and not having any ability to change that reality and so I cut out the need and the desire at the root.  Growing up in a household with 11 children created a bit of a scarcity complex and at the time, the vow I made to never need anything was good and helpful, but today it is not.  The work in identifying where the vow was made requires for you to enter the grief of the story.  To acknowledge what was hard and painful is to clear away debris so the light can enter again.  Where my heart once held despair and grief, it now has been enlarged to hold hope and desire.  This is not an easy task and with it comes much resistance.  We often want the end result of greater intimacy and freedom, but there seems to be a ten-foot brick wall between us and what we long for.  Our deepest desire in community is to be seen and loved, but for some reason, we hide and resist the love that’s extended.  Once you realize that you are blocking the flow of connection and love, you can finally begin to lay down your arms and humbly receive.

Name and acknowledge the resistance:  How do you feel about taking time for yourself or asking for care?

We invite you to join us for a night of self care where you will engage your body mind and Soul for the sake of integration, healing, and deep connection.  Click on "Classes" to learn about and sign up for our next connection night and our Mini Retreat coming up in June.