Spring has sprung whisper the crocuses, tulips and daffodils. As the temperature rises so does my excitement in anticipation of the emerging flowers in my garden. This year my focus is on the soil. Caring for the soil is not my expertise. I've put off tending to it because I wasn't sure how or where to begin. Last year's garden reflected my procrastination but this year the student is ready.
Kind of a metaphor for self-care isn't it?
What is the fertility level of your own proverbial soil? Do you ever feel depleted and from that place emerge as a less than heart-centered self? Too much energy going out can have an adverse effect on your health, your relationships and even on your checkbook. Procrastination adds to the draining.
Too many plants can prevent thriving too. My perennials had gone wild. I’m not opposed to wild and whirly since I have a cottage style garden, but when plants are too crowded to thrive it’s time to relocate, re-gift or even retire some of them to the compost pile. Overcrowding doesn't do any of the plants any good.
Do you sometimes have trouble finding a home for your things because your closets are cluttered with things you no longer use? That can be stressful. Storing items that you no longer use until they become moth eaten or obsolete can reflect a scarcity mentality, sentimentality gone wild or something else. Re-purposing, re-gifting or retiring items allows them to fulfill their purpose. I always feel better when I pass something that I no longer use onto someone who can appreciate it the way I used to.
Since soil is not my thing I've been seeking counsel on how to feed it organically and on how to naturally eliminate those pesky bugs that have set up camp without my permission. I can’t think of one thing that they bring to the relationship unless you like your plants to have that 'scalloped' or ‘Swiss cheese’ look.
Sometimes there are people in our lives who seem to take more from a relationship than they bring to it. It can feel like they don't bring anything to the relationship initially, but they can be revealing our own weak boundaries that are ready for addressing. That is valuable information. Hmm... maybe those pesky bugs are indicating some room for improvement where it comes to boundaries too!
I'm anticipating that my soil-care and weeding will lend way to a happier, healthier and more thriving garden. And maybe more! We'll see. Always a work in progress.
Like tending to the needs of a garden, self-care can be challenging at times. Sometimes we work on one thing and then another pops up that needs attention. Sometimes we don't know where to begin so we procrastinate. And sometimes we fear that our efforts will hurt someone yet realize that by doing nothing that everyone around us suffers too. You might think that self-care is a luxury, but eventually, if you stick with it, you will come to the conclusion that you don’t have time not to and that will be the good news. Ask me, or anyone who has walked the walk.
Do you already know the value of caring for yourself from the inside out and are ready to make it more fun? Last year, in my ongoing walk of self-care, I promised myself that I would go on a weekend retreat once a season. It was a delightful and insightful decision. Self-care always stretches me. Even making the effort stretches me. There is always something to learn. From stepping out of my life revealed that I can see things from the sidelines of my relationships that I can’t always see when I am in them. As A Course In Miracles says, “You cannot evaluate an insane belief system from within it.” Stepping out, even for an afternoon, can be valuable with the right mindset.
We all have our own preferences when it comes to learning. For instance, when I went for my boating license I could have either read the manual and taken the test or taken an all day class and then the test. I chose the class. That’s just me but the auditorium was full so I guess I have company. And sometimes I prefer reading, just not boating manuals. And another person might find a boating manual fascinating. It’s all relative and individual.
From my studies on the subjects of self-care, personal growth and spiritual wisdom, and my experiments with putting them into practice, have blossomed, not only less clutter, but my Heroine’s Journey groups and Mindful Goddess Retreats. I have taken what I love about the 3 subjects and created programs that I would want to be involved in for those who are at the “it’s more fun with company,” point.
My Heroine’s Journey groups are for those who have worked with me individually, take their growth seriously, and are interested in experiencing the accelerated growth that a like-minded group can provide. The Mindful Goddess Retreats were cofounded with Deb Blais-Godin, massage therapist and owner of Sage Wellness Center and Spa. We take pleasure in gathering practitioners who can educate participants in the art of self-care and offer a taste of their expertise. We enjoy pampering our participants—providing a pleasing environment for them to step into to learn, recharge and grow their feminine—their emotional, creative, intuitive and heart’s deepest desire side—from the inside out. Participants take their learning back into their everyday lives where it can flourish. It’s beneficial for practitioners to be around each other too. We aren’t exempt to slacking from time to time when it comes to self-care.
What barriers do you place between you and self-care? What stories have you been telling yourself about why giving and receiving from a heart-centered place can wait? Is the student ready? I remember, close to 30 years ago, telling myself that if it wasn't covered by my insurance that it wasn't available to me. Lord knows where my health would be today if I hadn't removed that barrier. If your health, relationships or even your checkbook are reflecting your depletion, I hope this is the year that you reconcile your resistances and take the plunge. Baby steps my friend. Think about how you would like to learn about self-care—read, class, one-on-one, retreat—pursue the guidance you need so that everything that pops up in your life can be a little healthier, happier and thriving like never before. You deserve it and everyone around you will benefit. Like my garden we are all works in progress.
If a Mindful Goddess Retreat sounds intriguing, we hope you will join us for our "Spring Clearing" 1/2+ day Retreat on April 30th (details below). If you have your own means for self-care that lends way to your giving and receiving from a heart-centered place, I wish you all the best with your process! And if you'd like to explore where you struggle with being heart-centered in a private setting give me (or another professional with whom you feel safe) a call. 978.314.4545 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to phone, Skype and FaceTime distance is no longer a barrier.
A lifetime of experiences to a seeking heart is like a meadow rich with flowers to a hummingbird. The nectar is food for the soul.
Friends in this Love,