Conscious Self-Care: Are You Ready to Slow Down?

Yesterday I had a meeting scheduled at a coffee shop with a friend.

She was late and I started feeling anxious. Aha, this was a conscious self-care moment of choice, to slow down. I took a couple of deep breaths, noticed the trees, enjoyed the colorful flowers across the street, and smiled at the little birds jumping around on the ground.

I used to think self-care was going to the gym, getting a massage, taking a yoga class, and frankly, I didn’t want to take the time for me because I was simply too busy. In the first article of this series, I revealed it took a cancer diagnosis for me to slow down and remember to love myself. As you can see from the story above, it’s still a moment by moment conscious choice.

Below is an excerpt from my book, Loving Life…All of It – A Walk with Cancer, Compassion, and Consciousness:

Life Lesson 9: “When I’m Caught in ‘Doing’ I’m Resisting ‘Being’” – Journal Entry: February 6, 2011

Photo Credit: Julie Enstall

“… Love’s gentle touch awakened yet a deeper pocket of concealment as my protective mind surrendered…As I allowed myself to feel, all the fear and trauma my body had been holding onto from each of the procedures, released…the 3 biopsies, the MRI, CAT Scan, ultrasound, dyes, IVs, mammograms, surgery – all the energy of those invasive procedures that my body didn’t have the capacity at the time to balance, was released in tears of gratitude for my body and all that it’s gone through…What a paradox; all the procedures were done by people who genuinely cared about me yet they still did what they did and I interpreted the experience. During my morning meditation, I saw how everything just IS and I experience it based on my perception…I’m just getting really honest about my body’s feelings about it based on really OLD beliefs. I’m so grateful this is coming up now so those unconscious beliefs can unwind and transform. Every experience just IS and I am the one who perceives it and chooses how I experience it. And the journey continues…

It’s always been uncomfortable for me to ‘do nothing’ so I keep myself busy; John calls it my ‘production mode.’ In my mind, there’s always something that needs to be done, or so I thought. Of course, there’s that mind of mine again, thinking in order to resist feeling.

This new way of being, of slowing down to listen, was initially uncomfortable for me. Being still quieted my mind and allowed repressed thoughts and feelings I had been resisting to surface into my awareness.

This sacred space of being, along with this quiet silence that gently blanketed my mind for moments at a time, offered me glimpses of profound inner peace. This was a peace unlike any my mind could conceive; a sacred union within experienced only through stillness and silence.

Learning to slow down, stop, and listen deeply takes time, practice and commitment to one’s self. In my daily routine of life, my To Do lists are long. I used to think that I was the only one who could complete my list the “right way.” It was exhausting. I’ve learned to ask for help and am now able to sense the ‘push,’ the adrenaline, those times when I know I should stop but for some reason still push myself to keep going. These are my moments of choice; do I continue the old pattern of doing or give myself the time to simply be? More often, I am now consciously choosing to Be.

Quiet Time for Reflection:

If you feel comfortable moving into this experience, close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose; hold for a few moments then exhale through your mouth slowly. Repeat a few times.

When you feel calm and relaxed, allow the word “SACRED” to come forth from within you. How does this word feel to you?

Now allow the phrase “When I’m caught in doing, I’m resisting being” to come forth from within you.

How does this phrase feel to you?

Take a few moments to write down any feelings, thoughts, insights, and connections that come to your awareness.”

As mentioned in the first article, conscious self-care is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage to slow down and allow thoughts and feelings to rise from within. It takes a desire to change old patterns of doing with each conscious choice to be. It takes practice and a commitment to one’s self to slow down and listen to the whispers of your soul.

We are all sacred, beautiful beings walking this journey of life together.

It’s an honor to walk this journey with you.

Until the next article, here are some “Conscious Self-Care Ideas” you can explore:

  • Rest:

Honor your body; take naps and go to bed when you’re tired.

  • Be Strong:

Ask for help when you need it; receive help when it’s offered.

  • Focus:

Focus on your feet as you walk; feel how the ground supports you.

  • Eat:

Eat a meal with your eyes closed; take your time and taste all the flavors of the food.

Are you moving a little too quickly today? Are you ready to slow down? If so, here’s a link to a free music download to help you slow down.

Take a few deep breaths, click the MP3 link on the page, and enjoy a few moments of conscious self-care.

Remember: Self-care happens one conscious choice at a time.

Loving Life… All of It,

Amy

I invite you to grab your free download of “Conscious Self-Care Ideas & Book Chapter.”



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