There is an old saying "You can't take care of others unless you take care of yourself"
Well isn't that the truth. But way easier said than done.
I've been noticing a pattern here in my practice the past several weeks- and I must confess, with myself as well- of over doing it. Of taking on too much, using all the energy available to take care of others. While ignoring the need to care for the self. The result is often burnout, anger, resentment, and working from a place of depletion, rather than a place of wholeness and health.
See- I know a lot of you have big dreams. Dreams of saving the world, healing the world, in your own unique way. We all have a gift, a journey- some of you know already exactly what that gift or dream is, and some of you are on the path to figure it out. And right now, we are certainly being called to let that gift shine, make a difference, and live up to the potential that we all have inherent within each of us.
It's a tall order. I know it as well as you do. It can seem daunting. And when we are in our path, our dharma, the Universe gives us plenty of work and people to help that need us- clients, family to care for, friends to support, strangers to lend a helping hand to in our own way.
Sometimes, it's too much. Sometimes, we're so blessed with abundance, that we begin to live a life of 'The Shoulds'- I should be spending all my time helping/ healing/ inventing/ selling/ creating.... I should be saving the world. I should be caring for everyone else. I should be taking that class, learning this technique, running this workshop, starting this business. I should I should I should.... It's easy to get in this pattern. So many big ideas, so little time.
But here's the thing. 'The Shoulds' are important. They are often what get us going in the first place, often sparking the change we want to see in the world. But, when we operate from a place of 'The Shoulds' we lose something in the transaction- Freedom. Freedom to live how we want to live. Freedom to take care of ourselves as well. If we are constantly living in 'The Shoulds' of caring for others, we stop caring for ourselves. And that serves no one.
So this weekend, I have a challenge for you.
Stop what you are doing. Seriously- stop.
You have nothing to do this weekend except what you want to do to take care of yourself. That project that should be completed, that gathering you should attend, that book that should be read, that run that you should do. It can wait. They can all wait. You have plenty of time. And if you do any of these things from a place of depletion, they won't really be done well anyway.
So go sit in the park, relax on the couch, sleep in- whatever it is that your body needs to mend and care for itself. Let it be.