I went to a wonderful retreat last Friday with Renee Trudeau, the author of A Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal at the Lost Pines in Bastrop. I really enjoyed the day and I really enjoyed spending time with other women. One thing that struck me is the concept that Self-Care does not always mean "doing something". Taking care of yourself can mean doing less, putting away thoughts, reframing an experience, or just quietness. Cell phones, e-mail, the Internet are ever present.....It is said that people on average handle 6 times the information on a daily basis as they did in 1960. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2595
With all this information zooming at us, we may feel the need for speeding up. It is easy to understand why there is a major coffee shop on every corner and "energy" drinks galore at every check-out stand and convenience store. We become over-stimulated, overscheduled, overworked, overwrought, overwhelmed.......That is one of the ways that we dilute our power and our presence.
So, as we have opportunities, offers, obstacles and ideas, we need to ask ourselves some questions:
What does my emotional self need right now?
What does my spiritual self need right now?
What does my physical self need right now?
What do I need mentally right now?
How does this fit into my values?
How does this fit into my vision for how my life could be?
What will this cost in energy, time, money?
If I take this on, what will I have to give up to maintain my life balance?
Who can help support me in my decision?
How would I advise my best friend in this same situation?
Is there a "should" involved? (Shoulds are great signals for when something does not fit into your life, but is hard to say no to because of old stories or habits.)