Because of the accident that I had as a child and all of the damage that it caused my body, mainly my spine, I have some things that I have to do every day that most people will never have to think about. For instance: Every day I have to do a version of traction where I lay on a contoured foam roller which puts the natural curve back in my neck for 20 minutes. It's even better for my neck if I do this twice a day. Now I know you may be thinking that 20 minutes is not a lot of time but have you met me? I am high energy and I can get SO much done in a small amount of time. And to be honest, I would also feel guilty about laying around for that much time.
A few years ago, I used to feel sorry for myself that I would have to carve out this additional time and build my life around making sure I do this in order to function throughout my day. Blah, blah, blah. Then one day I decided that I wasn't going to do it because apparently I believed that I needed that time for something more important. The first day...no problem. The second day...I felt a little pressure but it wasn't uncomfortable or unmanageable so I pushed into a third day. And on the morning of the fourth day, my neck muscles were in spasm, every joint felt so stiff and the pressure in the back of my head was unbearable. When I am in that level of pain all I can think about is the pain and nothing else matters. I was useless, for almost a week as I did the work to out the curve back in my neck. And the worst part was, I didn't feel like myself. I had little to no energy, I could feel myself forcing myself to be nice and everything felt like a struggle.
I'm a fast learner and pain can be (unfortunately) a great teacher. So, I decided that instead of complaining about what I had to do and repeating my sob story, I would fully accept that this was my body right now and start telling a new story. And that new story is built on the foundation of: I will accept the moment for what it is and respond to it with love as much as possible. I needed to change my vocabulary from "I have to take this time to take of my neck" to "I GET TO take this time to take care of my body." When I did that I would get excited about my ME time to lay still in quiet. To make it better I would put on my essential oil diffuser, play some zen music playing in the background and meditate for 20 minutes. I GET TO take care of my mind and body at the same time. I GET TO mandate the importance and necessity of this time. I Get To do this small thing in exchange for huge benefits. And I had nothing to feel guilty about. When I took time to prep my body and clear my mind, I became better at everything and for everyone. I mean, when I think about the alternative, I'm grateful for where I am.
Part of self-love and self-care is being present and accepting the moment for what it is, for where you are and for who you are. It doesn't mean that things won't or can't change, it just means that you're going to change the way you talk about it and the story you tell around it. When that change is made then the situation itself may not change but the way you participate with it will and that makes all the difference. That's what leads to a super sparkly everything life.
Your Turn: Think of an area of your life where you feel a struggle, fight, or 'have to'. How can you change your vocabulary, or your story, to make that thing feel lighter and easier? Are there things in your life that you know you should be doing to take care of you so that you can give from your overflow but you feel guilty about? Being aware is half the work and taking a small baby step to make a change is the other half. Schedule some you time and make it mandatory.
With love and gratitude, Maria Milagros