Selfish or Self-care?

Does the thought of taking time for yourself bring joy and pleasure or resistance for you? Many people were brought up to believe that any focus on themselves was selfish and "no one likes a selfish person!” Sound familiar?

Information has accelerated immensely in our world, and with it a vast increase of both opportunities and expectation in all that "needs to” or "could be” done. No matter which life area you consider: work, career, finance, love, health, spirit, there’s always more to be done. It all takes energy. Where does that energy come from? Through each of us.

When you drink a glass of orange juice, what happens after each sip? The cup starts to become emptier until the last drop. If you want more juice, you’re going to need to fill the glass again! Using the orange juice as symbolic of our energy, as we continually expend energy, there will come a point where we get an "on reserve” indicator, telling us we better fill up before we run out. Sometimes we don’t notice; sometimes we’re "going to do it soon"; and then find ourselves stranded, requiring a concerted effort to fill up again.

We have within us an energy station, an unlimited source that was born into us and from which we draw in order to live. Many of us, though, are energetically surviving rather than thriving, rarely "filling up”, running on the bare minimum, leading to more daily struggle than joy.

In order to access this supply, we must be positively selfish – giving ourselves the time to "be” rather than "do”, in a way that fits well and can be consistent.

One of the most common excuses for not replenishing ourselves is: TIME. I DON’T HAVE THE TIME! Yes, there is a lot to do in our lives, most of which looks pretty important. But we must take the time to fill ourselves up to live well. Starting small will make a big difference.

Physical Replenishment: A 20-minute walk in nature; spontaneous stretching exercises throughout the day; take a conscious deep breath in/out in your day; treat yourself to a ½ hour massage.

Mental Replenishment; Notice your thoughts –Are talking positively or negatively to yourself about yourself? If you have a problem and can only find 1 or 2 possible solutions, challenge yourself to find one more. Read inspirational books 10 minutes per day.

Spiritual Replenishment: Do a simple meditation: follow your breathing, or look at a beautiful scene; completely immerse yourself in it; sit anywhere and be silent, just "be”. Listen beyond your thinking mind; Give positive prayer a chance. Check out spiritual resource centres in your area, to support you in developing a more balanced spirit-mind-body connection. Replenishing ourselves, clearing our energy paths, is not selfish, it is self-care, and supports us in living fully and well. All the life energy we need is available, but we need to choose and utilize it. The spirit-mind-body connection has everything to do with our life experience, fulfillment and fun!The truth and privilege is, we are responsible for taking care of ourselves; to think and decide for our lives, to feed and nurture our body, and to find the inner wellspring of our energy. We are completely supported by the Life force that called us into being, and are being called to live in a greater way. Let’s support our selves and each other by taking care of ourselves.

Reverend Wendy Yacboski
Celebration of Life Centre
Vancouver, BC