I warned you. This is my year of shameless self-promotion. Along the way I’ve hit roadblocks. (Not surprising.) As someone who is specializing in teaching mindfulness and self-care, people are always genuinely interested in what I do, then tell me they can’t for a variety of reasons. Outlined below are the top three reasons. The first two are the reasons most people give for not doing mindfulness and self care. The third reason is the one that is underneath it.
In light of my upcoming six-week online retreat, I’m answering your excuses by trying to remove impediments to your participation that I typically hear to doing something that is for your own health and well-being.
- I don’t have the time. If you can make time to watch a movie or binge a TV show, listen to a podcast, or run one more errand to get the stuff your kid needs for a last-minute school project, you can make time for the simple mindfulness practices that can take 15 minutes or less per day. It’s a question of making it a priority — like healthier eating and exercise. Eventually these practices become no more taxing to you than brushing your teeth. My retreat, which will help you move in a different direction, whatever that direction is for you. It has two live retreats on FB which will include conversation with fellow retreat participants followed by a live guided meditation. If you can’t make the live conversation, that’s fine. You can catch up later. You then get a recorded, guided meditation that I will design along with journaling pages on which you can reflect about the practices you’re doing and the intentions you set. Do these things any time of the day or night.
- I don’t have the money. Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. Ultimately it is about making yourself a priority and taking time you need for rest and renewal. It can be taking a walk, doing a meditation, reading a good book, taking time to quietly enjoy a meal, or calling a friend. However, it can help to invest a little into a structured community that will help you make these things a priority in your life. Although I have to take care of myself by charching for my work on this upcoming retreat, I want to make it as accessible as possible to people who really want and need it. I have created lower price options for those in job transitions or who are students. You can sign up a group (for added support and cameraderie) and register at a cheaper per person rate. Or take advantage of my Valentines Day weekend 10% off special by registering while using promotion code Valentines10. Or I’m even willing to trade services. Can you do bookkeeping/accouting, website maintenance or other things I would need or want? I’m totally open to trading services!
- Everyone else’s needs are more important than mine. Let’s be honest, this is thing that underlies excuse #1 and #2. It took me years to realize this, so I’m not surprised you’re taking a while to get there, too. It’s totally OK. You take care of everyone else before you do yourself. You do all the work before it’s OK to take time away. You sacrifice sleep, exercise, healthy eating and spiritual practices to do for others. Doing for others is definitely a good thing. Except that you should equally put time and effort into taking care of yourself. There is wisdom in the emergency instructions we get on airplanes: “Put your oxygen mask on before you help others around you.” You are better helping others when your cup is full first. You’ll be more kind, more generous, more loving even as you set boundaries and say no to some things in order to find the time and money to care for yourself. It’s like the Golden Rule says, “Love your neighbor, as yourself.” Implied there is that loving both another and yourself is crucial to creating loving community.
The Move in a Different Direction retreat has become for me something way more than just a simple online gathering or way to make money. I want it to be the beginning of a self-care revolution: one in which we all collectively say, “We are Enough,” and value our own care as much as we value caring for others.
Let’s start the self-care revolution!