Last week I attended a free meditation class hosted by a local church. The leader, a very experienced mediation teacher, reflected that he often hears people push back about meditation — saying that it, and other mindfulness and self-care practices, were selfish. The implication, of course, that taking care of yourself is bad.
We went onto talk about our own experiences of meditation and its personal benefits. But, also how the benefits extend to everyone we encounter. Our own experiences (and much research) supports the the notion that meditation practices do indeed impact how we interact with the world — we have more empathy, patience and generosity; we are are less susceptible to anxiety and our bodies’ negative responses to stress. What we do on our meditation cushion or yoga mat or during our morning walk matters immensely not only to us, but to whom we encounter.
Modern research confirms was the ancients have been teaching about spiritual practices for millennia. In the Christian and Jewish traditions, for example, one of the ultimate teachings known commonly as the “Golden Rule” teachers that the ultimate faithful practices are to love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. In the Christian tradition, of which I am part, tends to gloss over the loving self part. But, the scripture passage implies strongly that loving self is an integral part of loving neighbor — perhaps even loving God.
I know that if I am giving too much to others without taking time for myself and my own self-care practices, I become easily frustrated, angry and resentful of even the smallest requests of my time and attention. I feel like even one more thing added to my list will not only mess up my schedule, but threaten to drain the last bit of energy from my being.
My meditation and other self-care practices like eating well, sleeping on a regular schedule and getting exercise, reminds me that I have infinite God-given energetic resources as long as I care for and cultivate them. Time spent connecting to myself — mind, body and soul — actually helps to connect to the vast and infinite resources of the universe that are always moving through me.
My own experiences of self-care have led me to develop what I am calling, Self-Care Coaching. I’d love to work with individuals or groups who want to experiment with new practices and develop their own plans for self-care that support their life so that they can live their purpose with joy, generosity, and resilience.
In as little as three or up to 12 sessions, you can explore with me new types of self-care practices and develop a plan that supports you in bringing forth your best self. We would:
Practice. Learn new self-care practices including a wide variety of meditation and breath practices and/or physical yoga.
Reflect. Reflect on the impact regular self-care has on your mind, body and spirit and how you relate to others.
Integrate. Make changes in your own work and life that integrates the practices that resonate most with you.
Want to Learn More about Self Care Coaching? Join this FREE 30-minute webinar during which I elaborate on just what self-care coaching might look like for you. Participants will receive 10% off their first 3-session (or more) coaching contract with me!