This is an excerpt from the book Bouncing Back Stronger - Turning - Trials into Triumphs (coming soon).
Waking up, I look at my phone and try not to pick it up. Nothing in it I need, no message that will significantly change my life. Yet I want to check to make sure.
At the same time, I’m exhausterwhelmulated - defined as feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and overstimulated all at once.
The phone isn’t helping. The next Slack, text, or email message won’t alleviate that feeling. It'll make it worse.
But before you roll your eyes, I’m not advocating getting rid of phones. I love my phone. Having one handheld device with the ability to connect with others, write, search, listen to podcasts, and take photos has improved my life.
I just need to care about myself enough to use it wisely.
Where else can this lack of self-care, self-love, and inability to nurture show up?
Pretty much everywhere.
With good reason. Like many, I grew up in an environment where taking care of ourselves wasn’t a key message. Martyrdom, selflessness, we are hopeless sinners – those were the messages in my upbringing.
As a result, it used to take severe illness or profound tragedy for me to fall to my knees and take a break - or ask for help.
Does this sound familiar?
How might we start taking care without getting knocked down first?
By loving ourselves a little every day.
The truth is – we cannot love others more than we love ourselves. So, if we can’t do it for ourselves now, do it for everyone around you.
How do we move from self-loathing to self-love?
By accepting who we are right now. Not when we lose 30 pounds, get the new job, finish the degree, have a child, get a new house, write the book, fill in the ____.
But exactly how we are now.
Okay, okay – I get it – but how again?
It starts in our daily routine.
How do you start your day? Do you reach for the phone and start doomscrolling, or do you take five, ten, fifteen minutes (or more) for yourself?
A daily centering ritual is the most effective tool for recovery of any kind. It gives us a chance to remember our highest, most divine selves and commit to mastering our days by doing what we were put on earth to do.
Our divinity and purpose are our highest guide. We just need to get out of our trance and remember.
A centering practice helps with that - and lets us break the trance of ego and wanting - to remember who we are and how we want to be for those around us.
How did this practice start for me? In childhood, I watched my parents start their days reading the Daily Guidepost (book of inspirational words and scripture), followed by a prayer of guidance for their day.
When my marriage fell apart and I was studying to be a yoga therapist, I fell back into the arms of this practice and read from one of my yoga readings each day. Later I added meditating for 5-10 minutes and writing.
This has expanded into an Oracle card practice too. But at the core, it begins with a devotional reading, meditation, and writing my thoughts – including how I will do the things that light me up each day.
All in it takes anywhere from 10 -20 minutes. But if I do not make time for this simple ritual – my day is shot. I look back at the end of those days and can see how many times I was in a trance - far from who I wanted to be.
The timing of this ritual is essential too. Taking care of yourself first thing in the morning is key. If we wait, something else – kids, jobs, chores, etc. – will always get in the way. Put yourself first by committing to self-care as soon as you get up.
Take five minutes now and write down your 10–20-minute morning ritual. Then tell someone else (or respond to this email) with your list. When starting a habit, it helps to share with another to help us commit.
And if it helps, the current books I'm reading from each morning are "Journey to the Heart" by Melody Beattie and "Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much" by Anne Wilson Schaef.
Hope this is helpful. (If you would like to receive this newsletter monthly, please email me at email@example.com, and I will add you to our list.)
Wishing you light and love.
P.S. – If you are interested in exploring your divine self and creating the life you want, join us for our September workshop Create Your Life on Sunday, September 24th at 9 AM ET. You can register for it here, or visit our Events page for a list of upcoming events. Thank you.