Slowing Down and Honoring Yourself
I have always had a problem with slowing down. I think fast, I speak fast, I move fast - it had always been my way. I never stopped to consider why that was, I just always assumed that this "was me." I've always taken pride in my accomplishments, my ability to take on new challenges and succeed through effort. I never recognized that I had associated my identity, who I was, with this idea of constant movement and achievement.
It wasn't until early this year when my body refused to keep pace. It had had enough. It had been telling me in little ways for a while and I didn't listen. I thought I would just "toughen it out," somehow associating this concept with strength and warrior-like perseverance. Where did I get these ideas from? When did I condition myself to see self-neglect as success? When did I begin seeing self-denial as strength?
Finally, I had to listen. I had to pay attention to my health, slow down, rest and battle unprocessed emotions that came up in the stillness. How many of you move around like this because sitting still for too long is uncomfortable? How many of us neglect our well-being for the sake of other people's agendas and timelines? Why do we cut ourselves off from our needs in the name of productivity?
Enough. My dear friends, enough now. I think it's so important for us to reconfigure what success looks like for each and every one of us. For me, it's a healthy body, a healthy heart, and a peaceful mind. It's recognizing that no monetary goals, status, or external sense of validation are worth the sacrifice of what we truly value. To me that's the well-being and happiness of myself and those I love, making quality time for my family and friends, and cultivating deep bonds. Making time to develop my relationship with the Divine, being present with what I'm doing, so that when I work I show up with a full heart.
Have compassion and patience with yourself. Take the time to observe and contemplate your conditioning, and unravel who you truly are from the identity you have created out of that conditioning. You can recreate, you can choose new beliefs and definitions of what success and happiness are for you. May it reflect your true values, authentic self, and pace. So please, as uncomfortable as it can be, take time to slow down, to honor yourself and your body, to fulfill your needs out of self-love, and don't for one second feel bad about it. You cannot give from an empty cup my love. So fill yourself to the brim, and when you spill over with gratitude, may your blessings bless others.
With all my love,