Where is your favorite place in nature? Where do you go to get rebalanced and find your center again?
Stop for a minute and close your eyes. And really take yourself there. What does it look, sound and smell like? Do you immediately go to the ocean, the lake you grew up on, a favorite hiking trail, a beautiful flower garden…or maybe even your own backyard?
For me, it's the mountains. And especially the Blue Ridge Mountains with all of their ancient wisdom.
I just got back from a long weekend in Asheville, North Carolina the city that I consider my “heart home.” It's where I healed from my divorce, rekindled my relationship with God, made some of the best friends of my life, and ultimately met and married my sweet husband.
Mountains are magical for me. The earth there keeps me grounded. I love to tromp through the woods, feel the leaves crunch under my feet, inhale the fresh autumn air, and listen to the babbling brooks.
On this particular visit, I showed up pretty broken. Since my mom died just two months ago and since the election last week, I was feeling pretty sad. Normally, I broadcast my visit to dozens of people and I try to party it up, seeing as many folks as I can. This time, I saw just a few of my very best friends and I was grateful to be held by some of my most beloved intimates – people who have known me for decades and who I trust completely - and reminded that I am safe and loved. It is such a precious experience to be witnessed exactly as you are, even when you feel pretty raw and vulnerable.
For me, going to the mountains alone – and spending quality time with members of my soul tribe – was an act of radical self care. When I go to the mountains, I am restored, renewed and revitalized!
Last week was an emotional one for many people I know. The election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States has sent half of our country into shock and outrage and has much of the rest of the world scratching their heads wondering what has happened in America.
I did not vote for Trump but I believe I’m starting to understand some of the reasons why a lot of people did. Clearly, we have a lot of work to do in our country.
I’m not well-versed in politics but I’ve always had friends and family and clients who straddle both sides of the aisle. Regardless of where you stand on the issues, I think we can all agree on the following:
When we are outraged, scared, fearful or worried, or feel misunderstood, ignored or invisible, or feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and unsure…it’s important to practice smart self care.
When we practice smart self-care, we learn to love ourselves a little more every day.
When we love ourselves more, we love others more.
When we love others more, we feel connected and part of a greater community.
When we are part of a community, we work harder to promote cooperation and collaboration.
When we collaborate, barriers are slowly dismantled, old patterns change and we contribute to a more peaceful world.
So, by deduction:
WHEN WE PRACTICE SMART SELF-CARE, WE CONTRIBUTE TO A MORE PEACEFUL WORLD.
Consider how you are feeling this week. Does election stress have you worked up? Are you tired from too little sleep? Are you being challenged at home or at work with something that is weighing you down?
Do you need to build in a little extra self-care time to rest and regroup? Pull out your calendar and see if you can block out an hour, an afternoon or a weekend just for you.
Then think about your favorite place in nature. Can you get there? Mother Nature has a way of balancing us in mind, body and spirit so if you can give yourself permission to revel in her charms for a little while, I suspect you’ll emerge feeling much like I did after my time in the mountains… restored, renewed and revitalized!
Let me know what you have planned. I’ve love to hear about it!
Here’s to a more peaceful world,