Over the past weeks, I have been self-evaluating how I take care of myself, when my actions are on remote control and what I do without thought or commitment. We all have those times in our lives; the days when we move through actions without feeling life or energy, a bit dull. I know about the cycles in life, human development and living a life of purpose. Yet there are the days or weeks I can still disengage from myself and be available only for others. Does this sound familiar?
How do I notice? There are a few clues that have become familiar friends over the years. Here are mine. What are yours?
- I start to eat food that does not care for my body; a chip here, a cookie there and, oh, how a bowl of ice cream with all that yummy chocolate and caramel syrup is sooo good!
- I let go of my daily sitting practice, the 20 minutes where I still my body.
- I rationalize not working out.
- I do not make powerful requests or declines.
- I stop hanging out with nutritious friends.
- I lose a bit, or more than a bit, of my dignity.
- I go to bed at night and cannot answer with satisfaction “Was this a day well lived?”
There are probably more clues and this is a good place to move on.
My four little ones, the quadruplets, Ian, Scott, Rebecca and Bryce are turning eight soon. Celebrating their birthday every year is a reminder of a continual defining moment. Being alive, with a body, mind and spirit, is top of mind for me. Every day with the kids is a joy. How I care for myself is my own accountability to being fully available to the children. Their birthday is an important day; it represents the facing into a challenge and producing an outcome of love, hope and celebration. I needed to be that commitment for them during pregnancy and my body knows how to organize for success.
I have recommitted to the practices that support my body and am taking care practices every day. My attention is on what I do, eat, act or say that helps or derails my sense of purpose and love in my life. I remind myself that life has cycles and my commitment to supportive practices is my own accountability. I hear my teacher, Richard Strozzi-Heckler, say, “You are what you practice.”
What are you practicing today?