Every year for the last four years I've chosen a Word of the Year. It's a word that has layers of meaning for me, that invites me to stay mindful of what I desire in my life. It is my touchstone... the thing I check in with when I'm wanting to make sure I'm still moving toward more of what I want... and less of what I don't. In the past I've chosen proportion (as in balance), emerge, and stand. All of these words have had multiple layers to them... and I've understood them more and more deeply over the course of the year.
This year I chose devotion. My perspective on devotion is this: If I don't take care of myself, if I don't devote myself to making sure that I am standing on my own two feet, then I can't really support anyone else. Thus, my devotion to all that I want to nurture in this world comes through being devoted to my own needs first... and through that sense of being nourished... I am free and able to meet others' requests of me.
This is a tough one to swallow for me... as I've been well trained to do the opposite. To believe that I need to take care of everyone first... THEN I can have time for me. But, you know what? I found out that when I do that... there never tends to be consistent time for me. It is like trying to water your house plants after every other chore gets done... and then being surprised when the plants wilt before you get around to caring for them.
So, in 2015 I decided to devote myself to my own nurturing care. Sounds lovely, doesn't it?
By January 2nd I was having to check in with myself to see whether the choices I was making were really in resonance with "devotion to me" or not. By the end of January I felt that my "devotion to me" was pushing me to the edges of my ability to keep up. Devotion... it turns out... will not be as easy as it first seemed.
For me, it looks like a holding pattern. I will keep doing my Body Wisdom Healing Circle calls in 2015, and the Body Wisdom Seasonal Intensives, and working with my one-on-one clients. I will devote my other time to myself... to my physical health and well-being, and to laying in the forest, and to playing at the water's edge... to getting my needs met. I give myself six months to explore the possibilities of what creating vitality and robustness in me looks like... then I'll get back to creating for my practice.
What does it look like for you when you take time for yourself? What do you do? What does it look like to "take time off"? How often do you really do it... does it take a crisis of some sort to motivate you to make the space for you?
A friend (Nissa at SoulCraft) recently encouraged her tribe to acknowledge all the wonderful things they accomplished in 2014. I made a list for myself, because my tendency is to look forward and plan... and dream... and be inspired (I'm a Leo after all). But I don't often reflect, or at least not on the successes. So, if you're curious, here are some of mine:
It's good for me to look back, to acknowledge where I spent my energy, and what I got in return. I get to breathe in the abundance of the seeds I sowed... some were impulsive... and I just went with it... others I planned in great detail. Acknowledging them feeds my soul in a way that I wouldn't have predicted before I wrote them down.
So, what about you? What did you accomplish this year? What feels successful about 2014? I'd encourage you to light a candle, and write your list down. It took me a long time to come up with this list. I'd forgotten some of them... and it wasn't until they were here together that I could feel how I cultivated a sense of myself this year.
For you, what about last year's work and play are you most proud of? What feeds you more than you expected when you did it? What do you want to build on more in 2015?
I'm an explorer of inner realms, a pattern observer, and an invitation maker. I believe that healing the world starts within.
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