In our elder years we can look back on our lives and appreciate all the things we have done for others, as husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and friends; at work teaching, nursing, administrating, at home washing and cleaning, or in the community volunteering our time.
My question to myself is how lovingly did I look after myself in all of my roles? Did I care for my body, my psychological wellbeing and my health?
My body is now showing me how I lived, unaware of the importance of self-care.
When I was first introduced to the notion of self-care, I was puzzled and challenged. I realised that I had to let go of the effort of determination, being good, trying hard, and impatience – all the ways that had served me in the past to cope with a busy lifestyle.
I have realised that as I grow older and my body becomes more fragile, I can make a fresh start to getting to know myself again. It is a stage of life when I am now able to enjoy more time to exercise, walk, rest, write, learn something new, meditate with the Gentle Breath Meditation® These are some of the things that I feel truly nurture and support me.
Learning about true self-care presented a new opportunity to introduce gentleness and presence into my daily activities. When I am gentle in my movements – still and present in my body, I feel complete. When there is no rush, it’s as if time stands still.
How do I wake in the morning? Do I give myself time to feel how I am feeling before getting out of bed? Do I appreciate the day and how I will live it?
I give myself wind down time at the end of each day and put myself to bed early so my body can best reconstitute itself while I sleep. Nowadays I like to be in bed around 9pm.
I have learned that we can change our old patterns of behaviour if we choose to. For me, I can definitely say that it has benefited my health and well-being immeasurably to pay attention to what I eat and drink, and to observe how I am with what I am doing. Now when I visit my doctor or practitioner I feel that I am working with them to look after myself. I also appreciate feeling more empowered that I am in charge, knowing that I am responsible for my quality of life.
Self-care is a choice to make because I am worth it.
Bernadette C., Australia