First post after meditation retreat last weekend up in the mountains with 21 other beings. It was a tremendously beautiful journey and so much is felt, so much arose, so much is understood, so much is shown, so much to say, so much to do, but we’ll take one step at a time.
Today I started writing..and writing…and after an hour i found myself still penning down on my notebook and this is what arose, i hope you enjoy reading it as much as i enjoyed writing it 🙂
Taking care of ourselves
Likely the main part of Life that most of us never really earnestly do. And for those who do take the effort to, often stop short of what taking care of ourselves really entails. And that is why there are more sufferings than what could be if we took care of ourselves.
I never really understood what taking care of ourselves truly meant until the recent months. The action alone almost always brings up a general mental depiction of ensuring enough sleep, eating well, having fun and staying safe. All the physical aspects of it. Somehow, growing up and under social conditioning of what is acceptable, we forgot the equally, if not more important aspect of this: our inner world.
We spend so much energy and time focused on what’s outside and all things happening external, we unfortunately forgot our inner world. Everything have been pulling our attention outwards, we have grown so tired within we don’t even realize it until it builds and churns up to a sudden explosion. That is where “That’s it, I had enough!”, “I feel so lost, I don’t know what to do with my Life”, “I need a damn break from all these bullcrap” spawns from. And it’s not to say this isn’t beneficial because more often than not, these moments of great explosions brings great moments of clarity and inner wisdom arises. But it takes a toll, too much of a toll. To see this as normal is exactly what’s creating all the madness in the world. To see this as normal is to see that the inability to honour ourselves is normal.
It is time now, to take care of yourself, to really take care of yourself. Because when you truly do, a box of joy, love and light within you unlocks and expands in sheer brilliance never before known nor seen.
It has been viewed as normal to slog our ass off at work and finally have a getaway “or I’ll go crazy”. And then back to the grind again. The grind is okay, perfectly okay. What is not is not taking care of ourselves during the grind. When we constantly honour within, we don’t need a 4 Day 3 Night beach vacation “or we’ll go crazy”. Sure, we could still take it and have a wonderful time, but the state where we come from is vastly different.
Taking care of ourselves within entails both emotionally and spiritually. No, this does not mean we have to get all Godly and start praying. Truth is, all are connected-physically, emotionally and spiritually. An imbalance in one is immediately reflected on the other aspects of ourselves.
Whatever spiritually means to you, I leave that up to you. Spiritually does not mean religiously, but at the same time it could have a connection. You are a sacred being with freewill, I leave it all up to you. Most often, if you already know, you wouldn’t need to be reading this article about taking care of ourselves.
Let us touch on a ‘easier’ aspect that everyone recognizes and understands- the emotional self. Taking care of ourselves means we make a conscious effort to tune in to how we feel about things occurring. It means to be aware of how we are feeling. Most people do this, but it isn’t enough, we need to go deeper, we need to dig deep.
Being aware of how we are feeling is the tip of the iceberg. As our awareness stays with this, we inevitably go deeper into:
“Why do I feel this?”
“What is causing me to feel this?”
“Is this feeling coming from truth or mind?”
“If this feeling had a voice, what would it say?”
“How is this feeling affecting me now and others around me?”
“What happens if I go the opposite way of this feeling, will I lose any part of me? Will I be lesser? Will I be more? Have I ever been lesser or more? Is there such a thing as lesser or more?”.
Every emotion follows a thought. Every thought leads to the next emotion. This is the eternal cycle. All emotions and thoughts that arises within us tells us a story. They are little flags that show us where to look. They are little flags to show us what’s our current world within based on.
All emotions are necessary, nothing is ever “I shouldn’t’ feel this way” because that which you resist, not only persists but strengthens. Without getting into the ‘dry information’, coming together to these level of understanding and recognition, we can start to take care of ourselves.
As we come to recognize what arises within us and not bury our emotions or turn it away and pretend we don’t feel what we do, we bring it out and honour it. We accept what we feel by letting it be. No emotions and thoughts arise by accident, everything is always a reflection.
So how we really take care of ourselves is by honouring time spent alone. When we are alone, everything we have not honoured arises. And it can get very uncomfortable. That is why we find ourselves infront of a TV or a show as our first basic instinct. Understandably, we avoid all things uncomfortable as basic human instinct. While generally beneficial, when it comes to taking care of ourselves and growing ourselves, it generally isn’t.
What we suppress now will only come up later, at a even bigger force. And for people who spend their lives suppressing a great deal without release and allowing themselves to cry, to dance madly, to laugh, to grief, to sing, eventually builds up a force so huge, so toxic it manifests as things like cancer or a physical chronic injury. As we honour how we feel by allowing ourselves to feel it, we find ourselves becoming lighter and lighter.
If we don’t go within, who will do it for us? Nobody. Nobody will come and place their hand on our head and take away everything. Well, it could happen, but why wait? As we dig deeper and deeper, more and more dark or dusty corners of ourselves arises. We start to notice certain behaviours and ‘natural’ responses coming from childhood fears or things that happened in the past where we needed to form an immediate response to protect ourselves. But that response or behaviour that once protected and served us have now become unserving and is creating more hell than heaven.
By honouring ourselves and having inner inquiry, we dig deep into these roots. We respect and thank these past responses that protected us but now it’s time for us to disassociate and disconnect with it. We let go with love, through love and understanding. We don’t hate it, just let go of it. “Thank you for helping me in the past. I no longer need you to survive now so here we part and for me to react differently in the future, in a more loving way.” By bringing these out, by shining the our awareness onto it, it melts into our light of consciousness. And we take one step at a time, acting like onions, a layer after another coming off, getting closer and reminded of who we really are, which is what we’ve always been. We are just unlearning all things unserving, all things false that have built up around us over the years.
These are all inner workings that we do to be free within, but there is so much more, infinitely more to mention. It is difficult to write all of what I want to into this article, but the next thing is perhaps that which naturally leads you to everything.
Spending time alone, with yourself, without external distractions so you can just fully be, is liberating and immensely vital. As we spend time with ourselves, we nurture ourselves. Like a budding seedling into a tall tremendous tree. Dedicating time and energy alone is not selfish. Truth is, it couldn’t be further away from it. To honour ourselves and nurture ourselves is infinitely giving to others.
Only when we are whole and full, can we give to others. Otherwise, there will always be some taking because we are not enough. Taking is not the same as receiving. It is easy for you, dear reader, brothers and sisters, to misunderstand some of the things I say because the language itself is limiting. All that can be put into words is limiting and have already lost its essence, its experiential glow. And you are ever-growing. However you receive this article to be right now is in reflection to how you are within at this point of Life. An article can mean one thing to you and something else entirely in a month’s time. Everything is a reflection, a mirror.
We see the world as we are, not as how it is. If we are open and loving, we see it as such as that is what the universe will automatically reflect. If we are punishing and hard on ourselves, the universe automatically configures parts of our lives to withhold such ideals. That is why things like “God is punishing” arises. So with the things you read today, dig deep. Truth have always been truth, there’s no different versions of it, just dig deep and experience for yourself what arises. Go beyond mind, beyond ego, dive into heart.
Do all that you must that honours yourself. Sing, dance, laugh, cry. Let it all flow. Our social conditioning have deeply instilled in us when it is considered okay to feel and more so, how and when we display these emotions. Drop all of that. You are never lesser for your emotions. And you are never more. You just are.
By doing what expands the joy within us and nurturing ourselves, we naturally and inevitably brighten everyone’s light. True inner freedom, self-acceptance and love ripples like waves in the ocean, coming together time after time.
Nurturing ourselves means we will do all that it takes to grow. It means being aware of what our social circles brings us and having the self-respect to leave anything that have become dysfunctional and unserving to mutual growth. Too often, too many people derive their sense of self, greatest struggle and pain from staying on with a group of friends that no longer grows one another.
Bridges don’t have to be burnt. We don’t have to make a big hoo-ha and declaration of leave. We don’t come from a state where we leave a social circle because we deem ourselves to be better where we’re going. That’s just more ego, more hell, more drama, more identity.
It just means we shift the bulk of our time and energy spent elsewhere. This seeming parting were never meant to be sad. All relationships are eternal, they never die out once established. Only when the mind, the ego comes in, then drama sets in.
All relationships brings growth. There comes more times than once or twice where we find ourselves “drifting away” from a social circle. We struggle to stay on and feel empty even while we’re with them. But for “old times sake, and not upsetting anyone, I continue to hang out with them” is a dangerous thing many people do to themselves. As they do that, they not only dishonour themselves, they dishonour their friends.
They come to see their friends in a limiting light, they come to see their friends as so small that they would not understand. And even if a certain group of friend do not understand, are we going to spend our lives dishonouring ourselves, creating hell for ourselves?
As relationships reach maximal possible growth, like a flower naturally withering, the relationship naturally comes to a stalemate. Once again, bridges do not have to be burnt. But we must honour ourselves.
All social circles bring different types of growth. We can never expect one single circle to bring all that we require. That is what brings the downfall of many relationships. So surround ourselves with relationships that are in mutual growth, that is the only way we’ll feel a genuine happiness. Honour all, respect and send love to all, regardless whether some understand and some don’t. Relationships are eternal, we are never better or lesser, it’s just what we need most at that particular moment of our lives.
And make sure we do all that truly liberates the joy within us. Stop waiting for someone else to do something with us. That is the greatest restriction of all. It is perfectly alright, if not wonderful, to do things ourselves even though truly, we are never alone. This means if there is a yoga class, a cooking class, a dancing class, a meditation class, a jogging club, a painting class, picking up guitar, embarking on gardening, starting on social community work, whatever it is, we just go for it.
Friends will arise in these situations, that is why we are never alone. The universe made sure of that. There is nothing disgraceful or embarrassing about honouring ourselves and going for what we want. The universe celebrates these, as we often come to see.
All these will bring forth, arise and expand a love within us. A love so pervasive, so expansive, so encompassing that all who come our way will be touched and blessed by it. Cultivating ourselves, nurturing ourselves, doing all that comes from the heart and not the mind, the ego, is what brings us into wholeness, into oneness with ourselves. In coming into oneness with ourselves we come into oneness with all. Through these, what is called self-confidence is born. This type of ‘self-confidence’ can never be touched, never be shaken, never be hurt. In this honouring of ourselves we come to honour everyone. It is inevitable. The universe is a reflection, a mirror.
In these, we come into a life of authenticity. We start to really live our lives, as ourselves. We come to bring our unique gift to the universe.
Take care of yourself, dear sacred being. You are an angel, you are loved. Always.