How are you taking exceptional care of yourself?
How do you feel about that question? Does it seem over the top, just a little too much? Would you be more comfortable with me asking about taking good care of yourself?
Perhaps, because of the pandemic, most of us have finally accepted the idea that taking care of ourselves is critical to our well-being and success in every aspect of our lives. I’ve been saying it for years and I propose that we elevate our self-care to an exceptional level because these are extraordinary times… these times though can make it even more challenging to meet our needs.
A part of taking exceptional care of myself is reflecting on and choosing wisely about how I want to devote my time. I’ve found that time feels different—I’m realizing that some tasks just take longer than in the past. While I could spend precious minutes parsing out the reasons, I will just live with the reality for now. I have the sneaking suspicion it’s the state of the world, our country, my business, and my concerns for family, friends, and colleagues that lurks in the back of my mind day and night. There’s good reason for it, so I am moving on.
I’ve found that engaging in the activities I love and love to share has been a joy during this time.
What are you doing to soothe yourself, work with your emotions (they’re there all the time whether we’re paying attention to them or not), and be kind to yourself so that you can engage with all the aspects of your world in the ways that you desire?
Late last month and earlier this week, I had opportunities to teach Zentangle, a meditative art form that I learned back in 2013. I LOVE tangling—whether I am creating designs myself or teaching others.
Truth be told, tangling is fun AND challenging. It involves using new tools —tiles of Italian paper, Micron pen, a tortillion/smudger, and a pencil without an erase— and
- learning new skills
- working mindfully
- enjoying the slow pace of aspects of the process
- viewing our work from a variety of perspectives (turning the tile as we work on it)
- breathing deeply
- leaving our inner critic “at the door” (when we make an unintended stroke or two).
When plorking (playing and working) with others I slip into a side of myself that is delightful to experience. I can always find something beautiful in everyone’s work. Folks are amazed at the flow of compliments throughout the session. This exchange encourages them to see their work and themselves in new ways.
This “work” is a delight that I have shared all over the world with children as young as 3 years old in Nepal (at House with Heart, for abandoned children) and folks in their 80’s at nursing homes and senior centers. While it’s different over Zoom (though I have been teaching it for years in that way), I still find ways to see and discuss each person’s tiles.
These experiences feed my soul and refresh me.
What nourishes you?
In what ways are you carving out time to take special care of yourself?
How are you finding peace, calm, and beauty or whatever emotions and experiences you need to sustain you?
If you’re interested in Zentangle, let me know! If finding ways to take exceptional because these are unprecedented times is too challenging on your own you, reach out to me for a conversation.
I believe we need to start with ourselves, and then, if we can, help others. We are in this together.