Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thinking it over

So, a lot has been going on in the last six week that I've not been blogging. I hit a bit of a wall in terms of self-care, and am slowly starting to take the time that I need to care for myself the way that I need to.

I suppose this is always a bit of a back-and-forth, and it's sometimes difficult to make space for yoga, meditation, art or reading when there are so many projects and people that can absorb my attention. Working non-traditionally, outside of an office routine, can also make setting a regular self-care routine difficult. "I can always practice later," I tell myself as I settle in front of my laptop in the morning, only to find that once it turns 6:00 I'd rather check on Tides or figure out what to cook for dinner.

Putting myself first can seem really selfish, but it's important--I think essential--if I'm going to do the things I want to do. So often, when I'm not in a good place, starting from a foundation of peace, equanimity and serenity, nothing else seems to work well. I find myself short-tempered and focused on people's short-comings, which isn't productive, especially in such a challenging environment. When I do take time for myself--time that seems self-indulgent and lavish, at times--I have compassion and patience, two qualities I think are necessary for good work.

I'll be practicing and would gratefully appreciate suggestions and comments about how you manage self-care in challenging, work-driven settings. How do you do it?

1 comment:

  1. Elie,

    I know you only through the medium of email but even so have come to appreciate that you are an incredibly motivated and passionate person, someone whom I am immensely inspired by. I don't pretend to be able to understand your circumstances but as the song goes advice is a form of nostalgia so here goes!

    In times of reflection I often remember this:

    Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars...

    You work hard because you are compassionate, but remember, you are only human, living biology that needs rest as well as activity to sustain itself. There is no shame in needing a break, you are doing miraculous things, enriching people and inspiring others, but this shouldn't be at the expense of your own wellbeing.

    Be like the migrating herds, stop often for breaks thus enabling you to travel far!

    Peace, good karma and all that shalome




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