Breathe Unwind Revive
Too busy to focus on self-care? Also too busy for serenity and being more in charge of your life? Are you in the habit of putting everyone else above your personal needs?
Many of us may answer “yes” to the questions above, yet we also realize investing in self care blesses us in living a healthier life. If you do practice self-care, congratulations! Perhaps you are ready to raise it up a level. A psychologist, a keynote speaker at one of Unity’s regional conferences, gave the advice to take two days in a row off from work each week. It looked impossible but ministers I know who were serving in church ministry made a courageous decision to take the following advice and this is what they found. The first day off one begins to relax; the second day off truly renews. These ministers dared to make this change and their personal lives, along with the ministries they served, were invigorated!
In Unity we are taught that when we make a Spirit-guided decision, the universe comes to our aid in amazing ways to help us succeed. What do you know in your heart is a priority for your next courageous decision? Perhaps it is just a small shift that would be immense for invigorating your life and giving you peace. To listen to your heart and understand what it is seeking takes being open, honest and observant of ourselves.
So how can we listen more deeply?
- Create a small space where you go, alone—no phone, computer, TV, people—to just be.
- Schedule time on your calendar to be regularly in your quiet space.
- Observe yourself, your life, to see which area is most wanting (screaming?) for attention.
- Know in faith when we are willing to make a change, the answers come for how to do it.
- Ask a friend to regularly support you for following your self-care plan of action, perhaps partnering with one another for mutual support.
- Add the Health and Wholeness webpage to your computer favorites or to your phone for ability to quickly have a supportive reminder. You can open the Quick Renewal Now link to “Stress Relieving Tips,” then do whichever action your eyes first fall upon.
- Periodically notice if you are holding tension, especially in the jaw or shoulders. If so, release the tension and change the cause, the thought pattern.
- Breathe gently, allowing muscles to soften and relax. Notice any pattern of thought now present, don’t resist it … just notice and then refocus.
- Most of us don’t want to stop once we are started on a project. I find it helpful to set a timer to create a stopping point for a brief break. It works well for me to set the timer across the room so I have to get up to turn it off, breaking the momentum.
Feeling Grumpy Is My Signal!
When I live from without-in, I find that I quickly become irritated or have a sense of unease. However, when I live from within-out, rather than being overly influenced by outer situations, I experience a sacred quiet and irritation melts away; and for no special reason, I find myself smiling.
Self-care to me equals being at ease with self and others. It allows more self-control and the ability to make better choices in our lives. Self-care tops my priority list, so I do my best to regularly put myself above the constant demands of my world of bill paying, appointments, and the constant changes in my world. My intention, as much as possible, is to live in awareness of the sacred stillness within; speaking and acting from this Stillness.
Quick Highlights, Favorites of Mine
When the list of priorities are long and seemingly need to be done immediately—if not sooner—I take a moment and remind myself:
- Of recent accomplishments, no matter what the size, that move me into gratitude energy, making it easier to successfully take the next action.
- That we can only do one thing at a time well.
- To concentrate fully on whatever is the current priority on the list.
- To use the power of my breath to focus and energize me.
- To have faith that whatever is truly necessary will get done in the perfect time when I allow my intuitive guidance to lead me.
Remove Electronics – When I want to sleep deeply or just relax, I get away from my computer and turn off my phone. Quiet can be so rejuvenating!
Select Supportive Music – I choose different music depending on how I’m feeling. When feeling down I choose something that has supportive energy, or something to energize me. If I’m needing to slow down, I’ll choose something more relaxing.
Get Help Re-Centering – I often listen to a recorded meditation on my phone or computer.
- Choose a powerful, feeling, affirmative word or two that is most supportive for your day.
e.g.: vibrantly alive; audacious; tranquil; unwind; “breeeathe”
- During a stressful situation, take a conscious breath or two and calmly turn your attention within; listen to your Intuitive Voice for perfect guidance. This is easier to accomplish when you regularly take time for lengthy, deep meditations.
- Choose one of the Twelve Powers to embody for the day, using its color to assist you. Flow that energy through you, out and around you.
Regaining My Sense of Self after Experiences of Intensity
Other ways that I renew my inner tranquility is by taking several hours, or a day or two of absolute quiet, and/or inspirational writing.
Making time to visit with friends is also a great resource. Be sure to select friends who accept you as you are, knowing the Truth about you, without the need to “fix” you.
Practical and inspirational self-care ideas are easily found on the Unity Worldwide Ministries website under both Ministers and Licensed Teachers. Click on “Health and Wholeness Tips.” Explore the resources provided for you by your Health and Wholeness Ministry Team.
As you do what you already know in your heart to do for self-care and renewal, the next step will come in perfect timing for living a calmer, happier, more-in-charge-of-you lifestyle. This will ultimately yield greater success in life. With diligence and loving intention we can work self-care into our life of service.
Remember this is a practice. None of us are doing it perfectly and that is normal and okay. What matters is “our life,” and slowing down enough to live fully alive!