It has been said that we cannot give what we do not have and that we cannot pour from an empty cup, but what does this actually mean? It means that if we are in a state of depletion, we have little to offer anyone. It means we need to take care of ourselves first and ensure that we are functioning at our highest ideals so that we have an overflow of whatever it is that we are giving. This includes our ability to be present for others, vitality, positivity, love, joy, healing, and our energy.
Self-care tends to be something that we intuitively know to suggest to others who are struggling, yet working it into our own lives is a great deal more challenging. We are so quick to tell a loved one to take a day off, or do something nice for themselves, but when it comes to giving something like this to ourselves, many of us fall short of adding it into our busy schedules. One thing that has become apparent to me as I have improved my own self-care regimen, as well as helping others recognize the need for it in themselves, is that self-care is equivalent to self-love, and many of us find it difficult to be the recipients of such self-directed love. It is so much easier to love someone else than it is to truly and deeply love the self. Yet cultivating this partnership, developing this relationship above all others produces such beautiful results.
When we truly connect with ourselves and learn to listen to what we need from moment to moment, we honor ourselves. This connection is Divine and can do more for how we show up in our lives than anything else can. We begin to see that as we embrace all of who we are and what we have to offer others, we find a much deeper connection to all of humanity, we discover a sense of purpose that might otherwise have remained hidden, and we develop a sense of compassion. Self-care can open these doors and so many more.
This brings up the question of what, exactly, is self-care. Having a healthy diet and exercising regularly may be one piece of it, but sometimes skipping the gym for a nap or having a few cookies because we are feeling emotional would also qualify. Self-care involves developing self-awareness in order to be able to check in, moment by moment, to see what are needs are. Self-care also includes more abstract concepts than merely taking good care of the physical body, because we also have spiritual and emotional needs to tend to. We need to be able to say no to things at times, without having to rationalize why we said no. other times we may need to set a tough boundary or cancel appointments in order to be nurturing to ourselves. Perhaps turning the electronics off provides us with the space we need to gather our selves. We need to ensure we are getting enough solid rest, however, knowing when to throw that idea out the window for a night time adventure. Learning to manage our time before our schedules control us is an act of self-care. At times, spontaneity is more important than at other times.
When we determine to do small things for ourselves every day, we tend to feel more revitalized than when taking that long over due vacation. Committing to small, frequent acts of self-love shifts our energy dramatically. We discover both a greater quality as well as quantity, which identifies the need to harness the energetic reserves in our core, the lower Dantien and 2nd Chakra. We have more to give and we become quicker to listen to ourselves when we do need something. We learn to trust ourselves, and our intuition increases. Then we are ready to relate to our loved ones and be our best for clients. Everybody wins.