As I mentioned in my previous post, after a week of teaching 18 yoga classes on top of all my other life/business management tasks, it was everything I could do to not purchase a plane ticket out of the country. My time away from the states has been, really, the only time in my life where I've encountered not only enough time to drop fully into the space of being, but also enough distance from my tasks and responsibilities to actually do so. However, with all my current commitments, logging out, shutting down and taking off is not a possibility for me right now.
Teaching yoga, for me, requires a lot of energy. Offering one's energy to something you love is a beautiful gift. However, if you are not intentional about repleting those energy reserves, it's easy to bottom out. And for those of us who are introverted, it happens even faster. I had just enough energy + presence to sustain me through my class offerings, however, I had very little leftover to offer to my personal relationships, and my relationship with myself -- which we all know is the real yoga.
In what free time I did have, I spent my time hiding in my room, declining social invitations in my attempt to refill. It's not that I didn't want to see anyone, I just knew I couldn't be fully present and available to them if I did. Ever been there? This works for a bit, and I think checking out from social stimulation is a healthy endeavor from time to time, but it's not sustainable over the long haul. Your friends might start to take it personally. You might start making a habit of using isolation as a defense mechanism. You might get lonely.
So I started to brainstorm other ways I could alleviate this restless feeling of being too spread thin as well as bring more space and flow back into my life. I looked back at the cost of that trip to Colombia I was considering, and would still love to go on, and I decided to take a third of the cost it would take to get me there and set it aside to invest in myself.
Don't get me wrong, clearly I lead yoga retreats and believe that retreat is so crucial for our sense of wellness. I personally think it is one of the most efficient and effective ways to regain our sense of personal alignment and set us on a new path. However, there is a time and season for everything, and with a Greek Island excursion already in store for me this fall, Colombia has to hit the back-burner for now.
Investing time and money in yourself is important. It sends a statement to your inner being and the universe at large that you are worth the investment. Not because anyone else says so. Because you say so. And people around you can feel that shit. The people who aren't in on those vibes will begin to fall away. The people who want to be in on those vibes will draw closer. You may inspire them to give this same energetic offering to themselves. And then boom, you've started a revolution. Like this quote from Anne Lamott that I can't seem to get enough of...
Self-care is a revolution. The last thing this earth needs is more depleted people running around in reactivity from their insatiate needs from others. Fill yourself. And then give back as you are able. Retreat when you are running low. And then refill again. Ebb and flow.
So although I will be in Michigan for the whole summer, I am dedicated to making it a summer of self-care. Here's a few things I am going to do:
- Meditate and journal daily. To stay connected to my source.
- See a therapist weekly. Just because sometimes you need to talk shit out.
- Invest in seeing an energy healer regularly. To deepen my intimacy and ability to work with my own energy field.
- Take a yoga class twice a week at a studio I don't teach at. Because it's important to me that I feel like the student I am.
- Prioritize that shit like it's my actual job. Because it's more important than my job. And ultimately, it is my job and no one else's.
And this is what I'm doing to do to give back:
- Not feel guilty about it. Or at least try.
- Document my self-care journey via my new post series: Self-Care Sundays!
- Offer self-care tips, strategies, mind-shifts and inspiration.
- Invite you to follow along on the blog + Instagram (and offer freebies and giveaways to #selfcaresunday participants).
- As a result of my journey, be more available + present to my family and friends, and more inspired and centered as a yoga teacher.
Ready to begin? Go on over to Instagram and follow me @jessicayogaguide. Every Sunday (and as many times as you wish in between), post a picture of your Sunday self-care sabbath (whatever that might be), tag @jessicayogaguide and #selfcaresunday. I will follow you as well, comment on your endeavors and reward you with my freebies + giveaways this summer. Together, we will be one vibrant, revolutionary and inspired tribe.
And I'll be here every Sunday to share insights from my journey and keep you accountable to yours. But to stay committed, let's make a plan of action now.
What gifts can you offer yourself so you can give back to the world? What investments can you make in yourself? What have you been wanting to do for yourself for a while, but always keep putting it on the back-burner?
Do you want to start seeing an acupuncturist? A naturopath or personal trainer? Do you want to learn meditation or recommit to your yoga practice? Sleep in an hour later every day? Invest in a few new books that light up your soul? Eat more kale? Eat more chocolate? Finally book the flight to your dream destination? Simply treat yourself with the same kindness and respect you give to others?
Get out a piece of paper and brainstorm. Anything goes. And remember, none of that guilt or self-effacing b.s. allowed. You deserve this.
Got your list? Maybe snap a photo of it and post it over on Instagram. I'd love to see your plan of action to make this your summer of self-care!
Let's get to it. XO.