Take care of your body - it is the only place you have to live
In our busy lives, we can fall into the habit of taking care of everything else before we take care of ourselves. We take care of our careers, our friends and loved ones, our clients and bosses, and inthe hustle and bustle of life, we fall to the bottom of our "to do" list. Then we trick ourselves into believing that we will take care of our needs after we take care of everyone else's. But when we do this, we suffer and everyone around us does, too. We grow dull and tired. We lack energy, enthusiasm and a zest for life. And inevitably our bodies break down and become ill. And when this happens, we cannot take care of ourselves, let alone anyone else. At least, not very well.
If we don't eat well, get enough sleep, exercise healthily, meditate wisely, enjoy some frequent fun times, work efficiently or complete our tasks, sooner or later, In some way, shape or form, we experience the consequenes of our choices, and regret for not tending to our needs. The pain of discipline weighs ounces while that of regret weighs tonnes. In terms of our health, wellbeing, growth and development, there is a certain amount of discipline that we must apply in order to achieve (or strive towards) a sence of overall life balance.
The world we live in is so vast and there's so much we want to do, see, witness, experience, give, offer, receive… And there's such little time. You want to travel, study, create, build, have fun, adventure, romance, family, friendship, vibrant health, wealth…you want it all. However, when you just stop and think about how precious, fleeting and transient life is, you will almost always feel a deep, wise sense of knowing that what is really important, what really matters is connection. We are social beings and we need each other, to support and love each other through the ups and downs of this one precious life.
In order to connect with others authentically: a loved one, a colleague, the planet, the ocean, your child, your parents and so on, you must first be able to connect with yourself, authentically. That deep, true and authentic connection with yourself, takes a certain kind of discipline, which could look like carving out time and interior space to spend quality time out with yourself, saying "No" more often to stuff that doesn't really matter, or make your heart sing, and instead choosing to do the things that nourish your soul and move you towards the person that you are when you are whole.
Thus the solution lies in taking care of yourself while you take care of others.
Are you being disciplined enough to take good care of yourself? Are you tending to your continual growth and wellness? Are you creating time, regularly, to foster that deep connection with yourself? Have you planned time in your week/month/year to deeply cultivate a healthy self relationship? Do you need to make space in your life to tend to your precious heart and all of its cravings? Do you know what you truly want?
Do not wait to handle everything else first, allowing yourself only to have whatever scraps of energy remain.
Instead, make time each day to move, rest, breathe, and be. In the long run, this will not only help you take better care of yourself, but it will help you take better care of everything else that's important to you, too.
Don't wait until tomorrow to start. Here's a big step you can take today: Declare to yourself and the Universe that you are starting a new commitment today: one of self-love and self-care. For better or worse, in sickness and health, richer or poorer, you are married to yourself. Make it a magnificient love affair.
Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.
Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography
Travel with Shanti & Peter Gowans this November for a trip of a lifetime.