I just got back from my first ever 3 days away from my kids and husband to go to a friend's wedding on the west coast. I ran in to a friend right before I left who was doing a similar thing for the weekend.
She said to me - "I'm kind of excited to go, but I just feel so guilty. I feel guilty to leave my kids and I also feel guilty that I'm excited to get away for a few days." Sound familiar?
Whether you are a parent of young children, single with a demanding job or your children are grown and you're busy with life, work and other responsibilities - WE ALL DESERVE A BREAK!
Yet, we're told that this is selfish, unnecessary and self-indulgent.
Is it? Or, is it actually what creates more joy, peace and ease in our lives?
At least for me, I came back from those 3 days feeling totally rejuvenated and revived. I felt so grateful for the life that I do have and was joyful about coming back to fix oatmeal, play fort, change diapers, and pretend to be wild animals with my amazing little girls!
Self-care is not just about taking care of ourselves, it's about being able to give to others, and to be fully present in our lives. When we take time to refill our well, then we have more to give.
On the other hand, if we let ourselves get completely tapped, with nothing left at all, then we end running on empty. We feel cranky, tired, depressed and a bit trapped in our own lives.
At least for me, these are the times when I lose my patience (and then get mad at myself for doing it). This is when I snap at my children for doing something silly like making a big mess while making potions. Or I get on my husband about how he could be doing more around the house. And I judge myself for not being able to do it all or for not being able to keep it together.
I don't know about you, but it seems to me like taking a bit of time for self-care, to prevent going down that rabbit hole, is worth it!
When we take care of ourselves, it sends out the message that we know that we are worth it. We deserve it. And then like magic, the universe reflects that back to us.
If we run around always putting everyone else first (even though that's what we are told is good and the 'right' thing to do), it sends the message that we don't value ourselves. Is that the message that we want to be sending our kids, our partners, our coworkers, our world?
Instead, what if you could live each day of your life from a place of celebration? What if each day you could wake up and ask "How can today be far greater than anything I could imagine?" (this is one of my favorite tools/questions from Access Consciousness)
So ask yourself, what do I require today that would make my life more joyful? Maybe it is waking up 15 minutes early to have a cup of coffee by yourself. Maybe it is taking a bath before dinner and bringing in a book or magazine with you. Maybe it is spending the day at the park with your kids without your phone. Maybe it's spending a whole day without doing anything that you 'have to do' or 'should do'.
Whatever that looks like for you, just ask the question, trust your awareness, and then choose whatever makes you happy.
The greatest gift that we can give to others and to the world, is our happiness, our joy, and our laughter.
That is what truly changes the world.