Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.
Self-care is a trendy phrase these days, but maybe that’s a good thing!
We need to replenish ourselves. Providing ourselves with quality self-care reflects love and respect for ourselves. It is also a practice of embodying commitment to personal responsibility. When I take care of ME, I am so much more able to give abundantly to my children, my partner, the mothers & doulas I work with, my colleagues, and truly to all of my endeavors. I am even more present and joyful in tending to my dog!
Each of the following tips is connected intimately with one of the five great elements (earth, water, fire, air, space/ether). I believe that connecting with the elements on a daily basis brings us calm, centering, and groundedness while helping us connect with the sacredness of life in very palpable ways.
My intention in sharing these tips with you is to help you infuse presence, love, and joy into your self-care practices and your LIFE.
It helps to remember that self-care is quite literally very personal — doing something just because you “think” it’s a supportive practice won’t cut it. You’ve gotta be true to yourself. What truly fills you up? Don’t compromise. We’re talking about your relationship with YOU here.
As you read through these tips, I invite you to consider if any 1 or 2 activities you love encompasses most or all of these qualities. And have fun! Self-care needn’t feel like a chore. Cultivating the feeling of joy is essential to filling yourself up from within.
Here are 5 beautiful & simple avenues of meaningful daily self-care
1. ENJOY NATURE (EARTH)
Go outside daily, even if it’s for a short time. Feel the sun on your face, moon bathe, experience a rain shower, play in the snow…Get your bare feet on the ground if possible, again even if it is for a short time. Remember that our bodies are made of earth, so connecting with earth is a vital source of nourishing replenishment.
2. CONNECT WITH LOVED ONES (WATER)
Engage in some form of meaningful interaction with the people you love the most, every day. Play with your kids, snuggle your partner, have tea with your sister (even if it’s virtual!) Nurture one or more of your most important relationships through pleasurable in-person interaction, doing something you both/all enjoy together. This can also be as simple as sharing an embrace and saying I love you!
3. DO THE ONE THING (FIRE)
What is the ONE thing that makes you happiest? What brings you joy on every level of your being? Now, how can you bring it into your life, every day? If it is something you’re not able to physically do, can you keep a photo reminder of it in your immediate environment, read a book about it, or watch a video related to your passion? Find an easy way to stay connected with your greatest passion.
4. BREATHE (AIR)
While you can absolutely engage in a pranayama practice of your choice, you can also simply bring awareness to your breath. When we slow down and pay attention to our inhales and exhales, they often expand and deepen effortlessly. Breathing deeply and with awareness is in itself a revitalizing activity. You can also add increased relaxation to your breath practice by counting backwards from 10 to zero with each breath.
5. CONNECT WITH SPIRIT (SPACE/ETHER)
There are so many ways to say this, but it must feel right for you. Connect with Spirit, God, the Divine…however you perceive the Sacredness of our existence, and the source of it. Perhaps you do this through prayer, expressing gratitude, contemplating mortality, singing, or chanting. Find moments throughout your day to appreciate the magical hidden layer of life, the mystical unseen.
Did you think of 1-2 pleasurable activities that include most or all of these elements?
For me it’s dance and playing outside with my children. Between these two beloved activities, I connect with all five elements, and I wholly refill my reserves! My daily commitment to both of these things fills me up immeasurably, from within.