February 2001
Take Good Care of Yourself

In this time there are many challenges to physical health. People are tired, feeling somewhat drained. The levels of stress are high. Take time this month to re-asses how you are taking care of yourself. Do you take the time to relax? Do you attend to your body? Does the body have the chance to move and release tension? Do you pay some attention to food, to what you put into the body? There's so much to pay attention to these days and people will know they should take care of themselves, and they find it so hard to make the time and the space to do this.

Why is this? Why is taking care of oneself so difficult? Sometimes people have learned early in their life that they are supposed to take care of other people, not themselves. People are taught that self-sacrifice is the highest value. And, of course, if people have not experienced being loved, nurtured and attended to as children, they will find it difficult to love and nurture themselves. And there is still more. To take care of the self one has to value the self, the individual, the unique being. People learn to fit in, to live up to expectations of family and society, to discount the value of the self. In today's world, diversity is disappearing. One can go anywhere in the world and find similar clothes, similar stores, similar films, and ever more similar values and world view.

Take a moment and allow yourself to feel that you are a completely unique and precious manifestation of the divine Wholeness. You have never been before and will never be again. You are a vast intricate pattern of experience, awareness, light and dark. You are a collection of stories beyond knowing. You have hopes, fears, dreams, desires, visions. You are a world, a universe, a unique and unrepeatable experience. As you continue to explore and know yourself, you value the uniqueness you are. You value yourself. You take care of yourself. To take care of yourself means to explore yourself, to know yourself, to listen to yourself, your physical, emotional and spiritual being.

There is so little time these days. People have so many demands on them. This month, take one day that you set aside simply to be with yourself. You don't have to do this alone; you can share this day with another person. Make no plans; set no alarm clocks. Wake up in the morning and say "This is a day for simply being with myself in this world." Maybe you end up going to a movie, or lying around all day, or finishing up lots of little tasks that have been hanging over you. That's ok. Just notice what feels good to you, what it means to you to be with yourself. Make space -to explore, to daydream, to enjoy being you. Be aware all day long that you are loving yourself. That's a meditation.

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May all beings be happy, peaceful and free of suffering.

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