Friday, March 27, 2009

This Week's Life Lesson No. 2: Self-kindness-acceptance-care

It's been a week rich in gifts of all kinds. Some of them have been absolutely yummy, and others are still bitter in my mouth. Let me write my way through the maze of mind-racing thoughts and hope for some clarity. Bear with me.

The gift of grumpiness. The kids have been sick. Again. I have been sick with them. Again. Sleep has not been on my side. The little one has been clingy and needy. I have had spurts of calm and humor peppered in between the prevailing sense of impatience and grumpiness. I have noticed myself ready to snap at the kids and partner. How on earth can grumpiness be a gift? Not sure. I know the kids certainly don't see it that way! So, I ask myself how can I just accept myself in this state, albeit undesireable? I am just asking.

The gift of fatigue. I know I have neglected my basic needs: nutrition, rest, exercise, prayer, and mind-stimulation. Any wonder I am tired and impatient. I could easily have gone through the days repeating a familiar mantra "I am tired. I am tired." Instead, I decided to "play" with a question and shared the process with a supportive friend. We held the intention to ask ourselves throughout the day, "what do I most need to do for me right now?" We listened to ourselves, and answered the call. This has been an experiment in self-kindness-care. And, it reaped benefits. I got a massage this week. I ate salads all week. I abstained from gluten and dairy. I rested to breathe for a few minutes. I found ways to get solitude. I decluttered. I made some long overdue calls. I gave and received support. I noticed the fatigue but I was not debilitated by it. After all, is that not self-care?

The gift of making mistakes. I made a couple of significant errors this week. Call them lapses in judgement or mindlessness or plain ego. I am hard on myself. Often when I mess up, I play the scenario in my mind over and over again, and experience the humiliation or embarassment over and over again. This means that what might be a minor error turns into a huge blunder for me. This week, when I noticed that I was about to enter the "make a blunder out of an error" pit, I asked myself how I could practice self-kindness. I even reached out to someone else to play with this question with me. We just asked.

In the midst of what could be a fog of grumpy fatigued blunder, I was gifted opportunities to practice more self-kindness-acceptance-care. It was quite a week. I know I am harping on this, but sometimes all it takes is asking a question. Ask and ye shall receive (kindness-acceptance-care, that is). Ask with someone and ye might receive even more.

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