On every flight, to anywhere in the world, we are reminded that in case the oxygen masks drop down while traveling with a dependent, we should put our mask first and then attend to help those who need our assistance. Why do we need these reminders? why isn’t it clear to us, that we need to attend our needs first in order to help others? How can we see so clearly that someone else has a problem but are blind to our own? And even when we do see that we have an issue, why are we automatically available to help others but hardly available to take care of ourselves?
Perhaps it’s because we are too busy engaging in this major project called Life which leaves us less available to notice some minor details in it..
Life may become hectic, often due to our perception that, we are expected to follow some basic social customs, which may not always be the same as our deep personal believes. And we do so simply because we are too busy for taking a moment to find out what our deep personal believes are. It seems as there is never time for us to take a break. Breaks seem less socially acceptable, while work usually seems to be more appreciated.
This is why it was a bit of a revolutionary act for me, when I decided to start taking one-hour Epsom salts baths every morning. This decision probably has been influenced by my teacher’s remark in the iridology class back at the Naturopathic school, when she looked into my eyes for few good minutes, and finally said: “OOOOHHHHH MMMYYYYYY!!!!!”. She moved on to the eyes of the 26-years-old kid sitting next to me and tells him that if he continues what he is doing, he would be dead by 30. Then, she returned and asked me if I want to hear what she has to say. Engaging all my courage (as I was still in the learning process of saying no…), I politely said: “No, thank you! I am all set!!!!!”.
And set I was! Realizing that something must be changed and starting with the simplest things I could think of – Epsom salt baths in the morning and castor oil packs at night: The night treatment was easy – I did not need to change anything besides applying the packs when I go to sleep. But the morning new routine was a complete different story.
Growing up with amazing parents who do not regard any work as hard, I have been taught to be productive and proactive: there is always something to do or someone to help, and it is never too hard to do everything.
So after all these years of productiveness, I now plan to take a whole hour and do NOTHING! Completely disregarding the fact that there is so much I could do – clean, cook, read, listen to something, learn etc…… and yet, I choose to start my day doing NOTHING.
First time sitting in the Epsom bath, I felt very guilty – doing nothing is neither productive nor proactive. This is the complete opposite of how I was raised. Ant yet, I chose to do it. I chose to start changing the believes I grew up on, hoping to reach and follow my own deepest ones, because I had this huge desire to live.
I have no idea what my teacher saw in my eyes that day, but it does not matter. I knew exactly how I felt then and in the months prior to class. And I also knew that I never took a moment to ponder about it. I did not need a verbal report (or even a diagnosis) to assure me something is off – just needed to stop and figure out what is going on.
As I started to do NOTHING for a whole hour every morning, It was astonishing to notice how, by the end of the day, I managed to finish all my planned tasks much faster and much more efficient than I did before.
I became more focused. I started to understand priorities. I understood what really requires my attention and what is just noise. I also realized that only when I learned the art of doing NOTHING I discovered that I exist. And that I may have some issues that require my attention.
I became very appreciative for the gift I was giving my kids – teaching them that self care is not a synonym to laziness or neglecting chores, but a priority item on our to-do list. Kids learn from our actions and not from our words. When we act from our deepest personal believes – they learn to do so as well. And when they grow up, they will have a good chance to possess this remarkable tool to help them navigate life.
My feelings of guilt slowly faded, as I worked to ease them away. For many of us, guilt may be a major block in our journeys. According to Anodea Judith, in her book, Chakra Balancing Workbook, Guilt is the demon of unbalanced second chakra (second of seven major energy centers in our body), which is located in our lower belly. She continues to mention that, “the basic right of the second chakra is the right to feel. We may have this right compromised by being told ‘you shouldn’t feel that way’ or that our feelings were wrong or bad, or there is something wrong with you because you were upset, scared or angry.” We may feel that something is wrong when we need a break, since we are taught to keep doing and never taught to stop.
Caroline Myss PhD, in her book, Anatomy of the spirit, mentions that the second chakra possesses the power of Choice. “Managing the power of choice, with all its creative and spiritual implications, is the essence of human experience.” We have the choice to evolve beyond the collective energy and create what is working for us.
We have the right to take a break, and this becomes very clear as a choice we can make, when we balance our second chakra. The second chakra is associated with water, with flexibility (in movement and in life), with enjoyment of beauty (in sight, sound or touch..). Creating a connection with our second chakra is essential to our healing. Understanding the emotions which we are holding there and hopefully allowing the space to release them, can help up let go of this guilt that we carry.
There are many activities that can be great as second chakra openers. Here are few suggestions to begin with. Feel free to research and create your own healing tools to bring balance to second chakra.
- Stretches like the butterfly movement – when you lay on your back and bring the soles of your feet together while opening and closing your knees (or any other simple yoga pose)
- Water – Drinking / Dipping / … – correlating with the water element of the chakra
- Moving – dancing / hiking / biking / … – correlating to fluidity and flexibility
- Looking at or listening to anything that is perceived beautiful – affecting joy
- Castor oil packs on abdomen – lubricating the physical area of our second chakra while relaxing the nervous system to help us connect to our personal deepest believes (read more about The Real reason I love castor packs)
When second chakra is open – body smiles
When balancing and opening the second chakra, many of our hidden feelings and emotions will probably flood us. By then, our body already smiles and is more forgiving and accepting whatever surfs up. Allowing free flowing of these emotions and feelings releases energy that we used for covering them up. We will find that we have more strength and will power to do whatever we wish. And probably will have more courage to open our eyes to see our own selves before others.
Sometimes we need a wake-up call to take us out of our automatic pilot who is always available for others, but almost always too busy for self issues. It is important to remember that any shift or transformation takes time, no matter how loud or quiet is our wake up call. It is a journey where we learn that we have to be in our best condition – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually – in order to be in service for others.
Only when we stop and find a time to do NOTHING, we can discover that we exist. And when we discover that we exist, we can learn that we have to address our issues before addressing other’s.
Then, we will be able to take flight. to anywhere in the world and maybe even beyond.
and no reminders will be needed….
Anatomy of the spirit – Caroline Myss, Ph.D
Chakra Therapy – Keith Sherwood
Chakra Balancing -Anodea Judith
4 thoughts on “What Makes Us Care So Well for Others but Much Less Well for Ourselves?”