My energy healer's name was Jude. She was kind and open and genuine. Our weekly sessions were all about guided meditations, but in between it was my job to meditate daily (or as close to it as possible) with the guidance of this cheesy, but wonderful book. It was pretty amazing. Meditating made me calmer, more clear-headed and happier. It didn't take all that much time out of my day and, unlike anti-depressants or other medications, had no bad side effects.
Lately, I've been meaning to dig out my copy of that book and start meditating again. We are very much still navigating our way through the grand transition that began when we got out of Duluth, and some days I find I'm just grumpy and unmotivated. It's partly the darkness this time of year, but it's also that we've got a lot up in the air and that can be hard to deal with after a while. I even began to wonder if meditating would be enough, and then I saw the article, Medicating Women's Health, by Julie Holland, in The New York Times. It is a beautiful, moving and thoughtful piece written by a psychiatrist offering a new perspective on women's emotionality. "Women's emotionality is a sign of health, not disease; it is a source of power," she writes. My favorite line is, "People who don’t really need these drugs are trying to medicate a normal reaction to an unnatural set of stressors: lives without nearly enough sleep, sunshine, nutrients, movement and eye contact, which is crucial to us as social primates." I felt like she took all of my angst and rolled it into one concise sentence. If you would like to, you can read the whole article here.
I don't normally set new year's resolutions, but this year, I really feel called upon to cultivate a practice of self-care. The way I'm feeling right now is really quite simple, and manageable. I read recently that self-care doesn't mean "me first" but rather "me too" and I really love that. So deciding to practice self-care and make sure I'm getting enough sleep, sunshine, nutrients, movement and eye contact is the easy part. Carving out time in our schedules to make it happen is where the work lies. I'm curious, do you meditate? How do you carve out time for self-care?