Hi friends, guess what I did yesterday? I finally had my tires filled with air…after 3 whole weeks of having the “low tire pressure” warning light on. If you know me, this shouldn’t surprise you, I tend to push things riiiight up to their breaking point all the time. I am that person who waits until their gas tank gets to 2 miles before filling up, who waits until the very last possible second to rush out the door (and prays I hit all the green lights), and who needs to experience heavy loss of blood in order to agree to a doctor’s visit. Nine times out of ten, this approach works just fine for me – there are no consequences and I move on. Every once in a blue moon, however, I do push too far…like the time I actually ran out of gas while driving 65 mph on a 6 lane highway in DC. Or the time(s) I got to my gate literally 1 minute after the aircraft door was closed. Or the time when I fell off my bike, decided the large stinging open wound on my elbow would heal just fine on its own, and landed in the hospital when it got infected two days later.
I’ve discovered that I am not a procrastinator when it comes to what I deem “important” – career goals, personal development, or the well-being of my family, to name a few. When it comes to my own self-care, however, I toss it to the very bottom of the priority list time and time again.
A few months after having Lucas, I lost the baby weight…and then some. Although part of me was pleased (what woman doesn’t want that after having a big o’le belly for 9 months?) I felt a little guilty every time someone complimented me on it. I was so thin because I wasn’t really eating. All of my energy was going to baby boy and trying to re-establish my “external life” – the studio, the new house we’re remodeling, etc. – and I was just too busy to take care of myself. I didn’t think much of it until my mama, the creative genius behind the beautiful things at Yogaleena and the world’s most direct person I know when it comes to my well-being, told me she was worried I was looking a bit anorexic. Yikes. This was alarming…not because it meant I needed to eat more, but because I have been down this road before enough times to recognize that not eating is rarely ever about weight or busyness.
I think it was Stacey Ramsower that once explained “saying you don’t have time to feed yourself is the same as saying you’re not important.” Whether I knew it or not at the time, the minute baby Lucas was born, I stopped being important to myself. I desperately wanted to be a good mom, a good wife, and a good business owner, but it never occurred to me that in order to do all those things I first needed to be a good, well-nourished Carolina.
Humans have the amazing capacity to keep going even when we don’t feed or rest our bodies properly, but that doesn’t mean this is sustainable over long periods of time. Like a rubber band, we can stretch ourselves thin a few times and then bounce back to normal…but over time, the effects of the stretching will be irreversible. And once we do break, putting ourselves back together is a lot more complex than filling our tires with air or gas tank with fuel (or asking all the king’s men to do it). I want Lucas to grow up seeing me as a strong and inspiring woman, and I won’t get there by sacrificing my well-being for him or anyone else. That’s not to say he’s not the most important thing in my life, this is not a zero-sum game. Like trees, we can only grow tall if we have a strong foundation of roots, food, water, and light, and we can only provide shade and joy to others if we flourish.
The intention for this month at Yogaleena will be self-care. I’m not talking pedis or massages, although those are always a lovely idea. Over the next 30 days, I want to focus on the more basic care that we tend to forgo: food, sleep, safety, community, and self-actualization. To make this intention a little more fun, I invite you to participate in our 30-days of self-care challenge, starting TODAY! Read details below, it’s super easy and free!
30 Days of Self-Care
Want to enter a raffle to win one of Yogaleena’s signature hand-made, one-of-a-kind meditation pillows? All you have to do is treat yo’self right for 30 days! This includes making yourself a meal and actually setting aside time to savor it, arranging to meet a friend who makes you feel good for tea, taking a hot bath before bed, doing yoga (obvi!), meditating, crafting, writing, or doing anything that you love just because you love it, going for a walk at lunch time instead of working through it, self-massage when you wake up, etc. On the cute little card you’ll get next time you pop into the studio, you’ll write your self-care action every day for 30 days. You must take a yoga class at least 15 times during the 30 days (~3 times/week), and participate in one of our two meditation workshops* in order to be entered in the raffle! Completed cards are due Nov 17 and we’ll pick a winner after the last class that Friday. You can start your 30-day challenge as early as Oct 2 (today!) or as late as Oct 17.
I truly hope you’ll join us as we celebrate and prioritize YOUR well-being. If we each take good care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually, I believe the world could be a much safer, healthier, and joyful place.
*Our meditation workshops are FREE to members. Regular class prices apply for non-members.