“Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed at how much more life she had time for.” – Unknown
Around 7pm last night and amidst a 14-hour workday, my 4 year-old niece energetically sprinted into my room and enthusiastically asked me if I want to watch the sunset with her. Her humble, innocent and unassuming request instantaneously put a smile on my face. I obliged, hoisted her on my shoulders and we watched the beautiful reddish-yellowish-orangeish sun disappear behind the mountains. It was the most memorable sunset I had experienced in years.
This whole experience lasted roughly 10 minutes and taught me a profound lesson in slowing down and taking time to “smell the roses.” Work is important to us and that is absolutely okay and oftentimes necessary to flourish, but there are periods in our lives where work consumes every inch of our mental headspace. When this happens, we might suffer from low energy, decreased motivation, insomnia, and a diminished sense of overall joy.
When we choose to take (spontaneous) breaks throughout the day, we give our brains, bodies, and minds a chance to recharge. Joyously partaking in activities and connecting with people who we care about help to fill our cups up. And let me be the first to tell you, we cannot fill anybody else’s cups up if ours runneth empty.
So this weekend, take some time for yourself. Go outside. Read a good book. Connect with family. Remember, self-care is not selfish. Rather, self-care is a necessity for living a more meaningful life. At the end of every yoga class I teach, I instruct all students to bring their palms together and elevate their thumbs to their foreheads. I then say, “may you take care of the person in front of your thumbs, so that you can show up and shine bright for the people in front of your pinkies.”
Shine bright, friends.