Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Cultivate a Healthy Selfishness
As wives and mothers and people, like you, who desire to be good and do good in the world, we find it difficult not to worry about everyone around us all the time. We want our families to have good nutritious meals every day, we want them to get the right amount of sleep and exercise. In our work lives we hope to always be helpful to others and kind, to work our hardest and put forth genuine effort for the betterment of our workplace. And we think about those who are less fortunate than us, whatever the reason. We seek to donate, volunteer, lend a helping hand when time allows. The problem with this – and we know it is a good “problem” to have – is the risk of burn out. With the giving of self and the constant thinking of “other”, the “self” can become depleted.
Following up to last week’s post, meditation is something we have found to be very helpful to cultivate that “healthy selfishness”. It is time for you, on an individual basis – whether you are participating in a class or practicing on your own – to shut out the demands of every day life and regroup. Recently, we heard a mother telling a child, “Just worry about yourself” in response to the little girl’s innocent enough tattles on a sibling. These words were for the little girl’s benefit and they stuck with us. The word “worry” is what’s key here. Even when we are not physically involved in taking care of others (i.e. cooking, cleaning, working, etc.) we still have a tendency to worry and so our minds stay too busy and that restorative rest is hard to find even at bedtime when the day is done! So meditation is one tool that can help to quiet our busy minds. It can be as simple as closing your eyes and thinking about nothing. Just focusing on your breath and letting any thoughts that creep up float away in little clouds over your head. Even five minutes a day can be effective.