A few weeks ago I attended a Women’s Networking event where we were all given an introduction to meditation and guided into five blissful minutes of silence.
It was peculiar at first to share such a personal meditation experience with complete strangers in a board room; I’m usually wrapped up in a blanket with a smudging stick burning in the background.
But once we had all come back around after the chime of the bell the speaker asked us how we all felt. Being a regular preacher of the powers of meditation, I confirmed that it made me feel calm and less stressed, and many agreed, but there were some who admitted to feeling guilty.
When questioned further they admitted that they never took time for themselves, and one woman openly admitted that she couldn’t actually remember the last time she had five minutes to herself unless she was asleep!
I sat there in total shock and felt dreadful for this poor woman. I felt almost greedy with my ten minutes every morning when she clearly hadn’t taken any time for herself in years, let alone months.
There I was basking in my after meditative glow of peace feeling rather proud of myself, and there she was feeling awful that she’d taken a moment to just consider her own feelings rather than anyone else’s.
But the truth is we’ve all been there, and many of us might still be in that place between chaos and keeping our heads above ground.
My own experience of meditation came many years ago while I was struggling to find my ‘happy place’, and through it, I have learned so much about self-love and finding time for me, that I wish I had found it sooner.
Unfortunately, we’re brought up in a society where being ‘busy’ is seen as being productive and efficient. We celebrate those that fill their time with everything and everyone, but very seldom step back to see what we’ve done for ourselves.
I was often guilty of trying to please everyone and be everything – caring daughter, loving partner, responsible employee, helpful sister, constant friend. The roles piled up along with the expectations. And before I knew it, I was tired, relentlessly ill with one cold or another, and generally wondering what I had actually achieved with MY time.
Don’t get me wrong, these expectations are always there gnawing away at the back of my head like an incessant child, but I’ve come to realise that if I don’t look after me, I won’t be well enough to bring myself to others.
You can only be your best when you’re feeling your best. It’s just common sense that if you’re not feeling one-hundred and ten percent, then that black cloud you’re carrying around is probably going to end-up raining on someone else’s’ parade without you even realising it. And nobody wants that!
When I first began to look after myself and take time for little ol me, it felt like all kinds of weird, and also very selfish. We’re just not hard-wired to put ourselves first. But for your own health and sanity, in this crazy world, you have to.
Whether that’s religiously having that hot bath and face masque every Sunday, taking that lunch-time walk or meditating for ten minutes in the morning. Take back some time for you, and do more of the things that makes you happy.
With Valentines day here, I’m sure many of you have been thinking about how you can show that special someone how much you love them. But don’t forget about showing yourself some love as well. You are special, so why are you neglecting yourself?
The world will still keep turning, and the clocks will still keep ticking, whether you’re rushing around like a headless chicken or sitting still. What really matters, is ensuring that you make some of that time your own
And when you do, you may start to realise that you are awesome just the way you are, and that you should ‘treat yo self’, as I like to say, a little more often.