Greet yourself each day with a #happyholyheart …
Maitri karuna mudita upeksanam sukha duhkha punya apunya visayanam bhavanatah cittaprasadana – Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.33.
“Cultivate love for those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, joy for those who are virtuous, and equanimity for those who make mistakes.” Translation from Kelly McGonigal, Yoga Journal.
I was catching up with a good friend last night over a spot of dinner when she declared that she was taking tomorrow off work as she’d booked in for a spa day at one of the city’s top spas. Here was a woman that recognised that she worked hard, felt incredibly grateful to have a good job and to be in a fortunate position to receive a decent wage for her efforts, so decided that where others might put their money towards something material; an expensive dress or designer handbag perhaps, she would invest in her own well-being. How refreshing I thought. Free from feelings of guilt and selfishness, the distorted emotions we often attach to our own nourishment, she had recognised that in order to give herself to friends, family, work colleagues and the wider community, she needed first to give to herself.
Now I know we can’t all afford spa days or luxury massages every day or even every month but that’s not my point, this is about recognising when to give back to yourself and this can be done in the smallest of ways but with maximum effect. What’s more, it can be completely free, the only investment is your time and when it comes to your well-being – surely that’s time well spent.
So see if you can make a commitment to yourself over the coming days to set some time aside to give back to you, to nourish, to nurture, to slow down. Perhaps you like to sing, to paint, to dance, to cook, whatever your passion, aim to connect with your creative side and allow more time for pleasure in your life. Whether you can afford to take five minutes or five hours, work out how much time you can regularly commit to set aside for ‘me’ time and then stick to it as a promise to yourself. Notice when you start to be more compassionate towards yourself, how much easier it is for you to live out Patanjali’s sutra 1.33 and offer out a greater level of kindness, compassion, joy and tolerance towards others.