“It is the meaning we make of our experience that defines both who we are and who we ultimately become.”
– Desmond and Mpho Tutu
“If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly.” —Andrew Weil
“Shallow breathing is a reaction to the unyielding stress of modern life—and is itself a cause of further stress, which leads to more shallow breathing. To stop this downward spiral of shallow breathing and stress—even in the midst of the daily mayhem—I can take three or four deep breaths and enter an upward spiral of deep breathing and calm… All I need to do is gently, without strain, fill up the space of my belly, and then slowly and tenderly breathe out.
I take a first belly breath—breathing slowly and deeply, expanding my stomach as I breathe in—and I focus on centering, on being present in the here and now. I take a second deep belly breath, and while doing so focus on my purpose—whether for that day or for my life as a whole. The third deep breath is dedicated to something for which I’m grateful—thinking about a family member, a meeting I had or am about to have, or anything else.
The physiological impact of deep breathing, coupled with the cognitive component of focusing on something positive, provides a powerful technique that can change the way you feel. The technique is particularly effective in bringing about calm and joy if you do it a few times a day.”
“We live in a world filled with language. Language imparts identity, meaning, and perspective to our human community. Writers are either polluters or part of the clean-up team. Just as the language of power and greed has the potential to destroy us, the language of reason and empathy has the power to save us. Writers can inspire a kinder, fairer, more beautiful world, or invite selfishness, stereotyping, and violence. Writers can unite people or divide them.”
– Mary Pipher, WRITING to CHANGE the WORLD
Receptivity catches what is given to you. Presence gives shape and substance to what you receive.
– John Fox, Poetic Medicine
I love the concept of ‘evergreen’ content. Probably because I live among perennials – concepts as well as plants.
Take self-care, for instance. This entire blog is about self-care: staying present to life; appreciating/sharing beauty; protecting the fragile; midwifing empowerment; finding humor and humility in small things; becoming …
This morning I came across a piece of evergreen content written a full year back on Everyday Feminism – about self-care. In keeping with my Wednesday posting theme of ‘wise words,’ I share excerpts below, with credit and thanks to Sarah Ogden, who writes :
… The world is an especially exhausting place for those of us who work to fix it, for those of us who strive to live kindly and consciously. … – when you give a piece of yourself to someone or something else, you have to replace it with something new.
…The point of self care isn’t to try cookie-cutter techniques … but to really explore what it is that we need and to find ways to provide ourselves with the fuel that we require and deserve in order to do this work of existing.
…How can we act in meaningful ways to take care of ourselves to make our important work more sustainable?
There is incredible power in nam[ing] your experience. Not only is it validating to hear your own voice claim what exists in your bones, it is also important for those around you to be aware of what you’re going through.
When we can identify our needs and ask another person to help us meet these needs, we work to build intentional community around the concept that we are all connected and moving through this work and earth together.
… the reality is that vulnerability is actually a strength – it is a reminder that we are real and authentically ourselves. It reminds us that we are very much alive and that we are doing the work that we need to do to make this world what it should and can be.
… Whatever rest looks like for you, find a way to include it in each day. The same goes for play. Whether you play soccer on a team or a card game with your neighbor, find a way to play.
Talk about what matters to you. Write about what you think is most important. Act in ways that feel the most authentic to who you are and who you want to be. … When we reject others’ expectations and make choices about our actions (professional, volunteer, recreational, whatever!) that are in accordance with our own deepest values and goals, we make the world and ourselves more whole.
What are your favorite forms of self-care? Do they depend on what’s going on around you? Or are there some things that are part of every day no matter what?