Gratitude and Self-Care

I had the privilege of attending many wonderful events this week (The National Association of Women Business Owners, Women’s Enterprise Foundations and Self Made Successful Women) and to be surrounded by amazing wonderful giving men and women. It is so inspiring to be around so much passion and dedication to one’s way in life and to give back to others. (I want to let the guys reading this know that this blog is woman-focused, yet can apply to many men I know, so adapt as you see fit.)

When people would ask me about Pathways of Grace and I would describe the wonderful way we hold space for them to do the self-care needed for them to be the amazing people they are, for some it was “Well that would be nice if I had the time.” Self-care is seen as a luxury by many.  Think about that. If taking take of oneself, spiritually, emotionally, physically is a luxury then what type of quality can be sustained when giving to others? If the well is low or empty or not even looked at, what is the quality of what is really being given?

I am as guilty as the next person. I have created self-care as a spiritual practice and then my life changes and I don’t adjust my self-care to the new environment. Self-care is a contemplative practice. It is something that is important to sit with and examine in the presence of God, the one who showers us with love. When self-care is out of whack, each person has their own tell. A sore part of the body shows up, emotions run high and illness are a few common ones. For myself it is my office. When I am not taking care of myself my office becomes a dumping ground. That is the one space I don’t share with others and that is the one place where, as one friend put it, “I disrespect myself.”  I am beginning the contemplative practice of respecting myself and my space.

I say all this in the month of gratitude and giving. At the Self Made Successful Women event one woman brought up a point. In business (I believe in life) there is a model of giving that is emphasized. This is awesome, especially when business can be all about the business, yet for women, giving is a cultural expectation. Women generally have giving down–telling us to do more is actually not helpful. 

I know those of you reading this are amazing givers and live a life of gratitude. That said, what if the practice for women in business and in life is self-care? What if women approached their lives from a place of a solid center? Not the solid center of some higher purpose that comes from outside but the solid center of “I am the Divine’s own and need to respect that and in respecting that I respect others.” A place of respect for the reason for being which means respect and care for one’s self. What if in November in addition to the people and things around that bless one’s life there was also a time of gratitude for the gift of oneself (aka life)?

Pathways of Grace wants to support you this Holiday season with its wonderful emphasis of giving out. We want to give you the gift of doing this from a sacred, respected center. We are offering opportunities to restore with Be, Tai Chi and Reiki, opportunities to examine with spiritual direction, coaching and grief work, opportunities to stay centered in community with workshops and packages of workshops, such as Holiday Self-Care: Grounding, and Holiday Self-Care: Centering.

May you find ways to take self-care out of it’s beautiful luxurious box and enjoy it this week.

-Amanda

Some Links if you are interested:

Womens Enterpise Foundation

Nations Association of Women Business Owners

Self Made Successful Women – Saloua Ibanine