What Are Your Restorers?

What restores you? What brings you back to wholeness when you are utterly depleted?

A warm bath with rose petals
A steaming cup of chai tea
The therapy of watching the rain from your window
Reading beautiful poetry
Dappled light dancing on your face
The romance of stargazing from the porch on balmy evening

Your restorers are simple things, soothing things. They are things that rebuild your tired body and mend your soul. They are gentle healing touchstones that resuscitate your inner life. They say that ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’, which makes it easy to reach for the destructive things that could send you further down a spiral of negativity. But, do you know how to reach out for the things that restore your balance or refuel your inner juices instead?

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

What do you turn to at the end of a long day?

A hug

A heartfelt conversation with a friend
A healing crystal

Dancing to your favourite song

A vase of flowers on your night stand
Beautiful soft cotton linen
Lavender under your pillow

The more I explore conversations with women around self-love, self-care and depletion (especially during times of extreme emotional turmoil), the more I see how we don’t create space for the sacred ceremony of restoration. Instead, we wait until we reach the messy edge of quiet desperation, a place that all too familiar. A sentiment constantly reinforced is that there are so many things that demand our energy. We are the givers, lending our hands and hearts to those who need us. We are the hard workers, pouring everything we have into the beauty we wish to create. We lose ourselves in the process. We forget to nurture ourselves back to fullness and so we run dry. But why should it take takes reaching breaking point to heed your soul’s call or for you to remember to breathe easy, be gentle, nurture and restore so that the chambers of your heart fill up with the energy, light and inspiration your need to keep going?

If there is one profound lesson that reaching back to life from the edge of burnout, of dealing with lost pregnancies and those taxing moments midst of my fertility journey has taught me, it’s that  – I need to be my own nurturer. Sometimes, it’s harder to choose what serves my well-being over what will cause more harm, because those bumps in the road can become excuses for all the wrong things (overindulging in sugar, not exercising, not meditating, relinquishing important commitments, etc). This understanding inspires me keep asking questions about how I allow moments for restoration daily in order to nurture my well-being and where I can integrate self-care rituals so that they become a natural part of my life that continues to raise my vibration or keep me both spiritually and emotionally grounded.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I’ve found these two questions are powerful anchors that guide me back to myself and I encourage you to explore them for yourself too:

What is the most healing or nurturing thing I can do for myself right now? and What restores me?

Take stock of whatever your restorers are. Remember them, write them down and keep them close to your heart. Make room for them at the end of each day. They will serve you. They will heal you. They bring you back to life when you are on the brink of falling apart. And if you do fall apart, because sometimes you need to, they are the balm that will piece your fragmented soul back together.

 

Advertisements

How to Fill Your Own Cup: 3 Rituals to Restore Your Soul

 

Waxing Moon.

Quench your thirst. Restore your soul.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

How do you fill your own cup? When your body is aching and your heart is empty, how do you reach beyond that place of depletion to restore your tired soul? When the world has disappointed you and you lose sight of your path, how do you carve out the space to come home to your sacred self?

Our modern world is made up of over-scheduled and frenzied lifestyles, so much so that it becomes difficult to heed the heart’s call to slow down. It’s so easy to give to others – to pour your heart, your love and your entire being into the things they need of you or into the tasks that demand your time. But when it comes to filling your own cup, does the giving come as easy? Too many of us put ourselves last, often at the expense of our own well-being. In the end, the ‘deep river within’ (as Abby Seixas describes it) runs dry.

Despite the fact that words like ‘self-care’ and ‘self-love’ have become common place, the deeper I go into conversation with women, the more I see just how many of us are still begging for permission to care for and restore ourselves. It’s a common theme that seems to crop up around this time when so many reach the end of the year feeling overwhelmed, overworked, completely depleted and desperate for a break from life.

We constantly need reminders that ‘Me-time’ is a necessity, not a luxury. Creating breathing space is not just an act of self-love, but also a means of self-preservation. It serves your well-being and your highest good, which in turn sets up a positive effect that trickles down into your work and relationships.

With this in mind, here are three ideas for simple + soulful self-care rituals to nourish and refuel your soul:

The Cup of Restoration: Create a list of things that you need to fill you up: Things that restore you, things that help you breathe easier, things that make you feel supported, things that inspire your and things that bring you joy.  Write each individual item on a small piece of paper and then place the bits of paper in a cup. This is your cup of restoration. Visit your cup once a day (or at least a couple of times a week) and pull one piece of paper out. Then do that one thing to nurture your soul and fill your own cup. Keep refilling your cup of restoration from time to time and make sure that it stays full of ideas and prompts to nurture your soul with.

Processed with VSCO with m2 preset

 A Cup of Light: Get yourself a teacup candle (or simply place a small candle in a teacup if that’s easier). Light your teacup candle once a day and take some time out for yourself. Meditated, unwind, listen to soothing music, read something that you love or just do something fun and relaxing. Do whatever makes you feel most nurtured.  When you feel you’ve had enough breathing space, then blow the candle out. Return to your cup of light daily to for some time to yourself.

A Teatime Ritual: A teatime ritual is one of my favourite daily practices. For this ritual, make yourself a pot of cup of your favourite tea either in the morning when the world is still calm and slowly waking up, in the late afternoon or at night when you have a moment of quiet before bed. If you like, you can light some candles and just find a quiet spot in your home where you can be alone for a little while. Or you can find a relaxing spot in the garden, surrounded by beauty. Sip your tea mindfully, taking in the aroma and taste. Feel yourself relax, breathe easier and visualise yourself quenching your soul’s thirst for replenishment and your inner well filling up with each sip that you take.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

How to Surrender Your Fear

“To engender a sense of freedom, lie on your back and enter into the moods of the sky.” ~ Chrissie Wildwood

The night was so hot and uncomfortable. I went outside to lie down on the grass, the soft green chest of the great mother against my back. I breathed in the dark overcast sky knowing that no Goddess kissed raindrops would fall from it. Bats flew, criss-crossing through secret sky paths above me.

I could feel the tightness of fear and anxiety in my body and the many things that I’m afraid of rising to the surface: Judgement and uncertainty. The fear that I may never overcome the challenges of PCOS or carry a pregnancy to term, despite my efforts to heal and balance my body or nurture my spirit. And also those debilitating moments when I’m so consumed by anxiety that I cannot do simple things that come naturally to everyone around me. Fear has a sneaky way of convincing us that only dead ends lie ahead, even when that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

IMG_20171117_134515_788

I looked up at the tree tops against the dark sky and inhaled their wildness. Their silhouettes swayed in the wind and I drew their freeing energy into the tight places of my body. Let it all go, whispered something in me. So, I tried to. I let my tension dissolve. I wanted to surrender to the night, to become part of it and to free the parts of me that felt locked in shackles. I needed to embrace my fear, surrender to the flow of love regardless, trusting that it would guide me forward to a more nurturing and positive truth. As Gabby Bernstein’s puts it so perfectly in The Universe Has Your Back, “By embracing my fear and surrendering my desire to be free, an even greater pathway to freedom is opened up to me.”

I realised that there is no fear in the wildness of things of the night, just a confident sureness, a deep Trust. So, I recognised that must be like bats who trust whole-heartedly in their inner guidance system to navigate them through the dark. I must trust my truth and the sound of my own voice the way they trust their screeches to reverberate through the quiet air and then return to them as a sounding board. And I must shake off my fear like the wildness of dark tree silhouettes on a windy evening and guide myself back to the confident space of love, trust and hope for new possibilities.

I inhaled the coolness around me and felt myself loosening up, aware of the sense of ease growing within. I remembered how in many difficult moments, surrendering to energy of the Earth and trusting in the Universe offered me refuge and insight, and I felt grateful that these glimpses of wildness have carried me beyond the fear and home to myself again. As I listened to the sky, it seemed to look back down at me and say: “Surrender…Be fearless like the wild night.”

be fearless

“The practice that will serve your highest good is the practice of surrendering to the love of the Universe.” ~ Gabrielle Bernstein

Meditation for Surrender: Centre yourself with a few deep breaths. Relax your body and clear your mind. What fears are unsettling you right now? What is causing you anxiety? Take note of what comes up and then set the intention to surrender these fears and anxiety to the Universe. Let it all go. Visualise everything being released from your body, from you mind and your soul as you surrender and let go. Feel the tension melting way more and more as you release. Now think about the more positive thoughts and feelings that you would like to cultivate within yourself. What are they? How do you want to feel? Allow yourself to continue to surrender your fears and replace them with more nurturing beliefs that bring your peace of mind, calmness and joy.

Affirmation: I surrender my fear to the Universe. I choose a loving perspective that serves my highest good instead. I choose to think good thoughts that nurture my soul and help me connect to feelings of deeper peace.

(*Revised/Recycled Post)