Today’s Task: Take Care of Your Energy First
Holy cow. So much time has passed since I last posted, and I feel so energized to be writing again.
I feel like sometimes it’s a balance of taking information in, processing, taking a break, and coming back to it.
Today’s task is to take care of your energy first. This is the closing line on one of Erah Society’s recent newsletters, and I feel so inspired to be writing about it here, in the context of this radical rest challenge. It’s just too timely to ignore.
Anyways, I love asking myself these questions and pondering what the little action steps are that I can take in the present moment and the coming days to bring more care into my life. For myself, first and foremost. I had a lovely conversation with a colleague today about the way that it’s normalized in society to be honored and lauded when you give yourself to others in the name of service or the greater good. We celebrate the person that stands up and says “I’ll help!” but we don’t give the same level of appreciation to the person that says “No thank you, I have other priorities that are greater than this and I want to honor them.” Like a family. Or a partner. Or a parent in need of caregiving. Or a dog that needs care.
I want to live in a world where we’re celebrated for taking care of ourselves more. And not in a selfish way. But in a radically self-LOVING way.
I took care of myself on my drive home from Kansas over the weekend. I took about 7 hours to cry. And I said no to phone calls and text messages from others. The week prior, spending so much time with others, I was drained and left with little time to process what was going on. Without more time dedicated to yoga, swimming, or other activities that keep me physically active but mentally free, I found my whole sense of self compressed. But into this box of time to move from one activity to the next. And I didn’t realize how much all of it was weighing on me until I woke up on Sunday morning, had to look myself in the mirror, and say “You can hold it together, Emily. Just a few more hours.”
I barely made it into my car before bursting into the first of many, many tears that flowed during the drive.
And I’m so damn proud of myself for allowing myself to do that. A few years ago. Hell, maybe even a year ago, that would have been so unacceptable in my book. Crying is being weak. Showing vulnerability will make you a target. Suck it up. Get through it. Focus on something else.
I’m grateful for all the therapy sessions that have led to developing a healthier relationship with my tears. One that honors my high level of sensitivity and willingness to feel instead of numb my feelings. One that says “Care for your energy!”.
Because caring for your energy is just as much about letting yourself dabble in the dark places of your mind as it is reaching out for help and giving yourself alone time.
For my fellow introverts out there, you know what I’m talking about. When other people say “Just talk to someone else! Or go out with friends! You’ll feel better. Call someone you love.” It doesn’t always work that well for me. I find I get almost more enjoyment from being alone than I do with other people.
Which I know makes it challenging for the people who love me most and just want my time. It’s a rare thing to meet someone who is perfectly content just in sharing space with you as opposed to having a conversation, engaging in some activity, etc.
I’ve met someone like that. She was my best friend. And she’s been talking to me recently, through ginko leaves. 🙂
The first sign she sent me was when I stopped in Council Bluffs. I sat down at a veterans memorial and noticed as I walked on the path out of the park area a ginko leaf on the ground. I don’t know if it was from a conversation we had together, or where it came from, but I often associate this friend with ginko trees. And more specifically, ginko leaves. Maybe I got her a pair of earrings of the leaves one time?
Anyways, it became very clear that day that her spirit pushes me forward as I take small baby steps towards completing my yoga teacher training…something we had started saving for several years ago and were planning to do together.
Next, I saw a ginko leaf again walking into a restaurant with my family the night before leaving Kansas.
Then yesterday, driving in the Twin Cities and seeing a cafe called the Ginko Coffeehouse at the stoplight.
To me, these synchronicities are a sign that I am on the right path, and that I am exactly where I belong.
I’m meeting the people that I’m supposed to. I’m having the conversations that I’m supposed to. And it’s these small messages through the ginko leaves that remind me that we are always connected to nature and have the capacity to communicate with it at any given moment.
In a great interview I listened to this morning between Mel Robbins and Jay Shetty (linked below), I love how Mel mentioned the fact that we always focus on this end point. And we always celebrate the end state. The final goal. But we don’t invest a whole lot of time in enjoying the process along the way. Of celebrating the small wins.
So here’s something to ponder as you wind down the growing season and continue to set intentions for the person you want to become:
- What can I celebrate in myself right now? Today? What’s a small win that I could share with someone?
- Where is my energy being given away easily? With discomfort? Is there anything about the energy that I’m giving that makes me feel resentful? Fulfilled?
- What’s one small step I can take today to share with someone else that I love them?