We can get so busy running around at Christmas that we may forget to stop and enjoy the process. I want to invite you today, to find time to stop and start to become aware of the ways that love is shared in the world around us. With the way that we are bombarded by all the news on TV, we can forget that each day love is all around us if we take time to listen and watch.
It's in a hand that is held, it's in a call from a loved one, in the wag of a dog's tail, when someone offers to push the shopping trolley for us. It's when a neighbour gives you a thank you card, when someone smiles at you for no reason. All those thoughtful, kindful moments, are forms of love and gosh we all so need it in our lives.
The truth is that we can get drained if we aren't doing things from love and become a human doing, instead of a human being. On an airplane, if there is trouble, the oxygen masks come down. You are instructed to put on your own first, before helping another. It's a great metaphor for life. We need to take care of ourselves before we can truly be there for another. Otherwise most of the time our attention is focussed on other things, sometimes simply how worn out we are.
I want to invite you to join me in caring for yourself first. As you wake up to the day - and this can be anytime of day - think about yourself, and what you need. What about doing something for yourself today, and I don't mean buying yourself something - I mean, going for a walk on the beach, or getting up at sunrise and watching the beauty as the day starts. What about stopping for 5 minutes and just being, focussing on your breath, and just being, in the present moment.
How often do you do something that you love to do, so that you feel fulfilled? What is it that you love, that would make you feel more loved, that you can do today for you? With Christmas so close now, there will be many stressors that start to impact on your wellbeing.... so I encourage you to join me in checking in with yourself, and asking yourself what you need.
One of my favourite things is to go to an ocean pool early before anyone else and swim, while watching the sunrise. Then go home and have breakfast. It's so important to look after ourselves, it's not a selfish thing... it will help you to cope so much better with all the little everyday stress that happens in your life, and it's a wonderful skill to teach your children or grandchildren if you have them.
When our self care levels are high, we are in a much better position, to be able to help other beings...