Ferns have been on the earth for 360 million years. That’s 200 million years longer than flowering plants. Humans? We’ve only had 200,000 years to begin to figure it out. To spend time with someone who knows, spend time with ferns!
The first of “7 Ways to Take a Deep Breath” is to spend time with yourself.
How do you schedule your time? Do you make time for workouts and meet the team for practice? Do you book appointments with clients? Do you schedule meetings with colleagues? Do you schedule classes, assignment due dates and labs? Shifts at work? Do you take the kids to lessons and practice?
Whatever is the way that you are familiar with scheduling your time and meeting with other people – meetings, appointments, practice, lessons, shifts – schedule a time like that for yourself.
Meet yourself. Do it just like you would book any other meeting, appointment, practice, lesson for the kids, class or shift.
Meet with yourself. Connect with yourself. There are so many parts of ourselves that have always been there and which we have never met.
Have regularly scheduled time to meet yourself, like you would spend time with anyone else whose relationship you value, with anyone else that you love.
Where do you go to connect? Is it a hot bath at home, a sauna or a massage, or time at a spa? Is it the woods, fishing, time at the beach, a hike? Is it a coffee shop or a glass of wine at a bistro or pub? Is it a run outside with time for rest beside a brook, or on a bench in the park? Where is your place to connect? Is it your favourite chair with a journal and tea?
Go there, and connect, with yourself. Ground, and re-group. Connect to the stillness inside the movement. Connect to the feeling of being. Get to know yourself.
If you can, unplug and connect. Go gadget-free for the time of your scheduled meeting. Headphones off…walk. Feel the earth beneath your feet. It’s like water for a plant, gas in the car, plugging into electricity. The aliveness of things is there for us to connect with all the time. We make time to connect with that aliveness by appointment, at least until we learn how to hear the silence inside of sound, the music inside of life’s daily noise. We create time for refuge for ourselves.
Can you schedule an hour or two? Can you do that this week? Can you do that every week, or every two weeks, for the next few weeks?
I think of it as a date with myself. I attend enough meetings. I would rather go on a date. So, I schedule dates with myself. Sometimes it is simple. Sometimes it is fancier. Sometimes it is going out. Sometimes it is staying home.
Can I touch in with the pulse of myself? How am I doing? The way that I would treat the one I most respect, and care for in the world – including four-footed ones if this is your best mate – can I treat myself like that for an hour or two this week or next? Or every week, or two?
When I lived in Paris, it tended to be fancier. There were concerts and museums, art galleries and coffee shops…my favorite places on Ile Saint-Louis. I love the l'Orangerie and the Van Gogh Museum. There is something wonderful about the light, the openness of the Musee d'Orsay. My favorite part of the Louvre might be the Egyptian area? No, it’s the sculpture room. How about the Musee Rodin! Or the Musee Guimet of Asian art? Art and beauty: it’s food.
In Montreal, I would take refuge with the ferns in the Jardin Botanique. These days, I am living in Atlantic Canada, so it’s the quality of the light as the sun sets over the ocean and the pulse-like rhythm of the waves of the sea.
A Date, a Meeting, an Appointment with Yourself (an “I” doctor appointment?) is time that you ritually – rhythmically and regularly - give yourself to explore and discover, and deepen your appreciation…for yourself. Get to know all about you. Meet those parts of yourself that are waiting to be met.
It’s trust building: can you teach yourself to trust that you will be there for yourself? Can you make a promise to yourself and keep it?
It's a practice - a discipline - to give ourselves the gift of actually being where we are when we're there. It doesn't need to be fancy. What it needs to be is whatever it is that will be most deeply nourishing for you.
Try to schedule at least an hour and maybe two, enough time so that you can relax and delight in the luxury of having time. You give it to yourself to deepen, enrich and strengthen the relationship you have with yourself. You do it in exactly the same way that you would schedule quality time to strengthen the genuineness and authenticity of the relationship that you have with anyone else who is important in your life.
Try it once. Then, one your way home, schedule a series of three over maybe something like six weeks? Try for more often than once a month: that would be casual dating as opposed to a serious relationship.
All the same, if once a month is what you can do: do that! Perhaps the secret be to just enjoy it twice as much…
Time for you to grow in your knowing and appreciation – and attention and care and listening and trust – for yourself is a gateway to the deepening of every connection that we have with everyone else in our lives.
Comment below, and let us know how it goes!!
Wishing you joy,
Copyright © 2018, Adela Sandness