The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!

#71: Fill Up Your Self-Love Tank

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, April 08, 2013

I'm a little embarrassed to say this, but a couple of weeks ago I was in an emergency ward with a suspected heart attack. Yes, me, the supposed expert on chilling out, taking it slow, enjoying life and love....Oops!

So what happened? After all, I do regular yoga, meditation, relaxation...or do I?

Being attached to a machine that goes 'bing' for eight hours gives you a lot of time to reflect. It's kind of a forced meditation, especially as I was having trouble breathing and had to focus on my breath.

Well, the honest truth is that my regular self-care had become more than a little irregular. I hadn't been practising what I preach. I was proving that not doing what I advise to do does in fact result in a lack of peace and harmony.

This kind of work, where I'm constantly giving out nurturing and inspiring energy to people, plus having three children of my own, means that I have to keep filling up my love tank. So: physician heal thyself.

I share this so that you know that even we 'experts' struggle at times. In this era where there are so many things competing for our time, and where the truly important things in life tend to put aside in favour of the non-nurturing and the non-loving, it's so important that we each stay focused on what's important.

I often talk about how couples need to prioritise time for themselves, to fill up their mutual love tank. Before you can even get to that, you need to fill up your own self-love tank. It's like when the oxygen masks come down in the plane, you have to put your own on before you attend to anyone else, or else you'll be dead and no use to anyone.

For people with a stronger bent towards tending others, it can be hard to focus on yourself. "Who's got the time," you say, or "I'd feel guilty".

But if you don't, you either become a withered up drained shell of yourself, or you become harder and harder (and unhappier and unhappier) which leads to grumpy, bitter and twisted, and other nasty traits.

So, go through your life and start removing the irksome, the time-consuming, the draining, and prioritise the rejuvinating, the uplifting, the peace-inducing. And if you feel you 'can't', then book in for some sessions with me, so I can help make that a 'can'.

As for me, I have reinstated daily mediation and yoga, I have modified a lot of the ways I work, and I am writing this while on the tiny tropical island of Gili Air doing an eight-day rejuvenation retreat....

The love tanks are re-filling.


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