When you’re creative, dedicated, and in business for yourself, it’s easy to get painfully busy.
You work in and on your business, harder than you’ve ever worked at any job. And there are a million tasks that need your time and attention.
By the end of the day you’re exhausted. You fall into bed with your mind still churning in high gear.
If you keep this up, both you and your business will end up grinding to a halt in some way.
You’ll spend more time getting less done. Your enthusiasm, creativity and love for your work … you’ll wonder where they went.
You can’t grow nourishment or beauty in depleted soil.
So how do you replenish yourself?
Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money. Simple actions can be deeply nourishing.
Here are some that work for me: A slow walk on the beach or down a dappled forest trail, on a sunny day. Close my eyes and let the birds’ raucous Spring chorus ring through my bones. Savour the cool sweetness of a glass of water. Rest my eyes on the horizon — breathe in the grace of the world.
Small moments of presence and attention nourish me. They link me with my world, my body, and my heart.
Your heart is your home — your sanctuary and resting place. It’s where you come to restore and renew yourself.
Here’s a simple practice that I do whenever I feel scattered or disconnected from my heart. You may find it helpful too.
I start by sitting down quietly where I won’t be disturbed. (I’ve also done this while walking, or lying down.)
Close your eyes for a moment. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths, all the way down into your belly and back out again.
Feel your physical body — the weight of it resting on your chair or on the ground. Your breath whooshing in and out.
Check in with your feelings. Make room for whatever you’re feeling, without hanging onto or pushing your feelings away.
Say a kind hello to your thoughts.
Then drop your gaze down, towards your heart — this quiets any mind-chatter.
Drop your awareness into the center of your heart. Like dropping a pebble into a deep pool of water.
If you like, you can rest the palm of your hand on your chest to help you get in touch with your heart. Then bring your awareness beneath your hand, into your heart.
Breathe quietly into and out of your heart. No straining or trying; just be there.
Gently, go deeper inside your heart.
This is always an exploration, for me.
Sometimes, I find myself entering layers of my heart, as if visiting a series of rooms that open into each other. Going deeper into my heart with each room.
The first room feels like my living room. It’s where people and places I care about come and hang out with me, and with each other. It’s warm, inviting, playful, and fun, most of the time. Although it can be noisy, crowded and overwhelming, sometimes.
The next room in is more private. This is where I go to be with my heart’s beloveds — those whom I love and cherish most dearly. This is also where I connect with the soul of my business, and with friends in the subtle energy realms, like the Devas.
The next room — going deeper in — has the feeling of gathering around a campfire at the beach, or a family room with a fireplace, soft couches, billowy cushions, deep armchairs.
This is where I gather with all my various selves … the shy little kid, the adventurer, the writer, the healer, the grouch, the ‘fraidy cat, the intrepid explorer.
This gathering can be as noisy and raucous as a family reunion. Here’s where I get to talk and listen to every aspect of my self. I share what’s going on, what I’m planning, what’s coming next, and ask them to share with me what they’re feeling, and what they need, so we can move together, as a whole, instead of piecemeal. This is their safe place to talk and be heard, to argue, to listen, to ask for what they need, to find the love that cradles us all and brings us to common ground.
And then I enter the innermost chamber of my heart.
This is my most sacred place. Where I meet with my Creator alone.
When I enter in here, I close the door and turn away from the outside world. I leave all the other rooms and the people in them behind. And I turn to my Source, my Beloved.
Here, I say what’s truly going on for me, in a very simple way. Or just a wordless bow of humility and gratitude: Here I am.
I ask for what I need. Clarity; guidance; safety; love; sustenance; nourishment; faith.
And I feel those qualities flowing into the chalice of my heart. As they flow in, they cleanse and wash away anything that impedes their flow.
My heart fills up. It stretches and deepens to hold more, to contain more. I feel deeply rested. Nourished.
When my heart is full, I give thanks, and begin my return to the outside world. Walking back through the rooms in reverse order.
Often, a gathering of inner selves that had been squabbling and bickering, or yelling at each other when I last saw them, will have miraculously transformed into loving friends by the time I reconnect with them.
I return from the innermost chamber of my heart bearing gifts of grace.
This journey into my heart can be a brief touching-in, or a deeper immersion in the power, radiance, beauty and love that is the Sacred. Either way, its effects linger, and build on each other.
My life and my business become infused with spaciousness, love, magic and connection. I feel deeply happy, provided for, cherished, and so, so grateful.
How do you replenish yourself? Who or what nourishes you?