How to Be Your Own Guru
Why is it hardest to be kind to ourselves?
I routinely hear women say “Take care” to each other as they say goodbye or, “You should put your feet up” or some such, but why is it that we so seldom actually do it?
We know we should take time out, but it somehow gets lost in the busyness of life; other demands just seems more important that our own.
So many of us have sky-high stress levels, with every moment of our lives crammed to bursting with activity and stimulation. The roles of wife/partner, mother, career woman, creatirix, goddess, friend, carer etc. (Add your own unique recipe here!) Don’t leave much time for us to just be gentle with ourselves.
I just don’t have time!
There are complex reasons why we don’t feel able to take the nourishment that our bodies need. Patterns that derive from our culture, birth patterns, family structures and current life circumstances may all play a part. They might surface as –
- Self-esteem issues
- Beliefs about our roles
- Believing we are undeserving
- Feeling not good enough
- That it takes lots of money
- Feeling shame around our needs
- That our kids/husband/boss needs us too much
Any of those look familiar?
To counter-act this we might follow dietary regimes and plans for fitness or follow an online programme for emotional well-being. But imposing structures from outside can be awkward and unsustainable.
The secret nobody mentions
What we seldom talk about is that our bodies have their own system for organising self-care, which if we pay attention, will remind us what we need and when. The thing is, there’s no kudos to be had here, no flashy gizmos, it’s just what women have been doing since Eve slammed the gate behind her.
It’s your period.
Every month your body will tell you when and how it needs to rest. All you have to do is listen.
The gift of PMT
We all have our own script, which crops up in the days before our period is due. PMT can drive us mad and we’re acting out and scaring everyone off, but have you ever actually listened to what your body is saying? Any voice that is ignored will just shout all the louder after all, so why not give it a go? You’ve nothing to loose after all.
The trick is to notice what the voice is saying and to listen. Write it, draw it, dream it, have a conversation. Ask the voice what do you need? What will nourish you right now? Ask what can I change in my life to make it possible?
The body speaks
You may be surprised by the answers you receive. And don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s going to be expensive. It might be staring at the sky, or walking barefoot, drawing, painting or sleeping.
OK, so when your body says “I need to sleep for a week”, this is unlikely to fit with the rest of your life, but could you arrange to have a lie-in one morning. Go to bed an hour earlier one night? Alexandra Pope recommends we start with the doable 1% of whatever it is you need. The rest will follow in time; with a little listening, the kindness will follow.
KISS – keep it super simple
The simple way to do this is to track your cycle. Not just your period but just note your feelings every day. After a month or two, review the patterns of thoughts and feelings. You will be amazed.
You don’t have a chart? No problem, just download this cycle chart, print off a few copies and away you go. Just start where you are today.
Being your own guru
This simple practice will nourish your desire to be kind to yourself and will show you your unique way of doing it. No need to impose someone else’s plan or give away your power; you already know what you need and how to do it. All you have to do is listen.
Deep, deep rest
If you have read as far as this point, then I must have struck a chord. If so, I have a hunch you might like our Love Your Belly workshop PMT and Other Stories.
It’s a place where you can give your body some profound rest, and to learn how to be your own guru.