For the longest time I would feel guilty for taking time for myself, for spending the day not doing anything at all. I would beat myself up if I wasn't being "productive," and I"d shame myself for simply resting.
Some days I just wanted to relax however I would feel badly, telling myself I was being lazy and that I should be doing something. I would think of all the housework that needed to be done, all the blogs I wanted to write, and the business I needed to finish. Even when I was "relaxing," I was never really relaxing, my mind would not stop. The inner critic would not let me be.
It was getting so bad that my self care needs were not being met and, in turn, I would slowly burn out. This happened every few months. I would become so depleted that it felt like I had no energy, I would be in pain and I would suffer emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I was ignoring the mind, body, and soul connection: the most important connection of all as it keeps us in balance and harmony.
I needed to stop feeling badly for taking time for myself and I needed to stop feeling guilty and shameful for putting my needs first.
Something needed to change. I couldn't keep having these "body and soul breakdowns" every few months; it wasn't healthy for me or those around me.
While I was experiencing feelings of guilt during some down time one afternoon, a thought came to me. I could give myself permission to be still. So I said out loud to myself, "I give myself permission to be, to rest, to take time for myself. And I give myself permission to put my work and household duties on hold for the day while I fill my soul up with self love, self care, and undivided attention."
The moment I gave myself permission, my soul let out a sigh of relief; my body relaxed and I could feel a sense of ease in the very cells of my body. I could breathe more deeply. It was beautiful, it was powerful.
I soon incorporated this "tool" into my Spiritual Tool Box, but not only in regards to giving myself permission, but also situations and people. I discovered that when I gave permission for things to turn out differently than I had anticipated, and for situations with people to happen as they needed to, I was no longer bothered or upset by the outcome like I used to be. I was not disappointed because I had no expectation of how things should go, and how things should be.
Remember when you were younger and you needed permission from your parents to do all the things you wanted to do, you bugged and you begged for it? Once permission was "granted", you were free to do the very thing you wanted to do. That's how it feels to give yourself permission. And when we consciously and energetically give permission for external circumstances to happen as they shall, you feel less stressed because you're no longer trying to control what "should be."
We can be very hard on ourselves at times, and we can forget and neglect the importance of mind, body, and soul connection. But the truth is, in order to be able to give as best we can, we need to take time to just be, and just breathe.
If you want to experience true freedom and a lot less stress, start by giving yourself permission to do the things you need to do, and for things to be the way they need to be.
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.”