Why Spiritual Self Care is Essential (Part 2 of 3)

In last week’s email, I shared with you the great importance of caring for our spiritual dimension, engaging in regular activities that connect you to your heart, where wisdom lives for guidance.

I’ve come to know that what matters most when it comes to the health of these bodies is a strong inner compass so that we are not at the mercy of stress and our emotions. Taking time for spiritual self care is soul-nourishing because it calms the mind, creates space for feeling and honoring your true needs and the courage to take authentic action for positive change. Bottom line, internal focus yields outer results.

We are not human beings striving to be spiritual; we are already spiritual beings. Love is at the core who we are and Life is our classroom.

Our self care must include finding those very quiet moments in our busy lives so we can re-connect with this empowering knowledge. And again, we are all different and therefore I appreciate that our personal relationship with Spirit will be different for each of us.

Now for those of you who don’t know, I’ve been a lover of sailing for a long time. I fell in love with it when I was just a kid and pursued it formerly in my 20’s, taking annual sailing trips to the Caribbean. After a long hiatus from it when my kids were small, I reconnected with my passion and now belong to a sailing club where I enjoy sailing on the Hudson every week.

I’ve come to see sailing as one of my favorite forms of spiritual self care. The key elements in the symbolism are pretty clear. The boat represents a journey of curious exploration; being on the water I get to merge with that higher power, that creative intelligence that comes, through for most of us when we connect with nature.

It’s here where I have an experience that gives me a perspective of my true self and my place on this giant blue ball floating through space. Sailing brings me into the here and now, enlivens my senses, quiets the inner chatter; and I feel a contentment with life that brings everything into focus in the moment. Like in meditation, there’s an opening for inspiration, guidance, or for something new to happen.

Navigating currents and wind by adjusting the sails for optimal speed and comfort is just like steering through the challenges of life. You see in sailing, if you sail directly into the wind, you don’t get very far, it’s the no-go zone. You’re fighting nature, pushing against what is, and what you resist, always persists.

Sailing is all about angles to the wind and to reach a particular point, there’s rarely a straight line but rather steering requires a zig zag path as you alternate the sails between the port and starboard sides. In life, there is also rarely a straight line, so in today’s rapidly changing times what I’ve learned is we need to know how to set our sails. We need to cultivate a state of being that invites calm, steadiness and intention. We need to train our minds and manage our emotions. We can do this by inviting more curiosity and self reflection in our daily lives.

In last week’s Soul Science Nutrition Podcast, I shared some more of my favorite spiritual self care strategies.

Finally, there’s a saying that “A smooth sail never made a skillful sailor”; which is to say that life’s storms are simply opportunities for us to become stronger. For me, this is one of the best gifts that comes from spiritual self care; a discovery of your true power.

The power not to get caught up in a “story” about your situation and the power to change your reaction. The power to experience a moment the way you want to, not necessarily the way that it has been presented to you. The power to shift from unconscious reaction to conscious response.

I think if it’s one thing we can all agree on these days, it’s that there’s more rough weather ahead. We can’t change the direction of the wind but we can always adjust our sails.

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