I have been continuing to do some exploration and experimenting around what it means to take better care of ourselves, with that motivation of doing so to be more available to do what is needed to be available for others. I am continually reminded that if I do not do this and become tired and cranky I am no use or fun to be around for anyone, including me.
For me Helen Reddy’s ‘Best Friends’ song reminds how to take care of ourselves so wisely and practically. As I said last blog the words acknowledge for me, both the truly wise and also the uniquely human nature, we all have.
I decided to explore some best friend characteristics and thought about the fact that sometimes a best friend will tell us a hard truth about what is best for us. This is often a painful truth that may be difficult to say and to hear. When our inner best friend/wise self is speaking it is always in our best interest. Lama Marut uses the analogy of our wise best friend on the left shoulder and our egoic task master on the other. Often, we cannot hear what our best friend is suggesting because the task master is so loud and demanding.
In my self-care exploration I came across some helpful advice from Meggan Watterson. It was about tuning into and listening to the intuitive needs of the body. Our body has lots of integrated wisdom and lots to teach us about self care we just need to develop the internal ears to listen. So instead of ignoring the ultimate wisdom of the body I have been playing with allowing for a living dialog with what my body needs in any moment.
I found a wonderful little book by Sarah Ford entitled ‘Be a Sloth and when in doubt, just chill out. I think it is written for me. I have learnt that sloths get a bad wrap and that I have a lot to learn from them. A quote from the book ‘Sloth is always true to himself. He doesn’t do exercise (because that is not what his body needs), but he does look after himself – he eats well, sleeps well and is tune with his mind and his body in all its hairy entirety.’ More about what we can learn from sloths next bog!
The difference between want and need for me is the difference between an egoic want and a best friend/wise self need. Instead of imposing what I think I want or expect (ego talking), I am playing with turning up and listening to what my body needs. (wise/best friend). The body has lots to tell us about self care when we listen. It is important to remember to work with kindness and curiosity with our habits – that’s what our best friend would do. So, no need to be punitive, or for blame, judgment and a hard time!
This is a work in progress for me. But I am finding it fun – it begins with ……….
I have been thinking about where and times I may ignore the ultimate wisdom of the body. Where I have been unconsciously harming myself. Times when I don’t tune in to ask my body “What do you need in this moment? (no critical task master necessary – I am learning to tune into my body and its needs).
We may ignore the ultimate wisdom of the body when we……..
When I am able to explore my wants and needs with awareness and curiosity, I am able to be aware to tune into my body for what is needed rather than be bossed around by the tricky task master who is so often punitive and demanding with its wants. It takes practice to get used to tuning into and listening to that best friend who is always on your side. For me it is well worth the time and effort. It is an important way I can look after myself in order to be more available to connect and care for others.
With love, appreciation and very best well wishes to us all
As many of you already know, I am somewhat of a ‘dag’ and enjoying becoming more embracing of my dagginess. A ‘dag’ is an Australian and New Zealand slang term. According to the Urban dictionary the term ‘dag’ can be used affectionately or insultingly. On the so- called insulting side it can be seen as unfashionable, lacking style, or uncool. But, according to the dictionary there are also ways the term can be seen as admirable. These include ‘having one’s own style, not caring for public opinion, being outrageous, being a source of friendly amusement, being original.’ So, I am embracing being friendly, and more comfortable with who I am, embracing my human imperfections, without needing to hide them or cover up being uncool! This daggy work in progress is so liberating, relaxing and much more fun.
Recently I was saddened by the death of a long-time favourite singer of mine, Helen Reddy. I play my old scratched ‘Best of Helen Reddy’ CD all the time. Ironically, three weeks prior to her death I had rung and spoke with Jim at ‘Quality Records’ regarding ordering another copy of my scratched CD. He told me he would get me one, but explained it may take some time!
Jim rang back with what he said was some ‘spooky news’ – spooky good, I think! The CD had arrived from the US on the same day that Helen had passed away. While waiting for my CD I have been enjoying listening to her on Spotify. I came across a song of hers I had never heard before entitled ‘Best Friend’! The words of this song had a huge impact on me and I have been sharing the lyrics for the past few weeks. Thankfully for all concerned I have been saying them rather than singing them. There are a couple of u-tube versions online. One of them is particularly daggy – it is from the movie, Airport. It has Helen Reddy as a nun seated on a plane with her guitar, singing “Best Friend’. I LOVE IT!
Here are the lyrics……
Would you take better care of yourself
Would you be kinder to yourself
Would you be more forgiving of your human imperfections
If you realized your best friend was yourself
Who is always with you everywhere
Who is on your side when others are unfair
And tell me, who will never let you down in any situation
Who will always see you get your share
And that's why I am a best friend to myself
And I take me out whenever I feel low
And I make my life as happy as a best friend would
I'm as nice to me as anyone I know
Here is the Best Friend u-tube link if you would like to have a listen. The words for me sum up being a ‘kind encouraging friend to yourself’ or ‘your own cheerleader’ as a friend reminded me the other day! This is something I have been learning to do and I have been banging on about in yoga and elsewhere for years!
These words also acknowledge, for me, both the divine and uniquely human nature we all have. They help remind me to tune into my Wise self, Best Friend, Buddha Nature, Basic Goodness, Love, Divine Self, Soul, or Universal Wisdom (whatever you want to call that, beyond words part of us we all have equally) to help out that uniquely human aspect we also all have! This assists me to embrace my human imperfections with kindness, encouragement, (to give courage) curiosity, (a form of compassion), empathy and compassion, just like a best friend! As Brene Brown says 'imperfections are not inadequacies, they are reminders that we're all in this together'.
Having finished this blog, I am ‘taking myself out’ for a walk in the sunshine now.
With love, appreciation and very best well wishes to us all