energetic self care

one of the things i've learned over the years is that once you're involved in spiritual community--any community, really--you wind up praying for folks quite a bit.  there's always a situation or three brewing that require a little extra oomph to push them along.

in the midst of this, it can be easy to forget to pray for yourself--in the same ways that being overworked or over-committed in the wider world can cause you to forget to eat.

yes, moving energy for the benefit of others holds innumerable rewards.  i firmly believe that all the blessings you send come right back to you. still, it's vitally important for all of us who carry the asé of healers, priests, spiritual vessels, etc, to maintain rituals of self care so we can continue to work effectively for others. 

many of us can relate to stories of elders and mentors who have literally given until it hurt. there can be a fine line between selfless devotion and full-on burnout, and several of us walk it.

while i was in massage school, we were frequently told about bodyworkers who only worked for five years or so because poor body mechanics can lead to carpal tunnel, broken bones, or worse.

both bodywork and psychology taught me about the issues surrounding transference, outlining the need to balance deep compassion and healing with the realities of power dynamics and human emotion.

for me, the message was clear: if you're devoted to assisting others in some way, you must also become intimately familiar with your own level of and issues around self care.

the depletion can be very subtle at first, and is often missed.  sometimes it's a twinge of fatigue, or a sense that things are slipping through your hands instead of gathering to you. you might become forgetful, unfocused, clumsy.

if you can't pin down a specific reason for these changes, find a moment to stop and be still. take a few deep breaths. 

as you're breathing, what do you feel?  is the fatigue or sense of being "dull" concentrated anywhere in your body?  if you're an energy worker, scan your physical and energetic bodies. what energy centers need attention? 

once you've identified the "holes", use your intuition to "plug" them. there are many ways to do this; choose the method(s) that speak to you:
  • anoint yourself with a protective or cleansing oil/perfume. a frankincense & myrrh blend is good for just about anything.
  • carry protective gemstones - either as jewelry or loose stones (e.g., tiger's eye, hematite, tibetan quartz, rose quartz).
  • cleanse, re-empower or bless consecrated jewelry/talismans and wear them. 
  • pray.  many scriptures speak of protection and the Divine's role as a shield. 
    you could also say something like: i ask that any personal energy that is NOT being used to fulfill my highest destiny or serve my greatest good be purified and returned to me, so i may use it to... [state your goals/intent or the healing you need. close your prayer in your usual fashion.]
  • meditate. focus on the places that feel compromised.  affirm and strengthen those centers with the appropriate sounds, colors, or mantras/chants.

may you be well and stay well...and may the care you give to others always be an extension of the love you offer yourself. asé.

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