As modern women, we are so busy: involved in the sacred business of being a contribution to others, raising our children as consciously as we can, working hard in our businesses or at a workplace and running our households, not to mention maintaining cherished relationships and friendships. It can be tricky terrain to navigate. Especially if you tend to set high standards or you’re a sole parent or facing the myriad of challenges the modern world poses. This week I have been busy writing my book about the new feminine leader, exploring and musing over the new economy we are operating in as women. It is a world where we have access to so much information and so many opportunities that it has the capacity to overwhelm and take us away from our centre of power if we are not taking a holistic approach to intensive self-care. It’s never been more important for us to make a commitment to ourselves to stay nourished and to practice extreme self-care to avoid burn-out and to find what gives us sustenance. Holistic sustenance not only comes from the care of physical body: making sure we eat well, sleep enough and stay hydrated. It also comes from our thoughts, our emotional well-being, our spiritual beliefs and whether we are acting in alignment with our values.
A timely reminder about the importance of intensive self-care came in the form of a question I was asked this week. My cherished, long-time friend Esther bought her parents Margaret and Kieren to my home in Mullumbimby this week. I’d wanted to meet them for years, after reading Margaret’s fabulous and hilarious book Just the Ten of Us about her life as Miss Australia followed by 8 children.
At the dinner table, Margaret asked me ‘so who looks after you, Lisa?’
I have to admit, I felt emotional. I’d never been asked that before and I’d had a challenging week sole parenting my sons. My answer came out before I could even think, a spontaneous response which surprised me a little – ‘God’, I said.
I felt embarrassed at first, before I realised how true the answer was. I have been totally supported by the power of prayer and my alignment with the divine for most of my life. I’ve had trouble admitting it out loud for fear of sounding religious in the past, but these days it goes beyond any doctrine or affiliation or even religious context. This is a relationship that has supported me through so many dark nights of the soul and so many times when I’ve contemplated giving up. This is also a relationship which has created so many miracles and blessings and phenomenal good luck and opportunity. I celebrate the small child that fantasised about one day becoming a nun and was always fascinated by a small statue of Mother Mary at my Grandmother’s house. The comfort I get from having a deep abiding faith allows me to surrender to the current fears that come up. Yes, life can be challenging but I choose to believe that I have the most powerful force there is on my side, the power of a beloved which is the most enduring, sincere, humble and faithful support system there is, based on pure love, purity and lightness of being. I’m even considering putting a ring on my finger to celebrate my relationship with my ‘heavenly partner’. Ok, maybe that’s going a little too far. Until my earthly husband shows up, I’m marrying and making a commitment to myself first.
This week, I encourage you to identify and commit to your intensive self-care plan. Where is your oxygen mask this week and when will you get time to fit it in? Is it your yoga practice or a quiet cup of tea and a good book? How will you get sustenance to keep going, to keep juggling the myriad of balls that you are miraculously keeping in the air? I appreciate and acknowledge you for doing it all, sometimes so quietly that no-one hears or sees you. You matter more than you know – may the force be with you!