By Cianna Rose
The wheel turns and a new year clicks into place, a time to reflect on where we have been and to realign our course to where we would like to be. I don’t know about you, but a lot of my New Year’s thoughts revolve around improving on something called “self-care.”
Taking Care of Yourself
I am a caregiver. Being a long-term caregiver is a role I have been called upon to play more than once, and it has increasingly become a dominant role in my life. In many ways, this experience is the greatest of teachers, a spiritual practice in and of itself. But the demands can be relentless, stretching and bending one in ways that not even the most extreme yoga class comes close to. Ideally, the goal is to be of service, to be an advocate and true friend for the one you love. Often the hardest part to navigate is how to fit in the essential self-care required if you hope to remain healthy and happy yourself.
Coming Up With Strategies For Our Times
My desire is to do more than simply survive life’s challenging times. I like to come up with strategies to keep myself feeling good. Joy, laughter, a sense of peace and connection all help to reduce stress and renew the spirit. I think we all want more of that. A great place to start is to develop the ability to derive pleasure from the small things—you know, a soothing bubble bath, reading a great book, music, meditation, dancing, sitting under a tree listening to the birds sing, watching a sunset.
Sometimes, though, you’ll find you need something more. We don’t always have the luxury or the resources to get away. Then it’s time to get creative and figure out how you can bring the experiences you need to you.
Let me share an example. Recently I was looking online for a way to play and nurture my spirit when I found something I really liked. Called “Eco Chic Retreat,” this is a do-it-yourself DVD-based retreat.
These DVDs are for anyone and everyone, especially those who can’t manage time away and who are on a limited budget. With this retreat, you’ll still get to participate in something that nurtures the mind, body, and soul. You can follow the DVD schedule, or undertake the separate activities, as time allows. It’s very user friendly with three days of guidance from some remarkable teachers (it’s like having multiple private sessions). Or use it with a group of friends who all chip in and do it together … you could make it an extended sleepover!
The disks outline and walk you through three days of activities, such as yoga, guided meditation, qigong, active meditations, art projects, lucid dreaming, intention setting, journaling, and more. It’s not complicated or fussy—I found it to be really warm and relaxed, with no particular core philosophies being pushed. Instead, each facilitator seems to be genuinely sharing what she knows and loves. It was shot in the Southwest, and I could imagine myself walking the paths they walked, surrounded by New Mexico’s majestic mountains and light—yes, they even captured the great light.
Watch a 2 minute video review of Eco Retreat
I also realized quickly that I will use it regularly (not just a one-time view), because it makes me feel so good every time I do it. The quality is excellent, and there is an inherent sweetness that I found to be joy filled and peaceful. If you are looking for something fun and nurturing for yourself or a loved one to start the New Year, I can highly recommend these DVDs. Yes, you might not be able to get away, but this might truly be the next best thing! So, jump in with both tired feet and allow your soul to be refreshed and renewed in creative ways. Take that walk, start a new tradition, listen to the birds, or like me, go on retreat … from the comfort of home.
Happy New Year to you all. Take good care, because you are precious to someone … I hope that includes yourself.
To order Eco Chic Retreat, visit the website at www.ecochicretreat.com
Writer, artist, kick-ass caregiver
You can also visit the website of Dhara Lemos at www.dharalemos.com to find out more about the meditations in this Video.