In This Time of a Pandemic Make Self Care a Priority
Until a week ago, I was still hiking in the desert where I live in Arizona. Now, with the shelter-in-place order, my hikes have been curtailed, but I couldn’t help noticing how full the saguaro cacti are from the rain we’ve had this winter. This reminded me of something I call my goodness container, a part of my heart that stores all the good stuff I do for myself, and the significant role it plays in my self care journey. The desert giants are perfect examples of good self care and seem to be exploding with hope for the future.
The saguaros know they have to store as much goodness as they can because there will be dry, bad times. The desert here averages just seven inches of rain a year. A saguaro is able to absorb and store considerable amounts of rainwater, visibly expanding in the process, while slowly using the stored water as needed. This characteristic enables the saguaro to survive during periods of drought.
Are you storing as much goodness as possible so you can withstand this drought? Are you filling your goodness container with positive affirmations, kind and loving thoughts, and are you pampering yourself?
Elizabeth Gilbert, one of my favorite authors and well known inspirational speaker, recently recorded a meditation for Insight Timer. She has an excellent idea for filling up our goodness containers. Elizabeth teaches us that in times like these, we need to write ourselves love letters to face our fears with compassionate hearts. She suggests we write the words we are so longing to hear:
“I’m right here. I’m right here with you and I’m not going anywhere. I have nowhere better to be than right here with you right now and I’m going to stay here with you through this and I want you to know that I don’t need anything from you.”
The mighty Sonoran Desert saguaros can hold large amounts of water. When one is fully hydrated it can weigh between 3,200–4,800 pounds. That’s a lot of goodness. And there is a lot of goodness out there to be found right now. Especially in these times, we need to be sure to limit our exposure to the news, spend more time in nature, avoid toxic people, and be kind to ourselves.
We need to speak to ourselves as we would a friend in need:
“I love you. I’ve got you. I’m not going anywhere. I see how much you’re suffering and I’ve nothing but time to sit here and be with you. I’m not leaving you. I will never leave you. Whatever this is, we will face it together. You are not alone.”
I hope you’ll take the time either to listen to Elizabeth or read the transcript from the meditation at the link below. It truly has been such a comfort to me over the past few weeks. You and I will get through this. In Elizabeth’s words: