One of the most important things I have learned on my yoga journey is to be selfish. That is really all you need to know but if your interest has piqued, then by all means continue reading. We have all probably heard the quote “You can’t fill from an empty vessel.” Well it’s true. If you are never depositing funds into your own “love bank” then how will you be able to afford giving, and receiving for that matter, the love your people deserve? “Learning to love yourself first brings more joy and peace than trying to love someone else.” -BPBEE

OK enough with the quotes, the seriousness of self-care is extraordinary. We are told and shown from a very young age to consider ourselves last. We are told to look out for others and be of service but that way of thinking leads to the idea that we are not that important and our needs can wait. But how can we be of service when we are empty inside? When we give ourselves to others all day and have nothing left to nurture ourselves, discover our passions, or even just enjoy OUR life?

I see this become a problem with teenage relationships and young married couples. After the relationship starts to change and perhaps becomes more serious each person stops doing what they love. They become so infatuated with the other that they literally stop doing the things that most likely attracted them to each other. I see it happen to women especially when love is new, they drop their friends or their hobbies. I see it more so in women once children are introduced to the equation. It is like they lose who they are.

It can happen to any of us, especially since becoming a mom is in fact the most selfless thing you will ever do, but don’t lose sight of what makes you YOU. I see this happen to men too. Suddenly Jiu Jitsu practice equals “he doesn’t love me anymore” even when watching your man do Jiu Jitsu was one of your deciding factors to date him. I like to encourage couples to keep the things that drive them. Keep the things that make you happy, passionate, exciting, and balanced. Keep it. Make the time for it and be aware that you may have to make extra time for your partner, but don’t lose the stuff you love.

I have noticed a pattern of this happening to some of the noblest people I know. People that I am positive should have saint status in heaven. They have the kindest hearts and are always giving (missionaries, teachers, massage therapists, yoga teachers, nurses, doctors… etc.) yet their sweet little hearts are so used to the constant giving that their ability to receive love is lost. Many people with this background end up in one-sided relationships or alone. It is not their fault. They have just conditioned themselves and the ones around them to let them take care of everyone. When you see these people, make them sit down, make them relax, drag them to a yoga class. These people are the worst (in the best way)! You have to tell them several times to take care of themselves. Usually the universe will do it for them by bringing on an injury or an untimely cold. That is the only way to get them to see that they need to be taken care of.

It is very easy to recognize others who have issues with being their best care takers but it is very hard to see it for ourselves. Today, sit. Sit for 1-5 minutes and ask yourself if you are being taken care of. Ask yourself if you are living your dream or if you are doing things that you feel passionate about. If the answer(s) is no, fix it, as only you can. No one is to blame and no one can do it for you. Once you have discovered the truth, talk to your support team, spouse, friends, whoever and let them know your decision to take care of you. Come to them with an open heart and don’t be surprised if they seem offended, after all you are retraining yourself and them. It won’t happen overnight but practice you time daily and notice the abundance and blessing that you will be able to give and receive.

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