There are many ways of giving.. you might smile at a stranger when you're at the grocery store or hold a door open for someone following you into a building. Just these simple gestures can really brighten up a person's day. We're all bombarded with thoughts coming and going throughout the day and don't often slow down to make eye contact with another person -- let alone hold a door open for them.
Have you ever been on the checkout line at the store and the cashier doesn't even look at you? I know it's happened to me plenty of times. What about if saying hello to them and asking about their day is something you do the next time it happens. I always feel that only WE can make changes.. we cannot expect someone to do what we do or act the way we act. BUT, we can act and do what we do and not expect anything back. All change begins with making shifts in the way we interact with the world.. small as they may be.
As a health coach, I have worked with clients who give TOO MUCH. So, if giving is a good thing, how can it be possible to give too much? It depends on why you give so much of yourself. Are you giving to receive? Are you giving to be accepted? Are you giving to be loved? Are you giving because you're afraid of saying "no." When giving is attached to an outcome, it can be a bad thing -- and, by that, I mean your health can suffer when you don't give to yourself. So, set boundaries.. when someone is requesting something of you that you do not want to agree to, say NO. It is empowering to say "no" when you're following your heart. You do not want to give for the wrong reasons. You want to give from your heart.
Self-care is an essential component of being healthy. Just think about a garden. If you planted seeds and you didn't fertilize or water the seeds, nothing would grow. Well, the same with your body. What does your internal garden look like? Are you tending to it? nurturing it? knowing when it needs attention? How can you possibly give to another when you have nothing to give? When your energy is depleted?
Here are a few of my tips for taking care of YOU....
- Spend time in nature - listen, smell, see
- Meditate - make time to go inward, even for 3 minutes each day
- Exercise - Endorphins are your happy hormones
- Take a bath - fill the tub with your favorite essential oil and some Epsom Salts
- Make a list of all the great qualities you possess
- Be grateful for all that you are and all that you have
- Feed your body good food
- Get a good night's sleep (try for 7-8 hours) and keep your cell phone in another room
I hope I have inspired you to look inside yourself and know that you are deserving of everything good. Find your "light" and feel its warmth in your body. Then shine it outwards so others can feel it. It's all about loving ourselves and then spreading that love to others.... one small gesture at a time.