In my quest to practice better self-care, I have just read two very different books on the subject of self-care for women:
Replenish by Lisa Grace Byrne is a practical step-by-step explanation of what the author calls the 7 Habits of Self-Care (Calm Mind, Sovereign Thoughts, Nourished Body, Restorative Rest, Joyful Movement, Anchored Quiet, and Authentic Connections). Byrne's voice is very "motivational speaker"-ish, but in the good way - I think she would be a good motivational speaker and would get everyone pepped up about going home and taking better care of themselves.
One metaphor she uses that really struck me was to envision yourself as a children's wading pool, rather than a well. To keep the water in the wading pool, you need at least one garden hose putting water in it. Or, if you aren't getting enough water from that one source you could have several hoses, each just dripping in. The water-level in your pool would stay steady, as long as it was getting at least some input from those hoses. I like this because it takes away the idea of "deep-well-springs" that you are supposed to just possess, which always makes me feel bad when I feel all used up.
Oriah brings a very different voice to The Dance. Rather than being a motivational-speaker or coach, she is a poet, asking more questions than she gives answers. Throughout this conversational, personal, and melodic book she challenges the reader (and herself) to accept who you really are and engage with that self.
"What if the question is not why I am so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?"
Indeed - what if that is the question? A provoking question that I would like the answer to!
"When we avoid the emptiness, when we fill the stillness with too much doing, we are often trying to outrun our sometimes unconscious conviction that who we are will never be enough. The things we try to hang on to - our work, our relationships, our reputation and perspective - are the things we believe will make us worthy of life and love even though we fear we are basically and inherently flawed. If we can simply be with the fear that we are not enough, and with the vastness of what we do not know, we discover an emptiness that is not our failure but is the very source of the fullness of who and what we are. We discover that who we really are - compassionate, gentle beings capable of being with every moment - has always been enough.
Simple. But not easy."
Yes, decidedly not easy!
An interesting pairing, which I did not design ahead of time, but I liked the conversation these two authors had in my head this week.