We know that the practice of breathing can calm, invigorate, soothe, and ground us. Breathing is a tool. It is also a metaphor. Inhaling is a process by which we bring life force into our being. Although this process is an automatic response that our physiology continues to take care of for us, nourishing ourselves in other ways must become intentional.
We need to generate a practice for ourselves that is unique and individualized to fill up, pour into, and refill ourselves. This is because life is depleting, especially right now… for most of us. The drawing in of resources is an action/plan to address the constant putting out of energy, time, love, and care for those around us. The alternative to pre-planning and then executing an individualized care plan for times of energy depletion is that eventually our body takes over and shuts us down when we have given too much over too long a period of time with no refill.
Inhaling reminds us that we must draw in and not just give out.
We all need to bring in. We all need to inhale, figuratively, and metaphorically. This bringing-in is to build our energy reserves, build internal self-trust, create self-esteem, soothe personal tender spots, and show up for ourselves. These skills are the same as the ones that giving out energy does for all those we care about.
The bringing in and nourishing needs to be a plan that satisfies many different buckets of fulfillment, emotional, physical, spiritual, community, environmental, psychological. When it feels challenging to know how to build our own plan, we can look toward these buckets and dig deeper to figure out solutions. We have to ask ourselves the hard questions and find the hard answers. How do I feel more spiritually filled? How do I plan to care for my emotions when they grow big? What will build the sense of community and belonging in me?
The hardest piece in building a plan for drawing resources and energy is implementing the plan. To ease implementation challenges, we want to make our inhaling (drawing in resources) plan as specific and applicable as possible. Think of small victories rather than shifting perspectives or patterns. Think micro movements rather than changing a lifestyle. Think increases or decreases rather than zero tolerance.
Personally, I have started to join a few social activities that send my brain messages that I have a community. I began to take time to walk outside and enjoy the weather and stop to take pictures of beautiful natural experiences so I can review them when I need to remember the beauty of the earth around me. I have begun to honor more when I am disappointed (a feeling I have always ignored and pushed through). I have even begun to lift a few weights here and there.
- Drawing-in is not a plan to fix everything overnight. It is a plan for replenishing and nourishing that can be implemented when we are able to practice permission for self-care.
- When we are skilled at taking care of others, all we need to do for ourselves is apply those same skills to ourselves by first practicing the piece of the plan that allows us to acknowledge our own needs and humanity.
- This is a process over time, not a product.
- We need to nourish in all the buckets, psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual, natural, environmental, community.
- The most important aspect to this purposeful and intentional plan of self-care and filling up is grace and compassion for ourselves throughout. This is new for some of us and will be challenging.