The morning sun was struggling to cut through the heavy fog lying over the trees like a blanket. The birds were quieter than normal with nary a leaf blowing. It was a stark contrast to the last few mornings, where the sun rose in colors of pink and orange, birds chirping and singing their merry breakfast song. The house was quiet as usual with just the faint sound of a television on, giving dad the noise he needs to sleep. The gray sky and lack of visibility seemed incongruent to my state at the moment; alert, energized and sunny! What a contrast to some days over the last few months.
I knew after realizing how draining I was to myself that I needed to do something about that. I started to meditate and asked for guidance on how I can move forward and get back to my open heart. I have lived the last 7 months coming from a place of fear. Who am I kidding, it was over the summer that I was being triggered and began my decent into this much….again.
I have been woe is me. I am not judging that, that is what I needed, I lost my mommy, my identity as an HR professional, my independence to a degree, my self -worth had suffered. My love of me was now dislike of me. The work I had done on judgement and am still doing has helped but I also have been over triggered. I needed to get back to the Suzy I love.
This meant self-care. Back when I needed to really focus on my self-talk I had placed post it notes on my mirror in the bathroom. They were still there, and I thought that was special, until last week. Last week I realized they were stale and I had stopped reading them. Some couldn’t even be read, words worn off from water spraying on them, toothpaste and of course Windex! Unceremoniously, I ripped them down. My mind started to focus on what I needed today versus what I had on the mirror for the past few years. I wrote new affirmations and affixed them to the mirror, in a different spot. I have read them with gusto each morning.
That was my first step of self-care and focusing on getting back to me. I decided to add two more practices to my day to help in my healing. I have been writing in my journal each night focused on judgments; did I judge anyone and why, did I judge me and why. This practice has changed me and the way I think. I am so aware that judgements are becoming less and less me. I wanted to continue that part of the journal, and added two new features to my journaling. The first is around forgiveness. I speak about what I need to forgive myself for and also others. It is forcing me to really understand when I excuse versus forgive, another game changer for me! The last feature in my journaling that began this week was to ask “what did Suzy do today that I loved?” One night it was about the dinner I made for me and dad, which was out of love. Another night it was holding it together when I could have fallen apart. I see this practice as something that is helping me change those neuropathways in my brain back to positive! Again, some self-care.
After reading my blog last week, my cousin reached out to me and told me he wanted to be my sponge, that I would never drain him. He then offered an opportunity to check out a “salt cave” together, only 15 minutes from my home. Now, there are no caves where I live, so of course this is a manmade salt room, but as I read about it, the benefits of salt therapy and the thought of time alone to relax and rejuvenate, I jumped on the opportunity. We made a date for Friday.
We arrived within minutes of each other and embraced. I was so happy to be doing this with him and so grateful for the idea. We took off our shoes and walked into the salt-room in our socks. We were seated in zero gravity chairs with pillows under our legs and back and warm blankets over us. We chatted for a few moments and then both began to relax to the sound of the meditation music and salt coming into the room. The lights were in the colors of the rainbow, moving from red to orange, to yellow and so on. I felt my entire body begin to tingle from the top of my head to tips of toes. The tingling never did stop there was a lot of energy in the room. I relaxed fully but never fell to sleep. My cousin did.
When we left we both felt the same way, relaxed and energized! It was a wonderful feeling. They say that 45 minutes in a salt cave equals 3 to 5 days at a beach, in terms of the negative ions from the salt attaching to our positive ions and helping our breathing, skin, and mood. I, for one, know that I will do this again.
All of these steps of self-care are helping me get back to me. To the person who approaches life from an open heart, not a closed one or a broken one, but an open heart. Perhaps I am beginning to heal, perhaps not. I am beginning to awaken and live more consciously, and that is a great start.