"Honor" is a word that carries a lot of weight in our culture, particularly with our military families. How we honor each other, our families... it matters. In the midst of all this honoring, all too often we overlook ourselves in the equation. Let's talk about this.
verb - 1. "Regard with Great Respect"
We are able to function in the world to the extent we are able to care for ourselves. Like the oxygen masks on an airplane, you can't help your neighbor if you can't breathe either. When we strive for greatness by pushing our limits physically and emotionally, without respect for rest we are not honoring ourselves or those who rely on us.
The physical body is a gift to be honored...regarded with great respect. Yoga has so many restoring and healing properties for both the body and mind- it is one of many ways to honor yourself; but, it has to be done. Talking about yoga, looking at pictures of yoga, watching yoga - cool. But, you have to show up and do the yoga to receive its gifts.
PRO-TIP: Roll out a yoga mat next to your bed. When you get up in the morning, let the feel of the mat beneath your feet be a reminder to show up, THEN - actually do it....SHOW UP. Immediately do 2-3 minutes of simple yoga movement...Our favorite morning yoga, particularly for back pain? Cat/Cow (Click for a quick video tutorial if you need some guidance.
verb - 2. "fulfill (an obligation) or keep (an agreement)"
Every day when I wake up, my body, mind and spirit make a silent agreement with me. They take me through the day's tasks, carry me through whatever I am doing. In return, it is my obligation to take care of my body and mind. The food I eat, the tasks I undertake - all of them either give or take away from my whole self.
If you're like me, I feel so much better on days when I am active and get to exercise. My energy and focus are through the roof and my physical body is happy. My personal struggle is with sleep. I'm terrible at it- I absolutely deplore going to bed each night. But guess what happens when I get a solid 6 hours of sleep instead of 4? This isn't rocket science (actually, it's biochemistry)- I feel better and perform better on all fronts. When I agree to take care of myself - I am rewarded.
Are you upholding your end of the bargain with yourself?
What agreements can you make with yourself to improve your performance?
Flipping The Script
It's easy to give caring suggestions/advice to those around us. It's easy to encourage someone to rest when they've overdone it. It's honorable to care for your community. These things are the "easy ones" because it means someone else has to take the action. If you were giving advice to you right now, what would you recommend? Are you feeling emotionally drained or fulfilled? Is your physical body begging to be invigorated or needing rest?
Namaste is a term of deep honor used in the yoga community. It literally means "I bow to you." Some practitioners (ok - me) say it in a little more woo-woo way. For example: "The light and love in me, honors the light and love in you."
Until next time...My wish is that "the light and love in YOU, would also honor the light and love in YOU."