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Archive for September, 2011

Many of us, women especially, do not shine at self care.  We are programmed for care-taking.  Nurturing others is our identity.

We scramble to fulfill the expectations we place on ourselves–ours, and those of others–while taking care of ourselves last.  Or not at all.

Until we become burned out and exhausted.

I am working on improving my self care, one habit at a time.

Recently, I spent an afternoon on self care….

Walking through town, enjoying a brisk Fall day, I discovered a flower shop, bright colors spilling over onto the sidewalk, reminiscent of the flower stalls of Paris.

I entered a quiet bistro, where I knew I would find savory-sweet heirloom tomatoes, served with ricotta and basil, savory balsamic vinegar, my Autumn obsession.

And a fresh-baked peach, lush, fragrant, still warm, floating on vanilla rice pudding.

Pure, organic produce, locally produced, beautifully prepared, and utterly delicious.

When I was young, I would never have taken myself out to eat alone.  Maybe for a snack, but not something special.

Now that I am older, I’ve discovered I love dining out by myself.

For an hour, I set my distractions aside, and lose myself in pure enjoyment.

I eat quietly and slowly, savoring each morsel.

I am learning to savor good food again, as part of my ritual of self care.

I have discovered that savoring a good meal is practicing Mindfulness.

And practicing Mindfulness is woven into self care.

We are no good to anyone else, unless we take good care of ourselves.

Without solid habits and rituals of self care, our attempts to help others eventually lead us to burn-out and resentment.

When we don’t take good care of ourselves, we approach taking care of others from ego, rather than from an open, compassionate heart.

When our self care is poor, we stop listening.  We fall into going one-up and giving others unwanted advice–to make ourselves more comfortable.  We become judgmental and critical.  We forget that true compassion doesn’t keep score.

When we practice self care, we find compassion is limitless.  We begin with compassion for ourselves.  We discover room in our hearts for everyone.  We serve from love, rather than “should”.

I believe self compassion, self care, and mindfulness are interwoven, and are essential to genuinely serving others.

What are your rituals of self care?

Where do you fall down, and where do you shine?

Comment Zen:  I would love to hear how you take care of yourself.

XOXO,

Mara Rose

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The languorous warmth of Indian Summer.

Autumn crisp evening air, seductive with possibility.

Fields of sunflowers.

Rows of freshly mown hay, curing in the sun.

Lush, almost-purple heirloom tomatoes, layered into ricotta and leaves of fragrant basil, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.

Corn on the cob and fresh-caught salmon, grilled to perfection.

The Light, glowing soft and hazy.  Luminous.

The preciousness of warm, sun-lit days.  Reveling in each moment, as Summer bids farewell.

The excitement of those who are returning to school.

Making changes, moving on.  Difficult decisions to finalize before the rain sets in.

The ebb and flow of Life, framed naturally by the Seasons.

Clarity.  Energy.  Movement.

A time for new projects and refreshed motivation.

For you who are curious about meditation, or would appreciate support as you start your own meditation practice, I am planning a series of posts about how to begin meditation….

How you can ease into meditation, making meditation a beloved habit, a  ritual, an essential part of your daily routine.

We’ll also explore the many benefits of regular meditation practice–for your physical and mental well-being.

Many great tips and resources, coming soon!

I hope you’ll join me.

This blog will soon migrate to a new platform.  There is nothing you need to do–you will be automatically be redirected to the new site, MaraRose.com, when it is complete.

Stay tuned!

And, thank you so much, every one of you, for your kind support and warm encouragement.

Much Love,

Mara Rose

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Ask, and You Shall Receive

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*Photo of fresh garden produce, courtesy of  M., the best farrier ever.

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