We’re a solid week into 2022– how’s it going for you so far? If you set a new moon or a new year intention for yourself last week, do you feel like you’re living into it? I’m not a numbers person (at all), but if I were to give a percentage of my joy factor in 2022 (one of my three intentions for the year), I’d say it’s hovering around 83% (which, for the record, is about a 80% increase over this time last year). I’ve been focusing on staying present in the now as much as possible and seeking out little joys such as yoga, skiing, or walks with Jasper. But sometimes I slip into old habits of comparison, or focusing on lack or negative self talk or living out painful memories of the past. And that’s what makes me human. And it’s when I catch myself in those moments that I get another opportunity to courageously learn and grow.
For example, just this morning as I was getting ready to take Jasper to the dog park, I put on a pair of leggings with a sweatshirt that didn’t cover my thighs. I took one look in the mirror, said some internally unkind words to myself and changed my sweatshirt into a longer tunic that covered my thighs. And I felt my energetic level drop. Then I got a text from my youngest who told me he was going skiing today with his dad and sister (yay!) and his dad’s girlfriend (ouch). You mean, my two kids are taking in a bluebird day on the mountain with my ex and his girlfriend while I’m at home judging the size of my thighs? Ugh, another energetic drop. Fast forward to the dog park and I’m the only one there with a tiny pup; the rest of the canine gang are large breeds and I’m reminded of Crosby and I miss his gentle spirit (although I must give Jasper points for being intrepid among the big dogs; maybe he channeled some inner-Crosby). I miss him, then I miss my oldest son, then I miss everything that I lost in 2021 and then I think again about my ex and his girlfriend on the slopes with my kids and I’m in a pretty good Sunday funk and it isn’t even noon.
As I was driving home from the dog park, I caught I glimpse of myself from the inside and realized that I was resisting being sad. It was tough news to find out that my ex is looking to move in with his girlfriend and tougher to swallow the fact that she will be doing family activities with my kids that I won’t be a part of. It’s also tough to miss people and pets who are gone from your life, that you will never see again in this earthly existence. And the negative self talk about my body? It’s a constant struggle and a real part of aging. Who says a woman’s thighs can’t touch? There’s only a very small percentage of women walking this earth that don’t have this struggle, so why do I judge myself so harshly? Jasper could care less if my thighs touched. These legs have carried me though so much, and I want to look at them with the honor that they’re due. So right then and there on Americana Blvd, I decided to declare all Sundays of 2022 as Soul Care Sundays.
Soul Care Sundays aren’t quite the same as a Sabbath, although they’re rooted in the same recognition of the need to rest a weary soul. The concept is really to continually ask of yourself “what does my soul need right now?” For everyone the answer will be different. For a friend of mine it called for a tech-free Sunday with her family. For another, it was a walk under the clear blue skies followed by a breakfast with bacon and then a little retail therapy. For my mom it was a long overdue soak in an epson salt bath followed by a glass of her favorite (and long-time haven’t had) Pimm’s liqueur with wassail ail punch. For me, my soul has called for a return to the yoga mat surrounded by my healing stones, and a good cry. I am someone who needs to sit with the sadness and allow it to flow through and out of me. I finished up my yoga session with a card reading and some journal writing and all of that was followed by a little Ted Lasso and a cup of tea. And now I’m here, sitting in my front room feeling the sun’s rays shine down upon me and it is well with my soul.
So how about you?
What does soul care look like for you? Do you make it an intentional part of your week to carve out time to care for yourself? If not, would you like to? I invite you to join me on a weekly Soul Care Sunday journey this year on Let Love Rise. It won’t be perfect; there will be moments that arise that prevent us from having a true day devoted to our soul’s care. But it’s important to start somewhere and I choose today. So again, I ask you, how’s your 2022 going so far? What have you done for yourself today to care for your soul? If no answer pops immediately to mind, take a moment to think about things that bring you joy: maybe it’s pulling out your paint brushes that you haven’t used in a while to create something of beauty. Perhaps it’s buying yourself a lovely bouquet of your favorite flowers and placing them where you can admire them. Perhaps it’s being still with a cup of something you love and savoring this moment of life. Perhaps it’s cuddling with your cat or dog or child or sweetheart or favorite book. Perhaps it’s blowing bubbles in the front yard or watching your children play. Joy is all around us. We’re just usually too preoccupied with the thoughts in our mind to soak it in. But not today, not on Soul Care Sunday. Today, and every Sunday this year, we’re going to seek out what our soul needs. And we’re going to find the time to savor whatever that is. And we’re going to do so unapologetically. Because we deserve it and we (and everyone around us) will be better off for it. Namaste