I’ve come to learn that one of the greatest gifts we can receive during our time on this earth, is the gift to be of service to others. I say this in the sense of being able to give back in some way. It may be a wise word you share, a monetary blessing you provide, or even an ear when they need someone to talk to. We’re blessed often with the chance to be of service; however, it’s also important for us to be a blessing to ourselves. Sometimes you have to take time out to be of service to yourself. I call this Healthy Selfishness. I have to stress what I mean when I say healthy. There’s nothing disrespectful about this form of selfishness. There’s no anger nor malice attached to this. Creating space for your Healthy Selfishness is as simple as making people aware that you’re taking some time for you…and doing just that. Taking a weekend away from the world in the mountains, traveling to Miami to eXperience South Beach alone, going out to dinner by yourself to your favorite restaurant around the corner from your home, or even going in your bedroom and enjoying silence for 30 minutes. Even if you’re married with kids, Healthy Selfishness is still possible. I know several married couples who not only find time to be alone while their spouse watches the kids, or maybe they’re out with friends; they also make time to leave the kids with family/friends, and enjoy one another….again, Healthy Selfishness. It’s impossible for us to show up as our best selves in life, if we’re never making time for ourselves. Constantly running, always focusing on others, refusing to be still….these are things that lead to anger, resentment and bitterness. When we take the time to love up on ourselves it makes the world look different. When we learn to show up for ourselves in a way that’s beneficial for us, but not hurtful to others, it creates an eXhale that can be felt far beyond us.
Start slow. If you’re unable to take days away, or unable to travel beyond your city, heck…maybe even your block, you can still practice Healthy Selfishness. If you’re at work; go to the bathroom and sit/stand in a stall and take 3 to 5 deep inhales and eXhales, then continue on with your day. If you’re a stay at home parent and it’s hard to get away from the kids, do the same thing. Maybe even wait until they’re napping and do this. Turn on some peaceful music and put your phone on DND. DND is a blessing when practicing Healthy Selfishness. I can’t stress enough that practicing this isn’t an opportunity to be malicious or nasty toward others. You taking time out for you should bring everyone peace. YOU in the moment, and others once you return. When we make space for ourselves, it then creates a healing space for others around us. How we show up for ourselves will dictate how we show up for those we interact with. So, take a moment to be selfish, in the healthiest way possible.
Sensei Raven Ekundayo