i am about to go on a women's seaweed and herbal retreat in the san juan islands off washington's coast. i will be camping, hiking, kayaking, gathering seaweed and wild edibles with a small group of women (more info here: http://moonwiseherbs.com/seaweed.htm). i wanted to share an excerpt from the required reading for this retreat. the book is called "Healing Wise" by Susun S. Weed. this blurb talks about the spiral of life in the Wise Woman tradition.
" When I hurt (when my heart hurts, when my head hurts, when my shoulders hurt) I nourish myself: i nourish my heart, my head, and my shoulders. I nourish myself and am strengthened, transformed and deepened ... I ask myself, "how can I make this problem my ally? What is the gift of health/wholeness/holiness here?" I gain energy with each sickness or problem. My range of resonance and my capacity to receive and to share increases every time i encounter pain and loss and make it my ally. i ally myself with all that i resist and thus become whole. Every time i nourish myself in pain, honor my distress, and love my uniqueness, my vibration is vitalized and the spiral gets bigger and more open, more forceful. "
these beautiful notions may be easier said than done, but the words she writes are a balm for my spirit. this evening i cancelled my yoga class, my one and only per week, due to feeling under the grey seattle weather. this week has been a flurry of chaos and vulnerability (exhausting work and hard, scary dental work) and i felt that i needed a night to nourish myself and feel better.
there is a line that is hard to draw between giving OF yourself and giving TO yourself. i am still trying to learn this line. practicing a bit of yoga for yourself is nourishing - is it also nourishing to teach and give of it? these teachings are meant to be shared and passed on for the benefit of all and so, i would have to say, yes, it is also nourishing to teach. in any case, today's lesson for me is to thank myself for taking a mary day, and to thank my students (and potential students) for understanding this need to rest and i suggest they give to themselves in other ways this evening (after they thank themselves for planning on showing up to my class, that is!).
Be well and much love!