I just penned a post for my creativity blog about exploring our nighttime dreams to inspire new projects---and to gain a deeper, richer understanding of ourselves. Because exploring our dreams uncovers our inner world. According to Susan M. Tiberghien in her book One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer’s Art and Craft, "C.G. Jung defines the dream as the little hidden door in the innermost recesses of the soul."
Our inner worlds are rich, vibrant, fertile. We sometimes forget this as we try to check off tasks, as we run around, as we focus on our full, busy lives. So it's understandable that we might not spend much time in self-reflection.
I recently read this great post by Lindsey Mead on her blog A Design So Vast. In it, she shares a list of things she loves. The small delicious details, such as the smell of laundry, Christmas carols, the words "luminous" and "ineffable" and the mail.
We fill ourselves with food. Food that we don't savor. Food that we barely even taste. We fill ourselves with alcohol. Too much alcohol. Parties. Endless gatherings and events. People who are critical, maybe even cruel. We fill ourselves with new clothes, new shoes, new trinkets, meaningless objects we don't need or even enjoy. And yet we still feel empty. Hollow. Depleted. Under-nourished. Maybe even starving or gasping for air.
You are fed up with bashing your body. With comparing it. With weighing it. With depriving it of food. With exercise that bores you or makes you feel like you did something wrong. Yes, the magazine recommended the workout. But wow it's really not your thing. You've decided to try a different approach: Tolerating your body. Maybe even liking it. Why not? you wonder. Hating it takes too much energy. Hating it takes too much time.
Working out has become synonymous with weight loss or maintenance. That is, we assume that people only work out --- that we should work out --- to lose weight or to maintain our weight. This is often why exercise is thought of as a chore. As a necessary evil. As a punishment for eating dessert or consuming too many carbs or fat grams. As a way to burn calories. And nothing else.
I just read this wonderful piece by fellow Psych Central blogger Elisha Goldstein. A wise older man told him: "You know, it's a funny thing about time, you never get it back once it passes."
I think our homes can be rich sources of self-care. Because we can create environments that nourish us. That make it easy to do the activities that feed our souls. Environments that are connected to our values. That are connected to how we want to feel. Calm. Energized. Inspired. Curious. Something else entirely.
Being a stay-at-home-mom is both rewarding and challenging. One of the challenges is that it's easy to lose yourself. It's easy to put yourself last. You have a laundry list of tasks. Dirty dishes. Dirty diapers. And your child needs you. All. The. Time.