Happy Holidays, Yogis! I hope this newsletter finds you happy and immersed in the warmth of the season.
For many of us, this time of year involves some ritual gift-buying for loved ones and associates (teachers and other individuals who contribute to the smooth operation of our daily lives). It means packaging in ribbons and bows expressions of gratitude for jobs well done and gestures of respect or affection. My wish for you, as 2014 draws to a close, is that you put yourself on your gift list. In fact, provide yourself with a permanent and pre-eminent place on your list of people to indulge with kindness.
I have heard so many of my students confess at one time or another that they occupy the lowest spot in their daily priorities. Sometimes, they reason, the children eclipse all other concerns, or business is tough and requires exhaustive effort. Sometimes it's because job-hunting, relationship woes, personal crises or even concerns about global conflicts seem so oppressive or overwhelming, they feel petty or self-indulgent when giving to themselves.
I'd like to take a moment to remind you: life is meant to be enjoyed, not merely endured. Furthermore, it's impossible to truly give to and receive from others if you're depleted, depressed or defeated. Saying "yes" to others while repeatedly saying "no" to yourself is hazardous to your health. In fact, if you saw your best friend exhibiting such behaviour, you'd treat them to tea or lunch and give them a good talking to.
Be your own best friend. Take some time to figure out what you'd most like and make room in your life to treat yourself. Perhaps you're aching for a massage or a getaway, or perhaps your present would take the form of a new journal, a class you've wanted to take or a bath before bed. Maybe it's simply the gift of time: establishing with your family or roommate that the 15 minutes you after you walk through the door at the end of your day are exclusively your own - for quiet and decompression, which must be ended with a hug from anyone present.
Love yourself. Indulge yourself. It's an amazing investment.