Friday, April 8, 2011

What We Do for Others

(That is Marcy and our lovely, recent company Lisa, being mesmerized by the rocks on the still partially frozen lake's edge.)

Healers* are notorious, at least in my neck of the woods, for not taking care of themselves.

(In this category of healers, I include all energy workers, all teachers of movement modalities, anyone know...all of you!)

We love our work and we love our students/clients and we are a bit obsessed.  We want to make every class, workshop, or experience the best it can be.  We worry over the smallest details; we wake in the middle of the night full of ideas; we tweak and we tweak and we re-tweak.

In the meantime, again in my neck of the woods, we get exhausted, worn out, and overwhelmed.

It seems as if there is never any end to the work we are doing or the work we could be doing or the work we feel like we "should" be doing (very bad word there...really, "should" should be classified as an obscenity).

So I will ocassionally get so SQUISHED under the weight of my own expectations (because it's not anybody but our inner militants who have these expectations for us) that I will send out an emergency, urgent tweet or facebook status question:  How do you care for yourself? I will ask the interwebbies and the fairies who keep it all strung together.

Inevitably, I get answers back that are mostly akin to the "take a salt bath" variety.

As if.

I do that every night, for goodness sake.  It relaxes my muscles, but what of my SPIRIT?

How do I refill this well?

Next week, I will be spending two nights at the Chautauqua Institute all by my lonesome with no computer.  It is off season there so it will be gloriously vacant and quiet and still.

But even that is just a band aide for a chronic dis-ease.

And I think I am onto something when I say we have to start (and finish) by changing HOW we work -- not by taking ocassional breaks or going to spas, though all of that is nice.

We must change the day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute HOW of it all.

We create ritualilzed experiences and spaces for other people and it's time we do this for our own daily work times.

If you could ritualize every aspect of your work life, what would this look like to you?


Anonymous said...

I think this is really important Christine. It begs the question... how REALLY effective can you be if you are not focused on HEALING yourself? Or if you are burnt out? How much can you REALLY change someone else, when you can't even have peace of mind YOURSELF?
I think daily practices of simple sitting meditation witness stillness is honestly the most powerful and transformative exercise one can do. Without it, it is soo easy to get on that hamster wheel!! (atleast for me)

I wish you the best of love and silence.

Included, I linked Gangaji. She has such still peaceful energy. I think she embodies true effectiveness (to me).

kazari said...

My work is deep-dark-technical-creative.
(I think that statement probably only makes sense to geeks)
What it means is it sometimes takes blocks of concentration, sometimes a good listener to bounce ideas off, many hot drinks, and many walks outside. All within the confines of a really antiseptic office.
Ritual is my friend.
Whimsy is my muse.
I have pictures on my cubicle wall.
I make tea - as meditation.
I have a to-do picture, not a list.
I have many coloured pens.

But the best thing is making tea.