As a little girl, I knew there was a rhythm to life. This rhythm was created by women, specifically my grandmother and mother. There was a flow to each day that was not forced. They woke up and went to bed at the same time every day. After a shower each morning, dressing was deliberate. Clothes were to adorn you not just to be thrown on. They hand-made most of their clothes and mine.
There was no overworking or a sense of pushing the body to its limits. They would stop to rest when they did too much cooking or cleaning. They drank water, hot or cold tea, and homemade juice to stay “refreshed”. Preparation of food was slow and on purpose. Meals were at the same time every day, eaten slowly and with enjoyment. No digestive issues. There was simply a listening ear as their divine body whispered to them.
The physical, emotional, and spiritual needs were met in real-time. They walked everywhere. Walked to work, walked to go shopping as they carried their own groceries, and walked me to school and to church. Prayer was part of the morning, midday and prior to sleep for my grandmother. She was connected to a higher being, God. My grandmother and mother both felt their emotions of pain and suffering and cried if not in front of me, then as I would come upon them in the kitchen as they cooked and turned their faces. They smiled and laughed out loud when there was a good joke from a friend, or a sly remark that would make their faces red before they would burst into laughter or the Carol Burnett show on TV.
This was how they were able to hear the whispers of their own divine bodies that guided them each day of their lives.
I watched and learned as these divine women cared for and loved themselves.
I came to realize all of this when I was raising my three children. What did I realize? That I was NOT creating that rhythm for my family. If I cleaned it was until I was exhausted. The shopping was done without any idea of what meals I would be preparing each day. I cooked without having all the ingredients.
My brain was scattered. I stayed up late watching TV rocking a child in my arms that would not sleep. Woke up late and rushed to get everyone out the door to school. I was disconnected from the care and love that my divine body needed. My focus was on my children and my husband, not on myself.
Then one day, I put my sneakers on and yelled out to my husband and 3 kids, “I’m going to do some Active Self Time (AST), see you in a little bit!” and walked out the door. When I came back I felt different, happy. My family didn’t even miss me! AST was something I needed to create at that moment so that I could affirm the importance of what I was doing. It was not exercising or a walk. It was me…alone…with mySELF…moving my divine body outdoors. Feeling my heart beating, the warmth of the sun, taking deep breaths in the fresh air, seeing trees and my feet sending strength up into my whole body. It was glorious.
I didn’t know it then, but I was changing my body's biochemistry. My stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline that were stuck in my gut were decreasing. At the same time, my feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine were increasing.
It was that simple.
I now had the listening ear as my body whispered to me these words, “Care for me, love me, you’re the only one I have beautiful divine woman. Welcome to your full potential.”