“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
― Walt Whitman
As I prepare to lead another group of awesome yogis into the jungle for a week of adventure, connection, self-care, and sustainability education, my thoughts turn toward my own self-care. We flew into Liberia on Monday night after many layovers and delays, to the heat and heady herbal scent that is Costa Rica in general, but this time, with the salty flavors of the Pacific Ocean. This time I was headed to the beach for five days of much needed R&R after finals and before the flurry of activity that goes with the administration of a yoga eco-retreat. As a full-time college student and yoga teacher (and anyone who tells you THAT isn't a full time job is selling something), I am constantly making to-do lists to help manage my time, schedule, and anxiety levels when faced with the crushing reality that there never seem to be enough hours in a day. It's a part of my brain's natural functioning; only during meditation does it really subside, or rather, reduce itself to a dull roar. This morning I noticed a significant agenda shift.
Go to the beach
Read a book
What do your own lists ask of you? How much time do you make in your schedule for self care?
Let's review: happiness is not so complicated a recipe. Take a moment today to make a list of what you "must" do, and a list of what you really want to do. Reduce the "must" list by half, add more "want to's" and then repeat until you have only one list.