Monday, November 16, 2015

Self-Care - Personal Retreat Time

Hello friends... 'Self-Care' has been much talked about lately. If I may get on my soapbox for a moment... how many of us take Self Care seriously? There is so much burn out, especially for those in helping professions, or those of us who multitask, or some of us who just have so much on our plates at any given time.  I used to think that self-care was selfish...putting myself before caring for others? nope.

If I may, please consider Self-Care as a high form of prayer, prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving. For me, Self-Care is how I honor all that the Creator has given me, starting with my health. For me, Self-Care means daily morning and night journaling; it means taking time each day to meditate; it means keeping up with a regular exercise routine, in my case, aqua aerobics three times a week; it means following the hour in the pool with an hour meditating at the beach, feeling so fortunate to live so close to the Pacific Ocean. Self-Care also means taking time each week for creating art. Art dates, says Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist's Way, are vital to creating. So, I picked up a sweet cruiser bicycle, put together a tidy mobil watercolor field box, and bike myself to some pretty awesome spots to sketch or paint.

Somehow, it all fits in to a very busy, active, and responsibility-laden life. If I were to not keep up with one of these things, well, it would start with rising blood pressure, not to mention bouts of depression. My version of Self-Care has been working for me, I'm not going to challenge nor question it!

Reading is another one of the activities I include in Self-Care. Currently I'm reading Mathew Fox's 'Illuminations' and 'Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint for our Times. So, here, I'll introduce you to Hildegard of Bingen.

Hildegard of Bingen has been called by her admirers one of the most important figures in the history of the Middle Ages, and "the greatest woman of her time." Her time was the 1100's (she was born in 1098). She was was a remarkable woman, a "first" in many fields. At a time when few women wrote, Hildegard, known as "Sybil of the Rhine", produced major works of theology and visionary writings. When few women were accorded respect, she was consulted by and advised bishops, popes, and kings. She used the curative powers of natural objects for healing, and wrote treatises about natural history and medicinal uses of plants, animals, trees and stones. She is the first composer whose biography is known. She founded a vibrant convent, where her musical plays were performed. She was also an artist, inspired by the Divine.

I am in awe of her and her work. It is my intention to develop several pieces of art, perhaps a series, inspired by Hildegard. Here are just three of her mandalas.

It's my intention to post here more often.

Sweet Blessings dear friends.

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