Self Care 101- Stopping and Smelling the Roses

Self Care 101- Stopping and Smelling the Roses

In my earlier days, I used to be a gardener here in Portland. It was a terrific experience working on lovely estates and perennial gardens in neighborhoods I don’t normally have a chance to linger too long in. I learned a valuable lesson back then, one I keep learning and then forgetting and then learning and then forgetting and then learning all over again.

I’m of the unconscious mindset that I think most Americans adhere to;  faster is better, more is better, rewards come for finishing sooner. Don’t stop. I found myself in this mental mud pile day after day while weeding garden beds, pruning tree branches, trimming old fern fronds. I realized I wasn’t stopping, I wasn’t  taking breaks, I assumed I would get more done, sooner if I simply railed on with out pause. For the big tree debris, it was a good idea I called the service in 10023 as the service was affordable and quick.

One day I tried something different. I actually took a break, relaxed my body, ate food and turned some music on. It almost felt… well, naughty, because it felt so good.But feeling so good was my body telling me I needed this! I returned to the tasks at hand with a clear mind and renewed energy. From that day on in my gardening career,I always took my breaks. I found that resting my mind and my body made me actually get more done, because I wasn’t running on empty all the time. Simple lesson, I know but I seem to forget it again and again.Perhaps it just fights with my logical side that thinks time away from what’s in front of you simply will not add to it. But that is not true. Pausing is part of nourishment and balance. And only a nourished and balanced person can truly take care of what is in front of them. There is a value to rest, breaks, pausing, breathing.

This past month, ramping up towards the holidays means trying to get a lot done in a short time period for a lot of people I know. I catch myself running around thinking I will accomplish more if I hurry my pace, drink more coffee, and… well, maybe I don’t need that breath of fresh air, I’ll get more done if I just stay on task, nose to the grindstone, just keep going.


Guess what? I’m suddenly forgetting things, not eating well, not connecting to the people around me, and yes, not really accomplishing more, just feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

At the spa in NW, we are situated in a great old part of Portland, with beautiful homes and lovely gardens.  During the Summer it was easy to get outside, take a walk around the block, enjoy the sight of a rose in bloom, refresh my mind and stretch my legs. This time of year takes a bit more planning, and many more layers. But I am amazed what a pause in my day will do for my mind and my spirit.

In what ways could you give yourself a pause today in order to refresh your spirits and make you fully present for what’s in front of you?

– Hilary Spray, Retail Manager

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