A Time to Breathe – An Invitation

“To pause is to go on a pilgrimage into ourselves.
We discover something new every time.”

It’s never been easy being a woman. These days, it’s beyond challenging. Women have become caretakers on overdrive.

We’re negotiating profound changes and heightened emotions, along with the logistics of caring for the home, family, our professional lives, and our communities.

Our well-being and sanity are being undermined daily. Let’s face it, does self-care even make the list? Where do we start? When do we even get the time to breathe?

Yet, here’s another fact. In order to cross the gauntlet of our current reality and make it to the other side, we need to stay strong and healthy. We need to look beyond the obvious, keep our priorities straight, and turn self-care into daily practice.

We can’t possibly access our compassion, stay present with difficult emotions, and show up when we’re needed when we’re exhausted. It takes determination, faith in ourselves, and the willingness to renew our commitment to our well-being … every single day!

I’ve been through many ups and downs in my life. Some have been easier than others and what I’ve come to know about myself is this … It’s always the little things that make a difference.

Being in corporate taught me that the devil is in the details. Doing Seva (service) in the Ashram taught me that God too is in the details. Motherhood taught me to place others’ well-being before my own, and the experience gained through it all has taught me – among other things – that if I consistently choose to ignore my personal needs, there will be a price to pay.

It’s easy to look at the big picture and become overwhelmed. Breaking down that big picture into small, manageable, and meaningful actions can help us feel more effective and confident.

The world throws the book at us. It is up to us how to respond. We can choose to focus on darkness, stress, and hopelessness. There’s plenty of it going around these days. Or, we can choose to find the beauty and goodness that are also right there in front of us. I’m not advocating denial and apathy. I’m talking about balance, clarity, and mental health.

Focusing on the darkness will increase our anxiety, fear, and stress. It will render us helpless. Making the conscious choice to find the beauty in the little things, and create moments of peace in the course of a day, can help us manage our stress and anxiety and become grounded in our truth.

Just because the world is going crazy, it doesn’t mean we stop being kind and compassionate towards ourselves.

Self-care doesn’t need to be a big-time investment, but it does need our commitment. We need to be proactive and creative. Even a 10-15 minute break in the middle of a stressful day can make a difference.

How are you taking care of yourself these days?
What routines or rituals are you incorporating?

As always, I am looking forward to your comments.

In closing, I would like to extend an invitation to a virtual retreat that I’m offering as a respite for women who need a break from all the craziness that has landed on them.

October 19th and 26th at 7 PM EST via Zoom

I’m envisioning a small group of women getting together for approximately an hour and a half, on two consecutive Monday evenings.

The goal is to get together and reflect, breathe, and engage our creativity to reconnect with ourselves and regain a sense of balance and peace.

The retreat is divided into two segments. During the week in between sessions, we’ll get the chance to practice and come together via an online forum to share our experience, post questions, and support one another as we slowly reclaim ourselves.

For further details, please visit the event’s page and if you know of anyone who may find this retreat beneficial, you are welcome to share this post with them.

As a life coach and retreat leader, Yota works with women seeking clarity, inspiration, and purpose in the midst of life changes. Her approach is intuitive and deeply influenced by her cultural roots, work and life experience, and her long-term practice of mindfulness meditation.

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