Updated: Jul 12, 2022
Hello WEW members, I want to thank you for understanding while I continue caring for myself and recovering. I have missed the weekly meetings and look forward to returning to the weekly format soon.
I have been forced to self-care in the most extreme ways, and anyone who knows me understands how difficult it has been for me to take things off my plate. I have contended with my inner critic as it consistently tried to shame me for resting. I held my boundary and practiced speaking to myself as I would to anyone I care for, "It is okay to rest; you are recovering. Your health must come first, and everything else will be fine." After weeks of reframing my thoughts, I finally let go and accepted this way of thinking as my new normal.
It is okay to rest; you are recovering. Your health must come first, and everything else will be fine.
Although I am a leader of the support groups under the umbrella of Women Empowering Women, I am human and have issues to overcome, just like everyone else. I struggled with depression and anxiety for the last three months when my diagnosis triggered old trauma wounds. I sought help from my trauma therapist to get me through the rough spot in my journey (using the tools and asking for help). There was a time approximately nine years ago when the thought of asking for help was foreign to me. I can happily say that accepting and seeking help has become a self-care essential in my coping skills toolbox.
Using my tools and asking for help.
I realized I had excessive stress last month, and the usual methods I have successfully utilized in the past were no longer working. I immediately began scouring the internet for stress relief methods. I stumbled onto a beautiful gift from my higher power, the Siddhayatan Spiritual Retreat (non-profit) outside of Dallas, TX. I found this fantastic place to rest my soul and shared it with my husband, who also had a fair share of stress. Taking care of me and working is a lot for anyone. At the retreat, I found peace in its simplicity, silence, and nature. The retreat is not fancy; it is a simple Ashram with twin beds and shared facilities. We woke daily to meditate, nourish, learn, enjoy quiet reflection, stroll on the 300 acres and have fellowship with others who value self-care.
I found peace in its simplicity, silence, and nature.
I took from the weekend many pages of journaling, notes on breathing techniques that work for me, memories made with my husband, and new connections, including the Janian Spiritual Director, Sadhvi Siddhali Sheree. I was so happy to learn that Siddhali is an activist dedicated to ending sex trafficking and is also the first female Janian Monk in the United States. She is down-to-earth, caring, and shares her story (we can appreciate that, right?), shares her wisdom, and embraces those in attendance while respecting the boundaries of others. I left with greater self-awareness and enhanced my ability to stay present in the moment and tend to my body's needs when it gives me the signals to self-care.
When you do what is in your highest and best good, it is ALWAYS in everyone else's highest and best good too.
My sponsees will recall a phrase I use frequently; "When you do what is in your highest and best good, it is ALWAYS in everyone else's highest and best good." I witnessed this on so many levels while at the retreat, and simply paying for the services the staff so graciously provided, I was able to help the non-profit reach others who may be less fortunate and contribute to ending sex trafficking. I also saw how it affected my husband, who took away his gifts and skills that work for him and the rested smiles and connection we had being present together.This short weekend gave me the peace I needed to face my fear the next day when I would finally get the news that the treatment was a success and life could eventually resume to normal again.
I hope this post will remind you that self-care is IMPORTANT in our lives. Women give so much to the world; it is high time we start to give some back to ourselves.
Kimberly Sprintz, Founder & Director
Women Empowering Women Support Groups
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