Photo of Anne Malatt by Alan Johnston for Self-care moments

Self-care Moments: A moment to stop

- Photography by Alan Johnston
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We tend to think of self-care as something we need to ‘do’ and we are already doing so much that we think we cannot do another thing and thinking about ‘doing’ self-care just makes us feel even more exhausted … but what if self-care is not just about ‘doing’ things and more about the way we do them, the quality of our being? And what if connecting with that quality of being starts with a stop?

If we were to stop, what would we do? How about we just take a moment to sit down and close our eyes … not for long, just for a moment. Gently sit down and close your eyes, not to withdraw or to shut out the world, but to come home, to just being you.

When we close our eyes we tend to quickly slam them shut, but our eyelids are not doors, for our eyes are round. So what if we were to close our eyelids slowly and gently, feeling the fact that our eyes are round. We may not feel this straight away, so just keep practising, opening and closing your eyes over and over again, slowing down the movement until you can feel the fact that your eyelids are closing around your round eyeballs … and as you slow it down, you may start to feel the warmth of your eyes as your lids close over them … slowly and gently closing your lids around your warm, round eyes …

This practice brings your mind into line with what your body is doing, giving your mind something to focus on other than your thoughts and deepening your awareness of you in your body and opening up space for you to rest in.

Keep your eyes closed for a moment and bring your focus to your breath. We tend to breathe without being aware of our breath and bringing our awareness to the breath can help to settle us in our bodies. So with your eyes closed, just breathe gently through your nose, allowing your breath to flow in and out, refreshing you, restoring you, revitalising you … making a space for you to rest in, just taking a moment to feel yourself in space, no matter what is going on around you …

And when you are ready, gently open your eyes, and move into the day with this sense of space and a deeper awareness of the quality of you, just being in your body …

4 COMMENTS

  1. Oh, I so love this precious stop moment you have offered us. As soon as you started to speak I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I obviously needed to stop!

  2. Such a simple procedure, but absolutely amazing how changed one feels after just giving ourself such a short stop break in our busyness.

  3. Precious moments and a gift to have your gentle voice encouraging that kindness to stop and drop into breath even though meditation is part of my everyday. Thank you 🙏🏻

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