Photo Credit: Melissa Emmons
Last week we talked about hiding from other people or from the world in general. This week we are going to look at it from another angle. Today’s Wednesday Wisdom Seeds is about the Restorative Cave, the healthy need to retreat, and give ourselves permission to take a step back, or to take time out.
In our society there is a lot of focus on action, on achieving and on doing. Those qualities are great, but when we don’t balance them out with rest, with reflection on where we are going and why, or take time to touch base with how we’re feeling and whether or not we’re being true to ourselves, we end up feeling burned out, drained or heading toward a destination that we don’t actually like.
We are bombarded by stimulation all the time now, which has gone into crazy over-drive thanks to social media. We are getting constant messages that we should be doing more, making more, earning more, having more, giving more, posting more. These messages can make you feel that unless you are going at full speed all the time, and are constantly plugged in, and have every area of life perfectly sorted, then you are not doing enough and are somehow failing or missing out on something.
Saying no to other people, or to the world in general, can make you feel like you are letting others down, or losing an opportunity, but sometimes it is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself.
When you say no to something that feels too much right now, or something that just doesn’t feel right, you are actually saying YES to yourself.
Cave time means different things to different people. It could be a daily habit of 10 minutes meditation, or switching off your phone and computer by 9.30 at night and reading a book before bed or taking some time to journal. Sometimes you can be in the cave for months during major life changes where you have just ended a relationship, or are changing careers or are needing to attend to a health situation. These sorts of life events can trigger major identity transformations, and cave time is needed to process whatever has ended, and provide a safe space to basically be in retreat until you are ready for the new, or even as you slowly build the new.
Over the last year I’ve had a lot of cave time as I shifted gears in lots of ways. I let go of my one on one sessions as my whole body told me it was time. I’ve been very focused on what feels the most nourishing to me be it wholefoods, earlier bed times, or switching off from social media for days at a time. My health and our journey of trying to conceive our second baby has been a greater priority than making sure I did 3.8 posts a day.
Pockets of daily cave time and extended periods of ‘going slower than usual’ or ‘doing less than usual’ time mean you need to be okay with giving yourself that time, without feeling bad or guilty.
Cave time nourishes you, it refuels you, it helps you re-balance, find peace and recover your energy. This is especially true for those of you who are sensitive to external energies, and find yourself picking up stuff from other people.
So I want to hear from you:
What are some of the healthy things you do to retreat, take time out and say no to the world while you say yes to yourself?
Are you craving some cave time?
Do any of you find it hard to switch off and allow cave time?
** This is Wednesday's Wisdom Seeds topic, where we'll chat about something thought-provoking each week. Please subscribe to the newsletter to get notice of next one. **
(c) Dana Mrkich 2016
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