What does the term “self-care” bring to mind?
This was a recent Daily Musing* in the Hollow. The answers ranged from pampering, boundary setting, the desire to do more self-care, and healthy choices to music, play and spiritual pursuits. My own answer came as a meandering path through all the things that felt like opposites (rest/activity, vacation/focus, boundaries/social time) and I realized that for me, self-care is whatever will bring me back into balance.
The last few weeks re-balancing has looked like sleep, soup, kitty snuggles, reading, tv watching, nose-blowing, hot tub, sleep, repeat. As I come out of the haze and my energy picks up, I am realizing the huge contrast between summer self care and what self care looked like in the last few weeks. It’s the perfect example of my answer to the musing on self care—whatever brings me back into balance—and isn’t that what the equinox this week is inviting all of us to do? Let’s do whatever we need to come back into balance just as mother nature does!
Pictured: Willow, aka, Silly Puddy
Back in the summer, self-care looked like our road trip Oregon Coast vacation of beaches, new scenery, lots of time to stare out the window or read, and an amazing exploration of sea caves, including one full of hundreds of sea lions!!! We took an elevator down over 200 feet and were able to view the sea lions (and smell them! whoa!!) in their home. It was sort of the opposite of a zoo in that they were free to come and go, we humans were limited by bars in the walls. Remembering the sea lions reminds me now, as the seasons shift and I’m in a whole different cycle of living, to take great care of my sealskin, to re-calibrate and balance my internal and external worlds.
While hard to see, those little dots in the first couple of photos are hundreds of sea lions sunning themselves just outside their cave. Then, photos from inside the cave are taken much closer to the action! Click on any image in the gallery to enlarge it and arrow through the full gallery. The final photo is from this website to show some context.
You’ve probably heard of Selkie, a shapeshifting sealwoman. Did you know that in the Irish tradition, the Sea Singer is called Celtic Merrow or in Irish, Murúch. Just as the mythical Selkie comes ashore and is unable to return when her sealskin is taken, in the Irish folktale of the Sea Singer, it’s his or her magical cap that is taken and he or she needs it in order to travel between deep water and dry land.
A loss of an essential part of self can become a barrier to fully exploring every terrain at will. In life we willingly give over parts of ourselves for the sake of accomplishments, relationships, and missions that are bigger than ourselves. This is a beautiful aspect of being human.
At the same time, a deep attachment or identification with any aspect of self can also become a barrier. For example, when we don’t take breaks from our day-to-day routines and explore the edges of life, we lose touch with our sense of possibility. In my little family, we’re so very aware of this in our personalities, we absolutely must have periodic adventures throughout the year, even if they are just short day trips.https://moonfeatherhollow.com/seaside-with-the-sea-singers-a-lunasa-reflection/
The coming Autumnal Equinox is the perfect time to tune into the center of balance in our bodies, in our days, and in our relationships. I’m noticing the center of balance in my day to day living and identifying exactly where I feel in or out of equilibrium while viewing all levels of life. I invite you to do the same, take care of your selkie skin which allows you to travel between deep water and dry land…where would you like to bring more balance?
*In Moon Feather Hollow, each day we post a Musing in the Stone Circle. These 365 ✨Daily Musings are designed to take to your journal or craft table, to ponder in your imagination, or to comment on in community.