love languages. motherhood. Self-care.
Physical touch is decidedly near the top of my "Love Language" list.
My daughter, on the other hand...not as much. Especially now that she has reached the ripe old age of 8.
She's been places. She knows things. She is definitely not a baby anymore. And she likes to remind me that she is the "boss of her body" –something that we taught her as a mantra of Self-care and empowerment. I did not anticipate that it would also come to mean:
"You have to ask first, when you want to hug me, Mom."
This rule goes completely against my "you were once actually INSIDE my belly" impulse to envelope her little body in a lioness embrace, triggered by her countless acts of cuteness. 😩
So when she came home from school, yesterday, and immediately buried her wet face into the belly of my shirt, my heart changed quickly from elation into empathy.
"Mama," she sniffled and croaked: "I don't feel so good."
Her nose is red, her eyes swollen. Clear liquid oozes from her face in a mess of mucus and tears. Her voice is hoarse and her skin clammy. All the signs and symptoms: my little girl is sick. Cue the mom-servant instinct: How can I best love you?
medicine soup ✓
essential oils ✓
a warm "blankie" ✓
box of tissues ✓
Harry Potter ✓
and a ridiculously large pile of stuffed animals ✓
But what she really REALLY wants is to snuggle–face to face–nuzzle & hug her mommy.
That's me!! OH JOY! This is my big moment. 🎉 💗 🧸
Except...now, we're both sick.
That's how it is.
My heart longs to give...to support...to SERVE. In fact, "Acts of Service" is probably my Love Language #1. And if you are into that sort of thing (Love Languages, I mean) you probably know that what you provide for another person is often what you crave most for yourself.
So this has become my mission: SUSTAINABLE SERVICE.
How can I best love myself, so that I can best love you?
Let's do it together. Let's care for our sweet souls, so that we can be of real service to the world–with all of our creative genius and courageous hearts.
As I curl up with my little lion cub, atop this mound of stuffed animals, holding our cups of medicine soup; I'd love to hear from you...
Soul Artists: What is your one, most favorite, Self-care secret for creative sustainability?
About The Author
R.R. Shakti, PhD
Founding teacher of Inner Power Yoga®, Shakti is a Contemplative Mythologist, ritual facilitator, and writer who presents a Tantrik approach to personal empowerment and social action. Through contemplative story-telling and mind/body practices, she offers a vision of deep peace and radical freedom.
PSYCHE + SOUL