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Self-Care is not Selfish

by Liz Garlieb

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Stress effects our physical, mental and emotional health. Stress can damage relationships and kill creativity. How can you be there for others when you are stressed out and not there for yourself?

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There are many simple, easy, effective tools in the self care tool box and meditation is one. Meditation is a simple mindfulness practice that doesn’t require a lot of time, special clothing or postures. It simply requires your willingness, your attention and adding a focus for your attention.

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Studies show that meditating for even 5 minutes a day, over time, creates dramatic changes in the mind and body, improving health and well being. Meditation is a daily practice; think of it as a vitamin rather than an aspirin.

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Sit quietly. Introduce a focus for your attention. A focus can be a sound, a movement, a sensation your breath. Set a gentle sounding timer. Close your eyes, if possible. Bring your awareness to your breath. Thoughts, noises, distractions are all welcome; just notice and come back to your focus, your natural breath. Remember:
rn1) It is okay to have thoughts (we are human);
rn2) Don’t try too hard;
rn3) Let go of expectations;
rn4) Be kind to yourself;
rn5) Stick with it.

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If there is to be peace in the world,

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there must be peace in the nations.

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If there is to be peace in the nations,

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there must be peace in the cities.

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If there is to be peace in the cities,

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there must be peace between neighbors.

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there must be peace in the home.

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If there is to be peace in the home,

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There must be peace in the heart.

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-Lao Tzu, 6th Century BCE