Yoga, qigong, tai chi, meditation, Ayurveda, Reiki—many of the self-care practices so popular today are thousands of years old. Although they pre-date widespread literacy, the printing press, and even (gasp!) You Tube, these disciplines have lasted for millennia because they have been passed from one person to another, just like that old shampoo commercial: “They’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on and so on and so on.”
If you practice any ancient self-care ritual, think of all the people who have talked to one another over the last two thousand years who are directly responsible for making your practice possible. It’s fairly mind-boggling to contemplate, no?
I bring all this up because I know that sometimes it feels like making it to a yoga class here and meditating for 10 minutes there all feels like it doesn’t amount to enough. And while there’s always room for us to take better and better care of ourselves, every time you talk about the ways you take care of yourself and let other people see you doing it, you’re helping to perpetuate some very important and ancient wisdom.
To that end, I wanted to list the people who have introduced me to the array of self-care strategies that are keeping me sane today, including:
• The semi-professional football player I once got trapped in an elevator with who told me how he decided to study acupuncture after it saved him from having surgery to fix a neck injury.
• The movie Midnight Express, which showed me my first glimpses of yoga.
• My friend who told me about her recent Reiki session where she felt she could communicate with her very DNA and left feeling “amazingly clear”. (I haven’t tried Reiki yet, but since this conversation—and with the name of her practitioner at my fingertips—it’s definitely on my list.)
• The co-worker who told me about the best qigong massage place in Chinatown, where you can get an hour massage for $45 (seriously upping my massage consumption).
• My Dad, who used to practice Transcendental Meditation in the car while waiting to pick me up from elementary school.
Who exposed you to a self-care practice that went on to become an important part of your
And how have you played a role in spreading the self-care love to others? I’d love to
hear your stories—please post a comment with your self-care shout-outs (self shout-outs
encouraged). If I publish your post in the next Vegimental, I’ll send you a goodie of your
choice from my grab bag of mind-body books and DVDs.
Congrats to Katie!
She left a comment with her weird way to meditate, and won a copy of
Beginner’s Guide to Buddhist Meditation by Rodmell Press. Here’s her comment:
“I find my mind drifting away when I am petting my cats. The combination of their purrs and the way their
fur feels in my hands is incredibly soothing – not to mention all the energy being exchanged from cat to
human and human to cat. Talk about good vibes!”
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Take care and keep breathing,