How to Begin to Care for Yourself


The following expressions about the human body, about the mind, about the energetic impulse of evolution, are not meant to be taken in as information.  We don’t need to think about them as if we were in an ordinary classroom.  We take our time.  We sit with them.  We allow.  We move.  We stay easy and we don’t push to get anything or to understand in a literal way.This work can only be effective to the degree that we are willing to absorb the understandings given in openness and that we recognize it to be an appreciation of the human event and not a criticism.

This life is, on one level, very simple.  It is also exquisitely complex.  There is nothing contradictory in this because our consciousness, our awareness, is great enough to embrace both the complexity and the simplicity as one.  And in order to understand how to do this for others, for everything, we must first understand how to do this for ourselves.

The commitment to self-care is the commitment to non-violence, non-intervention, complete acceptance.  The commitment to self-care is the commitment to ecological interdependence as a way of life.  It is a commitment to the understanding that nothing is unrelated to anything else.  Everything is embracing.

Self-care is the commitment to compassion and the recognition that compassion for others can not come from coercion of ourselves.  It must come from compassion to ourselves.  It must come from a genuine support for life and not a hatred for it.  And, yet, if there is a hatred, we wait.  We ground it by bringing it to the body, we allow it and we breathe — only to discover that even in what we had previously called hate, there is warmth, there is grace, there is easiness.

To bring ourselves into a life that is harmonious, enriched and creative, it is necessary that we learn to beat the sword into plowshares, to end the violent interference with the beautiful purpose of the body.  We learn how to live in this complexity with our simple breathing, our simple feelings, our simple attention, and how to share with others the care that we bring to ourselves.

Copyright 1993 Estate of Stephen Robbins Schwartz


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