I was recently reminded about the importance of changing attitudes towards things, and not just behaviors. I have a new patient who is learning about working with herself. She comes from the corporate world and is easing into the holistic world. She was asking me what I thought she should do for her upcoming birthday, three weeks away. Typically her birthday is a blowout event that entails lots of social obligations, alcohol, and a very late night. This year she wanted break the cycle and not repeat the ritual. She decided to take time off and go through an intense cleanse and yoga retreat.
A detox and yoga retreat sounds lovely for some, but the thing is, she just didn't sound excited about it. It sounded more like a self-inflicted punishment than anything else. We talked a little more, and she admitted she really didn't want to go; she just didn't want the same old pattern to repeat, so she elected for the opposite.
I asked her to imagine going to a spa instead for a few days. That idea resonated much more with her.
I told her that juice cleanses and yoga retreats are wonderful, but compassion and self-love are crucial to development as a human being. If compassion for one’s self is not there, holistic living is not sustainable. Change is difficult. Change creates stress and strain. Trying to change too quickly may not be kind.
Holistic living is not about what you do or don't do, it's a type of living that is based on compassion. It is about being in harmony with one’s self and then, through that awareness, recognizing others. If it feels like a punishment, you're not doing it right. If you were to let go of to-do lists, and the drive to do and to have, and instead relax into kindness and tinker with appreciation for yourself, where would that take you? I think this year, maybe the spa. And next year...Who knows?