One of the things Frank talks about when it comes to the concept of time is that they experience it in a cyclical way rather than linearly. This is something that seems a bit foreign to us and may, on the surface, feel difficult to understand, but in reality, everything in the natural world is cyclical.
Simply look out your window for proof of this. At the moment, it’s spring here on the East Coast of the USA, so the new leaves on the trees are fresh and green, the blossoming trees are a riot of color and there are flowers everywhere. The birds begin their cacophony before the sun comes up and pretty soon we’ll hear bullfrogs on the lake. As spring ends in June, summer begins. The cycle is continuous, and the natural world flows with it without resistance. The trees shed their dead leaves to preserve their energy for the coming winter. Birds migrate, animals find refuge and growth becomes dormant. Each ending flows into a new beginning. Even in death, the decayed matter nourishes new life and the spirit begins a new expression of itself.
Energy flows in cycles, both within us and around us, and if we resist a cycle, we are thrown off our natural rhythm and can begin to feel an imbalance. When we desperately cling to the things that no longer serve us, we can find that our energy starts to feel stuck and we lose a sense of motivation and drive. If we resist change out of a fear of the unknown, we limit our opportunities for growth and expansion, and we may begin to feel resentful and drained.
One of the biggest imbalances we can experience is when we give more than we allow ourselves to receive. Once again, look to the natural world. The tree, which began as a small seed, draws nourishment from the soil, from the sunlight and from the air. It takes what it needs and then expands itself in a continual cycle of growth and release. If that nourishment is cut off, the growth of the tree will stop and it may die. So the tree is continually expanding the expression of itself which also expands its ability to receive the nourishment it needs.
How do you nourish yourself? Do you acknowledge your needs? Do you allow yourself to receive? Or do you think it is selfish to want or need things? Do you diminish the importance of your needs by making everyone else’s needs more important? Have you distracted yourself from your inner needs so much that you don’t even know what they are anymore?
Of course, we all know that we need air to breathe and the physical nourishment of food and water, but what about your emotional needs? What about your needs for compassionate caring, acknowledgement, affection, kindness and physical touch? And do you honor yourself with self-care, such as spending time in nature, caring for the body with movement and rest, being kind and patient with yourself, and prioritizing solitude and relaxation?
If the energy we expend is greater than the energy we allow ourselves to receive, we will eventually become depleted. When we diminish the importance of our own needs, we are less motivated toward self-expression and growth. When we ignore the small still voice inside of us that is constantly urging us forward, we will feel empty and purposeless, since the cycle of growth and expansion is our natural state of being.
Nourishing the sacred self can’t just be an occasional thing. There needs to be a consistent message sent to the self that says “You are worthy of feeling good. You deserve care and consideration. Your needs and desires and emotions matter.”
Think of some small steps you can take now to increase your level of self-care. Can you spend five minutes in meditation, or walking in nature, listening to music, or simply sitting in blissful silence? Can you say “no” to something you really don’t want to do? Can you express your creativity or indulge in a special treat?
Nurturing the self is a form of honoring your spirit, and it can create a deeper sense of trust in your inner wisdom and guidance. It can also enhance your ability to share your gifts with others, and influence them to a higher degree of self-care. And what could be selfish about that?