Parker Palmer: Self-Care

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“Self-care is never a selfish act. It is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on this earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to our true self and give it the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”

Parker Palmer in Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2000) 30-31.

Taking extended time to rest and be refreshed is not something I am very good at. I don’t have much experience doing it. Few do. For most of the world, pausing for ten days is not possible, so I am thankful for this privilege of enriching rest.

Thankfully, Palmer reveals the secret to self-care regardless of whether we get to take a holiday break. We have to listen to our true self and give it what it needs. When we nourish our true selves we are positioned as healthy stewards to offer the world our gift.

What does your true self need?