The Path of Accommodation

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.

If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

~ Dalai Lama

.    .    .

I have been care-giving for three weeks now.

It’s been joy-filled, arduous, contemplative and demanding.  It’s time to step back.

Regroup.

Reconnect.

Rediscover bliss.

To all of the care-givers in the world who have endured so much more, for so much longer, I salute you with every positive accolade known to man and enfold you with hugs from the deepest recesses of my heart.

I also encourage you to take a break.

While I know it’s not always possible, I do know that everyone has a limit and I reached mine.  Recognize yours.  Honor the need to stop.  Take care of yourself, too.

My hiatus came in the form of a side trip to visit my mother-in-law.  During the pleasant two hour drive there, my stomach began to rumble and I thought, “I’m hungry.”  It was the basic recognition of a most basic need.

“What do I want to eat?” I wondered.

For a brief moment I felt selfish, thinking about satisfying my palate with something other than what I’d been cooking for my parents for the last 21 days.  (Which was dang good, by the way.)  But the foodie in me overruled the notion and simply said, “Feed your soul.”

I spied this restaurant and walked in, not knowing what to expect.  Suddenly I became aware of feeling enveloped in an elegant, enduring, empathetic embrace.  Sigh… my countenance needed that.  (Remind me to bring my camera next time…)

Perusing the menu over an extraordinary cup of black coffee, I was delighted to discover a culinary concept based on the four elements:  Air, Fire, Earth, and Water.

Basic-ness at its best.

I ordered the Lobster Bisque.  A salad with grilled salmon, fresh spinach, strawberries, and a lovely, citrus-y vinaigrette.  Chocolate Truffle Cake with Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise.  And the house specialty homemade French Fries with Parmesan Cheese and White Truffle Oil.  (My soul was hungry.)

Considering the previous stomach rumbling, I was surprised when I could only eat a fourth of it.  Knowing when to stop is as essential to eating as it is to care-giving.

Plus, it gave me something to savor later.

Soul-satisfaction may not always be immediate (and it doesn’t have to involve food), but recognizing the need to replenish yourself is as basic as Air. Fire. Earth. Water.

And forks in the road.

Enjoying a bliss break,

~ Kim

What do you do to take care of yourself when you’re pushed to your limit?

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11 thoughts on “The Path of Accommodation

  1. Absolutely beautiful post. It’s crazy how taking care of ourselves can sometimes make us feel so wrong, when it fact it’s super important for our ability to give back to others. Great food + wine is also one of my favorite ways of feeding my soul.

  2. I watched my Mom take care of her Dad…and later her mother in law… it’s is the hardest thing I have ever watched….yet so beautiful.

    Praying for you and this time.

    And I am so glad you had a chance for a little self care. To feed your soul and your stomach. :)

  3. I hope everything is okay with your parents. Praying for you and for them.

    When I am pushed to my limit, I retreat. Hide away for a day or a week. I eat the things that I enjoy most, I read, I rest. I think it’s healthy and necessary. I hope you enjoy some soul refreshment soon.

  4. Hey dear, hope your parents are well & up. It’s certainly not easy being a care-giver. Stay strong!

    I can never resist Lobster Bisque, let alone Fries with Truffle Oil. What a treat!

  5. My sweet Kim, I completely understand I am here in Florida helping a friend…knowing your limit is very important. I wish you the best, The fries sound AMAZING…and I am not even a huge friend of fries! Again good luck and take care of your self! :)

  6. I could so relate to this post, Kim. I am usually very good at “feeding” myself at every level. Yet, every time I travel to Colorado to care for my dad, I find myself ignoring my own basic needs around food and rest and sleep while tending to his. It’s a balancing act. I love the connection you made here to the elements: air, fire, earth and water. It gives me something to ponder and a structure in which to place my self-care ritual. Glad you’re back.

  7. I LOVE that question! What do I do to take care of me when I have pushed myself to a limit? sighhhhhhhhhh…. I close my computer. I move my body any way SHE wants to…. stretching, opening, swinging, swaying, dancing…. then I’ll play at my altar with the fire (candle) air (chimes) water (drink) earth (from sacred spots around the world)…. then I pick up my paintbrush and enter in to its mystery. The other thing I do, which has saved my life over the last 18 years… is run, walk, hike in my canyon. Everytime I am made anew.

    I have cared for my mother for intensive stretches before she died. I would venture into the river valley there to revive.

    Now it is not kids nor mother or others that push me to my limits. It is me. Pushing myself to the limit working for me. Ironically? I facilitate women in exploring their inner nature through the above activities!

    have misssssssssed you Kim! So wonderful to experience your artful writing that carries me on exquisite journeys through the senses and rich soulful living. love it! and youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! xo

  8. Dear Kimby,

    Beautiful post! It is under-rated selfless people that makes this world go round. And so important too to recognise that we all have our limits and to take “time out” to recover. You did the right thing to self-indulge for a while and it’s usually the simple things in life that are truly the most wonderful. Enjoy your day!

  9. As always, I love every word you write. How wonderful that you get to spend time with your parents. Even better, you knew when to step back. Lessons that I’m slowly learning.

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