Gateway Four: Replenishment - Truly Coming Home to Our Enchanted Self
By Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
Replenishment, joy, pleasure and delight are all parts of truly coming home to our Enchanted Selves. If any gateway is the pivotal gateway for a woman, it is this gateway. This is the gateway that we must return to above all others, as frequently as possible. It is where we fuel up, where we energize. It is where we fill ourselves again so that we can meet the needs of others, be the caretakers of the world, bring up our children, spend time with the elderly, and do the hundreds of womanly tasks that we do, including having a full time job and running a home.
It may seem strange to you at first, but the smartest way to fill up again once we ve become depleted is to bring personal satisfaction and replenishment back into our own lives. This means really knowing who you are, loving yourself and knowing how to meet your needs.
If you feel rejuvenated after a great game of tennis, then that works for you. If you try to fill up by going to a comedy performance or having a massage, you may remain on empty if it isn't right for you. Choosing what is right differs from person to person, so invest some good thought into finding out what is right for yourself.
In "The Enchanted Self: A Positive Therapy," I teach how to sort through your memories to get to know yourself, so that you can really tune in on the best forms of replenishment, joy and pleasure for you. A general rule of thumb is to look for what has felt good in the past, and try to either duplicate it or find a way to transform the activity into a form that works for your present stage of life. For example, a long swim in a lake in childhood might now be light swimming, walking in the pool at the local Y, and a cup of coffee!
Lisa had been very much a tomboy growing up. Now a mother of five children, she found herself in a maternal roll literally 24 hours a day. Often her body ached for climbing trees and for the soccer field.
Lisa shared with me how good she felt and how much personal replenishment she was able to take from a simple activity that developed in a nearby friend's back yard. One of her neighbors had put up a very large trampoline. All the kids would go out and bounce on it, having great fun as they jumped up and down on it.
One day Lisa decided to join them. Before she knew it, she was having the most wonderful time, jumping, bouncing, landing on her bottom and even doing somersaults as she became more confident. This was a fabulous! She was moving and jumping, using her great sense of balance and having a wonderful time. Twenty minutes on the trampoline, three times a week, was as close to paradise as Lisa needed to get to during this particular stage of motherhood.
A Positive Activity for You
Think about some of the things you really loved to do when you were a child. You may want to jot some of these down on a piece of paper. They could be activities, hobbies or interests that you had.
Once you have completed your list, take time on and off during the next few days to think about your list. Use your imagination to brainstorm how you could either bring back to life some of our old passions, or refine ways to create new interests that have some of the same features. For example if you loved to roller-skate as a child, you may want to try roller-blading, or you may want to take up ballroom dancing (which may be less risky on the muscles and joints!) Such a treasure hunt for lost joys is an activity that you can do again and again as you search through the story of your life for the very unique factors that can bring you pleasure and rejuvenation again and again.