A Personal Reflection
by Barbara Meza
For many years when I was younger, I worked long hours daily and sometimes up to seven days a week. I was educated, became a young single mother and made choices. From the start, with a skewed idea of what was important, employment decisions were made based upon skills, commitment and obligation. I followed the money, acquiring jobs I liked and oftentimes enjoyed, but that did not fulfill personal desire.
With a locked focus of taking care of the responsibilities of my family, giving my children educational and social opportunities that were not available for me, I was often too tired to care for myself. Self-care was not a priority, and over the years, as exhaustion continued, I was getting ill. As the children grew and their immediate needs lessened, I began to entertain what I would like to do with the rest of my life. While nourishing their bodies, feeding their brains to dream their dreams, and inciting them to learn, experience and grow, I was also gifting myself permission to do the same.
Changes were necessary to regain my health, and I reengaged with my youthful desire to work with flowers, soil, food, music and touch. I began to engage in the life-nourishing practices of meditation, yoga and qigong, explored healing foods and the role of solid nutrition for mental and physical health, began taking mineral baths instead of showers and started receiving regular massages and bodywork. As a forever student, I returned to school for nutrition and massage and furthered my herbal studies as I began to remap my life—learning to be present with myself, integrating practices that brought me home within myself, exploring what was important to me as a person and a practitioner. My heart-nourishing practice, Conscius Vita, was born.
Over the years, I acquired many possessions, including furniture, books, clothes, housewares and décor. While some of these items had sentimental significance, many of the possessions were just that: possessions. Gradually, over a span of perhaps three years, I downsized—packing things away that the kids wanted and passing along to shelters and thrift shops. I took the time to sit with each item, asking the questions: Do I remember where it came from? Does it have any personal significance, or was I holding it for someone else or out of obligation? Does it serve a real purpose? Does it bring me joy?
In the end, in a truly liberating experience, easily half of the household materials were passed on or junked. When it was time to move, I brought only items that I wanted with me as I rebuilt my life. Fast-forward five years, and my declutter practice remains to clear piles weekly, so no mail or clutter builds up, and to clear closets, drawers and cabinets about every six months. This maintains the idea that what I have surrounding me are things needed, loved and cherished—tools to feed my soul and spirit.
Barbara Meza, owner of Conscius Vita and The Meandering Herbalist, located in Yardley, is a licensed massage therapist, lymphatic drainage therapist, cupping therapist and holistic health practitioner integrating the benefits of bodywork and complementary healing arts. Connect with her at 201-978-7335, ConsciusVita.com or TheMeanderingHerbalist.com. November 2015.