We talk a lot about self-care at Namaste, and it’s because we believe in the power of this practice and the ripple and cyclical effect in our lives: when we take care of ourselves we are able to give more. While I see the impact of self-care in action all the time, this year, I’ve experienced it manifest in a way I didn’t see coming. My eleven-year-old son, Eli, is extremely dyslexic and a very sensitive human being. Learning in traditional ways is very challenging for him, and sometimes painful. People tell him he’s “too sensitive” as he is often deeply impacted by the world around him. He has learned what it means to have an obstacle to overcome and the will and support needed to be successful. His sensitivity also translates to enormous compassion for others. Last spring, Eli learned of a program through his Sunday School that caters to severely physically and mentally handicapped children. It’s called “The Friendship Circle.” Older children volunteer to befriend a disabled child who doesn’t have the simple gift of friendship in their lives due to their disability. Although he is about 5 years younger than the other volunteers in the program, Eli was inspired to volunteer as a friend to a child in need. So since last spring, Eli and I have been spending Sunday mornings with these children who need a friend. It’s amazing to see where the journey of parenthood takes us. If it were not for Eli, I would have spent this time doing yoga, walking, or hiking. However, being in service to others is a divine form of self-care, and it fills us both to the brim with warmth and energy. I truly believe self-care works both like a cycle and a ripple - I practice self-care and can, in turn, nourish my children. From there, I feel I have the abundance to give and my children then feel they have the abundance to give, so we are both able to deliver love and compassion to others. We all end up refueled and re-energized, feeling even more and more abundant. And then the process begins again.