Is there anyone NOT managing challenging circumstances outside of work right now?  It seems like everyone I know…myself included…is juggling really hard stuff at home, while also needing to be at the top of their game in their work life.

Thus, we are left to balance and negotiate.  To prioritize and then toss plans up in the air as things change.  A friend who is a senior leader at a global company had to drop everything recently and drive 25 hours to be with her Dad who was in crisis.  Taking many days of Paid Time Off, she took care of her father who needed her.  She put work aside to tend to what was most important to her.

Someone else I know had to turn off her phone and be with her son, who had made some questionable choices after he left home.  No doubt you know plenty of people with their own stories, just as you have yours.

The thing is, this culture isn’t well designed to hold both—life within and life outside of work.  So we are left to grapple with hard choices and just do our best.

What often gets lost in this equation is care of self.  There will always be plenty of need around us, people and things that require our attention and our time.  The risk is that we remain functional, but depleted, not at our best.

So here is my public service announcement, delivered with compassion, empathy, and a strong nudge…remember that you are a Wild thing.  That, within the care and effort you put forth for others, you need to let your hair (or fur) blow in the wind.  You need fresh air and the freedom to jump in puddles.   Your Wild body needs to move and also to rest.  Your Wild heart needs to know you are not alone, that you are loved and that you belong to your pack.  Your Wild soul needs nourishment, feeding whatever it is that connects you with divine energy.

Today at my wizard sister’s meditation, we traveled to the stars.  Prompted by the amazing new photographs of the universe, she guided us to the night sky.  As I hovered among the stars, I began aiming their light at my beloveds who are suffering.  I aimed star energy and love right at them.  More and more people and animals came to mind, so I just kept beaming everyone.

Then it came to me that I could float in front of that star and let its light pour into me as well.  It almost didn’t occur to me.  I was focused on beaming everybody else.  But holding starlight takes energy, even if it is also magical and amazing.  And so, from the night sky all the way to your computer, I send you this message of love and self-compassion.  It is not selfish to take care of yourself.  It is not wasted time to stop and watch a bee on a flower.  Take heart.  Indeed it is the only way we can fully be there for each other.