512: A Buddhist View of Self-Care

Hey my friends, thank you for coming back to five minute mojo, your evening inspiration podcast.  If you are a new listener, welcome.  You have found a brief, but powerful way to end your day. A relaxing way.  Let’s get right into our quote by the Buddha.

“When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself.” The Buddha

I am no buddha scholar but I would say that in these sage words he’s saying that each of us needs to do our best to see to our individual needs so we can best take care of others.  Let’s break it down.  In the first line,

When watching after yourself, you are watching after others”, buddha is pointing to the interconnectedness between you and those around you.  If any link in the chain is weak, the entire piece is frail, and that means you as well.  

One of the biggest challenges I had as a personal trainer was helping people see how neglecting their needs was ultimately neglecting the needs of their family and friends.  Whether it was altruism or low self-esteem, most people tok care of the needs of everyone else before they took care of themselves.

There are people who depend on you, who look to you for support.  And it’s not just in a selfish way; it’s in a community way.  You wouldn’t think your young daughter was being selfish if she asked you to read her a story or ask what’s for dinner. You are important to her.  She depends on you, and when you are taking care of yourself; eating right,exercising, meditating (hint, hint) you are making sure you are there to take care of her.

As a wise man would say, “When watching after yourself, you are watching after others.

On to  line two…

"When watching after others you are watching after you."

Clearly this means that when you escape the trap of ego and help others, you are helping yourself by connecting to a greater energy.  that is the best way to get out of an angsty funk.  When you are stressed, seemingly surrounded by issues, the person you are thinking most about, if not solely, is yourself.  The best way to break the hold of a self-pity party, is to do whatever you can to help your fellow man or woman. Volunteer, smile to strangers; do anything to lighten the load of those around you, strangers or friends. It will help you break free of your worries and connect you the energy of the world.

We are undoubtedly all connected, sharing the same energy, but when we think just of ourselves we dampen that connection.  The only way it can be restored or bolstered back to it original magnificence is by ditching ego and helping those around you.  It’s a win-win.  You help others and you help yourself.  Someone wise might say…

When watching after others you are watching after yourself. Ah, Buddha.

How about I lay the questions of the day on you for your ride home.

Questions of the Day

  • What was the last thing that you did to take care of yourself?  Eat vegetables, workout, get a massage? What was it?
  • What was the last thing that you did for someone else that had no benefit for you?  How did it make you feel?
Thom WaltersComment