Taking Care Of Myself

Lotus flower growing in lotus pond

Taking Care Of Myself

I have a confession to make!

I have been a hypocrite. Not intentionally. I could make excuses, but none of them would not be honest. My confession is…………… I have not been doing my homework. I have not been taking care of myself.

I apologize and confess because I know I have pushed, encouraged and sometimes pleaded with clients to “do their work”, while I had been avoiding my own.

No Mud No Lotus

Improvements in mental, emotional or behavioral patterns come with a little or a lot of discomfort. In Buddhism, we say “No Mud No Lotus”, meaning that liberation from suffering, the lotus, has to come from mud, the suffering. The lotus has an inter-being relationship with the mud.

Over the past several months’ childhood, memories that brought emotional pain were rising in my mind and heart. My baby was crying, but I ignored her, even though, every day, I witness the incredible courage and strength in clients as they do their work, shed tears, and express their most vulnerable thoughts. They press through the discomfort and shed familiar but unskillful thinking patterns, emotional responses, and habituated energies.

Ignoring my baby came to a screeching halt once I arrived in Plum Village Monastery in Thenac, France, June 24, for a Neuroscience of Meditation retreat. The healing was going to commence if I was ready or not!


A sort of internal earthquake erupted. I left a small pool of tears at Plum Village in the South of France. I let myself cry and grieve. I talked. I let myself be vulnerable. I let myself feel the pain and terror I knew as a little girl. But, I no longer ignored my baby. I took care of the part of me that felt splintered from the whole. I feel very brave and began taking care of myself.

I am caring for her still. When I feel a stir of tension I let her know, “I have got you”. I am taking care of myself by having fun. I make fun a priority. I am taking care of myself by cultivating carefree-ness. My central nervous system is settling. I remind my central nervous system to rest and breathe deep.

The needs of my 8-year-old self were not met. But I am meeting them now. Something is starting to trust in a new way. A tightness is unwrapping itself from my core. I am taking care of my baby. I am taking care of myself. I hope you continue to do so as well.

From the bottom of my mending heart, Thank You to every one of my friends, retreat attendees, and clients for demonstrating the myriad of options we have for taking care of our baby and allowing the beautiful lotus to arise from the mud.

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  • Nancy Weckwerth

    What an amazing experience at Plum Village. I’m grateful you got to have this experience. I’m even more grateful you shared, with vulnerability, your experience with all of us. It’s a reminder that no matter how much “work” we’ve done, old “stuff” sill rises to the surface now and then. The difference is, once we’ve done a fair amount of “work”, we have the tools to approach the “stuff” with a different wisdom and from a different place. Your revelations in this post show us the tools that we can all gain, if we do the “work”. Thanks for your sharing your truth.

    • Diane Chrestman

      Nancy, Thank you so much for you comment. You got the essence of the blog and my experience. Yes, you have to do a certain amount of preliminary work before working on the “stuff”. The really hard “stuff”.
      Thanks again Nancy

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