List the ways you can love yourself more:
- Well, I could – though I won’t – quit buying self-help books and launching new programs to correct my eating/sleeping/water-drinking habits, to curb my procrastination or improve my organization, to get in better physical, mental or emotional shape, to be a better person…It would be truly a gift of love to myself if I could simply accept this flawed human being as the person that I am, and be done with it. At this stage of my life, I am not yet ready to do that…but it’s something to work toward. Meanwhile, many of the ways I am working to improve are, in fact, ways to take better care of myself, so they fit this category, too.
- Drink more water. For my birthday in August, I began a “52 small changes” program, with one simple change each week leading up to being a better person in a year. I was going to use it as material to write about one day a week, monitoring my success. I told myself, though, that I would not move on to week #2 until I had succeeded in mastering the habit for week #1. So, here I am, almost a full month in, still trying to drink enough water each day. To write about my efforts would just be underlining my majestic failure! Ugh! And, peeking ahead, I see that the second week’s goal is to get more sleep.
- I could try to get more sleep. If I could only quiet my mind.
- I could quiet my mind. In the midst of my failure at the “52 small changes,” I started The Joy Diet by Martha Beck. It’s not about food, but about things that will bring more peace and harmony to life. She used my idea, about not moving on to the second thing until you have mastered the first. The first is “Do absolutely nothing for 15 minutes each day.” It’s an exercise in meditation. Working on a to-do list in my head while “just sitting” is not allowed. Doing dishes while “not thinking” is also against the rules. When she says “nothing,” she means it! I’m still working on that one, too.
- I could place the things that I need – like time in my studio – as high on the priority list as the things I do for others.
- I could pay more attention to the wonders around me. I could take note of more sunrises and sunsets, and pay better attention to the moon and the stars. I could walk outside at night to watch for the Northern Lights. I have a friend who used to set the alarm for three AM during a time when there were visible meteor showers. She’d grab her blanket and go sit on the beach to watch for falling stars. That, to me, is a truly loving gift to oneself!