With the hustle and bustle each day demands, we barely have time for ourselves. We need to make ourselves the most important person in our own lives. If we are exhausted and stressed out there is no possible way we can meet our full potential. How can we be there to the fullest for others if we aren’t there for ourselves? I assure you , there IS enough time in the day, no matter what, to take care of you! If you are the most important person to you everyday when you wake up and every night when you go to sleep, you would be amazed at the transformation that takes place. Yes, in the beginning it takes effort to take care of yourself if your not used to it. Just do it one day at a time. Don’t worry about any other day except the one that your in. Different things work for different people depending on your lifestyle, your personality, your work and the people in your life. It was a challenge for me at first because my children were small at the time that I had made the decision to be just as important as everyone else. I had plenty of excuses, but when it came down to it, I realized that making myself important and meeting my own needs and sometimes wants, my children will learn to do the same for themselves. They watch me love and respect myself and they will do the same. Maybe not right away, but I believe that it will eventually kick in. They too have their own story to create and it may not be the one I wrote for them, but that’s okay. All I want for my children is for them to be happy. And remember, happiness is not a destination, happiness is a state of being that we can choose at any time. It is quite difficult to maintain at all times, as I have not yet achieved. Very far from it as a matter of fact. It has been beneficial to find good reading material about these topics so that I didn’t feel like it was impossible or that I was the only one.
As humans, we have emotions and then we have the mind that tells us things that just aren’t true. It’s important to know the difference and it will come with time if the effort is made. It’s crucial to feel our feelings. Not think about them, but feel them. Close your eyes when you are feeling something uncomfortable and visualize that place of pain in your body and just be with it. DO NOT think about it, just feel it. The thoughts carry us into a dark place. A place that isn’t even real, but we can make it real by thinking about it, beating ourselves up over it and worrying about it. Then we are not capable of being loving to our loved ones and they don’t deserve that and neither do you.
Acknowledge that those feelings exist, feel them and let them go. Your feelings will not kill you if you feel them. When we suppress our emotions they don’t go away. We know this. What happens to them? They grow and grow and grow until every little thing bothers us and stresses us out. When we are in that place we are no fun to be around. Even if we think we’re holding it together and hiding it, we’re not! People sense this kind of stuff and it makes them uneasy. Especially children. Think about the last time you were around someone when something was bothering them. Could you tell?
Here is a list of things I do to bring myself to a place of peace, (as much as I can anyway) on a daily basis. I like to do some things right when I wake up so that I can be willingly available to whatever or whomever may need me throughout the day. I may need to take small pockets of time through the day to readjust. The escalator will move whether I’m on it or not.
- I write. Sometimes free writing, which is not thinking, just moving my pen on the page without stopping for a period of time. Sometimes I give myself three minutes, ten minutes, three pages, and so-on. This helps clear my mind of mischief. I also keep a journal.
- Meditation. Sometimes a walking meditation, sometimes sitting. Quietly, to music, in the bath with candles and incense, or a guided meditation tape helps me. There are many ways.
- Manicures and pedicures. If I can’t afford to go to the salon, I take time for myself at home and everyone in the house knows it’s my time and not to disturb me. (Unless of course it’s an emergency).
- I take ten minute walks a couple of times a day. (There is always time for a ten minute walk!) Move!
- I drink plenty of water
- Yoga. Great for relaxing and getting in the moment. Not to mention, great for the body.
- I read inspirational writings wherever I can find them.
- Positive Affirmations. Yes, it felt silly at first, but I would write them to fit what I wanted for myself and it started to feel better. Turn the negative into positive.
- Visualization. I would visualize what I wanted my life to be and sometimes that makes me smile. Smiling heals. Visualizing is a powerful thing. If we put our emotions into it, we will notice positive change. After all, that is our goal.
Some of the authors and books I found helpful to my new found self:
- Marianne Williamson – A Return to Love
- Don Miguel Ruiz– The Four Agreements, The Mastery of Love
- Louise L. Hay – You Can Heal Your Life
- Iyanla Vanzant – Yesterday I cried, In the Meantime
- Oriah Mountain Dreamer – The Dance, The Invitation
- Paul Ferrini – Love Without Conditions, Dancing With The Beloved
- Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way
I could go on and on, but these are the ones that really carried me through some significant transformations in my life without going insane. I applied what I was learning in these readings to every situation I could. It was the only way to change my life. I learned that I had to change my thought process. Not an easy task, but obtainable with consistency. It’s also amazing that when we are trying to make a positive change, how many opportunities life throws our way to be able to apply our new practices. Remember, practice makes perfect! (But not over night).;)