One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life is “strive for the moments of joy” now. So often we are set to a busy schedule calendar and looking ahead to new events that it’s easy to miss the beauty of life surrounding us. I have been guilty of this, too. It’s not a destination. It’s basically a mindful choice of making sure that you care enough about your own soul to add you to your daily list.
Self-Care and Soul-Care are similarly related. If we are tending to the needs of our self and taking care of our inner being with simple habits that suggest, that yes, we too, are important, this is an excellent start to proving to yourself, “Yes! I’m Worth It. I Deserve the Best Now. So why not be the best I can today?”
This kind of metaphysical thinking, I developed after spending time, money and effort overcoming difficult challenging periods with much reflection. I found a Zen life coach that taught meditation + simple breathing exercises, taking many classes and exercises that helped me cultivate a deeper sense of self-love, which radically changed journey.
Just like others that start of and check of their ‘wish box’ list, I had done the same. But many times these ideas are given to us at a young age. These ideas, however, may not be what your soul truly craves. The result can manifest into many different outcomes, but the most tragic is living a life you had never wanted in the first place based on something you thought you were supposed to want for your own story. I do believe this is specifically why Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” struck such a universal cord with so many readers. Her book shared her own personal struggle of realizing the life she had ended up living wasn’t quite the one her inner soul had hoped for. The result lead the reader and myself on a wonderful pursuit of watching her fly all over the world in search of herself on a quest to find more that what her current circumstances were that moment she found herself uttering a prayer aloud on the bathroom floor late at night in the wee hours of the morning in New York City.
Being self-driving isn’t self centered. In fact, when we place our own selves at the top of the list, everyone else ends up benefiting. Why? Because we as their friend, co-worker or loved one are radiating more joy by taking time to care for our own wishes, too.
How many midlife crisis stories have we read or heard over the years and centuries of life? As we know all situations are different, but most could correlate to the theme of ‘waking up and wondering-what did I do with my life and where do I fit into the equation?‘ If we can identify these arising feelings now instead of later, there is a good chance you might get to skip that cliched two act moment on the own stage of your life.
So how do we invest more in our soul?
Positive, lovely thoughts about one’s own self. Begin to examine your own inner voice and what are the words you continually repeat in your mind throughout the day. Are they positive? Do you hear things like, “Wow You Rock! You are a Winner! Keep going. You look great today. And, hey, are you having any fun?”
Or do they sound more like,
“You could do better, you are not enough, you aren’t accomplishing enough….” and so on.”
Daily affirmations provide love and support to our mental thinking, which in turn nourishes the deep well of need within our soul.
Never underestimate the power of loving thoughts. From Louise Hay to Florence Scovel Shinn, there are plenty of examples of gurus that push for this line of thinking in your daily living. Create some Me-Time each week. Even if it’s only three times a week. Taking three moments a week to recharge your own needs and desires might just reboot the whole family with more happiness.
What do these ‘Me-Time Moments Look like?’
- Tea time with a friend. A longer walk in the park or neighborhood. Going to see your favorite movie. Reading a book with a cup of coffee. Visiting your favorite bookstore and buy something there that you’ve wanted to read for some time.
- Indulge in more self-care. Spend more time organizing your personal items. Rearrange your closet. Take time to create a special bed-table space next to your bed that signals to your soul that, yes, you too, matter. Take time to journal or meditate on your own thoughts. Examine your emotions. When we take time to do these simple things, the outcome can equal a more balanced YOU.
- Carve out ONE ‘joyful’ moment a day. Do you love standing in line at the local coffee shop while enjoying the hum of the coffee grinder and happy early risers maxed out on caffeine? Add that to the list. Where you can wait to pick up that to-go coffee in the perfect white cup with the lid capping off the steam AND the option to grind some nutmeg sprinkled on top? Then, yes, add that, too.
In taking care of ourselves first, we also invest in those around us, from our workplace, as a parent to our friends. When we continue to forget about our own needs because, life is just so hectic and busy, the inevitable breakdown could be looming in the not to distant future.