Like so many of you, I grew up believing that putting myself first to take care of my own needs was self-fish and greedy. I naively believed that self-care was not only unnecessary, but that it was also, a waste of time. It took me a long time to understand differently. It took many years for me to not only believe, but to just simply understand, how important it is to allow time for myself each day. When I finally got that, I felt it was a huge victory in my self-development! This realization came through being consistent with my healing work, which enabled me to shed old beliefs and embrace new ones. Then yet even more healing work to consistently implement them. Over the years I have learned how to put myself at the top of my to-do list.
I now know how to find an hour of time each and every day that is devoted to me filling my well (or filling myself up). And believe me, I spent years trying to do this without being very successful at it! I so clearly remember those early days of attempting this kind of self-care.....In the beginning, my intention was to give myself this time, however I would easily give in to the chatter in my mind that told me, ‘I really didn’t have time for this.’ Or, ‘This isn’t that necessary.’
That voice within would very quickly override my intentions. It’s taken lots of practice and healing work to finally, mentally and viscerally, understand the statement, ‘You are only as good to others as you are to yourself.’
I cannot possibly give what I don’t have within me to give. I’ve learned that I can only fake-my-way-through for so long. I can only push myself, pretending that I have the energy to do it all, (when I really don’t) for a short time, before I inevitably end up burnt out. I need to have time every single day to fill my well in order to be my best, which enables me to give my best to all of those around me.
And while I am very good at allowing time for myself daily during what I call, ‘Time for Me,’ I have only recently become good at allowing an entire day for myself. I’ve recently discovered how beneficial it is to give myself a, ‘Me Day’ once in a while. I’ve learned the necessity of having this kind of day and how it abundantly serves me, then naturally over-flows to all of those around me.
Over the years I’ve taken many days off, which meant a day off from one thing in order to free up the time I needed to do another. I know you’ve done this before too…..taken a day off from your job, only to fill that day with tasks and to-do’s. Yes, this is indeed a ‘day off’ from your job, however if it’s filled with running errands or completing tasks around the house, it’s not really a day off. So this is not what a Me Day is.
A Me Day, is an entire day without responsibilities. A day to do whatever you feel like doing. Period. No agenda. No, ‘I should do this’ or, ‘I could do that.’ It's a day to just simply do whatever your body feels like doing, moment by moment. I can tell you, a day spent like this is Simply Glorious! And it's also time very well spent.
This is what my most recent Me Day looked like…..
My day began with a delicious breakfast, followed by a long, warm shower. I spent an hour walking on the beach. I meditated. I listened to a podcast. I read. I enjoyed a nap. And when I woke up, I just enjoyed lying in bed for a while. I mindfully enjoyed eating and ate only when I felt like it. I savored many cups of tea, allowing myself a moment to experience the flavors found in each sip. I didn’t work or look at emails. I forgot all about the existence of social media. And I barely looked at the clock, because time just didn’t matter.
Whenever my ‘love to have a plan brain’ tried to make a plan, I paused. Felt into my body. Asked myself, ‘Is this something I really feel like doing?’ If the answer was, ‘No.’ I accepted that and then allowed what I did feel like doing, to come to me.
Occasionally I heard the voice of guilt creep in, telling me such things as:
‘I really should be working.’
‘There’s laundry to do.’
‘If I don’t take a nap, I can do other things.’
I listened and acknowledged. I know from experience the importance of letting that voice know it's been heard. That voice comes from the old patterns and beliefs that used to rule my life. I now know that I can allow my body to breathe until the needy voice begins to calm and become quiet.
At the end of the day I felt Absolutely Incredible! I felt recharged. I felt grateful that I allowed myself to nurture Me all day long. It was a beautiful day with no rules. With nowhere to go and no schedule to follow. This is what a Me Day is all about.
I know it can take a long time to get to the place on your path where you can do this. To spend an entire day devoted to doing whatever you feel like doing, simply because you feel like it. I know that getting to this place begins with baby steps and a desire to continue moving forward. It involves learning how to fill your well first by committing to giving yourself time every single day. It requires releasing old patterns and beliefs that no longer serve you, while remaining open to receiving and implementing new ones. And I know that all of this is possible!
I know that you are busy. And I also know that no matter how busy you are, when you know that you're worth it, you will put yourself into your schedule. You are just as much a priority as everything else in your agenda. I know that all of this is possible because I have done it. And I can tell you from experience that it makes life, Oh So Good!