Friday, January 7, 2011

Loving Yourself...

Loving Yourself…

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays its easy to lose ourselves. We shop for each other, run around town and country visiting relatives and friends, and spend inordinate amounts of time cooking, cleaning and eating. Despite the fun and enjoyment we experience with our friends and families, we can often forget about ourselves, and even our friends who don’t have access to extensive social networks.

Add this to the bombarding messages of the “New Year” including changing ourselves, ending bad habits, losing weight, accomplishing lifelong goals, advancing professionally, gaining control of our finances and being better parents, friends and lovers, and you’re left with very little time to simply practice self love. And as the Tiny Buddha put it, without self love, we are unable to love others.

The post holiday blues hit me hard this year…suddenly my children were back at school, and I had to get back in the swing of things. I was far away from the creative stimulation, family love and delicious foods of home that had sustained me over the holidays. The longing for love coupled with homesickness and the normal hormonal fluctuations of womanhood combined into a perfect storm of emotional wreckage. In the end, the only lifeline I had was the power of prayer and a good cry…Imagine my surprise when I found that these were actually two of many healthy ways to walk through the storm I was experiencing.

At the end of the day, I decided to put off work, the writing project I had planned, getting together with coworkers and classmates, and even basic personal activities in exchange for a day of personal care and self love. I slept in. I spent some time in meditation where I again received confirmation of my decision to spend the day in self care. I opened my bedroom window and allowed the cool winter air to wash over me and my space. I lovingly shampooed, oiled and conditioned my locs. I soaked my feet and completed an at home mani-pedi, and slathered my skin with Vitamin E oil and cocoa butter. Finally, I completed my favorite self care activity, a steam facial.

The universe answered my obedience as I relaxed with a little t.v. time at the end of the day. My twelve year old came in and asked if I had started making dinner yet. When I replied “no” he said “good, I want to cook stir fry tonight!!” and proceeded to take his bath, then prepare dinner for us. As a final applause to my self loving day, I walked over to close my blinds, and glancing at my altar, noticed that the top card on my deck of affirmation cards was labeled “PAMPER” the final notice that my day of self love was needed, useful and divinely affirmed.

By the end of the day, I felt refreshed. I was ready to work, but I gave myself permission to spend the next day cleaning my environment, and preparing for the year ahead, without the buzz of technology, opting instead for silence.

In our pursuit of love, we must remember ourselves. The winter season is one of planning, ordering and laying foundations. Lay your foundation for love with your own self love. Lay your foundation for order by stepping away from the hustle and bustle of the season, the false promises of change that each new year brings, and instead invest in truly caring for yourself, practicing love of self in large and small ways, without elaborate plans and schemes. Perform a simple act of love today. Love yourself, even if you’re jonesin...

*tee shirt available from WAM

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