I was listening to a podcast with Glennon Doyle and something she said clicked with me. How we often feel guilt in pursuing joy. We feel the only way to learn is from pain, but and it’s a BIG BUT - what if we allow ourselves to learn from joy? Why do we celebrate suffering…and keep picking to suffer, instead of choosing joy? Is this not a fascinating concept? Guilt-free joy! What if we give ourselves permission to do what brings us joy? And let go of the people and things that don’t. What a concept. Is that too simple? I understand we all have to work and do our things…but if we focused on guilt-free joy and self care, what would that look like? I wake up extra early to have my coffee and linger in the morning. That brings me joy. If you love to walk or swim or ride a bike…do that more. Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t. You will be happier and when you are happier you will show others how to live in joy. But here is the kicker, do it guilt free. Do it because you and I are on this earth to live in joy. I started this journey to address ageism, but as I dug deeper it became more obvious to me it's just a limb on a very big tree. If we loved ourselves completely, the negativity and insecurities we all have would repel off of us. Like a shield, they would not be able to seep into our souls and create havoc. We feel our pain and have no idea what to do with it. We try to numb it one way or another or perhaps lash out at others or just walk around wounded and hurt. I like to think there is something we can do…and I believe it starts with ‘self love’. Why do we feel uncomfortable with the thought of loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves? Why is it we have been taught that others come first and we put ourselves at the bottom of the list? We learn in kindergarten to: unselfishly take a nap when we need a rest have a snack to treat and nourish ourselves stay home when we are sick because we need to be well take a time out when we need a break and moment to calm down have shorter days so we can have time in our lives for family and rest When we grow up all of these important virtues of self love and self care get diminished and we learn to replace these core beliefs with: skipping meals because meetings and other things become more important being on call and on demand for others 24/7 never turning off our phones, even on holidays depriving ourselves of rest and praising those who only get 5 hours of sleep treating overworking and ‘doing it all’ as a badge of honour How did we learn to give up so much of ourselves? Self love and self care are the only way to make us whole. When you fill the hole, you are no longer coming from a place of lack. I wish they would have classes in school on self love. Daily practices so it would be a part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth. What I love is that we are starting to talk about self love and loving ourselves for who we are. "Find out who you are and be that person. That's what your soul was put on this earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.”
- Ellen DeGeneres I was driving to a store recently and saw a sign that was spray painted on someone's garage door, "BE THE CHANGE” I don’t know why, but it’s like fresh new wallpaper in my headspace. I think we all can "be the change.” We can change anything we desire and my desire is encourage myself and others to practice self love and self care. If that sounds self serving, it is…and that’s exactly the point.