I was browsing through my planner when I saw my handwritten note about what Marty Herald said in her Personal Growth and the Art of Inspired Living blog:
“When we take some time to solely think about ourselves, and not have to consider our impact on others, we begin the process of true self-awareness. It can be a little daunting at first, but the result of this awareness is that you learn what drives you, what excites you, and what motivates you. This new-found self-awareness is a beautiful thing and it can have a dramatically positive effect on your life and relationships.”
I can’t ping back this blurb to the site where I got it, Google wasn’t able to show me where this article is located.
But this blurb inspired me to write this article. Sometimes, especially us women, we always tend to be too caught up in managing our time and responsibilities around prioritizing the needs of the people around us – our parents, our children, our husband or our partner, our friends, our boss or our clients.
Do not forget that living a happy and quality life also requires taking care of yourself. And one of the most important relationships that you must nourish is your relationship to yourself. Julia Robert’s Eat Pray Love and Reese Witherspoon’s Wild are just some of Hollywood movies that will remind you of this, that you need to restore balance in your life and to live for yourself.
To live for yourself – to live a life you feel you are aligned with, to live a life where you prioritize what you love to do and not what others think that you should do, to live a life that will bring joy to you and you will be proud of.
Living for yourself doesn’t mean that you should live a selfish life, as long as your respect for others is there and you do not dismiss other people’s need, it is not selfish. It is not selfish because we all deserve to live a life in the way that will serve our needs and not just to serve others. Perhaps, you’ve heard people telling you that whatever you give away, you are taking it away from your own, then you know that you cannot serve and help others without taking care of yourself first.
It’s just like when you board to a plane and the flight attendants gives the pre-flight safety briefing when the plane takes off. Part of the FAs’ demonstration is where they show the use of the oxygen mask in case of a decompression emergency and they remind the passengers to put on their own mask first before helping others because if you try to put the mask to others before wearing yours first, by the time that you will help them, you may have passed out already. And it’s the same with your daily life, if you keep putting other people’s need first and your needs the last, time will come that you don’t have enough left for yourself.
Unlike the characters in your favorite movies, you don’t have to wait for a life-changing experience to start doing things for yourself. No matter what stage of life you are in right now, it is never too late to begin acknowledging that you matter and you deserve to be your own priority.
It may not always be easy but one day you will realize that self-love and self-care is not only good for you but also for the ones that you care the most.
START PRIORITIZING YOURSELF. Start putting yourself first. Do not forget to acknowledge that your needs and your feelings also matter. Don’t hesitate to say no if you have to. It’s not wrong to serve yourself first and to make sure that you’ve filled your own cup first before thinking of filling up other people’s cup, remember you can’t pour from an empty cup.
BE YOURSELF AND NOT WHAT OTHERS TELL YOU TO BE. Use your mind and your heart to choose whether you worry yourself about pleasing other people or you will accept that regardless of what choices you make, not everyone will be happy but you will embrace the things that will make you feel fulfilled.
MAKE TIME TO THINGS THAT YOU LOVE AND BRING JOY TO YOU. Make a decision to make time to things that you love, do things that brings you joy and surround yourself with people that put a smile on your face.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. Our body and mind are connected… and taking care of your body and health is something you must also prioritize. Much like our lives, we can steer and mold our bodies the way we want to.
LIVE IN THE PRESENT. One of the teachings of Buddha that is worth remembering is that: The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.
PRACTICE A GRATITUDE ATTITUDE. Adapting an attitude of gratitude will help you wake up each day calmly and joyfully. When you make a conscious effort to be more appreciative for your life you are forced to get outside of challenges you are facing and see all the “good” that’s happening around you.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO PAUSE WHEN YOU NEED TO. In this modern world where we all have instant access to almost anything, it is sometimes really difficult to pause because of our fear not to be able to catch up, but there’s these lines from a movie that will remind you to stop and take a look around you once in awhile.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off –
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and take a look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
SPEND TIME WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE. You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. Choose the people you associate your self with, move away from people who hold you back and move towards to people who drive you forward.
END TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS . May it be in a long-term friendship or a relationship that just started, it is possible that there are people in your lives that make you feel great but somehow make you feel inadequate. If you keep giving more and receive nothing in return but negativity, then, take it as a sign for you to move on.
CELEBRATE EVEN YOUR SMALL WINS. Celebrating small wins daily is a good reminder that little by little, you are working towards getting where you want to be.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO DO THINGS THAT SCARE YOU. The last thing that you want to happen is reaching the end of your life and you have a huge list of “what if?” because you were didn’t do things because of your fear of the unknown and your fear to fail. Regret is a terrible feeling. Facing your fears may not guarantee success but it will help you grow.
FORGIVE AND LEARN TO LET GO. Forgive not only those people that wronged you but also forgive yourself for the bad decisions you’ve made. It may not be easy but take courage to forgive, to let go and to move on.
If you want to make positive changes in your life… today is the day. Don’t hold for another day because the truth is life is happening right now.