“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” ~ Mandy Hale
In the past two months since finding out about Mom’s stage 3c ovarian cancer, I feel like I’ve experienced every emotion on the emotional spectrum...from sadness to the-most-scared-I've-ever-felt to peaceful to confused to overwhelmed to love. What a whirlwind.
After feeling like I’d been simultaneously punched in the face and kicked in the stomach with the news, I felt lost. And alone. Despite being surrounded by people who love & care about me, there was still something very isolating about the experience.
Everyone in my family handled it differently - we all had our own thoughts & beliefs about what was “best” and “right” and what she/we “should” do, etc. [everything in quotes is in quotes because there’s no such thing as a best or right way to deal with cancer...or with anything in life, really...everyone's best is based on their own values & priorities].
Even though we'd moved home to take care of Mom, I was of little use to anybody while wallowing and feeling at odds with my emotions [and the world]. Thankfully, Eric climbed into my bubble of isolation to coax me out of it with loving snuggles and ample dry clothes for me to ugly cry on.
Remembering Mandy Hale’s quote [above], I started searching for a way to take care of myself, and I stumbled across One Minute For Myself by Spencer Johnson, M.D. It’s all about taking care of Me so I can be my Best Self.
The book introduced me to this simple piece of advice:
Several times during the day, stop and take a minute to ask myself... Is there a better way right now for me to take good care of Me? Then act on the response I get from within.
Simple and incredibly effective.
And so my journey inward became my top priority. I’ve been slowing down and tuning in to figure out what my body, mind, and spirit need to feel nourished, energized, and peaceful.
As with many things in my life, it’s been a process of trial and error. Some solutions have worked, and others have been given the boot. I have also completely forgotten to ask myself the question for an entire day [or more]. Whoops.
When I do remember to ask myself...sometimes I just need to pause and take a few deep breaths to feel re-aligned. Sometimes I free-write. Sometimes I go to the gym...nap...post in my photo journal...leave the house to read & snuggle in the park with Eric...text a bestie...climb on E's back to love on him while he's working...
...and yes, sometimes [more than once] I'll get an iced coffee and a donut and watch some Parks & Rec with E. :)
[And double yes, most of the activities I do for self-care include E. He's my favoritest person on the planet, so spending quality time with him usually results in me feeling nourished and overflowing with love.]
I’m amazed at how quickly this simple question combined with committed action has changed my daily experience of life. A huge part of the shift has come from the choice to become aware of AND take responsibility for my current experience - powerful stuff!
Is there a better way right now for you to take good care of You??
Sending you vibes of self-awareness and committed conscious choices. And hoping you have access to delicious donuts, if that's your thing. :)