I am sure you have heard this before. People say no one can really love you if you don’t love yourself. I think I might disagree. Maybe it is more if you don’t love yourself first then you can’t feel the love of others when they are pouring it onto you.
Loving yourself feels good because it means you are more likely to take care of and be nice to yourself. Many people would never say to others the things they tell themselves. Would you ever tell your best friend she wasn’t good enough? When I have a thought that goes against self-love I think about all the amazing and wonderful people in my life and my ideal way of treating them. My ideals include respect, kindness, warm words, and compassion. I use these to guide my thoughts, words, and actions when dealing with myself and others. Know your value so when others tell you how beautiful, smart, and talented you are and how much they love you it sinks right in without effort. Allow yourself to know that the warm words they share are from a place of truth.
I have had the joy of being a member of a Community Share Agriculture farm this year. It has allowed me to experiment with new foods, inspired me to cook at home, and given me time outside and an excuse to play in the dirt. Every week feels like Christmas morning as we try to guess what the garden has produced. Lettuces, kohlrabi, kale, swiss chard, herbs, melons, summer squash, peppers, and garlic took turns filling my basket. Nothing really compares to experiencing food this fresh. I would get home and start throwing things in a pot, the juicer, or the salad spinner. I made things I never would have been inspired to do otherwise, from pasta sauce and soup to shredded beet salad. I have been cooking and eating better from this new weekly routine. Wild flowers now fill a vase in my office and make me smile. I remember debating whether or not the cost would be worth it…Three months later I can assure myself it was and I would recommend joining one to anyone that eats.
There seems to be an inverse relationship between movement in our everyday lives and the technology gadgets we use for work and entertainment. Why go kayaking on a river when you can just as easily do it in front of your T.V. on the Wii? Why run outside when you get on the treadmill with a TV in front of your face?
I try to get movement into my everyday in ways that look the furthest from exercise as possible. Exercise isn’t a fun term. Outside of work and family, fun is a big priority for me so I choose not to waste my time trying to integrate something into my life that I will not enjoy. Instead, I dance in the kitchen, I walk, hike, and bike. I try new things. I sit on an exercise ball at work because it is funny when I fall off and I can kind of bounce on it. I do these things not based on my waist line but because I enjoy them! Today we are fans of the monotonous, we run at the same pace, or walk at the same pace, or do the same dull routine at the gym. Get it done! Get it out of the way! On to the next obligation…I only go to the gym if I’m visiting my cousin in Chicago because her gym smells like chocolate due to the cocoa factory next door. Any place that smells like chocolate is fun for me, even if it is a gym.
So what is my point? Do not torture yourself for health, even if you are losing pounds you are hurting yourself in other ways. Some people love the gym, and more power to them! I’m not talking to them, I’m talking to myself. I want to point something out…
When you look back on your life most of us won’t cherish the memories at the gym or in front of the TV doing the latest Wii exercise program. However, if we climb a mountain, learn a new sport, learn how to kickbox, go white water rafting in Colorado, take long walks on the beach, bike in Nantucket, or dance the night away we are much closer to making memorable moments and those things will always be worth any effort we put forward. Living a fit life can turn into something enjoyable instead of something we have to get over with.
Advice I Give Myself: Enjoy your day in every way. Make exercise into a game and keep finding ways to love your life more and more.
I got home last night at 2am after airport delays and traffic. As I was setting my alarm a line from EN VOGUE started to play in my head, “Back to life, back to reality…” I added “Back to the same old game…” However, after further research I realize I just made that last line up… and the rest of the song lyrics are not applicable to my current situation. So back to the drawing board in trying to find my life soundtrack.
Anyway, so I have this musical thought which was about to lead into thoughts about how I wasn’t going to get any sleep and how I tired I was going to be and how I couldn’t wait for the next day to be over because I was just going to be so tired. Just the normal turn of events in this type of situation. I stopped myself. Actually, I like my reality so I don’t have to not look forward to it and I like my job so that will be okay and maybe I will be tired but maybe I won’t be. I was setting my expectation for the next day so low and wanting it to end before it even began. What a disservice I was doing for myself. Why was I going into dreams with all this negativity? Were all the delays and traffic and the lack of sleep worth it for what I got out of it? Absolutely. Haven’t wonderful things happened to me when I least expected it or on days that haven’t begun on a full eight hours? Of Course.
I woke up today, yes a little tired, but it faded quickly with a glass of water. I got to my office excited to work with people and to help them in any way I possibly could. Excited to put this little thought into cyberspace. I love my job, I love my life, and I know and work with amazing people. I carry these thoughts with me today instead of gripping to self-pity and fatigue.
Advice I Give Myself: Turn your mind around. Everyday is what you make it so why make it a miserable one if you can choose to have a great day instead?