New Year’s, for me, is often a time of deep inner contemplation. I sometimes try on for size a few resolutions, but I often skip that ritual. This time of year isn’t the best season for forging new habits (spring is). But on the other hand, it’s never a bad idea to go inward and hit the reset button. This time of year IS good for that!
My invitation for myself is simple this year, and I want to offer it to you, in case you want to take it on as well. As we move into 2015, I want to use self-love as my barometer and point of orientation. That’s it! Focus on self love. What does this mean in more concrete terms?
1. Asking, “What would be the most loving thing I could do for myself in this moment?” This will be my guiding question, and once I get into the habit of asking it, I predict it will run through my head several times a day.
2. Noticing my self-judgments (the word “should” is usually my biggest tip-off that a judgment or subtle criticism is lurking nearby) and picking a more compassionate story instead. Example: I should’ve already had the New Year’s email written and cued up before I even got sick which underneath it falls into the “I should be doing more and getting it done sooner" story. I know this story well. And it’s funny how often it sneaks up given the fact that I’m actually a very hard worker, and I am more in balance when I turn my inner “hard worker” down a notch or two. So the compassion I bring to myself is the reminder that I do plenty, it’s enough, and I love myself even when I don’t meet my own deadlines.
3. Self-love for me does go hand in hand with my value of self-improvement. I will always be stretching, growing, and gravitating towards the self-help section of my favorite bookstores. That’s just who I am. And, it’s important to be okay with the person I am today. So how do I balance these two out? I try to pick just one or two areas I want to focus on at any given point to spare myself the criticism that comes when I find out it’s impossible to change everything all at once. If I do make a new year’s goal, then I choose one that’s focused and feels really right – then I relax about everything else. And it’s an important approach for me to take, because I often pick pretty lofty goals for myself… so it helps me be more successful at achieving what I put my energy towards (self love) while moving towards it in a manageable way (self love).
What acts of self-love resonate for you?