On April 22 I gave my first free talk about the Simple Abundance Close-to-Home Workshops. We had a small intimate gathering at Ink Spell, a sweet little bookstore in my small town. I felt nervous, not about the public speaking I was about to do, but that I would do justice to the message I wanted to share. I wanted my audience to know in their core that they were not only deserving of being on their ever present “to do” list, but they needed to be a top priority – if not their first. The analogy I used of the flight attendant instructing passengers to put their oxygen mask on first before assisting others seemed to have the most impact. It was so obvious that in such a situation, of course, it made sense to put your own mask on first. Otherwise how would you be able to help anyone else? However, applying that principle to our daily lives when there seems to a never-ending list of demands on our time, attention, patience, common sense, good will and creativity is well worth the effort involved. As the commercials tell us, “I’m worth it!”
We discussed a few creative ways to put ourselves first without alarming family, friends and our own ingrained sense of duty:
– Journaling is a powerful tool to connect with ourselves, requires minimum supplies and little time, yet writing our thoughts down has significant impact on us emotionally, spiritually and physically. As a journal writer since the age of 11, I am a strong proponent of this practice.
-Being in Nature was another suggestion. From sitting on the grass in our back yard, taking a walk in the neighborhood, enjoying the local park, or exploring a new area of town. We don’t have to postpone our appreciation for the great outdoors until we have a weekend to get away from it all. We can escape with a cup of tea on our front step to contemplate what the day will bring, or what it has brought us.
-Flowers. Taking the time to stop and smell the flowers; whether it means bringing them home from the grocery store, going to a Garden Center, or admiring a flowering bush – close your eyes, breathe in their scent and feel the aroma melt your resistance.
Your stress may not be eliminated, but it certainly will have had a pleasant interlude enjoying the flowers, the walk and the writing in your journal. Today, I’m going to stop and smell the flowers on my front step. What will you do to create a little time to put yourself first today?…