I am beginning to get better at honoring my inner voice. For so long, I did what I thought I was supposed to do instead of what I knew in my gut I needed to do.
Today, I needed a mental health day. This year was my 46th birthday and I didn’t prioritize my self-care the way I normally do on MY day. This year has been long and exhausting. Today, I needed to do exactly what I envisioned in my head. I saw myself sitting in front of a body of water by myself, soaking in the fresh air, a couple of good books, and soft music. Just thinking it made me smile.
But how could I make it happen when I had a full work schedule and an 11-year-old to care for? I couldn’t go too far for too long because I had to figure out dinner for tonight for all of us. All I needed was a few hours doing what my mind’s eye showed me to make the world all good again.
So I started by taking one step at a time. I emailed my supervisor to inform him I needed a mental health day. His response was he needed one too. He encouraged me to enjoy my day. I postponed a meeting with no excuse or apology, just the notice that I would reschedule it next week. That cancellation was well received.
Who wants to meet on a Friday anyway? And then I told my son that half of the
day would be US and the other half would be ME. I arranged for him to spend the afternoon at a friend’s. So after he and I thoroughly enjoyed an early lunch, a mini-shopping spree, and ice cream, I released him to his friends and ushered myself into my vision.
I would have loved to have gone to a beach or some far away, secluded spot. But instead of doing nothing because I couldn’t go to what I envisioned paradise to be, I brought paradise to me. This spot is across the street from my house. So I brought my books, my notebook, my lawn chair, my water and my red hot potato chips to this small piece of heaven. You can’t tell from the picture but there’s a business park, a highway, and a CVS nearby. But none of that is in my picture because I’m not focused on any of it.
My back is facing all of that insignificance and I am focused on this little piece of heaven I’m creating for myself in this moment. I and this moment are all of that and a bag of red hot chips.
Question: What do you see for yourself that you have been longing to experience but putting it off? How can you make it happen in some creative, doable way so you don’t keep ignoring your gut? Your peace might depend on you creating that very moment for yourself. And no one is going to give it to you.
Tell me how you plan to make it happen.
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