I woke up tired. I was not excited to greet the day, the tasks before me fell flat without glitter or shine or attraction.
I knew immediately something was off and it took me about 2 seconds to figure out I needed to find some time to feed myself.
One of The 13 Principles of The Art of Living Dangerously is to Feed Yourself First. I live by these principles based on hard won experience in creating the life I Love.
To feed yourself first means that you fill your physical, mental and energetic reservoirs so that you have what you need to meet your obligations and give to others when called upon. When you are running on empty, what do you have to give others? You have empty, you have nothing.
Yet, again and again we find ourselves saying yes when resent it, or at the very least dread it. We commit, then overcommit to activities, obligations and money. We live beyond the capacity of our bank accounts, hours in the day and energy. Some perverse logic tells us that the busier we are, the better we are. Or the more “stuff” we have the more important we are.
It is bogus thinking. It is damaged thinking, bred from the battle lines of social media, the expectations of “everyone” and our belief that someone else’s opinion of us is more important than our own sense of authenticity, health and happiness. So yeah, I call BOGUS on the idea that more is better and instead argue that when you feed yourself first, you can decide better when you have had enough. When you let people force feed you or rip “food” from your hand, you are not empowered. You have given away your power.
It’s time to take it back and feed yourself, own your actions and decide what is right for you.
That was my conclusion when I woke that day, tired, grumpy and out of sorts. That night I had a session with a fellow practitioner and confessed my state of mind and realization that I was over committing, taking on things that I didn’t need to and inviting illness if I kept on. I shared the example that earlier that day, in a part time job I hold, I agreed to work extra hours in a month that I sure as heck won’t have time to offer…as a knee jerk response.
When I committed to this path of mine, I had spiritual surgery to remove the spring in my ass popping me up to volunteer for everything in sight. As I heard myself saying yes to my boss, I wondered if it had somehow grown back in the night without my knowing.
I asked for my colleagues help in, once more, removing it and stepping back into my on philosophy that said I deserve to be taken care of at least as well as I care for others.
So this morning, I spent curled up with a magazine, a good cup of coffee and simply enjoyed for a while. I ignored the pile of work, I ignored the emails, I ignored the “should” popping up and then ignored the initial extreme discomfort that ensued when I sat down.
As I turned pages, sipped at the brew and breathed deep into my soul, I felt stress and strain slip away, I felt my internal power system coming back online. It felt AMAZING!
When was the last time you fed yourself?
If it has been a while, here are a few things to consider:
- It won’t be convenient. Pick a time and do it. It won’t fit nicely, you will have to say no to something else. Remember that no is a complete sentence. Practice: No.
- This is for you to refuel and recharge. You’d advise a good friend if they were in a similar state right?? Treat yourself at least as well as you’d treat that friend.
- Keep it simple. You don’t need anyone else to take time for you. Yeah, a massage or a mani/pedi would be cool, but just go for a walk sans cell phone or partner. Grab coffee and a good book or mag. Do what you want to do, but would “normally” feel guilty indulging in. (Note: Guilt is not an emotion to let be normal.)
- Screw the guilt. Seriously. Who told you that you couldn’t? Who told you not to? Who told you that you don’t deserve it? I call BOGUS again. Guilt is useless in this exercise. Be stronger, push past that lie you tell yourself and let guilt be replaced by satisfaction and energy.
- Enjoy it. Take a deep breath and enjoy.
Why is this important?
Doing this will bring your energies to bear on what you want, instead of what you feel you “should” want.
- What you want is to meet and dominate your calling, purpose, path, or whatever you want to call it.
- What you “should” want is what you think others want you to pursue.
I’d love to hear how you feed yourself. What is the activity you deny yourself most often, that you wish you had more time for and feel guilty for wanting it?