I was leaning against a bookcase of (mostly self-help) books, my hand hovering over a line of essential oils. Believe, Peace, Wild Orange, Grounded, Patchouli...
"You know," I said out loud to my sister sitting at her desk still working at 4:47 pm on a Friday, "people say I'm hard on myself, but I think my inner critic and I have a great relationship."
I picked the Grounded essential oil and kneeled on the floor to begin my weekly ritual of honoring my soul's work and my mind's attempt at deconstructing everything my soul has worked for.
Two drops in my palms. Swirl. Rub my hands together, and take a deep inhale. Hmmm. I took some of the extra oil and rubbed the center of my feet. Closing my eyes and being present in the moment.
My sister popped up from her chair and said, "We can have a self-care meeting real quick."
In the office, there's our desks, a couch, an accent chair, an ottoman... and my point here is that there are many places for my sister and me to sit. We choose to sit on the ground when we have these unplanned self-care meetings, under a crystal chandelier that maybe costs more than my vehicle.
Our impromptu question was: What are TWO AREAS you can be MORE GENTLE with yourself right now?
Maybe you don't have this problem, but my mind seems to always have the best reason for why I mess things up. Why am I not better at accepting myself? Why did I make those bad decisions when I was mad or scared or stressed (Frozen II, anyone??).
I have thought patterns that sound like: Everybody else would have made a better decision in that scenario, You can't even take care of yourself, People think you are a joke (I am funny, I know, but hopefully not a joke), Nobody takes you seriously, You should just give up now on everything you've ever hoped or dreamed of, You are completely incompetent.
Never had any of those thoughts?
LUCKY YOU. I have. Like, almost every day.
You haven't messed it up, and this is life. A lot of the things are shifting in our world and completely outside of our control and THATS F*CKING TERRIFYING. This is where grace (literally, buckets and buckets and buckets of grace) come into play.
Here were my two areas:
Releasing Judgement: When I don't know something (such as filing taxes properly) I get suuuuuper overwhelmed and down on myself and start a really fun track of thoughts that sound like this: You suck, You don't know anything, You'll always need help doing basic things because you're incompetent.
Forgiving Myself: For actions that I made when I was mad or scared or stressed.
One time, I was watching this woman's self-care journey (cuz I watch things like that) JVN's new Self Care video is my favorite, but she was saying that she notices a "low" every day for herself mentally between 3-4 pm. So, she said, one practical thing that she will do is instead of forcing herself to work through those hours, is making space for herself instead. Going for a walk. Practicing meditation. Workout. Write a gratitude list. And not plan any meetings.
Are there two areas you could, perhaps, be more gentle with yourself?
Maybe you're always behind on laundry, or you haven't dropped that package off yet, or you have worked so hard on building a business and now COVID has set it all back. Are there outside influences at play here? How can YOU be more gentle with YOURSELF?
My sister said something really beautifully profound: Imagine you have an inner critic and an inner goddess.
My spine straightened in Sukhasana (cross-legged seated position) when she said this. Lifting my head, ready to learn about my inner goddess, wondering YEAH, where has she been?
Maybe, she continued, it's like the angel and the devil on the shoulders analogy, but in this circumstance, your goddess is however big you want to make her. She could be human size, maybe the size of this house. She can fill as much space as you want. And the critic? It's this small little bug, but when the nighttime comes, it casts its shadow on the wall and looks like this really big monster.
Ain't that the truth.
I share this with you now because, while I tend to put a light-hearted spin on my blog posts– life is extremely challenging right now. For a lot (maybe all) of us. Maybe your business has gone completely under you don't know if you'll be able to re-open. Maybe a relationship has ended. Maybe a loved one has passed away. Maybe you had a great routine going and all of it has been picked up off the ground, jostled around, and tossed back down into a million tiny pieces. And the thought of even attempting to collect the shards of glass off the floor is scary.
I am not saying anything of these things are light. They are extremely challenging. Hard. Painful. I mean pain-full.
What are two areas you can be more gentle with yourself during these times?
We will get through this. Together. Look at me. Together.
What am I listening to? GET READY TO LIVE ---> https://open.spotify.com/track/4qJ4ezTojLtdyImVEhA2Wp?si=jgde1C5bQqqAuiRMUfpz_g
Selah by Emeli Sandé.
My love is the bomb and forgiveness is the rocket.