Thursday, January 29, 2009

when i loved myself enough...

A couple of years ago I bought a little book entitled 'When I loved myself enough' by Kim McMillen. It's a collection of the author's reflections and musings on life and herself in the midst of life, and I thought it could be useful in any future counselling practice I might have. Of course we all need a little counselling from time to time, and the other day I pulled the book off the shelf to see if there was anything relevant to my situation.

When I loved myself enough I started eating organically grown food (except for those occasional fruit pies of course). Hmmm, yes I understand this, I identify, I am eating more and more organic foods myself.

When I loved myself enough I started treating myself to a massage at least once a month.
Well I did plan to have massages more often after that beautiful massage last September, but somehow I still haven't got around to it. Is it a little too indulgent anyway?

When I loved myself enough I began listening to the wisdom of my body. It speaks so clearly through its fatigue, sensitivities, aversions and hungers.
We're on to something here. I ignored the wisdom of my body for most of 2008 and I am living with the almost burned out results. In 2009 my goal is to look after myself better, to nurture the bruised spirit, to feed the aching places. That means positioning a guard around my borders, being deliberate in what I choose to do or not do, being kind to myself and engaging in a little healthy protectivism. Ah yes, Kim McMillen has some things to say here too. When I loved myself enough I felt compelled to slow down - way down. And that has made all the difference.

I'm not personally good at the slow thing. I read a book on it last year, I know the benefits, might even know how to slow down, but I still struggle to do it. Life has so much to offer. So many delights call me to indulge, participate, enjoy. I have so much I want to do with my time! To slow down will mean a hefty effort to just. say. no. When I loved myself enough I learned to say no when I want to and yes when I want to. The trouble is I rarely want to say no!

I suppose there would be little benefit in making new year aims and resolutions if they were never tested - what would be the point, where is the challenge in a goal that is little more than a garden stroll? And so the testing came.

I have been invited to consider being a media representative for an upcoming event. What a thrill! Cecily in front of the cameras (is my hair OK?)! Oh so enticing. Of course there was more to this than the mere stroking of my over grown ego - I believe passionately in the cause, I dream of making a difference on this issue, I want to contribute to the better good of the world. All good reasons to say yes. Yes. YES!

Until I remembered my commitment to look after myself. Then I noticed the tension tightening up my stomach, the increased tossing and turning as sleep evaded me and I puzzled over how to fit this in around my other undertakings. Could I say yes and remain true to my promise to guard the ragged edges?

In the end I said no, but it was hard. Such an opportunity! What doors might it have opened? Will I be offered the chance again? At the same time, I feel peace and strength. I feel content I made the right decision for this stage of my life. There will be other opportunities - maybe not the same, but they will come. There will be other moments. For now, focus on healing. Hold onto the more calm, relaxed me.

When I loved myself enough I could say no because I needed to, not just because I wanted to. That surely bodes well for a year of gentle growth.

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At 9:36 pm, January 29, 2009, Blogger Mike S said...

With experience comes wisdom. Old Injun been doing the 'slow' thing since birth, guess it's just my nature. Also love organicly grown food, especially cows. hehehe

Seriously, we get most of out summer food and almost all our meat & poultry products from organic producers(local farms). We even get 'raw' cow & goat milk. Was raised on a farm & eaten like that as much as possible always.

Sounds as though your next stage of life might be a little less tense, I certainly hope that's the case;)

At 5:18 am, January 31, 2009, Blogger Sandy's Notes said...

Just because a door opens doesn't mean we should walk through it. I believe there will always be more doors Cecily, being able to recognize opportunities and then chosing carefully the ones we want is true success.

Meanwhile window shopping is not so bad.

At 5:20 am, January 31, 2009, Blogger Cherie said...

It sounds to me, Cecily, like you said yes. Yes to YOU. Yes to indulging in your health, participating in stresslessness, indulging in peace.

I am reminded of a decorating perspective I've adopted, that empty spaces on walls, or shelves, or floors, or gardens are not void, they hold space, they balance, they offer us quiet from loudness, from chaos and arrogance, from necessity, and just plain scrutinizing that even the most beautiful creations demand. They offer us a place to rest our minds, our eyes from looking, studying, processing outward things. They are full spaces.

Life's like that, too, but just as a decorator has to have the courage to leave a space blank in order to create rest and peace, so do we who want balance and health benefit from creating spaces which to the world seem like emptiness, or waste. It's important. It's something to do with our time, it allows inwardness which makes the outwardness all the richer.

I'm here in Oregon applauding your wisdom and courage, Cecily!

At 12:36 pm, February 03, 2009, Anonymous sandeesnotes said...

Hey Cecily, I handed down an award to some bloggers today, your award awaits you on my blog. Hope you are well.

At 12:28 pm, April 22, 2009, Anonymous Leah said...

Hi Cecily! I'm working through some of your archives- glad to see you back blogging. I think of you often, but I hardly say it. Sorry - that's something I'm not so good at!

This post was especially moving to me. I am going through a bit of a rough patch and am figuring out ways to care for me again. Thanks for the inspiration, always.

my pink toes


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