In Rosalie Deer Heart’s book “Awaken,” she shared a great quote from Joan Chittister (author of “Seeing with Our Souls):
“If you want to know if you love yourself enough, ask yourself how much time you take in a week to do what you love to do.”
A very telling question!
I was lucky enough to meet Rosalie about four years ago and to receive a “Soul Reading” from her (one of her many talents and offerings). In this reading, Rosalie asked me what I did to show myself love. The question caught me off guard and I didn’t really know how to respond. “I don’t know….” I responded, “I guess I just try to take good care of myself.” Then she asked if I did something for myself every day that made me happy or felt nurturing.
“No.. I guess not,” I answered. I then spoke about all the reasons why I “couldn’t” show myself love every day. “Well you know, I have a toddler,” I said, “and I’ve had to work more lately, and have had a lot of stress in my life…” She smiled warmly and told me that I needed to find a way to do something nurturing for myself every day. I started to protest of course, but she interrupted me. “All you need is 10 minutes a day. It can be 10 minutes of painting if that’s something you enjoy, 10 minutes of reading a book you have been wanting to read, or 10 minutes of putting your feet in some mud.. whatever makes your heart happy!”
‘Huh… just 10 minutes a day,’ I thought, ‘That’s easy, I can do that.’
My 10 minutes of doing something for myself lasted about a week.. then I fell back into old habits and kind of forgot about it for a while.
But gradually, as I began reading and thinking more about self-love, I realized that Rosalie was right. It was (and is) very important to my personal happiness and well-being to do something enjoyable and/or rejuvinating for myself every day. On a good day, I give myself one or more hours to do something I really love. On a more hectic day, I may only have 10 minutes to do something nurturing for myself.
But what I find is this: making a daily practice out of doing something loving for myself has been extremely beneficial to my life. One thing that’s great is getting to look forward to my self-love routine each day. Even if I only get 10 minutes, I look forward to that 10 minutes that is only about me and nothing or nobody else. I treasure those moments and thus am completely present, engaged in the activity at hand. Further, the act of doing something nurturing for myself recharges my batteries a bit so that I am in a clearer state of mind and am better able to tackle the jobs and challenges that the day may bring.
Even now, after experiencing firsthand the power of this self-love practice, my mind will still try and talk me out of doing these nurturing things for myself. ‘But there’s just not enough time today,’ my mind may argue, or ‘you did something for yourself yesterday- do you really need to do something for you again today?’
But ultimately, my higher self knows that doing something nurturing for myself every day not only brings greater joy to my life, but is a wonderful investment in my inner peace and feelings of contentment for the future. By charging our batteries with a daily self-love practice, we keep ourselves in a higher state of consciousness/well-being, making us more resilient when stresses and challenges come our way.
Going back to the quote from the beginning of this blog, how much time have you spent this week doing what you love?
How could you multi-task or alter your schedule to allow for more time engaged in your passions? Can you listen to a book on audio during your work commute? Could you wake up 15 minutes earlier to do some yoga? Could you do some painting the next time you get together with a friend?
Though your mind may try and tell you otherwise, there is always a way to meet your needs or at least to better meet your needs. You may not be able to meet all of your needs overnight, but you can start today with this one small step that only requires 10 minutes of your time. And in case there’s any question, yes, you are worth it!