Today, I am grateful for time out from the old routine. This week I have devoted more time to caring for myself than I can ever remember. As my first Gratitude Daily course ended last month, I took the uncharacteristic decision to take time out. Busy has been my middle name for as long as I can recall, but as the course came to a close, I felt an overwhelming urge to just be. I took a step back from everything. I did not rush into promoting the next course or getting the new project going, though the excitement is there for what’s brewing and the desire to just get on with it is strong, the urge to sit back and focus on the self-care has been stronger. I am going with the flow… enjoying the slow and today, I took a trip to Brighton… to the sea. After a couple of hours work, I met up with a friend, wandered The Lanes and strolled down to the beach where we sat… and talked and listened to the sound of the sea. It was bliss… the sun on our faces, gulls overhead, stones between fingers, waves crashing. We then walked some more… slowly, I had no desire to dash. It felt luxurious, this glorious time out. I felt my body relax, shoulders lower, my mind unwind as one would expect. What has surprised me most during this week of self-care has been my craving, not for chocolate, but for wholesome food. This took me aback, this unanticipated aspect of time out. I had been thinking about improving my diet for a while… not going on a diet you understand – that has never been my style – just improving the quality of the food I consume, but in thinking about it, nothing changed. In caring for myself and taking time out to just be, a good diet has been a natural consequence. I shop slowly, thoughtfully, daily. My decision to give up chocolate for Lent seems like a cop out right now, as I just don’t feel the urge for it. Spinach, however, is quite another matter. For dinner, we found a vegetarian restaurant with a menu that made my mouth water. I was not disappointed. So, today, I am grateful for sea air and slow time. I am grateful for good friends and food that feeds the soul. I am grateful for the little things I learn when I take time out.
After 28 days of my first official Gratitude Daily course, which ended on the last day of Feb, I was thrilled with how things had gone, but exhausted by the unexpected energy used up in sharing this particular offering with the world for the very first time. Not to mention the holding of space for a group of women to share their daily gratitudes and challenges. Add to that the late nights for scheduling emails and keeping up with the Facebook group postings. Wow! It takes a lot to put yourself out there, but the pay off is big… earning money doing what you love and touching people’s lives… what a pleasure that is. Out of both necessity and celebration, it was time for some self-care. So, this week is dedicated Self-Care Week. On Saturday, I bought myself some beautiful flowers – daffodils, purple tulips and alstromeria in pink. Today, they opened fully. Yesterday, I allowed myself time away from my desk for guilt-free lunch out with a friend. I was in bed by 9 and up before sunrise. Today, I treated myself to a book for bedtime, but couldn’t resist dipping in after dinner and can’t wait to dive in again. After pancakes with lemon sugar for desert, I am considering giving up chocolate for lent… another leaning/learning this week has been towards healthy food as a treat for my body, rather than chocolate. Tomorrow, I haven’t decided how I will celebrate, but on Thursday, I have booked myself in for a cut and colour… a rare event over here! On Friday, I may venture to the sea… Brighton is calling and I can justify it with some work there as well, but I will still have time for the sea air self-care, oh yes! A coast-bound train journey looms… bring it on! Hard work (even if it is something you love) is all very well, but what’s the point if you can’t take time out to indulge a little and enjoy yourself? What will you do to treat yourself well this week? Give yourself a reason for Gratitude Daily… do one small thing just for you each day. You will thank yourself for it. x