We’re MARRIED and off to Maui on our honeymoon – YES! I want to focus all of my attention on enjoying my new husband and each and every tropical cocktail, so while I am gone I’ll keep Your Full Plate from getting.. empty with guest and greatest hits posts. Today’s post was from last winter and seemed timely considering that my major plans for the next two weeks are napping on a beach and hugging a dolphin. Love you, see you in November!
Last week I read a beautiful blog post by Goddess Leonie called Things I Learned After the Worst Year of my Life. One line in particular stuck with me like crazy:
Be gentle with yourself. Make it your default centre. “How can I be more easy on myself right now? What’s the easiest route?”
Those words were such a gift to me! Today I want to pass this gift along to you. Especially during this crazy assed time of year, when keeping your shit even kind of together is a giant accomplishment. I want to give you permission, busy women, to do things in the easiest, gentlest way in all areas of your life
But isn’t the Easy Way for Wusses?
The path of least resistance has an undeserved baaad reputation. I blame our masculine-energy dominated society. Remember, masculine energy loves crushing obstacles in its highly focused path to a goal. That is all well and good, but if you don’t balance this with some good old fashioned feminine flow, you will wind up one cranky bitch.
Now please note! I am not saying that hard work is bad. Hard work is awesome! It is incredibly satisfying to throw yourself whole hog into the things that matter to you.
Instead, I’m saying that the thought “The whole blood, sweat, and tears thing is what it takes to make my life great” is just that – a thought. If you’re walking around feeling fried beyond belief, you are living proof that this thought is not always true. The path of naps, hugs, and support can be admirable and productive, too, you know.
I’m also not saying that you shouldn’t challenge yourself, and strive for growth. Human beings are naturally geared towards expansion, and always desire more. Without that, I’d be scratching this blog on a wall in my cave.
Instead, just consider that loving yourself better, and giving yourself a frigging BREAK once in awhile is a growth experience too.
How You Might be Making Things Harder than You Need To
Below are my suggestions for how to find some currents in your life to push you along, rather than swimming upstream like mad and ending up as an exhausted shell of a personfish.
Before I give you this list, please know that I’m learning how to live this right along with you. Two nights ago, I was totally exhausted and could not get this post out even though I was willing myself to do it. Jonny pointed out to me the irony of forcing myself to write a blog about being easy on oneself. Oy vey!
Let’s keep working on it, okay? Here are some of the ways I’ve identified where you might be ignoring the big fat sign that says EASY GENTLE ROAD RIGHT THIS WAY!
Exercise your right to say no, lovingly and graciously. Handing out resentment-filled yeses like crazy is the exact opposite of taking it easy. Expending a load of energy to cover up that you’re doing something you don’t want to be doing is really draining. If you haven’t developed the self love to be motivated by that yet, keep this in mind: anything given resentfully does not feel good for the receiver either.
Use sick and vacation time, if it’s available at your job. We are a bunch of fucking sickos with this in America. Most of us would feel more shame in telling a boss, “I took a few days to rest” than in telling them that “I dragged my dying self to work with a fever and diarrhea”. Seriously, take a moment and think about how twisted that is.
Redefine the values you feel proud of exhibiting based on what you actually, um, value. It is okay to hold self-loving acts in the same esteem as acts that help everyone else, to consider emotional work as important as work that you do for money. I know that your brain will fight you on this at first, but it will get easier with practice.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. I know that some of you, upon asking for what you want and actually getting it, immediately start feeling guilty rather than receiving joyfully. I am the queen of this. I’m always all, “Oh are you SURE? Really, because you don’t have to. Truly, just forget it if you want to, it was a dumb idea anyway.” Cut the crap! You deserve to get what you want.
Assess what you can do comfortably without going insane. Label that as “enough” and then let it go! Bonus points if you can take it one step further and label it as “perfect”.
Are you addicted to the hard stuff? What are some ways you can make life easier for yourself, and treat yourself more gently? If you don’t want to, why? Comment away, I want to hear your thoughts on this!