This is a “try to bring clarity to my jumbled mind” kind of post. Writing my thoughts down has always helped to do just that, but at some point in the business of being a full-time home-educating mum, chef, chauffeur, organiser, facilitator, etc etc, I forgot to ……..
Throwing myself into my varied role with great vigour and enthusiasm and learning huge amounts of interesting things in fun ways has been the best experience in my life. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Looking back, however, I see various points where I have had little tantrums because I did not get any down time or where I was so tired that I was forced to stop and rest. Nurturing others at the expense of nurturing the self doesn’t work in the long run.
So while I would not change our choices as a family, I choose to make one small addition.
I commit to nurturing the little girl in me, the woman in me and the mum in me.
Sounds huge. Where am I going to find the time? Just get on with it. – All objections raised instantly by my mind.
But is it really huge?
I have gotten so used to neglecting myself that I have forgotten how little things have always brought me the greatest pleasure. I don’t need big sweeping changes here.
I read somewhere that self-care begins with the thoughts we choose to think. That really makes sense – a lot of thought patterns, and therefore our reactions, are habitual, but they all started as a choice, albeit thoughtlessly.
I choose consciously now. I choose to think nurturing thoughts and be more mindful when I speak. Way way easier said than done, but I am nothing if not persistent. I may fall off this horse a few times but I mean to get straight back into the saddle. This is my place to record those challenging moments and how I overcome them.
Practising this kind of thought and word- based self-care for just a week has made me feel happier. I had a ‘falling’ moment this morning, but I was able to pick myself up far quicker than in the past. Armed with the proof that this works, I can step confidently into the day and take charge of it.
Like I said, it’s the little things that add up to nurturing myself, like –
Looking deep into my eyes in the mirror and giving myself that big radiant and loving smile.
Standing at the kitchen window while I rinse the dishes, watching the birds eat the food my husband so thoughtfully puts out each morning. What a delight to see the collared doves, robins, blue tits, wood pigeons, blackbirds, magpies.. aha, that gratitude-filled moment – thank you husband.
Taking a few moments every now and then to breathe and stretch – just be present in my body instead of being lost in thought and to-do lists.
Walking in the wintry sunshine, admiring the bare trees, their beautiful shapes.
Enjoying the aromas and colours as I cook a meal with awareness, instead of rushing through the process.
Playing a favourite board game with family and friends – but, of course!
It’s that simple.