Do you have a good relationship with yourself? Do you know yourself? How do you treat yourself: lovingly, with acceptance, or with disregard?
Do you take the time to provide for your needs? To shower yourself with love and affection?
Any relationship – with yourself or with others – takes giving and commitment. But, how often do you give and commit your nurturing, loving energy back to yourself? How often do you give your soul what she needs?
I believe that in order to be truly happy we have to be in harmony with ourselves. In order to be in harmony we have to have a good understanding of ourselves: who we really are, and what we really need. And whilst these are big, existential questions there are steps that you can take to start (or recommit to) giving yourself some soul food to help the process along.
Most of us in our daily lives are generally frazzled, preoccupied, distracted, distressed and sometimes downright depressed. I don’t know about you but it often feels like there is so little time to devote to yourself. With the pressures of wage-earning, child-rearing, hustlin’ your craft, etcetera, etcetera, the first thing that always seems to be sacrificed is self-care. “There’s always tomorrow…” to start that painting, have that bubble-bath, do that exercise class, read that book… On and on it goes until your soul is completely neglected.
When I say your “soul”, I mean the essence of who you are. And soul food is that which lights you up, ignites your passion and your curiosity, which nourishes you on all levels (physically, mentally and emotionally) so that you are bursting at the seams with happiness! You radiate both life force and inner calm.
Life is crazy busy, but how good would it be to feel even just a little bit of that bliss every single day?
In order to have a good relationship with ourselves we have to make time for ourselves each day. We need to check in and ask ourselves (without judgement): how do I feel? And then listen to what your soul really wants in order to get back to (or continue in) a state of happiness. Do you need to get your blood pumpin’ and your endorphins rushing? Do you need to sleep in just that little bit longer? Do you want to start that painting today, or book that music lesson? Do you need to just sit and watch the clouds?
The thing is, life is precious and life is short. Days pass by too rapidly and often without meaning. We DESERVE to enjoy ourselves EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It is our right and we do not need to wait for anyone else (our boss, partner, children, whoever) to give us permission to seize it.
This is where a mindfulness practice comes in, and it got me thinking about the ways in which we can nourish our souls on a committed, daily basis. As I said, relationships take giving and commitment. And THE most important relationship is with yourself. When you are fulfilled and overflowing, you can give to others in a way that is much more satisfying for all involved.
And so, I have created a Happiness Menu for you! This is a free, downloadable PDF for you to fill out and stick on your fridge, or mirror, or wherever you will see it daily. All you have to do is write down 10 things that you love to do, that nourish your soul and leave you feeling happy, connected with yourself and generally uplifted. Don’t be shy – inject your day with a little bit of luxury! Each day, pick at least one thing from this list to do (high fives if you can do more!). By committing to yourself this way, you are creating a beautiful relationship with yourself. Click here to download it now 🙂
Here are some examples of what is on my Happiness Menu:
- Hiking, or being out in nature in some way.
- Time with a good book!
- An early night
- Some squares of dark chocolate and a herbal tea
- A glass of Rosé with my friends
- Snuggles with my cat
You could also meditate, paint, draw, play music, cook, have a luxurious bath, surf a wave… whatever works for you!
It is important to do these things mindfully. Allow yourself to really sink into the luxury, the bliss, or whatever good feeling comes up. There’s no point sitting in a beautiful, hot bubble bath if you’re thinking and stressing about tomorrow’s work meeting!
Whether you have an hour or 10 minutes to spare, consciously and mindfully connecting with yourself and giving yourself what you need will always contribute to your happiness. And when you are happier and in a deeper state of peace, you will more easily work out the bigger, existential questions in life and feel able to take action on them. And in the mean time, whilst your seedling dreams are taking root, you will be enjoying every single day (if not in whole then at least in part, and that is a hugely positive step!)
I hope you find this Happiness Menu useful to you. Remember, you deserve to be happy! Not only is it OK for you to make time for yourself, it is very important for the well-being of both yourself and everyone around you. When we are overflowing with love, we are of the greatest service to others.
P.S. If you know someone who would benefit from this post, please share it. It would make me so happy to spread the love as far as possible! XoXo