Recently I was watching Sex and the City, a guilty pleasure I periodically indulge. I had it playing as background noise when suddenly Miranda’s voice pierced through me“What about you! What do you want?!” I stopped my busy work, sat back, had an “oh-#$%^&-yah!” moment.
I forget about me, a lot.
I get caught up in what I believe I need to be doing, how I believe my life should be panning out. Not what I actually, deeply want to be doing.
We live in a society that encourages us to stay busy, to keep up with our neighbors, meet everyone’s demands, make something of ourselves. It’s easy to become busy juggling work and livelihood with life’s errands, school, friends, family, the internet’s latest 5 tips to stay healthy, the most recent tragedy, a new D.I.Y. project, etc.
The next thing we know we’re, in the words of Samantha, “should-ing” ourselves: “I should be going to yoga,” “I should be eating more greens,” “I should be doing this or that thing.”
All this busyness of body and mind takes us further away from who we are as individuals and deafens our ability to hear what we truly want and need. The distinction between the shoulds we want to be doing and feel like we need to be doing becomes blurred. We put ourself to the side in order to keep up with the Jones’.
I believe the root of a healthy, fulfilling life strongly depends on cultivating a happy, nourished and authentic soul. Life, nor the internet has an outline for achieving this, as it remains different for everyone. All I can contribute is what works for me:
*Keeping in mind I create my own expectations, completely.
*Engaging in enjoyable activities which facilitate a calm mind. For me a long bike ride or hike (without my camera!) melts away mind chatter and lets my authentic self shine through.
*Checking my stress at the door. Seriously, finding a way to mange stress that isn’t serving you well removes a huge factor in a long list of diseases. I typically go for a nerve relaxing tea and time with my cats.
*Cutting myself a break and indulging in that which makes me happy and 100% enjoying it. Like an afternoon of Sex and the City and a side of ice cream. No regrets.
*Remembering that life is short, I should enjoy the time I have. With the thought life can end at any moment, it becomes easy to put things in perspective and allow a bit of healthy selfishness in.
*Lastly and most importantly, taking the time do these things so they don’t become items on my “should” list. Personally, I’ve turned my Sunday’s into a ritual of doing exactly the things I want.
Ash Sierra is a clinical herbalist, potion maker, cat lover and forest wanderer. Visit her at SanctumPotion.com or @Sanctum_Potions