It’s easy to celebrate the big stuff, like my birthday or the holidays, or big accomplishments like publishing my first memoir, but what about all the small daily moments I engage in, even privately?
A Commitment to Me
I made a commitment and set a goal at the end of January to give myself three hours a day devoted to me: to journal and reflect, to move, to read for pleasure (which is not easy to do when I work on others’ writing throughout my workday), to play piano, to write, to meditate and focus on my spiritual practices, and to engage in any other activity that is an act of focused self-love.
This commitment was prompted by an exercise in author and wellness coach Kris Carr’s monthly coaching within her Inner Circle Wellness community. One of the questions she asked as part of the goal-setting process she offered her community in January included the words “self-loving.” The phrase “self-loving” is what got me! How often have I set goals that are about getting something done and pushing forward, no matter the cost to me? How often have my goals been everything BUT self-loving?
As quickly as I considered this prompt, the answer came flooding in. From that space of being self-loving, I had my goal, my commitment to me.
Writing this now and sharing it beyond my journal and the supportive wellness community simultaneously makes me smile and takes my breath away. It is a big commitment! The action required for me to make these three hours possible isn’t easy.
The Action Required
This commitment means that I will continue with my morning practices, including journaling and movement and even listening to a morning meditation. The hard part, though, comes at night. It means no more numbing out after dinner, when I usually sit in front of the TV for at least three hours after I’ve focused on other writers’ writing throughout my workday. I often watch for more than three hours, I’m embarrassed to admit!
I can’t give up TV entirely, so I’ve committed to limiting my TV time to one hour each night during the week. Admittedly, it scares me as I minimize an obvious addiction. Yet, it’s the one action that will make possible all that can come forth by giving myself the gift of time and focused attention on me. This one commitment allows for the possibility of manifesting the dreams I have for my life, including a deeper connection to the ALL of life.
Instead of only making lists of my dream life or creating a vision board that reflects my dream life (which are great actions to take), this one action of three hours a day shows me and the Universe that I care deeply about myself, my life, and my connection to everyone and everything beyond me.
A Declaration of Love
This one action is a declaration that I am worthy of my time and that I deserve my time and attention. And it is a statement that by dedicating time to myself, the dreams I hold for my life can come to fruition. It reflects that I don’t believe life only happens to me, but that I understand I must engage actively in my life in order for shifts to happen, including my ability to engage with and impact the world around me. It honestly feels like the single most loving act I’ve offered myself in many years. And the greatest gift I can offer to our world.
February is a month filled with so much emotion for me personally—including joy, sorrow, and gratitude—that it feels like the perfect moment in time for me to begin this practice.
My Big Anniversaries
February 14, 2024—Valentine’s Day—marks seventeen years since my first cancer diagnosis, ten years since my second cancer diagnosis, and two years since I published Mosaic Heart, my memoir encompassing that journey. And February 20 marks thirty-one years since I got sober, a part of my life that I don’t often share publicly. Addiction is a topic I write about in my second memoir, Madonna Blue Heart, which I am currently writing.
These are big anniversaries to celebrate, and I will celebrate them. They deserve my attention and my gratitude for the healing journey they represent. Along with these big moments, though, I will celebrate the very simple action I declared and put into practice at the end of January: to devote dedicated time each morning and each evening to me. To love, honor, and appreciate me, and to support me in ways that offer me the possibility of a long, healthful, and joy-filled life that I can also share with others.
This small act of self-love feels like the biggest event of all to celebrate.
What About You?
In this month focused on love, and at the midpoint of the winter season that invites and encourages an inward focus, what might you do for yourself that represents a “self-loving” goal or action? What might you celebrate? Remember, it starts with celebrating YOU! And also remember: no event or action or moment is too small to celebrate.
In honor of the anniversaries this month holds for me personally, I am hosting an online event on February 28 from 5:30 – 6:30 PM MST. The theme of the event is “Being Self-Lovingly Alive.” This is my gift to all of us—a self-loving life celebration. So join me as we celebrate our one glorious life together. And come ready to consider what it means for you to be “self-loving”!
Happy February, my dear, sweet friends.