Is It Possible to Put Yourself First in the Midst of a Busy Life?

I was going to begin my day with dishes. Can you believe it? What a miserable way to begin your day. Unless you like doing dishes, then, have at it. I just don’t always see how washing dishes as a way to take care of yourself.

On this day, I approached my sink half full of dishes and said, “f**k it, I’m going to do the things that I want to first.”

What did that mean to me this morning? Well, I’ve been wanting to write and read – I have a reading list and we are over halfway through January and I haven’t finished a book yet from my list. I haven’t written daily. Meditation? Yeah, nope. So, today I decided to do this differently.

While taking a class with Katey Schultz, she gave us a morning exercise to help feed your creativity (and sanity). I’ve written about this before but haven’t really done the practice much.

The practice includes:

1. Read for 15 minutes. This reading is meant for self enrichment. Right now I am reading ‘Still Writing’. Its not really a self help book but it does get my brain working in a writerly kind of way. And it is on my list.

2. Write for 15 minutes. This is a good time, not to work on your current WIP, but to write those journal pages. This post was written during one of those morning writes, simply because I came to a blank page, primed and ready to get something down.

3. Activity for 15 minutes. I’ve been trying to meditate and while that doesn’t seem very active, it is an activity. Sometimes I have a 15 minute yoga practice that I work on which gives me movement. Both are breath and body type of activities. And meditation is one of those goals I want to achieve.

4. Feed your creativity for 15 minutes. This one is interesting for me. In the past I’ve used picture books, photography learning books etc but that isn’t what I want to work on now. This would probably be a good place for my writing book that I am currently reading but since I’ve already done that – what do I do. Einstein sat for many hours in his study, just thinking. And I’ve been fascinated with this idea for a long time. I’m not quite sure I am ready for that just yet but I need to find a way to feed my creativity. Perhaps a bit of painting. I’m so not an artist but I like playing with watercolors. Perhaps that will get the juices moving.

My theme for the year is authenticity and what better way to figure that out than to spend some time with myself doing some of the things that I love. Each of these exercises is a way to explore and to grow and to find myself again – my true authentic self.

Did I answer my question? Is it possible to put yourself first in the midst of a busy life? I think I didn’t really answer the question. I just gave myself another to do list. Yes it is one that is doable and I enjoy, but, if you noticed, it takes an entire hour to do all of those things.

I don’t believe taking an hour for yourself is unrealistic. In fact, if you can manage it, this small block of time can help you to grow.

Until next time,

Angela

A New Year and a New Word

The new year has arrived and I am, once again, back to deciding on a word to provide a theme for this measure of time.

Most of my long term readers know that I am quite anti-resolution. I’ve written about it previously, here and here. Usually I spend time looking back over my previous year to see what I’ve accomplished and what I need to work more on. For the past several years, I’ve chosen a single word to define and strive for in the new year.

Last years word was Fearless and, oh my goodness, did my year live up to that word. You see, I have known for a long time that fear ruled my life and, for once, I wanted to take my next steps into a new life.

I am still astounded at my life in this moment and lets just say my life has changed dramatically. Someone once said to me that often this word we choose as an intention for our year is also an invitation to the universe. It becomes a challenge for us. The story of my “fearless” year is the topic for another post.

But as the days of the old year quickly counted down, I find myself wondering about my word for the new year.

The questions I ask myself:

What do I want to strive for?

What do I want my life to look like as I look back over the the year?

What is my intention for the year?

What is my theme for the next year?

How do I want to challenge myself over the next year?

The wonderful thing about choosing a word of intention is that you are not alone. So many communities have developed surrounding this very subject. My favorite is One Little Word.

Alí Edwards is the mastermind behind the One Little Word site and she describes the choosing of a single word as a ripple in the pond. She has even created kits to help you explore and remember your One Little Word.

There are several others:

My One Word

Blessings Manifest

One Word 365

I’m not sure it matters which site you choose, one of these or any number of other sites, but the idea of choosing a single word for the theme of your year can make a world of difference.

And, there aren’t any resolutions to completely fail. I admire those who can keep their New Years resolutions.

What is my word of the year?

That is a good question. I thought at first it was transition, especially since I’m in the midst of a huge transition but that didn’t feel right. Transition seems more like a goal rather than an intention.

To transition is to go from one state of being to another. The point of transition has already occurred, however, the process of transitioning my mind and body is still to come. But it doesn’t seem as if the word is strong enough to carry me through for the year.

After mulling over several different words, the one I chose for this year is Authenticity.

My dream for many years to to live fully creative life and I’ve managed to take some actual steps to do so. As the year unfolds, my hope is to live my life authentically. It may be a lot to live up to but as I’ve learned by choosing my words, they are an invitation for me to grow, learn and change.

I’m excited about the year ahead. I hope you are too.

Did you choose a word for the year?

Until next time,
Angela