Kindness Challenge Week 1: Self-Love
Sometimes in life, the Universe seems to bombard me with the same message over and over again. It has been like that this week. First, I stumbled upon Niki Meadows’ blog, The Richness of a Simple Life, and her 2017 Kindness Challenge.
I’ve never participated in a social media challenge, but this looked like exactly the topics my husband Tim and I have been delving into lately, and I happily signed on even though I was late to the party (the first week began May 7).
The topic for Week 1 was self-love.
A little bit of a coincidence, that. I’d just finished listening to James Altucher on Shawn Stevens’ podcast, The Model Health Show. They were discussing James’ book, The Power of No, and how important it was to put yourself first—even if what you are up to is contributing to others. How putting yourself first is actually necessary in order to have the health and energy to contribute to others. It is similar to putting on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
Tim and I have also been engaged in some pretty deep conversations about shifts we’re wanting to make in our habits to improve our health and well-being. We’re getting ready to launch our Year of Sobriety experiment—giving up both processed foods and alcohol for a year. We’re also taking on getting ourselves into a regular sleep routine and building capacity for daily exercise. All big projects that promise to take a lot of intentionality and creativity to fulfill on and that offer big rewards in well-being.
Finally, in my Landmark Education seminar, Causing the Miraculous, I am engaged in practicing “being not deserving”. Practicing being not deserving may seem counter to practicing self-love, but I think they actually go hand in hand. Practicing being not deserving is about seeing life as a gift not as something we have to earn or that is owed to us.
Okay, Universe, your message is clear, it is time to ponder the meaning of self-love. It is time to figure out what is my personal version of an oxygen mask. What do I need to take care of first, before I can contribute to others?
I have never been one of those selfless persons who is always sacrificing herself to ensure others’ happiness. Not that I don’t care about others or that I’m selfish, but I have always seemed pretty capable of putting myself first.
It’s just that, honestly, the way I’ve put myself first hasn’t always put myself first.
I’ve become pretty adept at putting my self-in-the-moment ahead of my self-in-the-future.
I hit the snooze alarm and don’t get up and go on my walk. I let myself put off unpleasant tasks. I have dessert because “I’ve been so good and I deserve it.” I watch too much TV or play games for hours. All of these things feel good—in the moment. But they don’t leave me feeling vital, alive, and connected to the wonder of life.
I think it is time to say no to myself more often. No to eating foods that leave me feeling sluggish and acidic. No to choosing inactivity over movement. No to staying up too late. No to binge television watching. No to binge game playing. Saying no unhealthy self-indulgences is saying yes to a future of health, vitality, community, and contribution. Saying no is an act of self-love.