How small acts of enchantment create large impact
I went to sleep with rose petals. This wasn’t staged (well, it does help having a resident photographer to document moments and make them look like art); my pillow was sprinkled with glorious, fragrant petals as I lay my head down to slumber. Why? Because it felt delightful, a little silly and empowering all wrapped up in one — and a tad bit defiantly out of my comfort zone (I know, what a renegade, right?). It broke the monotony of routine, infusing a breathe of spontaneity.
I had just returned home from a magical evening of sisterhood, communion, support and ceremony (another thing I don’t create enough of).
These petals were souvenirs from an experience that fed my soul, a reminder that I wanted more of the same — a reminder that I had to find more ways to insert these kinds of things into my world — and for no special occasion.
It was such a simple, yet monumental thing to do for myself. Oh, and I slept like a baby, btw.
So why couldn’t I insert more into every day? When was the last time you did something like this for yourself? It doesn’t have to be rose petals, it can come in any form.
I don’t know about you, but I can get caught up in life. I’m talking about the practicalities — the stuff that needs to get done each day, checking things off the list, dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s. You know the drill. The reality is that just as we complete one list, another appears — an endless source. So, if that’s the case, why not shake it up now and then?
Yes, certain things need to get done — there are bills to be paid, commitments to fulfill, places to show up. But where do you fall into this equation and how do you show up for yourself? Yeah, if you’re anything remotely close in sharing some of my Type A tendencies — you can fall into the ‘afterthought’ category.
So, think about it for a moment. What was the last thing you did to delight yourself? (Something spontaneous, that made you giggle, or broke the usual sequence of events.)
Perhaps you can’t even remember. You’re not alone. This ‘adulting’ can really dull things down at times. It’s almost as if we need to schedule in the whimsy and wonder. And self-care becomes yet another chore on an already full plate. It’s no surprise that we’re struggling here.
Then to add insult to injury, reprogramming this thinking can become a full-time job in itself.
Let’s use naps as an example. Parents, caretakers and co-dependents typically wait until they are sick before giving themselves permission to rest — because then they finally have an excuse to get into bed and nurture themselves. I’ll be honest, I used to perceive naps as something for slackers (sorry). And even to this day, even though I work all the time and I’ve designed my life around being an entrepreneur — in ways, I haven’t fully embodied what that truly means. I still need to remind myself that it is OK to take a damn nap when I want to.
Recently, I recognized my reflection in the story of a friend. She was frustrated with her ‘healthy’ body that had the nerve to get sick. This is someone who is never sick, is extremely mindful of her body, mind and spirit connection, eats organic food, etc. When she came down with something she couldn’t green juice away, when her body was screaming for more — she was furious and felt that her body had betrayed her. How could my body let me down like this? Probably because it needed a break, a nap, to rest and be still (and you weren’t listening). And those of us who operate in that mode, usually need a kick in the butt before listening to the beckoning of our bodies.
There are so many ways to nurture and delight your soul — both big and small. They all count. They all matter and eventually, they all add up to shift your body, mind and spirit.
Eventually, they become embedded into the fabric of your daily routine — just like the rest of your to-dos.
Start somewhere. Take a nap. Sprinkle some rose petals on your pillow before bed. Find a way to delight your joyous self. And you know what? Something you may initially perceive as selfish in nature, will actually affect all around you in a positive way. When we show up as our best selves, its trickle down is contagious.
Look around your space, the place you spend most of your time (for me that’s my home office) — what do you see? What are the first 5 things you notice? What do you surround yourself by that inspires, comforts and empowers you — that reminds you of who you are and the dreams you may have back-burnered?
For me, I have a stuffed unicorn horn hanging from my computer monitor (a reminder to be silly and playful), a small watercolor from Paris rests on my windowsill (a reminder to be curious and to expand), a framed baby picture of the resident teenager sits on my desk (a reminder to prioritize the things that make my heart beat), a crystal pendulum (a reminder to embrace wonder and stay magical), and an award for Best Self Magazine (a reminder to go for it, to chase dreams). These are totems of sorts. I surround myself by things of meaning — memories, visions, inspirations.
Create sacred spaces around you. Be mindful of what (and who) uplifts you, what doesn’t. And then build upon that. Create experiences for yourself. Find your tribe. Make time. Do the things that matter. Make a move. That’s the stuff your soul is crying for. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just insert moments and experiences into your life. Like now. Do something to delight your best self today.
Tell me what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
~ Mary Oliver
And as always, I love to hear how this resonates with you. What comes up for you? What whimsical, silly, perhaps out-of-character move can you make on behalf of yourself? Let me know in the comments below.