One question you need to ask yourself every day [to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled in your life]
Life gets busy, messy, complicated. It’s tiring. We push on, getting everything done, making sure everyone is happy, doing all the stuff we ‘should’ do. We keep on going. And doing.
Then. Bam! We’re exhausted, burnt out, sick, overwhelmed, scattered, confused, stiff, sore, fed up, stressed, anxious... (or choose your own!).
It happened again. In the busy-ness of life and keeping all the plates spinning in the air, doing all the stuff we love and all the things we’d rather someone else do, we forgot to stop and check-in.
We forgot to put ourself first.
On the hamster wheel of ‘work, eat, sleep, kids, family, friends, more work, chores, repeat, repeat, repeat’ we did that human thing that we all do.
We forgot to ask ourselves the ONE question we need to ask every day.
Am I meeting my own needs today?
If you’re now beating yourself up then, please, don't. You've been doing your best. It’s easy to forget to check in, to stop and ask ourselves how we’re doing, when life is so busy. I used to be really good at forgetting to remember me (see my clever wording there, you can use it too!).
It took me a long time, I'm talking years and years and years, to get to the point where it was something I thought about each day. And even now I don’t get it right all the time because sometimes life just, well, happens! Difference is, these days I’m not off track very long and my detours are only down the next street, not into another county!
I actually wrote about getting our needs met on my Instagram last week and, as a result, the lovely Mags at Cariton Retreat said, ‘ooh that’s so helpful, I’d love a poster of that to stick on my fridge as a daily reminder’.
It got me thinking. If Mags would find it helpful then so would lots of other beautiful Self Loving souls that I know. So, I got my creative head on and next thing you know, hey presto, the Daily Self Loving checklist was born.
This useful A4 poster is free to keep, forever (it's the green one below).
A gift of love, from me, to you.
Just click this link to download it to your PC. You might like to print a copy and pin it in a place you’ll see it each day. At the bottom of it, there's a pledge you can make to yourself, to put your needs first and feel ok about it.
Or, if you prefer, you can click here to save it as a jpeg (that’s a picture/photo to you and me) to use as your screen saver on your phone, laptop etc.
You are very welcome to share it with others who would enjoy or benefit from it.
I hope it will be a helpful daily Self Loving reminder that you are really important to you. That you are worthy of your time and loving attention.
(scroll past the Daily Self Loving poster below, for the 'how to' bit, more inspiration and a heart meditation)
Here’s how to use your Daily Self Loving checklist
1. Take 5 minutes each day to ask yourself: 'Am I meeting my needs today?'
2. Look at the checklist and notice where you are with each of the 8 areas.
3. Give yourself a warm, loving hug for the ways you've already met some of your needs that day.
4. See what bits need tweaking, decide how you can meet that need for yourself, and do it.
Maybe you decide to go for a walk in the park (triple whammy of sunlight, nature, movement) instead of sitting aimlessly looking at your phone for 20 minutes.
Perhaps you ask your partner/child to do the dishes after dinner so you can write your journal or mediate for 20 minutes.
It may be that some areas you’re great in and others you’re still developing, like drinking sufficient water or reaching out to connect with people. Wherever you are, it’s totally ok. You’re ok!
Focus on what you need in a way that supports you and do what you can. When we’re making changes in our life, baby steps are infinitely better than no steps at all!
You might even feel inspired to get ahead of the game!
In the morning you might ask,'how will I meet my needs today?'
In the evening,' did I meet my needs today, how will I meet them tomorrow?'
If you’re super organised (some people have that gene!) then you can diarise your day, your week, your month to keep yourself on track.
You can go so far as looking at your whole year. Starting with the things you know are happening, like holidays, family birthdays, deadlines at work, kids exams or school breaks. That way, you can notice where the squeeze points are and come up with a plan to build in a buffer or ask for support.
Maybe you choose to delegate stuff, say a polite 'No, thanks' (what?!) or plan some time to yourself afterwards. You might even schedule in a retreat (some with me coming soon!), workshop or conscious festival to support your journey.
(there's a lovely heart meditation after this pic)
You have permission to put yourself first
Putting ourselves first and prioritising our needs can be a really challenging part of our journey to Self Love because we are led to believe it’s selfish. In fact, the opposite is true.
When we take time each day to look after our own needs it gives us greater capacity to look after everyone else. You have more space within for them, and for you!
Another really important thing happens when we put ourselves first.
We give permission to all those we love and care about to look after themselves too.
Wow. Priceless. I wish I’d been given that precious gift 40 years ago.
We all learn how to look after ourselves from our caregivers and others around us. And we keep on learning from them as we grow up, regardless of how old or young we are.
That’s how I learned to use food to numb my emotions and ignore what was going on inside me. It’s also how I learned to either withdraw or get all bolshy when I felt vulnerable and unsure in relationships. I could write a whole book on what I learned from those who loved me (it’s ok, they were doing their best with the resources they had!) and it's taken me 20 years to un-learn it.
So, now there's a decision to make.
Do we teach those we love and cherish most in the world, that it’s ok to ignore their own needs and put everyone else first (and feel wretched as a result)?
Will we teach them the most valuable lesson they’ll ever learn, that they are the most important thing in their own life and they have full permission to put themselves first, without feeling guilty?
Try this Self Loving heart meditation
If you're struggling with guilt, blame or shame as you're thinking about all this, sit quietly, with your hand on your heart space, and breathe into the love that is already within you, the love that comes from source. The love that is ever present and does not need to be earned.
Notice what colour it is and breathe that colour deeper and deeper into every cell with every heartbeat and breath. Sit with it for a while, noticing the spaces within that need more love and allowing the colour to fill it. As you allow the colour and the love to grow, repeat several times (outloud if you can) 'thank you love, thank you me'.
Ahhh. That feels better already.
'Choosing me' is a beautiful step on the journey to Self Love. When we choose to put ourselves first, we are saying ‘I am worthy of this time and Self Loving attention. I love you’.
I feel that’s enough from me today; there's a lot to consider. It took me a while to start but once I did, wow, it was hard to stop. Thank you guides and angels!
Now, over to you. I would dearly love to hear how you get on, to share in your triumphs and your breakthroughs, and learn how you overcame any challenges along the way.
You can email me by clicking here and you can also share your progress on my Facebook or Instagram pages.
Thank you for being my inspiration. I love you.
Blessings and love, Gill xx
PS: You have full permission to ask for support when you need it... contact info below!
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