“He who knows others is wise;
he who knows himself is enlightened.”– Lao Tzu
Keeping a sense of yourself in life is the most important thing you can do. If you go down, the whole ship goes down. A positive outlook, a sense of who you are and what you want to achieve, do, have and become, is crucial. Nurturing yourself, giving yourself time out, and doing things that bring you joy are all part of keeping a sense of yourself.
It’s too easy to lose yourself in a relationship and a family, especially in a blended family. That’s why spending time do- ing the things that make your spirit sing and make you feel happy and alive are all going to help in nurturing yourself. As women, mothers, partners, daughters and lovers, we need to find the things that bring us joy and pleasure in our lives. Looking after everyone else and their needs can sometimes put our wants and needs at the bottom of the list.
Many times, women feel that taking time out and taking care of yourself means focusing on the outer and your per- sonal appearance — like having a massage, manicure or fa- cial, having your hair done, and so on. These may make you feel better about yourself, but they’re short-lived pleasures. Being beautified is all very well, but what about emotional and spiritual time outs? Doing the things we enjoy, which give us a sense of ourselves — walking, listening to music, pottery, art, visiting museums, travel, whatever it may be for you; it’s about pursuing your own interests. When did you do that last? And why don’t you do it more regularly?
Don’t let yourself disappear in your family’s life. Step up to the life that you want and claim it. This is your year to make the changes and do things that make you happy and feed your soul. If you don’t know what you want to do and what makes you feel inspired, ask yourself what you used to do that you loved and what you don’t do anymore. Ask your friends what they remember about you when you were fun and crazy. See what they say.
I know that it can be such a long time since you did the things that inspired you and made you happy that you can lose all sense of self and may not even know where you fit anymore. You may think that it’s been so long since you have done anything for you that you don’t even know whether you’d still like those things. My challenge to you is to think about it and go do it. Enrol in that piano class, pottery class, visit somewhere special or go out for drinks with the girls. Whatever it is, just do it — and not just once. Start to incor- porate it into your life. Make space and time for yourself as an important member of the family who needs your hopes and dreams to be met and respected as well.
It’s time to be self-ish: a bit more like yourself. The world won’t fall apart. If anything, your world will become brighter, happier, and more beautiful than ever before. Lights, camera, action — it’s your time to shine!