I had a birthday this past week. When I woke up, I was prepared to be sad and even depressed because I was alone. Far away from family and anyone who might love me... or even like me a little. Once I figured out that each day is a gift, my attitude changed just a little bit. But I was still so lonely because I knew that no one was going to do anything nice for me for my birthday. No cake. No party. No dinner invites. I was so sad!
(In actuality, no sooner did my eyelids flutter to life, my phone started chirping with birthday wishes and greetings of love and affection. I was not forgotten! And suddenly I felt worthwhile. I mattered now, because someone somewhere out in the world loved me.)
But the most poignant message I got was from my sweet niece and she said, "Happy Birthday, I hope you use this day to spoil yourself."
It dawned on me that I don't have to wait for someone else to do something nice for me. I could do it myself! As I am constantly trying to teach "my" teens that they should love themselves (before they can expect others to love them) this is one way of showing love to yourself. So I did...
I had an extra serving of bacon with breakfast. I took a long, long, extra long hot shower. I went to the beach with my dog, Meera. (There were dolphins!! They were swimming SO close to the shore I could have walked out and touched them!! There were hundreds of sand dollars everywhere too!) I wrote in my latest manuscript. I relaxed, stared out over the water and thought about the people that I loved. I ate an entire box of chewy Sweetarts. I watched a couple episodes of Bones and finished out the night with a favorite movie, a bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine. The only thing I couldn't get my hands on was birthday cake. (Because, as you know, birthday cake is the only kind of baked good that has no calories...) But it was not meant for me that day, I guess.
Overall it was a good day. It was a good birthday. While I love being around my friends and family for the special occasions, this has truly been a lesson that my happiness is not dependent on other people. I could have easily chosen to spend the day in bed and stay sad that no one is doing anything nice for me, but every single birthday wish I got on my phone or on Facebook was enough for me. I am loved. I am treasured and not even birthday cake can say that any better!
This is the life that I have chosen for myself. To travel and be an author and create awesome workshops as I go. Therefore, I am going to be away from my "support group" quite a bit of the time. I need to know how to make myself happy. I need to love me in case there isn't anyone else around to remind me that I am lovable. And... it's okay to spoil myself every once and again. Because I am special. And I am worth it.
So this is me giving you permission to spoil YOURself! Love you for you. Celebrate your awesome uniqueness and know that you don't have to wait for someone else to celebrate you.
(By the way, thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! They really and truly made my day. Each and every one brought a smile to my face! It's good to be loved.)
It goes against everything we believe in. Letting go...
Hold on. Hold on tight. To everything. The more the better, right? Sometimes we get blinded by this theory. I'm not saying to sell all your stuff and move into an RV or anything... who does that? (teehee!) But if we take a step back and look at our lives in a different light, what can we let go of to make a little more breathing room? Thinking room. Living room. Loving room. Here's a list of a few things that came to mind when I was thinking on the subject. See if you agree.
Let Go Of Your Yesterdays- Let the past be in the past. Been there done that. Learn what you can from it but then, let it go. Don't carry around regret, guilt or bitterness. Don't carry your past into your future, it blocks you from new experiences and from clouds your judgement. We all make mistakes. Learn from them and then let them go. (For more help in this area, go here.)
Let Go Of Negativity- Let the glass be half full. Let there be a silver lining. Look for the good and you will find it. Look for reasons to be grateful instead of complaining. This slightest shift can do amazing things for your outlook.
Let Go Of Self-Doubt- Stop talking yourself OUT of living! Take a risk! Take a chance! What's the worst that can happen? You have been given the life you have to enjoy it! So get out there! What are you missing out on? What have you always wanted to try! Let this be your year! Stop looking for reason why you CAN'T! Take action! Go ahead, take that first step!
And since we're taking chances now...
Let Go Of Perfection- Not everything we do is going to be perfect. (Is anything we do perfect?) Don't expect it to be perfect. We are human. Enjoy the things you do in your human imperfect-ness. By taking new chances, that opens us up for new mistakes... it's okay. You're expanding your boundaries. You are on a continuous learning journey. Embrace it and don't expect it to be perfect.
Let Go Of Sources Of Stress- Chose people to be in your circle that will feed you and encourage you. If they suck the happiness from your very soul, it may be time to let them go. It may be painful at first, it's tough to change, but if it for the greater good, then go for it. A bad attitude is like flat tire. You can't go anywhere until it's fixed. So fix it and move on and away from those nails in the road. Chose to be around people that will lift you up, not stress you out.
Let Go Of Living For Others- Make yourself a priority. Love begins at home in your heart. If you can't love yourself, how can you expect others to love you. People will take and take- as much as you are willing to give them. Give of yourself, but be sure there is plenty left for you. Follow your own dreams. You are the only one that can live your life and if you are so busy living it for someone else, you are going to miss out on so much!
Let Go Of What's Not Working- Change is good. Not everything nor everyone is meant to stay in your life forever. People come and go, experiences come and go, life is a steady flow of change. And that's okay. See what is and what is not working for you at this juncture in your life and trim the fat where it needs to be trimmed. If it is not moving you forward, it is most likely wasting more time than it is giving you benefit. Let it go.
Hopefully this gives you the motivation to let go and simplify your life in order to enjoy it all the more! Have a happy day and a love-filled life!