If we were having coffee, I’d ask you if you’re kind to yourself. OK, I hear you: you’ve got a lot to do, and people need you, and and and …
Well, what if I told you that being kind to yourself is an investment in all those other things?
That it might make your days brighter, and you just a little bit sweeter, like adding a bit of sugar or honey to your coffee?
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m participating in Niki Lopez’s Kindness Challenge, which you can check out at The Richness of a Simple Life. It’s a seven week exploration of kindness, in many forms, beginning with self-kindness. And self-kindness has been instrumental for me in learning to be kinder to others, so I’m very committed to it, because I feel that kindness is the key to a more peaceful world.
If we were having coffee, you might ask me what I mean when I say self-kindness. I’d tell you about how, a few years back, I decided I wasn’t going to do things that didn’t bring me joy. No, that doesn’t mean that I never do laundry or dishes or plunge the toilet if it backs up. It just means that I make an honest effort not to hate the more mundane or distasteful parts of life. So I stopped calling the essential household tasks housework or chores, and started calling them hometending. I buy laundry and dish detergents that are better for the environment and have light, natural scents. I think of the service I’m doing for my family. I take the clothes out of the wash one by one, and think about how my kids are growing, how nice it is to get everyone’s favorites clean and returned to them.
If we were having coffee, I’d say that I know that might sound Pollyannaish, but it’s not like that. It’s simply a way of taking those things that make a home work, and giving them a better, more joyful face. It makes my life a bit sweeter, and I can pass that on to my Accomplice and our children, and it comes back through them to me in the form of greater peace, and more willing help – because it’s easier to help when something isn’t approached as an odious ordeal.
If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you that I have a secret weapon in my exploration of self-kindness. The illustrations through this post are from my meditation coloring book, which is just one component in my morning routine. Each morning, I sip my first cuppa, and go through a blissful, solitary journaling adventure. I start with my gratitude journal, listing five things I’m thankful for. I follow that with my intentions journal, which has a series of prompts that help me reshape my life in accordance with my purposes. After that, I freewrite in my blank #onegoodcup journal (Clicking the link will tell you lots more about this nifty idea.) I might write a to-do list for the day’s activities, or my writing projects; plot things; decompress about those occasional marital or family annoyances that crop up; share dreams or memories or observations; or whatever.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I usually spend between five minutes and half an hour this way, and nearly always finish with a smile. And that’s when I set a timer and color as a meditation. I prefer gel pens, because the vibrant colors and smooth flow of ink are a sensory delight.
If we were having coffee in the morning, I’d invite you to finish out my morning routine with me. We’ll assume the weather is nice, and head off for a meditative breathwalk – I like two in, two out, and a fairly brisk pace. Spring is a lovely time to walk in my rural neighborhood – won’t you join me?
For more #WeekendCoffeeShare,(even though the weekend is officially over) pop on over to see Diana at Part Time Monster!