Are you worth a moment of your own time? Can you allow
yourself to just ‘be’ for a while, perhaps letting yourself enjoy the sensation
Sometimes we allow ourselves to be pulled in all directions
by the demands of others or of situations because we feel more ‘justified’ that
way. But why should you go through life without ever taking a moment for
yourself or feeling bad if you do, as though you’re caught in the middle of a
tug of war? It’s important to be a friend to yourself as well as to others, and
that can mean taking time out to simply ‘be’.
Connect with awareness of your breath several times a day:
morning, mid-morning, lunchtime, mid-afternoon, evening, before sleep, perhaps.
By insisting on doing this, by finding that time (sometimes you have to search
even for such little spaces in the day), you affirm that you deserve that
2 Not a game of chess
Life is not a game of chess. You don’t have to spend all
your time figuring out moves in your head or worrying about the future. See
what awareness of the present moment has to offer instead.
We are problem solvers, but we take it too far. If we find
ourselves at rest, at a loose end, we flip into problem-solving mode. Why not
say instead: here is a moment in which I don’t actually have to solve any
problems; and appreciate that? Too often, we walk around, heads down, solving
problems in an imaginary future, while completely failing to see what is around
us in this moment that we could appreciate.
Resolve that for half an hour or an hour a day you will not
solve any problems in your life. You will simply spend your time being aware of
what’s going on in the moment. Perhaps try it after you leave work – enjoy your
leisure time without continuing to work in your head.
3 Be your own friend,
no matter what
Can you pledge to be your own friend at the end of the day,
whatever happens? Even if you make a mess of things; even if other people
Sometimes we’re afraid of challenges because we fear how we
will attack ourselves if we fail. Often though, the condemnation of ourselves
by ourselves is tougher than criticism from others. But even if we are harshly
criticised by others, we don’t have to join in by giving ourselves a kicking.
Instead, we can, in a spirit of self-compassion, look at what we might need to
change, and change it.
When you get up each morning, make a silent pledge to yourself that you will still be your own friend at the end of the day, whatever it may bring. That ‘whatever’ may include success or suffering or both. But know that you can rely on your own friendship, no matter what. If you like affirmations, use the phrase ‘True friend’ through the day.