January 5, 2016

On mornings like these, when I wake tired after a late night’s work, I am learning to be kind to myself. 

But not in the way that you think. 

“Being kind” to ourselves typically has the connotation of taking it easy, sleeping in til midday, having a big coffee, and not asking too much of ourselves. 

Often routines slip, and we let go the things we promised we would do, because we’re being kind to ourselves.

“I won’t go to the gym today, because I’m being kind to myself.”

“I’ll eat this snack today, because I’m being kind to myself.”

You get the idea. 

But I believe this approach – one where we think we’re doing the right thing by indulging ourselves – actually hurts us more than we realise. 

I’m currently running four small systems of behaviour that I know will bring me joy, peace, health and creativity this year. Each day, I am meditating, writing, exercising and making music. 

This morning after I woke I felt like I’d been sideswiped by a truck in my sleep. I felt like skipping my meditation and exercise, in an attempt to be kind to myself. 

But actually, that behaviour would have the opposite effect. 

By continuing my meditation practice, I am actually enhancing my mind state despite my fatigue. Likewise with my exercise and creative tasks (like this essay).

Will I have a nap later on? Probably. 

But I will have honoured my own promises to myself regardless of how tired I feel, and that is true kindness to myself. 

With love & wellness,
Israel. xo 

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