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Grace loves pillows.

She uses them like a person. She will spend inordinate amounts of time fluffing and arranging so that her head has a soft, elevated place to lay. She makes no excuses for this. This is her treat, her luxury, and she will work for it without feeling selfish or needing to justify herself.

How do you take care of yourself?

I love incense. However, I rarely use my favorite one because it’s “too special” even though it’s readily available and about 12 cents a stick. That is totally ridiculous.

I love taking a super hot bath and drinking a half-frozen peach mango Vita Coco while reading Tricycle Magazine – but I rarely make time for it. Other stuff just gets in the way.

We love to be busy in this country. We’ve decided that if we are running around like headless chickens, that means that we are important. If you haven’t seen this New York Times article, The Busy Trap, it’s worth a look. This paragraph is one of my favorites:

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.” – Tim Kerider

I find a busy day to be ugly, stressful and (as Tim Kerider points out) socially constructed and almost entirely self-imposed. I much prefer a full day. That has a distinctly different flavor to it. A full day is a beautiful, satisfying and mindful thing. A full day schedules in that integral idleness.

We also tend to think that it is selfish to do something for ourselves, just because it makes us happy. We relegate it to a restricted time, (that’s something I do on vacation, or just a weekend treat) or we forget to do it all together, because other obligations seem more pressing. Maybe we’ve been told that our personal luxury is silly or a waste of time.

It’s not.

It’s the reward to our soul for getting through the day. It’s the little self hug of encouragement. It’s the gratitude for the body that moves us through the world. It’s a moment of mindfulness and stillness amongst the chaos. And it’s crucial.

Gracie gets it. Then she reminds me. Good dog.

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