Rest is important for growth, for healing, and for quality of life. You can look it up if you need to verify it, there’s science on the topic. Yesterday was an excellent Saturday, but ‘restful’ would not accurately describe the day’s fun. Today there is nothing on my calendar, aside the daily sorts of chores that  maintain order: dishes, changing the linens, vacuuming. I have not yet made any decisions about what to do with the minutes and hours ahead of me, today. Today will be good practices and taking it easy. The overcast morning was explanation enough for the backache I woke with, although I admit with a smile that yesterday’s fun could also have some part to play in today’s backache. A rest day is clearly in order.

flower

Some other day, some other flower.

It took time to become comfortable with setting clear boundaries with regard to taking care of me. (Your results may vary.) It wasn’t that people dear to me didn’t want me to do the things required to live well, comfortably, and feel good day-to-day, and I don’t find it healthy for me to make that kind of negative assumption about someone else’s thinking. (My traveling partner supports good self-care on a level that shows he understands how important it is, and did so long before I understood, myself, why I needed to practice some of the practices I now do, for example, but if I am trapped in a very dark mood I may lose perspective; I continue to find The Four Agreements a helpful read there, when my perspective on others is bleak.). Sometimes I have the greatest challenge setting the boundaries I need because I am, myself, prone to stomping all over my boundaries in a most inconsiderate and surprisingly callous fashion. There’s definitely a learning curve – and I’m on the slow end. I have improved, however, and I am eager to enjoy a relaxed day of rest, meditation, catching up on correspondence, yoga, reading – or whatever it is the day brings my way that is nurturing, and likely to ‘recharge my batteries’ for the week to come.

flower

We bloom where we thrive.

Generally, any apparent boundary stomping disregard or discourtesy I am likely to experience day-to-day is at the hands of someone with their attention focused so fixedly on their own agenda that others aren’t fully considered, or at all, and occasionally by those that just haven’t reached that point in life where they understand the value of self-care in their own experience, and are thus poorly equipped to respect the needs of others. They need my compassion more than my ire, and I only need to be mindfully aware that my choices matter, and continue to take care of me, communicating explicitly and gently where my boundaries and limits are. Sometimes, far more rarely, people are exploitative abusive dicks who don’t care. My best practice in that situation is to double-check that I am taking care of me, and walk on, cutting my losses without further investment. There have been moments when I have treated someone poorly, myself, or crossed a boundary inconsiderately. I’m not bragging, obviously – I’m just saying; it’s a very human experience. Being the best woman I can be – being the best of the woman I am, and that I aspire to be, means I choose differently with awareness in every moment I can maintain the awareness I need to do so. Practice matters a great deal; it doesn’t make perfect, but it does build incremental change over time. 🙂

flower

Unique and individual as flowers in a garden, each having our own experience, none of us so very different from the others, except for perspective, and all sorts of details. 🙂

Today I don’t fight the world for the rest I need; I fight myself, and the tendency to fill a day with things to do, rather than indulge in rest that stillness has to offer. The reluctance to slow things down and gently enjoy the day seeps in from all corners; I live in what tends to be a very activity-prone culture that places high value on productive output, and scoffs at treating oneself with humane regard for this fragile vessel in which we pass our time in mortal experience. I may go for a walk today. I may do some gardening. What I most certainly will do, though, is take care of me. 🙂

flower

Taking care of the garden of my heart matters, too.

Yesterday was quite lovely, and my smile still lingers. It has the feeling of a tumbler clicking into place on a very fancy lock, or as if a difficult to place puzzle piece happens to fit quite nicely with unexpected ease. Yesterday took me most definitely further in the direction of being more myself, and quite comfortably and contentedly so. My relationships with those dear to me feel comfortable, and meaningful. My relationship to myself is not undermined by my relationships with others. I feel at home in my apartment, and in my skin. This feels good – and balanced. Whether I see my traveling partner or the wanderer today will not change this very nice experience I am building with me – and this is a journey I have been wanting to take, needing to take, for a very long time.

flower

Love matters most – the love I give myself is not excluded.

Today is a good day to be free of baggage – I’ll just set that all right over here. Today is a good day for smiles that linger, and a good cup of coffee. Today is a good day for morning breezes, and birdsong. Today is a good day to enjoy the world as I create it. 🙂