When did you last spend an entire day caring for yourself, body, mind, and soul? The works. Like… a spa day for your whole being? Healthy, while also indulgent. Uninterrupted. Focused, and also relaxed. Purposeful, but not hurried. No pressure – your undivided attention on supporting the person in the mirror. I took a day for me, yesterday. It was strangely not at all as I planned it, but… wow. I needed that time. A day of relaxed self-care that was not also pock-marked with fretting about work in the background. A day of small favorite luxuries without any self-consciousness or doubt. A day of meditation, quiet, calm… and wow was it lovely, and soul-soothing, and magical. Well… not actually “magical”. There were verbs involved, and I did those, for me. 🙂

I had intended to enjoy the day at leisure, and this much I most definitely did do. I made a wee cherry clafoutis for my brunch, a delightful treat. I happily enjoyed more coffee than I generally allow myself, content that a late night could be followed by sleeping in. I queued up a good playlist (that I mostly didn’t listen to), and had my sketching supplies, a book I am reading, and a journal at hand. I ended up spending most of the afternoon and evening quietly meditating – not at all the plan, but as it turned out, precisely what I needed to care for me best.

It was late into the evening when the last coals of the fire in the fireplace dwindled away to nothing, and the room began to take on the night chill from a draft somewhere. That was when I realized I had passed something like 10 hours just chilling. No TV. Music only rarely. Not bothering to pick up my book. Writing a note about this or that now and then. Just relaxing with the woman in the mirror, feeling the feelings, letting the cognitive landscape shift and change, accepting the emotional weather – which changed often, and more rapidly than the icy landscape on the other side of the windows. I watched the birds. They watched me back. I sat warming my feet by the fire, and smiling, feeling content that for the moment, all is well (for me, here, right now). It was lovely. I soaked in it. Bathed in it. Wrapped myself in these all-to-brief sweet moments of calm. Savoring them for later recollections, on more difficult days.

Evening from my meditation cushion.

Evening from my meditation cushion.

I don’t remember going to bed. I know I did; I woke in my bed from a deep sound sleep, feeling well-rested, and well-cared-for. That’s a thing I didn’t understand years ago; our very human feelings of neglect, inattention, shabby treatment, and even having been dealt with cruelly or abusively, can be soothed greatly by how we treat ourselves. It doesn’t stop some other person who treats us badly from being who they are, or make circumstances different than they have been, but it has tended to allow me to heal more, faster, and more completely, and to bounce back from challenges more efficiently. Totally worth taking the time to invest in skilled self-care. I’m no expert (clearly). I’ll keep practicing. 🙂