Finding time to explore in new directions is a ‘stretch’ that will both challenge and nourish you. It requires your flexibility and courage and in return offers you great rewards.
One of the biggest ways that your courageous explorations will nourish you is that, with each step, you find that you actually have more of yourself to enjoy your time with! Even better, this expanding self is your energetic and proactive self – the one that buoys your confidence and sparks your interest in new things.
But you and I both know that some days that expansive courage flows freely through your veins. Other days, perhaps you feel in need of a transfusion. What can you do on the “droop days”?
If you tend to scold yourself, prod yourself to buck up, or give up on yourself in exasperation, try something new. I suggest that you try something simple and profound … and brave … like love.
Self-acceptance or self-love is the fuel that, like oxygen in the blood, will keep you going AND nourish you at the same time. This acceptance can be very simple and very compassionate. Comfort with who you are this very moment provides an unshakable foundation for taking fresh new steps. Furthermore, your self-love helps you pace yourself realistically, so you can stay grounded, and learn as you go.
I like to think of my existence as a progression of loving life lessons. Life provides the lessons; I provide the love. This compassionate embrace of each experience further fuels my courage and opens me to whatever is around the corner or beyond the next ridge!
So, next time you feel a strong desire to make a change, ask yourself if you’re motivated by self-loyalty or self-criticism.
If you sense any judgment or impatience, slow down! Start by replacing harsh messages with self-affirming ones. Then you know that you are acting in your own best interests, not reacting to real or imagined criticism from others.
Begin any journey appreciating who you are. You might give yourself an affirmation like, “I’m exactly where I need to be.” And know, right down to your toes, that you are!
Everything in your life has led you to this point. So warmly validate any and all steps that you have taken so far. The time you take to create a compassionate base for your courage will reward you every day of your life. This is such a powerful and sustaining practice … I highly recommend it!© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.