Monday, 29 September 2014

Self-Love September: Going on a Date with Myself

A few days ago I found myself lying on my favourite blanket in the middle of my favourite green space in my town. My eyes were closed and I was enjoying the phosphenes. The first half of the week had been hectic. I was releasing the tension in my neck and shoulders, enjoying some deep breathing and giving in to the supreme pleasure of ignoring time for a while.

I drifted. I thought about some things I'd read recently and how to piece them together into a neat little theory or two. I considered how I felt about life, love and laundry. I paid attention to my own heartbeat. A funny memory came up and it made me laugh. I eventually sat up to sip on my peach iced tea and stuff my mouth with sweets. Then I started frantically scribbling some notes, pinning my ideas down as quickly as I could, crossing out and underlining, getting good and lost in the flow. Then I watched the clouds and interpreted their shapes into trippy short stories.

On the way home I took some photos of the clashing colours of scores of orange, pink and red flowers. Heavy bees sailed between them and I tuned into their old familiar humming sounds.

There's something so powerful and life-affirming about going on a date with yourself. You don't need to go anywhere fancy. Just make it your own little slice of time. Be curious about yourself but don't pressure yourself into grand answers. Take note of your responses to what you see and experience. If you go to a gallery, stop at a piece of art and have a think about what you think. If you're sipping a coffee and reading a book, savour the blend and absorb the delicate, satisfying sound of the turning page.

No outside validation required. No frills. No fuss.

Be with yourself every once in a while.

I learned to crave quality time with myself the same way I would crave it with a friend I hadn't seen in a while. Because ultimately, there's no difference between the two. The definition of quality time is, 'Time devoted exclusively to nurturing a cherished person or activity.'

'Cherished' is a beautiful word. Lying in the sun on my favourite blanket, communing with the clouds, I felt cherished.