It was the 9th day of vacation, and the guilt was setting in.
I’d never taken a two-week vacation in my life. Obligations always got in the way.
Obligations to my clients. My business. My kids’ sports schedules. My dog. My houseplants. My budget. My list of projects.
And quite frankly my deep-rooted aversion to the oxygen mask analogy.
Every time I hear a coach, a therapist, a well-meaning friend parrot a flight attendant’s takeoff instructions I cringe.
“Be sure to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs.”
It makes sense. How can you support anyone else if you’re depleted yourself? But my ego has historically interrupted my self-care thoughts and injected that I was different. I didn’t need as much space as everyone else. I didn’t need as much time as everyone else. I didn’t need as much compassion for myself as I gave to others.
I could hold my breath long enough to put on everyone else’s oxygen mask before thinking about my own.
Which is why day 9 of vacation was uncomfortable.
I was getting antsy that I should be taking care of something.
Until the Universe interjected…loudly.
We had just settled into our cabin in the mountains of Virginia. My work bag was within arm’s reach when I looked out the window to see not one or two, but 12 deer grazing.
In Ted Andrew’s book of animal symbolism, he notes that when deer show up in your life it’s an invitation to be gentle and compassionate with yourself.
It was the very reminder I needed to release the guilt and step into the spaciousness of my vacation.
What about you?
Can you relate to squeezing yourself in the margins while making space for everyone else?
I get it. It can be uncomfortable putting yourself first and taking up space.
But you are so worthy to receive the love and compassion that you extend to others.
I have a hack for you.
Use your home to support you.
Your home is a mirror of your life. If you want to practice self-compassion and self-love, then let’s make sure that’s what your home is mirroring.
Here are 8 ideas to get you started. Consider them love notes to yourself sprinkled throughout your home:
- Buy your favorite flowers and place them in your bedroom, so they’re the first thing you see in the morning.
- Put a jar of bath salts, a candle and a basket of your favorite magazines next to your tub to set the stage for a relaxing evening. Maybe even splurge on a luxurious bath towel to wrap up in.
- If you live in a home with others, carve out a space just for you. Somewhere you don’t have to compromise your style. This might be an entire room or simply a corner of a room. You’re worth making space for!
- Create spaciousness in your closet by letting go of the clothes that don’t fit your body or your lifestyle. Being able to grab any article of clothing and know that you feel good in it is an act of compassion.
- Play music throughout your home. Music is probably the biggest go-to tool to generate good vibes, but did you know it can shift your home’s energy even when you’re not there. Create a playlist of your favorite tunes. Be sure to include your power song. You know, the one that strikes a chord with your soul every time you hear it.
- Add a bowl of fruit to your kitchen counter. Fresh produce will freshen up your home and provide that nudge to eat healthy. While you’re at it, be sure to throw that moldy cucumber out that’s lurking in the back of your vegetable bin.
- Make your bed. Navy Admiral William McRaven perhaps said it best in his 2014 University of Texas Austin commencement speech. “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.” It truly is an act of self-love.
- Open your blinds. So often we hide out in the corners of our life, so no one sees us. Flip that story by opening your blinds every day. Let the light stream in as a reminder that you are worthy to be seen and loved.
Now it’s your turn. What can you add to the list, so your home reflects self-love and compassion?
Dorena Kohrs, Interior Alignment® Practitioner, Clutter Coaching Practitioner
Dorena is a practitioner of Interior Alignment and a Certified Clutter Clearing Coach using the Linn Method. She is also a Reiki master and an Archangelic Light master practitioner.
She offers her services in person as well as by video conferencing.
Her super power is identifying what you’re holding onto that is holding you back. It is this intuitive gift that allows her clients to make changes in their environment which is the catalyst for making changes in their life.
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