Have you ever stood in the ocean and seen a giant wave coming toward you? You weren’t really prepared for it, but it was coming anyway? If you have, you know you only had a few choices in that moment:

  1. Run like hell and hope you get out before it crashes into you.
  2. Get hit and probably knocked over (not a great choice!).
  3. Dive into it, go down deep and let the rough water roll right over you.

Why am I asking you this question? Because in my experience, that is what taking care of yourself—or more accurately, not taking care of yourself— feels like. Let me explain.

When I was a mother of young kids, their lives were all-consuming. I worked from home, and if I wasn’t working, I was driving them to school, straightening the house, shopping and preparing meals. The one thing I tried to do for myself each day was exercise. If something had to give, it was the “me time” first, and that was never more than a single hour on any given day. If I got 4 hours a week for myself, it was a lot!

Many years of living that way ended up creating a ton of frustration in me. I felt guilty complaining because of all my blessings, BUT I still felt like I was always running from the wave. UNTIL finally about 5 years ago, I stopped.

I was unhappy and I needed to do something to change my trajectory. I decided to dive in, go deep, look at my life and figure out what I really wanted for myself. How did I want to live? Where did I want to be in one month and in three months and in a year? And that’s when I realized what I had been doing and how I needed to change.

This deep dive process was a long time coming for me. And it took time for me to get to where I am now. I’m no longer frustrated with my life, and I wake up excited to start every day. I don’t feel like I am running from the wave any more.

Of course, the process is ongoing, but it starts with one small step…and if this speaks to you, I ask you to begin today. Take some time, at least 20 or 30 minutes if you can, and really think about what you want for yourself. What kind of role model do you want to be?

Whether you are 25 or 65, have small children or no children, you need time for you. Why not start out by taking a bubble bath or making a beautiful lunch for yourself and eating it mindfully? Pampering yourself is a perfect beginning.  Now, let’s take it one step further. Take a pen or your computer and write out what you want. Maybe it takes the form of stream of consciousness writing, or a list (that’s my way), or maybe you are a visual person and a vision board is more your style. Whatever medium you choose is fine. Do something that allows your creativity to flow. Ask yourself where you want to go. Ask yourself what you want to change. Ask yourself how you want to feel. And be. Let’s call this practice Aim and Gain.

In the comments below, share: What do you want your life to be like by the time you receive my newsletter next month?

I am doing this right alongside you, making my own lists and setting my own intentions. That’s my gift to myself this Valentine’s Day. You deserve this gift, too. Don’t run from the wave any longer; choose to make yourself a priority instead.

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