Be Gentle With Yourself

heart

We humans, or at least the majority, have a habit of repeating the negative self talk we received in our past. Not always received in words but also in actions or lack of attention/love.  Of course, we may know a few who always seem as if they are self-assured, self-confident, adore and love themselves. Whether that’s true or not, we perceive them to have it all together and perhaps that’s what they intentionally give off.

I have a lifelong practice of habitually sabotaging myself. Always beating myself up and tearing myself down for every little thing. The way I look, not liking this about me, not liking that. Not liking this aspect of my life, being self-critical of my talents or lack thereof.  Even if I receive positive reinforcement in the way of compliments and building up from others, it doesn’t go unappreciated, but it seems I reflect and focus on the negative about me. Why is it always easier to believe the bad stuff about ourselves?  I’m sick and tired of this limiting behavior.

Aren’t you?

I think it’s high time we learn how to reclaim our lives and in ways that is right for each of us. And I believe I have found the first few inches of this pathway into enlightenment or self-love or whatever you want to call it. Are you ready for it?

I am practicing being gentle with myself.

“What does this mean exactly?” you may ask.

For me, this meant taking a mental health day, which means a day for me, a vacation day, a day off from pretty much everything except for the fact of dealing with me. And I didn’t even really “deal” with me, but I did take time for me and with me and nurtured me and romanticized me and listened to me and talked to me. Yes, I talk to myself. Am I crazy? Well, the jury’s still out on that one, but I encourage you to talk to yourself, too. Positively.

 mirror kiss

 

james

And you don’t have to be super weird and make out with yourself in the mirror like James Franco or anything but telling yourself “I love you” is a good thing. Hugging yourself is a good thing.

This is what I did on my mental health day (if you need an example for yourself):

I cannot recall if I slept in on this particular day but I didn’t get up early. I know this. I did wake up with a smile (prob around 6/7/8), because I went to bed the night before whispering to myself to just practice happiness and be grateful for all I have in my life. Just mostly be grateful and happy for my blessings.

1. So, wake up with a smile and intention that today is going to be a free and gentle day and whatever happens, I am okay, and everything is going to be okay.

 

I downloaded an app on my phone months earlier, because I wanted to try something, and I read about it, but I’ve never been able to fully embrace it, because…well, partly, I felt it a bit new age-y and partly, because I cannot seem to still my mind long enough to fully appreciate  the benefits that this action brings. Some may call it ‘lack of action’ but without further ado, I’m talking about – meditation. On my day, I did it. And I LOVED IT!

2. Besides enjoying my coffee and biscotti, I laid on the couch, listening to the guided meditation and experienced a more relaxed head-space and presence of self that I hadn’t before. (Comment me for the free app and free meditation.)

 

I lit fragrant candles, fixed myself a long hot bath and poured in some yummy smelling bath beads I forgot I had. I turned my phone music app on to Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Etta James and the like, because that’s how I roll…or that was my mood at the time. I shaved my hairy legs. I soaked. I got carried away, not by Calgon (some of you may get this reference), but by fragrance, out of this world magical musical tones and closed eyes, allowing my mind to transport me to wherever the wings of my imagination wanted to fly. And I just breathed. And relaxed. And didn’t live by a clock or schedule, for once.

3. Soaked in a hot bath, full of fragrant bath salts, flickering candle close by, listened to mood music, daydreamed happy thoughts, listened, breathed, smelled, relaxed.

 

I took a walk outside. We live in the country so it’s peaceful most of the time, unless someone is out in their yard with a chainsaw or have a tree-cutting company hacking 3 or 4 trees for 2 or 3 days, which happened recently. It was peaceful on my mental health day, though, thankfully.

4. Walked in the grass, feeling grateful for grass. Sat in my new lazy tree swing with my feet up, staring up into the tree bark and leaves that were lovingly shading me, feeling grateful for beautiful strong trees, grateful for a family that I love, feeling grateful for me and focusing on the good stuff that I have done (and do) in my life. My intention was strictly positive, so nothing negative came to mind during this time – actually the whole day!

 

I had made a video, just because I’d never done this before, of myself. Call me insane, but I felt the need to tape myself a day or two before my mental health day, right in the middle of my funk. I wanted to address it. I wanted to say it out loud. I wanted myself to see it and hear it from my other self (if you get what I’m saying here – no, I do not have multiple personalities). I wanted to be real and authentic. Then, I watched it and listened to it as if it belonged to someone else and thought about how I’d feel for this person had it been a friend or stranger. I watched again. And really listened. And then I deleted it, because it took up too much memory on my phone and because I wanted it to remain private. On my special day, I wrote a letter. (If you’d like tips on what I covered in this video, so you can do one of your own for self-therapy, comment me.)

5. I  wrote this friend (because we all need to be friends with ourselves) a love letter, telling her how wonderful she is, how brave, how courageous, how proud I am of her for her accomplishments, how much she has to give, how much talent, how much love. I told her she’s beautiful, inside and out and how she can do anything and I am here for her and she has others that are here for her and to trust herself and go after what she wants but to also be happy in the journey, as each step on our paths are meant to teach us something about ourselves and our lives. And to be mindful of each moment and to forgive – others, as well as herself.

 

I read a lot of different things – parts of different books that inspire me, different articles that I was in the mood to hear on this day, things I wanted to know more about, things on meditation, things on forgiveness, things on how laughing is healthy. I watched funny videos. I watched inspiring videos. I watched happy videos with the AWWW! factor – with babies and fur-babies. I put on funky music (play that funky music white boy!!!) that made me want to dance and I moved my bootie to the music. You have to pick tunes that inspire you to get up and dance a happy dance – one where you have no choice but to groove to the music, ya know?

dance

And hey, it doesn’t have to be a pretty dance. If ya look like a big ole weirdo, so bit it, but I wouldn’t recommend dancin’ a jig on the freeway. And if you’re super uncoordinated like this white chick (meaning me, just to be clear), just take safety precautions, okay?

6. Read things that inspire me, watched videos that inspire me and make me laugh, that uplift me, that show me how to see things with different perspective, played funky music that made me get up and dance and sing, even if it was probably scary looking and made the dogs cry.

 

I love hot tea. I know it’s summer and believe me, Mississippi summers suck. It’s hot as hell here!!!  Well, I’m guessing. Probably not, but it’s super freakin’ hot!!

GIFSec.com

GIFSec.com

But when you have the a/c on and it’s nice and chill in your house, so much so that it makes you forget about summer heat lurking outside the door (or almost), you might wanna put a kettle on. This is a nice way to spoil yourself, or this is how I spoil me.

7. Put on a kettle of water and steep yourself a nice cup of hot tea in one of your favorite flavors with some nice raw honey, which is also healing for your body.

Did you know honey is nature’s antibiotic?

 

And, well, this post has gotten too long, so I’ll stop here, but you get the idea, right?  Have a Be Gentle With Yourself Day. Talk nicely to yourself. Focus on what you have. Focus on what you’ve done well, what you’ve accomplished. Tell yourself “I love you.” Talk loving things to yourself and just know you are awesome and you can do anything, and you still have time, and forgive yourself, try to enjoy the ride, look for the good things, the lessons, and know you will be okay.

Ciao for now. Love you!  Smooches!  xoxo

Advertisements

Update on my Crazy and a New Experiment

humanity

Okay, so, I may have told you that I put the whole video thing on hold to focus more on my book.  God has seen fit to get me a message that I need to do the book thing daily while also continuing the video project (just not every week) whenever I have a sweet interested soul that wishes to be interviewed.  So, I am guessing He will help me work all this out with managing my time on everything.  I’m cool with that.  It will be quite the job but I reckon I can handle it.  So, the video project is back on and you’ll be hearing an update when the next video is loaded.  For now, I’ll just post the latest and let you know that the upcoming video will have a MUCH shorter intro.

 

A new experiment:

I started this on my Instagram page but also placed it on my Facebook Writer page, Twitter and Tumblr.  Thought I share it with you, too, if ya wanna play.

So I am wanting to do a little experiment and wanted to know if you might be interested. Not sure if I should host this on my writer page or MeaningOfLifeInitiative page since that is solely based on humanity, so you can give me your input on that, if you like.

Experiment: Sort of a daily life class – a different assignment every day.

Today’s: Show yourself love. When you love others, you must love yourself first. Embrace your inner child. Go at least one day without scolding yourself as well as everyone else.

If you’d like to share how you did with this, I know we’d love to hear from you!! #project365 #365 #write #writer #writing #amwriting #wip #passion2016 #bookstagram #love #passion #peace #peaceful #happy #happiness #humanity #experiment #nevergiveup #tool #wakeup Good Thursday

 

So, that’s it for the day. Just checking in, sharing, connecting.  Let me know if ya wanna play. I suppose I’ll be needing to get on here every day now, if only to do our daily life class – if I get any involvement/engagement.  So shout out if you’re interested and I’ll start making time daily to connect.

 

Oh, and it’s Thankful Thursday!  Today, I’m thankful for YOU!!  And for LOVE!!  And for FAMILY!!!  The list is endless, really, but I know ya ain’t got all day…  😉

Love you!!!  Big bear hug!!!  xoxo

-Carol

Happy for Answered Prayers & Showers of Blessings

 

P1140659

Good morning, sweeeeeeeeeet neighbors!!!!  Shweeeet friends!  Happy Thankful Thursday to you and I do hope you have much to be thankful for.

I will spare you the million and one things I usually name that I’m thankful for but I’ll always be adding family as that is my number 1, and my sweet friends out there like you, which are part of my number 1.  And God and Jesus that are not only part of my number 1, but part of everything I am and do.  I’m far from perfect, sooooo far, but I try hard every day to make them glad at me.  I use that phrase ‘glad at me’ as my daughter, Hallie, asked me that once when she was about 3 and I’ve never forgotten that sweet question from that precious baby, “Mama, are you glad at me?”  Oof, I’m missing her like crazy right now.  Wish I could squeeze her, but alas, she’s at school, so I have to wait till 3.  😉

Have you ever stepped waaaaay outside your comfort zone and tried something you could never see yourself doing?  Have I told y’all about my video project?  I have been a little hushed about details as I feel talking about it beforehand sort of jinxes myself.  Perhaps that sounds odd.  I just like to be taking action doing the thing and have some sort of flow going or even be finished with a certain amount of steps before I mention.  But since I did get my first major step completed, I’ll talk a little about it.

I had a vision last year for this project.  It just popped into my little imagination.  It was so clear.  Life gets in the way and all that and it got pushed to a back burner to simmer for a while.  Well, it’s been simmering for a year and certain things came into play within the last 2 months that told me I need to get my rear in gear on this project.

I asked God, “If you want me to do this thing, please show me the way.  I cannot work 46-56 hours a week and do the project, but I do need to pay my bills, so please don’t take away any clients.”

The very next week, my biggest client cut my hours, as she needed to stay closer to her budget.  Nothing too threatening but just enough to allow me to still pay my bills (barely) and have time to go out and engage with people.  A beloved friend donated an awesome video camera for the project – a very generous donation.  Other great friends were praying for me and the project, the questions I’d ask, the interviews, the confidence, calmness, soothing of my anxiety, ’cause I was so sure I was either gonna faint or get sick.  So many amazing people believe in me and this project and it made such a difference in my taking action.  I have to say, I got close to chickening out, because of my fear and lack of confidence but I asked myself, “Do you just want to stay shut up in that house every day?  I mean, writing is awesome and it’s one of your dreams and it’s fantastic but this is a great vision, too.  What if something comes of all this?  What if people actually like it?  What if you can relate to these people on a deeper level and really connect with people?  What if people watching and listening to their stories realize they’re not so alone? What if I can (only as a go between) actually shrink the planet through connections and stories?  How cool would that be?  You can always get back to writing after you have this project up and running smoothly.”

So after 1, 2, 3, 4 rejections, I finally got a yes, and while I was interviewing this sweet person, I received several lookers-on also express interest so I’ll be going back to get more interviews!  What a wonderful interview that was yesterday!  What a wonderful lady I talked with, so deep, so compassionate, so thoughtful.  I feel like I have a bit more faith in humanity.  I feel a bit more positive about people.  I had so many great conversations with these several people yesterday and my jitters were put to rest.  So crazy, right?  I made some new friends, and this project is starting to take flight!

Now to spend the time I need editing.  But at least I have done a bit and have my feet good and wet so I know better about what I’m doing.  I cannot wait to get the videos loaded so I can share them with you guys!!!  Won’t be long now!

P1140658

OH, and I’m thankful Hallie had a wonderful Sweet 16 in New Orleans.  I took her and Mama and one of Hallie’s best friends (which I also consider a daughter), Sierra, and we all had a fabulous time.  Hadn’t been in years and it’s only 2.5 hours away!  We walked and walked for miles, all day and night.  I cannot believe my baby is 16.  *sniff*

I love you guys!  xoxo

What are you thankful for today?  What great things have been going on in your life this week?

 

(Photos courtesy of ME – Haha! – http://www.instagram.com/carolblakesessums)

Fabulous Friday Eve!!

talk-to-strangers-waiting-in-line-at-disneyland

What a lovely, lovely day it has been so far.  Was hard to wake up this morning, due to hanging out late with awesome friends we can’t get enough of (you know – those friends that you just never run out of things to talk about with and things to laugh at?) and didn’t get to bed till after 11pm, so imagine how hard it was to get up and get ready for work and get the kiddo up for school.  Still, the sleepy/tired is worth it.  I spent the majority of my day running errands trying to get ready for the holiday weekend.  What holiday, you ask?  Hallie’s Sweet 16.  Perhaps it’s not a national holiday – YET, but it should be.  haha!  I’m sure you feel the same about your children or spouse or parent or someone in your life?  Some of you know her and some of you know of her as much as I talk about her on here.  That girl, oh!  She’s my heart.  So compassionate, mature, loving, forgiving, insightful, calm, level-headed, brilliant and hilarious.  Wise, even.  She’s always been wise. Just an all around great person.  She and Mama are my best friends in the world.  I know she’s changed me.  My whole life is better because of her.  She taught me how to forgive, you know?  Well, I’m gushing.  And I digress.  I was talking about my day…

I set out on this day to be positive.  I realize I don’t smile enough, so I was determined to smile more, to be and feel happy.  Excited even.  And I should be.  With all my projects going on, I should be excited!  So, I go to the post office and I don’t usually engage strangers in conversation, but figured well, that’s got to change with one of my upcoming projects, so I’ll just go ahead and start doing that right now.  This sweet lady had a Yorkie in her car and I started a conversation with her about her 15 year old sweet adorable dog, named Katie.  We must have talked for about 10 minutes.  Well, that made my day.

I set out to be positive and only believe in positivity and positive people today, because I was on a mission.  A mission to find more good people in a day than bad.  Don’t you get fed up by always being faced off with negative people?  They cut you off in traffic.  They flip you off, curse you, give you a go to you know where look, are in a hateful awful mood and it seems to be directed at you. Even when it isn’t.  I wanted different people today.  Happy people.  I wanted to see how much conversation and smiles I could get out of people.  It was a great experiment.

So then I went to repair a beloved piece of jewelry that’s just been sitting there for several months, broken, and this jeweler fixed it for me on the spot!  They told me it normally takes about a week but the lady asked the repair guy if he could solder it now since he was about to leave for the rest of the week AND HE DID!!  Less than $20 to fix it but I would have paid more, because of their generosity and Johnny-on-the-spot-ness!  While they were fixing it, I was talking with the two girls that were working and having told them where we were going this weekend, one lady told me about a special event that goes on there in October, so that was a nice tip and I came home to Google it to see if it’s going on this weekend.  It actually doesn’t begin till the end of November, but oh well, there are 100’s of awesome things to do there.

I went to Kohl’s to buy a new pair of shades as mine were all scratched up and have been for months.  I’m terrible when it comes to buying anything for myself but I finally broke down and bought this cute pair of sunglasses and they were ON SALE!  The clearance tag said $10.50 but they were actually $8.  Yes!  I used to buy Ray-Bans but after losing a pair after our canoe tipped over and sat on the second pair, no more spending big money for shades.  Nuh-uh.  The lady at the check-out was super sweet and we spoke while I was checking out.  I just love it when people are talkative. Don’t you?  I wonder if part of it was the positive energy I was putting off.  Maybe what we send out we really do get back?  Hmmm.  Something to think about.

Ran a couple of other errands and everyone was so helpful and kind, it actually blew my mind.  Is it because I focus so much of my energy toward the negative Nellies?  Those bad attitude dudes?  I let their negative energy affect my mood and then I get bratty (sounds nicer than the word I actually become).  Perhaps if I go out with the intention of smiling, talking to people, putting off good vibes, maybe, just maybe I’ll get them back.  It’s definitely worth a try.  Think I’ll try this again tomorrow.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

So what am I thankful for today?  Everything.  Absolutely everything.  I guess I’ll go get the kiddo from school in 30 minutes and then I guess I need to get some actual work done.  Yeah, that would be good.

Y’all have an amazing fun and safe weekend.  Go out there and smile more, engage people with conversation, smile while you talk, make eye contact (believe me, I know how scary THAT can be – there are some real creepers out there).  I’ll bet you have more positive experiences than negative.  Try it and let me know how it works out for you.  You know what’s REALLY fun and fills you with immense satisfaction and joy?!  When you’re going through the window or line at the coffee shop or even Mickey D’s, give the cashier $5 or $10 if you have it to spare.  Tell the cashier you’d like to put that toward the next customer.  I can’t begin to tell you how magical it’ll make you feel.  We’ve been both on the receiving and giving ends of this ‘pay it forward’ fun-ness, and I think everyone should give it a try.  Especially if you need a huge pick-me-up.

Love y’all!  *big squishie hug*  xoxo

Carol

(Photo courtesy of disneyexaminer.com)

Jumping With Joy

girl-jumping-in-the-air

Sorry, I believe I missed last week, but today is Thankful Thursday for this week, so without further ado…

I am soooo stinkin’ thankful!  Thankful for everything!  For my family.  My wonderful daughter on this #NationalDaughtersDay and every day.  My beautiful mother.  Friends that I love and love me back.  Sweet true friends that my daughter has that believe in her and lift her up.  For my generous, loving Jesus.  For my forgiving, faithful God.  For working from home with work and clients I adore.  For this new adventure I’m starting.  For words.  For film.  For good health.  For laughter.  For music.  Cooler weather.  Changing seasons and the color of leaves in the Fall.  For our home and land.  Our furballs that make life fun and funny.  Wonderful food.  Coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.  Wine and cheese.  Chocolate.  Lots and lots of chocolate.  Road trips to our favorite places and adventures to new ones.  Mountains.  Hiking.  Baking.  Cooking.  Photography.  Writing.  The sunrise.  Sunsets.  Babies.

Ah, life is sooo good!

I’m not jumping for joy, as if joy is something I can grab out of the air, somehow out of reach, up there above me.  I’m jumping with joy.  I’m filled with joy, with happiness.  I’m so filled with joy, I can’t help but jump with gladness.

I know there’s so many more blessings I can count but I’m livin’ by a schedule – ain’t got all day!  😉

Y’all have a beautiful, wonderful, amazing, prosperous, fun, humorous, thankful and fabulous Friday Eve!  May God bless you and your families!

Love ya!  *smooch*  xoxo

What are you thankful for on this Thankful Thursday?

 

 

(Photo courtesy of gracecomesbyhearing.BlogSpot.com)