If you meditate, then you spend some time alone with yourself on a regular basis. But how often do you deliberately take the time to be alone with yourself and do something you enjoy?
Yesterday, my youngest son wanted to go to the mall and hang out… without me, of course. This left me with a couple of hours to kill on my own. And I immediately knew what I wanted to do with those hours.
The same son is not a huge fan of Mexican food. He’ll eat tacos, taco salad, and burritos at home, but take him to a Mexican restaurant and he’ll order a taco salad and then just kind of… pick at it. I don’t know; I don’t get it either.
Anyway, I realized this was the perfect opportunity for me to satisfy a Mexican food craving I didn’t even realize I had. So I grabbed my Kindle, on which I’m currently reading Firefly Lane, and after dropping my kid at the mall, headed to a nearby Mexican restaurant.
I ordered a Cherry Coke, which my server asked if it was okay if she just added grenadine to regular Coke to make it, since they didn’t have Cherry Coke (she got a great tip because she was an outstanding server!). I then ordered a couple of tacos and a chile relleno. While I waited the few minutes for my order, I munched on the usual chips and salsa and started reading my book.
When my food arrived, I continued to read while I ate. I didn’t look at the time. I didn’t think about the work still waiting for me to finish at home. I didn’t think or worry about what I need to do next week.
I just read my book and savored my delicious Mexican food (and handmade Cherry Coke!). And though my son was bored with the mall even before I finished eating my food, it was an incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating hour. I came home ready to tackle the last of my work for the week and ready to dive in to the weekend.
I didn’t share that story just to brag that I took myself out to lunch or had an entire hour alone to do what I wanted. I shared that story because I want you to seriously think about and answer the question I asked at the beginning of this email: how often do you take yourself on a date? When is the last time you did something you enjoy by yourself and simply relaxed and savored the moment?
Meditation is great. It’s a great way to get to know yourself, get some quiet, get some stillness and downtime in your life. But you also need to spend time alone outside of meditation. To enjoy yourself, to get to know yourself, to take a break from all that you do for everyone else and just get to be. No to-do list, no demands on your time or energy, just you being you.
I want to offer you a challenge this week. If it’s been a while since you did something on your own, just for the pure pleasure of doing something you enjoy without worrying about whether others want to do it or being fair to everyone or keeping track of everyone, schedule a date with yourself.
Just one hour (or two or three, depending on what you want to do) out of one day this week.
Go to lunch by yourself. Go to dinner alone.
Go see that movie you want to see that no one else is interested in.
Take a walk in the park by yourself.
Go window shopping alone (and no, groceries does NOT count!).
Take the time, shut out the world and just enjoy your time with you. Forget work, household chores, kid arguments, fights with the ex, and anything else that takes away from your happiness. Yes, those things are still there, waiting for you on the other side of this time for you. But for this brief window of time, let them disappear. Just let them fade away so you can simply feel pure pleasure and contentment.
I promise it will leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to face whatever stress and frustration you might face.
And if you’d like to include meditation in that date with yourself (or just looking for meditation in general this week), I’m doing some free live meditations on Insight Timer this week.
Each weekday, I’ll be doing a Daily Dose of Self-Love at 8 a.m. ET. This will be a variety of meditations on self-love, and if it goes well this week, I hope to continue doing it daily on weekdays after that.
I’ll also be doing a Gratitude meditation on Monday at 1 p.m. ET. This is just a simple meditation on gratitude and all the things we have in our lives to be grateful for. (No link yet, but if you head to insighttimer.com and scroll the Live tab, you’ll eventually see it. Wish I had the link but… sometimes they’re a bit behind!)
That’s all I’ve got for you this week! We’re hunkered down for some bad weather this weekend. I hope you’re all having a beautiful weekend!