Permission slips… remember those? When we were in school we would get a permission slip signed to go on a field trip or to go home with a friend on their bus. And I suppose if you think about it, hall passes were permission slips too – permission slips to be in the hall (to go to the office, the bathroom, or another classroom, etc.) rather than in class. Permission slips certainly came in handy when we were growing up, didn’t they?
But now that we are older, we don’t really have permission slips anymore. But wouldn’t it be nice if we did? Just think if someone gave us a permission slip to take a day off work or to not clean the house this week, or (fill in the blank with whatever would absolutely make your day!). How amazing would that be?!!
But the truth of the matter is we can write our own permission slips. Brené Brown talks about this in her work. You can write your own permission slip for any of a number of things. And I am going to suggest we should write one for ourselves to specifically focus on self-care and self-love.
We are far too busy and focused on other people and other things and we almost always come in last. And by the time we are able to do something for ourselves we are either exhausted or have little time available. We put ourselves last, or near last, time and time again. And how awful is that? Eventually we end up trying to pour from an empty cup which ultimately does no one any good. Taking some time to love yourself enough to care for yourself is of the utmost importance, especially these days. It is important for your physical and mental health, as well as for the health of your relationships.
So write yourself a permission slip to love yourself enough to practice a little self-care every day. Be it time to breathe or meditate, to exercise, to make some nutritious food, to sleep in, to take a bubble bath, to spend time with your besties. Whatever it is that reignites your soul and makes you happy, love yourself enough to give yourself permission to do that thing. And know that you are worth it!
And for those of you who aren’t sure what you can do in terms of self-care when you only have a few minutes of time available, try this simple self-love meditation:
Sit comfortably with eyes closed. Place your hands over your heart. Begin to breathe in a slow and relaxed manner. Feel your body relaxing a little more with each exhale. Then turn your focus inward to your heart.
Allow yourself to feel a profound sense of love in your heart. Love for yourself. For all you do. For all you have to offer. With each inhale mentally say the words “I am loved” and with each exhale mentally say the words “I take care of myself”. (Note – even if you struggle to believe these words, say them anyways…the more you say them, the more you will come to believe they are possible for you.)
Repeat for up to 2 minutes, then release that mantra of self-love and allow the breath to return to normal. And then when you are ready, slowly open our eyes. Namaste.