I've always been a structured person, which has, at times, led to seasons of rigidity. One of the greatest lessons of my 20s was learning flexibility. Being flexible with my diet, my exercise routine, my to do list. The decade taught me balance and healing. I learned that - for me - being healthy meant learning to move with the rhythm of the world around me, as opposed to gripping rules, always thinking I knew better.
Letting go of rigidity also meant learning to be more gentle with myself. It meant giving myself grace and trusting that I was good enough - no changes needed. This was one of the hardest parts of the equation. You mean I don't have to do good to be good?
Winter, I think, calls for extra gentleness. The weather is harsh, the daylight is shorter. It's harder on our bodies (the dry skin! the chapped lips!). The season often lends itself to less playfulness and more hibernation.
The days will start getting longer in 15 days. Can you tell I'm counting? In the meantime, as they continue to shorten, I'm practicing extra gentility with myself. I'm remembering that some days call for hard workouts, while others call for a little more sleep. Some days call for kale and cucumbers, and still others for hot chocolate and popcorn.
What would practicing extra gentleness look like for you today? An extra-hot, long shower? Walking slowly home from work with a podcast, instead of rushing through the motions? Early to bed with a book? A seasonal latte? Buying flowers for yourself? Burning the good candle and opening the good wine, just because?
I've found that we women sometimes need extra permission to treat ourselves well. If you're of that mindset, let me give you the permission: enjoy the long shower. Buy the flowers. Drink the wine.
Soak in the goodness of your life, not because you've earned it but because you - inherently you - deserve the good.