In the midst of overhauling the studio, a whole bunch of my favorite things have gathered in one corner of the room. These things seem to tell a story about who I have been, and I find myself wondering, which ones will continue on to tell the story of who I’m yet to be?
This has been a challenging autumn (or year, or life…in fact; I don’t know if there’s a life that exists without a whole lotta challenge, now that I think of it) and I’ve been doing a bunch of healing and growing and wondering what is coming around the bend. Every day is a new adventure, though I am often convinced that it’s definitely going to be the same as yesterday, or last week. As if it could ever be. This has been a time of shedding skins and trying on new clothes.
Today I got the message from my essential, inner dancing girl self that she needed a play day. No fighting inner demons today…just a day to play. So I danced around the studio; I smashed some stuff in my yard with a sledgehammer (that was on my bucket list; totally awesome), and I am now playing with rubber stamps. Not sure what’s next.
I’ve been playing around with the idea that, for me, a treat can often just be the next best-feeling thing. And sometimes the treat is in the looking forward to and the doing (as with watching a favorite show, eating a divine cookie, watching the sunset, or having tea with a friend) and sometimes the treat is maybe in the doing and mostly in the result (cleaning the bathroom, doing my bookkeeping, washing the dishes for what feels like the gazillionth time in a day, or taking out the trash).
Today a treat for me is looking forward to and getting to take photos of a beautiful, dear friend. Another treat is looking forward to watching a new silly TV show I like called “No Tomorrow”. Another treat is making a card for a friend and popping it in the mailbox. And another treat might be getting out on my bicycle…if it feels good.
I like the idea that anything can be a treat on one day, and that it may not feel so treat-like on the next. I do my best work and have my best feeling life when I trust the treats of today and move towards whichever one tastes the sweetest in this moment. And in the moments when the world seems devoid of treats, when everything seems like a chore or drudge work, then it’s probably time for me to pause and reconnect with my essential self.
I have a few tricks I use to link back up with my inner dancing girl. It might be time to ask myself, “what would feel downright naughty right now?” or maybe,”what is the thing that has been on my to-do list the longest that would make the most difference to complete or let go?” Or it might be time to take a look and see: “is there anything in my schedule coming up, today or any day in the future, that I really and truly do not want to do even though I said I would, or thought I could, or think I should?”
Sometimes when there is stuck energy about something in my life, even the treaty-est sweet treats don’t hold the juice and the joy that I am looking for, and ordinary non-treaty things just seem like the absolute pits. In those times, we can check out and eat or drink or smoke or shop or whatever we do to keep our tough feelings away for awhile, or we can extend the utmost kindness to our wretched-feeling selves and get curious (and honestly, I usually end up doing a bit of both).
“What’s up, honey?”, we can ask ourselves, “I hear you that it seems like nothing would feel good and there’s no way to make it better. Can you say anything else about what you’re feeling right now?”. And often this is the perfect time to call a friend, real (or imaginary if that’s what you’ve got), and find someone to hold our hand, to ask us loving questions and to listen while we unfurl whatever tornado is twisting up our insides. And then go find ourselves a dang good treat.