Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today, on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington*, I invite you to forgive yourself. For it is only in forgiving yourself and then in loving yourself deeply, that you can radiate love and bring peace with every step you take, every single day.
Self-care September is coming. This is a month where we will practice the art of extreme self-care. If you are scratching your head, that makes sense because I am declaring this for the first time. September is back-to-school season in the U.S. It’s a time when we can sharpen new pencils, our erasers are clean and notebooks are shiny and new.
If you have a chance to take care of 1-3 things about yourself, what would they be? Here are some ideas:
- Staying balanced, or as most folks like to say, managing stress
- Eating healthy foods
- Feeling good about your body
- Exercising, playing, dancing
- Learning that skill you have always wanted to learn
- Making time for the friends you rarely see
- Getting medical attention for all parts of you—body, heart, mind…and teeth!
- Remembering and nurturing your passions
- Cultivating your spiritual side
- Managing your finances
If you are upset with yourself for putting on weight, overspending, letting yourself fall into the same pit of stress again and again, this is your chance to be kind and gentle with yourself—just the way you would be with a dear friend or a child.
One book that has helped me in the past is The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson. You can buy it here or view the first chapter here. Don’t be turned off by the cover if self-help isn’t your thing. What the book does well is create 12 opportunities for you to take care of yourself so that you can tackle one area each month—sometimes that can mean learning to say no or sometimes that can mean giving up control.
So, I’m inviting you to pick 1-3 areas to address during the month of September. The list above is only for ideas. Think about it and if you feel like declaring it to the world, add a comment on this post. Or try writing it down in a journal. Or if you want to let me know privately so that you have some level of accountability, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org –that way someone else knows about the exciting possibility of cultivating your power through forgiveness and self-love. I hope that you feel lighter already just thinking about letting go!
*If you would like to learn more about the U.S. civil rights movement on this momentous anniversary, visit one of my favorite organizations at: http://www.teachingforchange.org — there is even a mythbusters quiz.