Doing Things For Ourselves Cause Ripples

6 years ago

Own Your Beauty is a groundbreaking, year-long movement bringing women together to change the conversation about what beauty means. Our mission: to encourage and remind grown women that it is never too late to learn to love one's self and influence the lives of those around us - our mothers, friends, children, neighbors. We can shift our minds and hearts and change the path we follow in the pursuit of authentic beauty.

Today I am writing about doing things for ourselves.

My life had become a stagnant pond.

Stagnant ponds are full of still, unmoving, dark water. Slimy green things grow on stagnant ponds. It’s icky. They don’t smell to good and you can’t see what is under that water. I used to live in Florida, sometimes the things under still water have big sharp teeth.

I felt that every day was exactly the same as the last. I woke up to the exact same tasks every day, and it was monotonous. I was so bored with everything and nothing seemed to change except that my children were slightly larger and didn’t really want me to be around as much as they used to. I didn’t know what to do.

I wanted to move to different place or get a part time job or maybe even put my kids back in school. There wasn’t anything really wrong with the home schooling we were doing, but I needed SOMETHING to change! I think I was actually slipping into depression. I was considering antidepressants. Sitting on my bed in a funk, I finally decided that I was the thing that had to change. But how? I wanted to be so different than I was, skinnier, younger, richer, better dressed … confident. It was overwhelming to think of everything I wanted -- no, needed -- to change and some of those things I couldn’t change.

I had almost no energy and even less money because when it rains it pours. What could I possibly do in the face of my yucky stagnant pond? I had spent all these years devoting my life to others. I decided I needed a different focus because what I had been doing for so long wasn’t really working for me anymore. So I decided that I needed to devote (at least part of) my life to ME. I love my children and husband, but for me it was time to do something different. I only had energy and resources for some small thing to change.

I dropped a small pebble in the pond.

My first pebble was going to the library once a week all by myself. I had had nights out with my husband and with friends and I’d been to the library countless times with my kids but this was for me, just me. I would get a small decaf coffee and open up Write It Down Make It Happen by Henrietta Anne Klauser PhD. And I took notes. I wrote down all the things that I wanted to change for me. All the things I wanted to be and do. It was a very small pebble.

But even small pebbles make ripples.

The ripple from that small pebble was that on the day of the week I went to the library, I was excited to get up.

Then there was another ripple. It was a book I found at the library, 8 Minutes in the Morning by Jorge Cruise.

8 minutes is a very small pebble too. But I was overwhelmed and tired. I needed a small pebble of exercise. I could manage 8 minutes.

I’m still only able to move pebbles. One at a time. This blog is one of them.

When you start dropping pebbles in a stagnant pond the ripples move the water, all the way to the edges. It annoys the “sharp toothed thing under the water.” It has to find a new home. If you drop more pebbles in the water it makes so many ripples that the slimy green plants can’t grow either. After more pebbles are dropped it raises the edge of the water so it spills over the edge of the bank. One day it might even be a stream or maybe even a river! Like the saying goes, when it rains it pours.

So often we think that we have to move mountains to make a change. I think sometimes a pebble will do.

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The Dao of Doing

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