I have been really kind to myself today. I am visiting my mother at her house in Stavanger on the west coast of Norway. My mother and I have been walking on the beach for hours. Spending time on these beaches is real quality time for me. There are many thoughts and dreams that have been born on my hometown beaches. We arrived on the beach to one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen this year, and I have seen many beautiful sunsets up in the Himalayas and elsewhere in Asia. After I came back to my mothers house did I dive in to a nice hot bath. Since I do not have a bathtub in my flat in Oslo which I really do miss, is this moments at my mothers house in a nice hot bath precious to me. While I dozed in to my own world in the bathtub came the inspiration to write this blog. I started to reflect about how important it is that we have more focus on being kind to ourselves. We live in a world where there is expe with so much stress and expectations from friends and family in our private atmosphere, colleagues and chiefs at work, neighbours and others that we meet that takes up space in our surroundings during a day.
I started thinking while I was lying in this comfortable bath, about how important these moment where we take care and are kind to ourselves are. I also realised how easy it is in a busy everyday life to not find time for quality time with ourselves. Maybe it is easier than we think it is. Maybe it is just about changing our focus and be aware of how important this is. When we sit down with a nice cup of tea for example can we practice being kind to ourselves by being present in the moment, focus on how we breath and let our mind get a rest from all our thoughts if it is possible. If it is impossible to stop the thoughts is that ok. Just accept yourself as you are there and then. If you priorities ten minutes two times each day to the intention of being kind to yourself, you will see a change after a short while. Other things that you can do is to go for a walk in your neighbourhood, having a nice hot bath like me or you can dance in your own livingroom. Use your imagination to come up with activities you can do.
I read an article in a norwegian newspaper many years ago, regarding a research project that documented that dog owners where less sick than the rest of the population. They believed the reason for that was because the dog owners had to take their dog for a walk each day.
Sometimes do we feel for more time and space to be kind to ourselves than just a few minutes in our everyday life, either together with family and good friends, or sometimes we feel for spending a weekend or a holiday alone somewhere. Maybe you shall indulge yourself with a special kindtime gift for your birthday this year? If you have family, maybe you shall wish some kindtime as a birthday present from them?
You can wish for what ever you want to wish for. It is totally up to you. If you do not have a wish, then it is quit sure that the wish can not be fulfilled either. I have many friends who have a weekend or week of kindtime holiday without their family once a year. On my first trek to Mount Everest basecamp did I invite my good friend Merete who has a husband and a son to come with us. She answered immediately that it was impossible for her because of her family situation. I forgot all about it until a day some weeks later, when she told me that she had decided that she wanted to join us. She had discussed it with her husband and he was positive to her participation on the trek. His one and only condition was that the family holidays should not be affected. What my friend did was to take unpaid leave from work. Where there is a will there is most of the time a way.
My experience from my own life is that the time I use to be kind to myself pays off. Not only for myself but also for the people I interact with in my everyday life. I am calmer in interaction with the people in my surroundings and more present to what is going on right here and now.
Try to get some kindtime with yourself and see what happens with you. Please share it with me if you want to.