You.

Take care of yourself.

I used to hate it when people told me to be "kind to myself".

Like. Hate. It.

It sounded too gentle.

I would think "YEAH GREAT! But how am I supposed to get SHIZ DONE?!"

If I am over here being "gentle with myself" how am I supposed to pay my bills, get to the gym, interact with friends, pursue side projects, cook dinner, plan things, go to sleep, wake up and do it all again? PLUS! What about errands? Who has time for gentle when I need to get to the Post Office, when I just ran out of dishwashing soap, my shoes are wrecked, I need a haircut, AND I have nothing in my fridge?

WHEN AM I SUPPOSED TO FIND THE TIME TO BE GENTLE WITH MYSELF?

Answer: Never.

And then I would get a break. And I would get sick. Everything would set in and I would get terribly sick, full of all the ill, and not having much fun.

I felt like everything was on high speed. Do one thing to get to the next thing, to get to the next thing, so I can finally get to this last thing - sleep - wake up and do one thing to get to the next thing to get to the next thing to get to the next and so on. 

Until what?

Years of my life went by like this. I am not saying there were NO MOMENTS of joy or fun or pleasure, but the overwhelming feel was I need to do these tasks because I have to, because they build my life, and by doing them I will get to a more elevated place where maybe I won't have to do them as hard or as much? But right now in this moment I don't deserve to "be gentle" because I haven't earned it yet. I haven't gone to the gym enough, I haven't earned enough money, I haven't advanced in my career enough yet -

I NEED TO HUSTLE.

I NEED TO GET THINGS DONE.

So much pressure. It is a lot of energy without a lot of reward. 

All of that pushing and doing never got me further ahead. 
I was just numb. I felt comforted because I was busy, but I wasn't really advancing on my goals. 

My head was always spinning. I was constantly mired in thoughts and lists and plans and my life was just slipping by - I started to take care of myself more. I sought out acupuncturists, nutritionists, and naturopaths - but my mindset hadn't shifted. I had just added more appointments to my list of things to do.

I needed to believe I was worth the time.

That it didn't matter how much I had or hadn't accomplished.

That it was okay for me to slow down.

That being GENTLE wasn't being WEAK.

Which is why I kept myself so busy - WHO CARES if I am not achieving my goals, if I am not weak. Right?

I really had to check myself on that. 

Being able to be with yourself, kind to yourself, and allow yourself what you need to take care of you is STRENGTH. It makes you the kind of person that CAN help others. 

It is an amazing skill. And so I urge you -

Be kind.

Be gentle.

And slow down.