Please Yourself: A Practice
In this fast-paced lifestyle that we are all living, there is an odd tendency to think that somehow pleasing others is the way to go. But how can anyone possibly please and happyfy herself if she is spending all of her time trying to please others?
The practice of mindfulness and happyfication is an inside job. No matter how much others look upon us with respect or admiration for anything that we have or do, it will never be enough, and it is a practice to first understand this before applying it as a way of life.
Think of all of the activities in a day that you engage in with the intention of pleasing someone else. We all do it. In our jobs, in our homes, in our relationships, even on our vacations we are constantly seeking to make ourselves look more valuable to someone else by being people pleasers. Ask yourself: “what have I done today, just me, to please me, for me?”
There are many practices that give us opportunities to please ourselves. We can engage in exercise of the body and mind, but it all ends up coming back to intention. How many times do you go to your Pilates class motivated to develop a more pleasing body for someone else? How often do you sit in meditation motivated to feel or sound smarter to someone else? Do you engage in these activities for yourself, or are you still trying to please someone else through your efforts?
Intention behind what we do is extremely important, and there are plenty of things that we do that are fantastic, but it’s not always what we do, but why we are doing it that makes it happyfying and beneficial for our bodies and minds.
Here’s the mindful practice of the week: ensure that each day, you make a plan to engage in something that will better you FOR YOU.
Here are some 10 great ideas to get you started:
- Take an exercise class.
- Take yourself out to lunch or coffee.
- Treat yourself to a cute new ‘do or get your nails done.
- Sit down for meditation and some slow breathing exercises.
- Buy yourself some flowers.
- Take yourself to a movie.
- Write in your journal.
- Take a walk in nature.
- Grab a cookbook and learn a new cooking technique.
- Watch a sappy 80’s Lifetime movie that you love by yourself.
Whether it is exercise for your body, mind, or spirit, schedule it into your day. Then, here’s the hard part: while you are doing it, on a moment by moment basis, check up on your intentions. Are you doing the activity for you to please you? Are you getting a stronger core or mind for the benefit of loving yourself?
If you’re not, change up the mindset and regroup. Make it about you and only you. And watch the happyfication unfold.