creative joy retreat, 2012, leaf and light

While appreciating and loving our bodies and ourselves feels good. It also can feel overwhelming.

It can feel overwhelming when you’ve spent many years fighting your body, with an inner critic that shouts — and shouts — about your supposed flaws.

You might feel frustrated about your body and feel frustrated that you’re not feeling better about your weight. You might feel frustrated about your lack of assertiveness and your lack of self-compassion.

In her book The Life Organizer: A Woman’s Guide to a Mindful Year, one of the questions Jennifer Louden suggests asking ourselves is:

How can I meet myself where I am today?

As she writes, “Practitioners in the healing professions, like therapy and coaching, learn to meet the client where she is, not where they want her to be or think she should be.”

Then Jen asks: “What might shift for you if you approached today from a viewpoint of ‘This is where I am; what do I need?'”

This might look like taking a long, deep breath. That’s it.

It might look like closing the window to a website that focuses on weight loss and the countdown to bikini season (yuck).

It might look like giving yourself a quick neck massage because that’s where you’re feeling tension.

It might look like giving yourself a 5-minute break to sip green tea from your favorite mug.

It might look like giving yourself an extra few minutes to enjoy your evening shower.

It might look like curling up in bed with a book you’ve been wanting to read.

It might look like stretching your body.

It might look like researching therapists because you’ve realized you need extra support.

It might look like taking one task off your to-do list.

It might look like thanking your legs for a great morning walk.

It might look like forgiving yourself for making a mistake.

It might look like preparing a home-cooked meal or eating out because you’re exhausted or feel cooped-up.

All of these seemingly small gestures are actually big strides. They’re compassionate and thoughtful. They respond to a need.

And like I said on Tuesday, tuning into ourselves says yes, I am important, and yes, I’m listening, I’m all ears. You are truly being heard.

Today, meet yourself where you are. Wherever this may be.