Do you have any clue what you want for yourself? I know I struggle with that a lot, so let’s look at it together.
As we do, I want to put forward the reminder to avoid critical self-judgment if you don’t like what you see. If you DO like what you see, PLEASE go to Parent Success! and share your secrets. For the rest of you mere humans, try to avoid getting defensive (of course I know what I want! ) or convincing (why just two years ago I took an underwater sewing class just for me!). Looking at the big picture, how are you doing? What do you know about what you want for yourself?
Start by asking yourself, “what have I done for myself, lately?” I'm serious. Really, what are the little things you tend to do to be nice to yourself. Do you get a regular latte or monthly pedicures? Do you have a regular girls night or sneak off to movies in the afternoon? Do you find yourself seeing all the animated movies that come out just so you get to see SOMETHING in a dark room with popcorn?
Looking at these little treats can help in two ways. First, you'll see that maybe you do more for yourself than you thought. Or, on the other hand, things are more dire and call for your immediate attention!
Second, they will give you a clue as to where you might look for answers. For example, if you like pedicures, maybe you like to feel pampered and/or look your best; if it is daily lattes that fill your cup, perhaps you like the frequency of doing something for yourself every day, and it may not matter so much what you do.
The trick is to look past the simple act of self-kindness to discover how that act makes you feel. When you discover the impact or result you want with the little things, you move several steps closer to the world of big things.
In the recent movie “How Do You Know,” Reese Witherspoon seeks a therapist's wisdom about what generally helps most people in most circumstances. The therapist advises: decide what you want and figure out how to make it happen. Reese's response: those are very difficult things to do.
Yes, even in the movies, the struggle to understand our true motivations and desires is a challenge. This is something we all struggle with—even Reese.
So, after determining what little kindnesses you already do for yourself, you might ponder the questions “What do I like?” and “What do I want?” Then, listen for the answers…and give them time to emerge.