Celebration of Wellness pre challenge

I've decided to participate in the celebration of wellness challenge over at The Art of Collecting Yourself. If you haven't heard of it, give it a look. It's a nine month challenge to creatively explore the different aspects of wellness: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual environmental, and occupational.

There was a challenge for Valentine's Day; we were asked to create a Valentine for ourselves. An affirmation of love towards ourselves. I figured, meh, easy. Right? Make myself some cutesy card full of love hearts and adorableness, and be done with it. Scribble in some random 'things I love about me' list, sign it with a flourish, post a photo here. Easy. Done.

Not so done.

I find in life that it's all the simple things, the ones you shrug off as obscenely easy, that knock you on your butt with their difficulty and profound learning experiences. If I think I can breeze through a challenge, it's normally because I'm not aware of something. I tried a few times; walked towards my craft supplies inwardly listing things I could do. But every time, I turned away, and found something else to do. Last year, I read The Art of Extreme Self Care by Cheryl Richardson. It's a good read, and a great book for people who tend to just say yes, putting everyone elses life before their own. One of the activities, though, I could never quite manage. It was a simple activity; every time you saw a mirror, look yourself in the eye and tell yourself 'I love you'. Again, it should be easy.

Creating a Valentine for myself seems a lot like staring into my reflected eyes and saying 'I love you'. I feel guilty, as though in taking time for me, I'm somehow denying someone else that time and energy. I've fallen into that mindset for years, if I'm honest. It's taken a while, but generally, I've managed to reduce it to white noise in the back of my mind, unnoticed until I do something big for me.

Truly acknowledging and believing that I'm worth the effort of treating myself well might take a while. Still, I wanted to do something, something that I love, something that makes me happy and slowly teaches me to believe in my talent. So I spent Valentines Day (or at least the part where my partner was at work) creating, working to decorate a book I've been meaning to do for ages. It's not finished yet, parts are drying and things need tinkering with, but when it's done I'll post a picture.

Until then, I hope everyone else had better luck with the challenge, or at least enjoyed their baby steps as much as I did!

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