If you don't nourish the things that nourish you, they wither away like a plant in dry stony ground.
Looking to the year ahead for you -
a year that can begin whenever you want - what's one key thing that
will bear lots of fruit for you if you take care of it?
usually one thing - or two or three - that you know in your heart is a
key factor in your well-being, functioning, and how you treat others.
It's often a seemingly small thing in the rush and complexity of a
typical day. It could be getting that 15 minute break each day with a
cup of tea and no interruptions . . . or writing in your journal . . .
or feeling grateful for three blessings in your life before falling
asleep . . . or asking your partner questions about his or her day and
really listening . . . or taking your vitamins or eating protein with
every meal . . . or getting home in time for dinner with the kids unless
you're traveling . . . or getting up an hour earlier each day to start
writing that book. It could be finally now making that shift for which
your heart has been longing.
For me, one thing that pops off the
page is going to bed early enough to get enough sleep plus be able to
get up in time to meditate. Doing this sets up my whole day and makes it
As you know, most New Year's resolutions are worse than
useless: they don't lead to real change and we feel bad about not
sticking to them. But if you think of this as feeding yourself, being
good to yourself, giving yourself a big wonderful gift each day,
nourishing something that will pay off big for you . . . well, it sure
is a lot easier to keep treating yourself well in this way.
on your own short list of the things that would make a big difference
for you? Perhaps you, too, would benefit from getting to bed earlier. Or
from listening to someone for five minutes or more each day with no
expectations. Or from regular exercise, meditation, or prayer. Or from
dropping one bad habit, or from picking up that guitar again. Perhaps
making art would make a big difference for you, or staying calm with the
kids, or finally beginning to spend a few hours each week on starting
your new business.
Take a moment to imagine the rewards to you and others if you did this one good thing for yourself tomorrow.
How would you feel at the end of the day? What would be the benefits?
And then imagine those benefits coming to you and others the day after tomorrow . . . and the days and weeks and months after that.
Of course, all you can do is tend to the causes;
you can't control the results. You can water a fruit tree but you can't
make it give you an apple. But no matter what happens, you know you
have tried your best.
Keep coming back to the feeling of
nurturing yourself. It's OK to take care of yourself in this way. Try to
feel the warmth for yourself, the strength to gently guide your future
self - the one who will be doing this one good thing tomorrow, and the days after that - to keep watering this particular fruit tree.
And know that you can water more than one tree. But it helps to zero in on just one or a few things to focus on for a year.
And then a year from now, looking back to this day, you'll likely be enjoying a beautiful sweet rich harvest!
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