Treat Yourself

 

“You treat yourself a lot,” a friend said to me recently.

“Well no one else will,’ was my reply.

This is the reality of adult life. Sure I get gifts at my birthday, Christmas, and throughout the year from family and friends but it’s the little spontaneous treats that can lift my spirits and help me to be motivated to keep persisting with the projects I’m working on. If I don’t treat myself then it won’t happen. But despite knowing this I also forget to treat myself, or try new treats, or mix it up for myself.

What do I mean by treats? My puppies get treats all the time. Often they get the same food treat and each time they react with surprise and joy and gratitude. That’s really the outcome I’m trying to create within myself. (But I’m not always wanting food treats.)

my puppies ready for a treat
Waiting for a treat.

Part of the key is for me to come up with a treat which is inexpensive, fun and spontaneous. Like when I’m at the supermarket and blueberries are on special and in season. A perfect treat for no reason except that I deserve it. Peonies are in season and their flowery faces call me, so I buy a small bunch and the cheer they provide in my home lasts for days. I walk bare feet along the beach right at the point where the sea wets the sand. I try a new café. I have a bath. I bake myself a banana cake and smear icing on the top.

Blueberries
Blueberries

There are so many ways I treat myself yet I forget to do it. I get busy, or I’m consumed by deadlines, or I’m exhausted. I’ve got all the excuses but really during these times I’m not in my natural life flow and so I’ve forgotten about me. That’s all right because at some point I’ll remember and I can adjust my pace, re-find my flow, and get back to giving myself the treats. For me that’s part of giving the treat to myself because it shows I’m in the flow of life. I’m relaxed, chilled and I see something that has meaning and will lift my spirit, even if it doesn’t need lifting.

Not only do I forget to treat myself even though I have a variety of ways to spoil myself, the act of rediscovering a treat I’ve not used for a long time is particularly up lifting and rejuvenating for my soul. For instance, recently while on holidays from my day job, feeling unmotivated to write, I decided I’d read evget consciousen though it was before 9am and reading is what I do in the afternoon. I set my phone to play music – Gratitude by David and Steve Gordon and I read. And read. And read. Then I remembered another treat I used to have. Spending the entire day reading. How decadent! A top shelf treat I’d long forgotten how to reach for – one that’s taken years to remember. I read Ali Walker’s book Get Conscious, perfect for someone like myself who is the constant busy bee and thinker.

Now I’ve remembered this treat in particular I’ll be aiming to do it more often. What treats to you enjoy? Are there any you’ve not given yourself of a long time? I’d love to read about them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

 

Forget the To Do List

After years and years of making lists, I’ve come to the realisation that I’m not a list person. While that’s the advice given and share in the motivational world, make a list get it out of your head, it doesn’t work for me. I prefer to keep it all in my head.

I might forget particular jobs this way but even with a list I’ve let some projects go unattended, especially since I have so many lists each for the different areas of my life.

Blank to do list
blank planner

By not making a written list, I can adjust the order of the jobs as I need to in my mind depending on other priorities that might come up during that day. By having this flexibility it means I can allow my intuition influence over what gets done as suited for the day, my mood, and what else is happening in my life. It’s a more harmonious approach, my anxiety levels are reduced, and I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself to get things done or that I’m weighed down by shoulds and should nots. This way my mind can rearrange the to-do list in a flexible and intuitive way, the way I like to approach life.

Of course my ego protests. It voices its doubt, and that there’s no way this creative approach will work. I’ll never finish projects or make progress and it will, as in my life, will be a mess. This is life. A mess. For sure, there are times when lists are helpful. But when my life is just as productive and less stressful when I take a more fluid approach, I notice that maybe these goal driven approaches aren’t for me.

While I do have a strong logical brain, I also have an equally strong creative brain. Based on how unpredictable life can be, how chaotic it is, and how one is really not in control, it makes sense to be able to switch between the two, and give the creativity, the intuitive side just as much value as the logical and planned side.

My dad always kept the details of the farm and breeding of the sheep in his head. There were a few notes in the dusty Elders notebooks in the ute. Your mind is good at remembering what’s important but it’s not usually a finite situation. There’s a limit for how much can be remembered at one time, maybe this can be extended or maybe not. But this is the amount of memory space you have to work with. Over loading it will only lead to a form of shut down. So by working with what you’ve got can actually be expansive. It’s a more feminine approach. Women do it all the time, and no it’s not necessarily about multi-tasking. But more understanding what you’ve got to work with, head space, time, personal energy, environment, other people and then making the best of that in an extraordinary fluid balance that may change without warning or throughout the day multiple times.

It’s not surprising I’m finding I work better this way. After all a big tell tale sign is how I approach my writing. There’s two main ways, connected by a spectrum, pantser or plotter. I’m a pantser. I fly by the seat of my pants when I write the story and characters all come out organically and I don’t plan (like a plotter). It means I often think of plot twists and points on the fly, and come up with ideas spontaneously rather than getting weighed up in the planning. This style isn’t for everyone. What’s important is to recognise what works for you, and then go with that. There are times when you need to switch between the two approaches left or right, logical or creative, planned or unplanned, or maybe even straight ahead in the unique balance which works for you.

the to do list
writing the daily list

Are you a list maker? Does it improve your approach to getting jobs done, and reduce stress levels? Or do you find it easier to have the mental fluid list and do just fine that way? Let me know if lists work for you or not in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by,

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

 

The Benefits of Art

I’ve been doing art classes as a way to help me develop my drawing and painting skills. Going through this process has been beneficial for me on many levels. I’m getting out of the house, doing something for me, meeting new people, learning new skills, and expressing myself.

blank canvasI’ve been reflecting on how I feel during this process and trying to capture the new thoughts that come to me as a means of becoming more self-aware.

I noticed recently how I felt at the start of the art class, after a full days work, tired and not wanting to do much except lay on the couch all night. I became aware of the resistance and negative thoughts going through my entire body at the thought of having to stand at the easel for two and half hours, trying something new which would require me to concentrate, think, and feel. Not as appealing as I’d hoped for. It was a little more than just me having trouble getting started. I was like a car that wouldn’t start because it had been flooded with too much fuel. I already had an active mind from work and I was resisting taking on anything that would add to my brain activity. It was a resistance of sorts, which I worked through, and in doing so I gained insights to the process of creative expression.

I was resisting because I have to give up a part of myself, and to let go of control in order to create. I didn’t want to do that when I was tired, as I was already feeling vulnerable. While it’s not a big part of myself to give up, it felt like it, and of course my ego was in on it.

To create you’ve got to surrender part of yourself, give up control and just write uninhibited, or paint without a care. Giving up this control is only temporary at the time. Thanks to my ego, it feels like it will be forever, and a tug of war can begin. When I let go of the rope and wanting to be in control, I draw, paint, feel inspired and become energised. My tiredness is reduced and I find a little confidence within myself at being vulnerable while not being in control. I also have a sense of accomplishment at creating something uniquely mine.

During the class, I’ve connected with people on the same path as me and I’ve spent time in a new environment. It’s not just the benefits of creating art, there’s an entirely bigger package that is part of this process, either way there are many benefits of art and creative expression.