February is over. This year has already been so full and amazing. I seriously feel like I have lived more these past two months in some ways than I did in all of 2012. And the year is just getting started. Normally, this is my least favorite time of the year. I live in Chicago, and this is a cold, dreary time. But I didn’t let it get to me this year. Every time it snowed, I flipped it into how beautiful and amazing it was. Plus, like any Chicagoan, I’ll be moaning about how hot it is before I know it. August will be just around the corner.
As some of you know, I embarked on a journey inspired by my friend Ashley Neese. Every year she does a self-love month for February. Makes sense, right – since this month contains Valentine’s Day and all. Part of this Friends of Mine Project is capturing what inspires and motivates the people I interview. I am finding that I am also being inspired and transformed in the process. By reading more of Ashley’s blog after spending time with her, I decided to do the self-love month as well.
As she mentioned on her blog post today, some days I just did not want to do a damn thing. Even tonight. And truthfully, there were some days where I had to think back about what the self-love action was. Most days, I remembered to set the action and execute. But, the exciting thing is that momentum built, so that even on the days when I forgot until late in the day, I had actually done something to take care of myself.
Check here for a list I posted last week of my actions from Feb 1 – 21. And before I do the full reveal on my actions for the final week of self-love month, I need to relay something that happened tonight. I’m in San Francisco for work, and went down to the Castro this evening. I ran into an acquaintance I knew from when I lived in New York City. I hadn’t seen him in at least two years, maybe more. He commented on how I seemed different, with a really gentle energy. And then he said: “You were really angry in New York.” Now, one might argue that living in New York City will do that to you… but I really heard what he said, and it felt good to hear. Sometimes, it takes another person noticing the change in us before we can really see it ourselves. At least that has been my experience.
Without further adieu, the rest of my self-love actions:
Feb 22. Made an eye doctor appointment and got a CT scan of my sinuses done. A lot of my things this month have been around health. It felt really good to take both these actions that day.
Feb 23. Slowed down with an hour on the couch. I almost spun myself into a tizzy this day. I literally had to force myself to see the eff down on my couch and watch TV for an hour to relax and regroup. I have a full life, and sometimes I can get off-balance.
Feb 24: Printed return address labels. I’m embarrassed to say for how long I’ve had this packet of Avery address labels sitting on my desk. OK. It’s been at least 3 months, likely more. One of my pet peeves is to write out my address every time I mail something. So, a simple solution would be to print address labels. I finally did it!
Feb 25: Picked up my dry cleaning and prescription. They might seem like simple errands. But you would be amazed (or horrified) by how long I can let something just sit that needs to be picked up. And it’s just kind of disrespectful to the business.
Feb 26: Practiced saying yes. OK, this might sound like an oxymoron, because I’ve been saying no more lately. But in this case, it’s saying yes to life. As in, I took a much earlier flight this day, and ended up in my company’s Sunnyvale, CA office for a good part of the day. On the flight, I emailed with my coworker. She’s been wanting to take me out for a traditional South Indian meal for a year, since we first started working together. Normally, I get so hyper-focused on work that I say no to these things. But I said yes, went off my Paleo eating for a meal, and had the most amazing dosa, idly, and South Indian coffee.
Feb 27: Practiced saying yes–again. I’m not getting lazy with this one, I swear. I often don’t go out that much after client dinners. But this time, we were offered a walking tour of the tech history of downtown Palo Alto by a famous tech blogger. How could I say no? As a result, I got to see the building in which Facebook had their first data center, see the first Facebook office and hear about how Mark Zuckerberg used to stand outside of it talking on his cell phone, and see the Palo Alto Bike Shop–above which both Google and PayPal had their very first offices. I could have said no and gone back to my hotel… and wouldn’t have been able to tell that little story.
Feb 28: Took time to have lunch with my cousin AND see Gavin Newsom speak. My cousin works at Google, and I met him there in Mountain View, CA today for lunch. And it was so good to catch up, and I saw my very first person wearing Google Glass. . We also have a series of speakers at work each month, and I rarely every watch them. This time I happened to be near our headquarters, so I went to see the Lt. Governor of California speak–Gavin Newsom. #HeDreamy
Well folks–that’s it. If you are just hearing about self-love month for the first time, I would encourage you to practice in March–February is not a requirement!