Raise your hand if you were ever told, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
I’m raising my hand, and I’m irritated. (And feeling a bit guilty.)
I mean, who came up with that one? Of course you want to eat it! Why else would you have made it?
But here’s the good (erm, missing) news: you can always make another cake. You can have everything, just not at the same time (I think Oprah said that). So go ahead: make the cake, eat it, and then make another one (if you want).
How can you apply this approach throughout your life?
It’s simple. This is an invitation to embrace, to thoroughly enjoy and indulge in what you’re doing, feeling, and thinking right NOW. And, yes, that means even in rough waters – can you bring an attitude of appreciation and even enjoyment?
Here are three accessible and transformative ways to DITCH GUILT AND FULLY INDULGE:
(1) Lights: Set the scene.You are the film director of your life, and you can prepare the stage any way you like it. If you’re going to enjoy that cake, don’t gobble it down hiding in front of an open fridge. Set the table with your favorite plate, light a candle, and give special thanks for that sumptuous dessert. If you have a daunting work project to tackle, get comfy, burn your favorite incense, do a power pose and ask the Universe to guide you before starting. If you follow this simple suggestion, your body and mind will assimilate that treat and flow through that project in ways you never imagined possible.
(2) Camera: One application at a time. Like a computer, our brains and bodies do not operate optimally when we have too many applications open. If you’re dancing, dance. If you’re writing, write. If you’re listening to a friend, listen to a friend. You’ll find that any activity is much more fruitful and fulfilling when given its own space. If you find it difficult to avoid multitasking, that’s ok – you are in good company! I invite you to start small. Today, think of one task (preferably one you’ve been avoiding) and spend 20-30 minutes of concentrated effort on it. Then do the same thing tomorrow. And the next day. After a week or so, the results will speak for themselves. Pinky swear.
(3) Action: Celebrate! I have to admit, this one used to be the toughest for me. But the best way to reinforce a positive action (and turn it into a lifelong habit) is by celebrating it! So whatever celebrating looks like to you — jumping around to your favorite dance music, cheering aloud at how great you are, or calling out all the stops and going for a massage — make sure to follow that concentrated effort by pampering yourself a bit. When you attach celebration to a specific behavior or activity, your brain and body learn to repeat that practice.
So, go ahead and treat yourself NOW for your commitment to personal growth (reading through this article). And, before you go, please tell me: What’s your favorite way to celebrate?
Stay tuned for more Perfectly Imperfect advice about how to turn worry into purposeful action and motivation here or on The Huffington Post.