Today is a good day to remind yourself what lights you up. Take out your favorite writing utensil and write down the top ten things you love to do—even if you aren’t doing them right now. When I first used this exercise in a workshop, the majority of the women sat there tapping their pencils and staring at the blank page in their journals for what seemed like an eternity.
“I don’t know,” one woman admitted.
“I have no idea,” said another.
“I can write you a list of the top ten things I need to do when I get home,” one offered, half jokingly.
On the other hand, ask any little girl to do this and I bet she’ll have it done in under three minutes. Chances are, she’ll be all the way to number 40 and asking for another piece of paper. Most young girls know who they are because they listen to their hearts. They don’t worry about being practical or efficient, and impressing others. That’s why they’re also such confident dressers. They express themselves freely, without a care in the world. (Even if, on any given day, that includes wearing tap shoes, shorts, and a wool sweater with matching earmuffs.)
To help get you started, here’s my top-ten list:
• Laughing and playing with my children
• Having date night with my husband
• Taking bubble baths
• Eating at fine restaurants
• Hosting or attending dinner parties with my closest friends
• Spending quality time with my girlfriends (so good for the soul!)
• Watching my kids play sports or perform in a play (I cry with pride every time!)
• Walking on the beach
As I mentioned, most of my clients or workshop participants struggle with this exercise. The majority can’t come up with more than three things, and some eventually give up and cry in frustration. It’s very telling. We women nurture everyone and everything outside of ourselves but we haven’t made the connection between nurturing our spirits, feeling beautiful, and staying on course toward our dreams. We’re like builders trying to frame a house without a solid foundation. Despite our efforts, our work just won’t hold up, eventually toppling over.
No one sees the foundation, but that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. Just like foundational garments or cosmetics, it’s the critical starting point. Others may not understand why you need to spend time doing something on your top-ten list, but they will notice as you grow stronger and more beautiful . . . all a result of nourishing your soul.
So, get going on your top-ten list! Remember to focus on what you love. Are you doing any of these things on a regular basis? If you aren’t, why not start now? Set your intention by identifying a simple step you can take today. Then do it!
Excerpt: The Beauty Blueprint by Michelle Phillips