March 12, 2018
As I write this, I sit on a blanket at Cathedral Park, overlooking the river on one of the first sunny days in weeks. Looking around I see people walking their dogs, reading on the grass, taking photos with friends and laying on the grass, enjoying the view. It’s a beautiful day and I’m glad I gave myself permission to bask in the sun.
As my thoughts wander, I think of how easily we can take days, weeks, months and even years for granted. Always busy working for the future, instead of living for today. It’s so easy to run the rat race; to move forward and keep busy. But it’s really the little pleasures in life that end up shaping the quality of our lives. Even doing the nothingness of sitting in a park as you bring your head up to reach the warmth of the sun counts.
So why is this little piece of nothingness so noticeable for me? Because I had to give myself permission to bask in the sun. Because effort was involved. I made a deliberate choice to improve the quality of my life that was so easy to make, but yet felt so complicated.
As soon as I awoke this morning, I knew I wanted to spend some time outside. I hustled through my day with the idea in mind. My day started at the gym, followed by a Chipotle run for lunch. Chores followed: dishes and laundry before I hopped in the shower. By the time I was out of the shower, it was already 3 in the afternoon. Instantly, reasons of why I shouldn’t go for a stroll filled my head. What time does the sun set? Is it even worth it after I drive there and back? What about the laundry I have in the wash? Should I leave my husband (who has declined because of yard work)? Those thoughts immediately followed with a list complications: finding the picnic blanket and bag, figuring out the best route, finding a sketchbook & the damn pencil sharper. All very ridiculous yet somewhat pronounced.
I felt almost anxious to give myself permission to lay in the park on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. More than likely, I would have ignored the decision altogether, if it weren’t for my husband who kindly suggested I go and enjoy my day. It was until I received “permission” from another person that I finally gave myself permission to bask in the sun. And then it hit me; the process that happens in our minds is truly incredible. There is so much that we don’t even notice in our inner workings that change even the tiniest of our choices.
I realize now that I truly was in my own head. That my ego was telling me I needed permission so that I could take some time off and enjoy the beautiful outdoors that Oregon provides. Which, literally, is the reason why we even moved here. But my ego made it so difficult! It’s that voice that whispers the ‘should’s‘ or ‘ought to’s‘ that we have to watch out for because they can really keep us an arms length away from what our soul really wants and needs. It blinds us from our truth and makes us feel less than, if we want to do anything else than keep busy.
I bet I’m not alone. I bet a lot of us could think of a million things we ‘should be doing’ instead of listening to our hearts and allowing ourselves to recharge. We need to start paying attention. I need to start paying attention.
So, now I sit here at the park. I’ve laid down, basked in the sun, I’ve drawn, I’ve taken a photo and even uploaded on Insta. I’ve *tried* writing to my intuition and I quickly moved on to writing this blog post. And I gotta say, it’s a fucking beautiful and well spent afternoon. I’m going to take a stroll along the river before I head back to a loving home and spend the rest of my evening watching Netflix with my husband. I just can’t imagine denying myself such a peaceful and beautiful day. I’m glad I didn’t and I hope you don’t deny yourself this peace as well.
“Just give yourself permission to tell the truth to yourself.”
― Iyania Vanzant
“Give yourself permission to set aside specific time to let your mind wander, to think about the possibilities.”
“Give yourself permission to get the most out of life. If you’re spending all your time scrubbing corners with a toothbrush, you’re kind of missing the point.”
― Sandra Lee