As a child, our most important relationship is typically one or both parents – we look to our parents for love, validation, guidance and the basic needs to survive. As we grow a little older and integrate into school life, our peers and teachers become our biggest influencers. Once we reach the trialling teenage years, our peers, external heroes such as people with celebrity status and intimate relationships with prospective loves start to dominate our world, our thinking and actions. Then, we grow up and often begin long term partnerships with live in loves / spouses to start our own family where our children look up to us for love, validation, guidance and the basic needs to survive. And so goes, the never ending cycle of evolution.
However, what often doesn’t get taught to us from our toddler years, through to young person, tween, teen and adult, is that the most important relationship we will ever have in our lifetime, is the one we have with ourselves.
The better the relationship is with yourself, the better it is with everyone else
Sometimes it takes us a lifetime to learn these vital words. Yet, once you learn to live with this philosophy of investing in yourself, and taking time to nurture and develop the relationship you have with yourself, everything about the way you live, navigate, enjoy and celebrate your life, takes on a whole new meaning and often a different direction.
We are often told as a child, ‘you can be anything you want to be’. But what often gets in the way of, ‘being anything we want to be’, is what we get told and how we get treated by external influencers throughout that quest to ‘become’ that person we want to be. It’s important to have supportive, caring, loving and insightful people in your life, and it’s also equally important to be these things for yourself.
So, how do we learn how be true to ourselves, live a live that we genuinely enjoy? It all starts with the relationship you have with you. Taking time for you. Being comfortable being with you.
- Self Acceptance
Accept that who you are today, will be a totally different you in a year’s time, five year’s time and ten year’s time. And that’s ok. We often have to live life to really know how we want to live life. Let yourself explore and experiment with life and make changes about how you live your life when it feels meaningful and true for you.
- Time with Yourself
You should build in time to just be with yourself every single day. Moments, minutes, or hours, every single day, enjoying being with yourself. The benefit of this is you get to choose how you want to spend your time, while allowing breathing space and self reflection time. Yes it can be hard with kids in tow (I’ve got a couple of them too!) but if you’re not giving this time to yourself each day, then how can you guide your children to give this to themselves too.
I’ve been meditating 20 years and honestly, taking time to be with my breath every single day is my ‘go to guide’ to enjoy being with me, my thoughts, or thinking nothing at all.
- Exercise on your own
It’s great to join a class (I love my weekly yoga sessions and our beautiful yogi community) however taking time to walk with yourself, swim with yourself, cycle or kayak with yourself, will allow you much needed downtime. It also negates the need to be there for anyone else but you.
- Learn About You
One of the fundamental skills often missed out as key learning in school is, ‘life skills’. Read self-development books, attend self improvement workshops, watch movies, videos and content that inspires, motivates and encourages you to be the best version of you. When you enjoy being you, you are less likely to need others to approve of you or validate you. They can simply enjoy you (and you can simply enjoy them).
- Self Gratitude
Many of us are raised to say please and thank you but how many of us are given the guidance to take time each day, week, month and year to reflect on and be grateful for all the things we admire about ourself? A simple way to start exploring self gratitude is to choose 1-3 things you are grateful for about yourself each day. You may even like to date and journal each daily entry.
About Alison Nancye
Prolific feel good author Alison Nancye is the author of 10 books and two meditation CDs. She has been meditating 20 years and is a well sought after speaker and media expert in stress, mind wellness, meditation, mindfulness, life skills, transformation and healthy living. For more on Alison Nancye, go to www.alisonnancye.com