Call it lockdown maudlin but I have been listening to a lot of 80s tunes in this phase of the pandemic. Ok, so I do that all the time (thanks Spotify 80s classics) but the song by Whitney Houston, ‘The Greatest Love of all” has really stuck in my head. She concludes that learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all, and I have to say, I think I finally get that way more than I did in my teen years, when learning to love myself meant accepting I was never going to have a thigh gap.
It is my 48th birthday next week, and as I spend the time in lockdown with my husband, our three sons and our cat, I feel like I know a lot more about what’s really important than I have on previous birthdays. Having run a business since I was 26, I have long been about momentum – keeping a constant motion going, between work and family that swept everyone up in it. As with everyone else, COVID has forced me to stop that momentum and really think about the work I am doing and what I want to achieve in my life. Not just my career, not only as a parent, but as a human being that has a purpose – what do I want to really contribute with the time I have left?
My views on success have changed wildly the older I get, and I have learned that in order to have true inner peace, and self-love, I have to know deep down what I want to give, and who I want to be. Not easy questions to answer, and I am grateful they have become more evident with time. I spend my life having conversations with people about money, which inevitably leads to getting over what they learned in their childhood in order to try and build a life they want to live. I have seen people time and again resigned to a future they don’t get excited about or waiting for a time when they will be happy. If only “THIS’ was different.
What I have learned is there is no perfect time or circumstance in life. In order to get what you want; you have to know what it is. Spend some time thinking about what and who is important to you. And what you need to give to feel self-love. Equally as important, what needs to change to let that happen.
For me, my favourite time of day is having a bath (especially in lockdown). I make an occasion of it – light a candle and often play meditation music. While this may be only be 20 -30 minutes of my day (realistically there are a lot of bangs on the door for the bathroom) it is the time I set aside to look deeper into how I am feeling, and tune into what feels right. No matter how busy you are, setting aside at least 20 minutes a day to be alone, and check in, can be a game changer in leading a more intentional life.
Sometimes change like what we are all experiencing today can be a catalyst to a better life, giving us more perspective. Taking the time to really think about what you want is the only way to get it.