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Taking Your Time — Lest It Take You

March 15, 2010

I’ve been talking about “radical generosity”  as giving beyond your self. And I know what I’m about to say may sound like a contradiction, but sometimes you need to send that kind of love back home.

Because if you’re not generous with yourself, what kind of life is that? 

I call this Charley’s Rule: Do unto yourself as you would have others do unto you. Treat yourself the way you want to be treated.

For me this sometimes means the best thing I can give myself is a break. Along with the almost indecent luxury of doing nothing for a day.  Read; write; walk in the park; listen to my favorite music on Pandora (www.pandora.com). Whatever I want.

So here’s a truly radical suggestion, especially for us city-folk:

Your One Day Vacation In Joyville (a/k/a – Taking Your Time — Lest It Take You)

1)     Write down a list of those things that you enjoy doing the most. Massage; listening to live music; walking aimlessly in the park; having sex; drinking wine at a sidewalk café while people-watching; skiing/swimming/golfing/kayaking/hiking/sailing/snowboarding/kite flying/cooking/gourmet eating/hanging out with friends on a Friday night at your favorite dive; bungee jumping; having sex with a stranger; taking a leisurely drive in the country; curling up with a good book; smoking a joint and having sex with a stranger…after swimming and taking a leisurely ride in the country; spending a rainy afternoon in a museum and then curling up with a good book after drinking wine at a sidewalk café (with an umbrella) while people-watching. Get the idea? Make your list. (No — I mean really: Make your list now! Open a Word Doc and start writing down those things you enjoy doing the most, whatever they are. (Yo: Spring is coming. Keep this in mind as you make up your list).

2)     Now connect the dots: draw lines on the paper that connects all those things you could actually do in a single day.

3)     Ah…now, if you dare, take your calendar and set aside this day, with all the necessary preparations: boss/clients notified; money saved; tickets bought; itinerary planned; day bag packed; whatever it takes to organize the day’s logistics.

4)     Take this one day vacation! Notice and resist all temptations to postpone it! Do not cheat yourself. Just say Yes. Then take your day and notice how this feels. You may happily slide through it and have a blast. You may at times experience difficulty enjoying yourself – perhaps even a complete inability to do so. Go through with the experiment nevertheless! This is a process. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. And the fuller you’ll become!

Today’s Joygasm: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” — Hillel

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