Wednesday Journaling Writes: Take Yourself on a Date
Another great gift that Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, brought to us – in addition to the wildly popular Morning Pages – was the suggestion that every now and then we take ourselves out on a date.
How often do you enjoy such a personal time as Cameron advises? When was the last time you went out on your own to experience something just for you, for your enjoyment pure and simple?
If you can’t remember, this post is for you.
Some of us feel as though we have almost no control over our own time. Between work and family obligations, the idea of a day off to do something just for you may be quickly dismissed as frivolous.
Others of us have plenty of control over our own time but we still focus so hard on our ambitions, on winning, on having an impact that we usually scoff at the suggestion to take a break and do something beside-the-point.
But really, though these are opposite extremes, they illustrate the same core misconception: that self-nurturing is selfish.
We’ve said it many times before, and we’ll repeat it again: working to become more fully, honestly, and lovingly yourself is the best service you can provide to those around you. In your wholeness and good health, you are able and inclined to give most generously.
Imagine if you had one entire day to do something that’s pure enjoyment for you, as if you are taking yourself out on a date. You want to impress and delight your date, who in this case is you.
If you had such a day you’d appreciate life a lot more, wouldn’t you? You’d have had your own secret experience, your own memories now treasured and ready to help you coast through the coming days. You’d have a better sense of who you are, the decisions you tend to make, your strengths and your foibles. With this renewed awareness, you can more confidently and creatively tackle any challenges.
Sounds like a good idea, right? You can either break down from exhaustion and get sick and spend a week in bed; or you can take yourself on a personal date every few weeks and keep yourself healthy.
Sit with your journal and brainstorm ideas for your personal date. When can you clear your schedule for a day? Push hard to find the time: initially, you’ll probably see your crowded calendar and think there’s no way you have the time. That may be true, so you just have to make it happen – which is plenty do-able once you set the priority!
What would you do with those precious hours? A personal date, remember, is for self-stimulation. So sleeping it off doesn’t count. Make a list of places to take yourself, things to do, experiences you crave.
Now you have your plan. Follow through, taking your journal with you if you can, and noting your sensations and thoughts during the personal date. And finally, journal afterwards, perhaps taking into consideration some of the following:
- In what ways do I feel differently now than I did before the date?
- What did I especially notice during the date?
- In what ways was it hard to plan and do this date?
- What ideas did I get for other dates while I was on this one?
- If it was difficult to spend the time by yourself, write about how that felt.
Have you ever taken yourself on a personal date? Share your experience and thoughts about it in the comments or on our Facebook Page!
One way to organize your personal date days would be to use Create Write Now’s 53 Weekly Writing Retreats: How to Use Your Journal to Get Healthy Now. Click that link to get a free download of sample pages!
Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/budbug/6962113281/