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Self-Love, Self-PreservationApr 14, 2013
Loving yourself enough to do right by your body
Spring has sprung, hallelujah! I may still be sitting on the couch enjoying a mug of hot cocoa, but that does not mean that I don't recognize the changing of seasons happening right outside my windows. During last week's sudden heat-up, the trees on my block went from bare to fully-flowered with fluffy white blossoms in a matter of days. I haven't heard the persistent hum of lawn mowers yet, but I have seen folks hand-washing their vehicles and pumping up the volume on their stereo systems. These are some of the joys of urban living.
For my part, I honestly cannot stand cold weather. Hate wearing coats & hats out of necessity. Despise gloves. My skin goes into rebellion because of all of the artificial heat indoors and the biting cold whipping winds outside. Ugh and double ugh! So I am thrilled about being able to peel off some layers and go out to play in the sunshine more often. I am also excited that Springtime makes me ever more conscious about taking good care of my physical self. Some of it is vanity, sure, but it's mostly just good sense.
As badly as I have wanted to take a vacation, I made a different investment yesterday, thanks to Groupon. I bought an elliptical machine! 8 different workout programs, a dock for my iPod and even the option of Jillian Michaels barking out encouragement, if I choose. I think of it this way: anywhere I go on vacation will involve sand, sun and surf. Why not facilitate the process of me looking better in a bathing suit before I book my tickets? A new gym opened a few blocks away from me, but...I KNOW ME. I'm too much of a germaphobe and too wary of the actions of man to utilize a gym at odd hours of the morning or evening. Better for me to come home, throw on my gear, hop on a machine and get my sweat on, then hop right into the shower afterwards, as a matter of course. Heading over to the local track or strolling the neighborhood is another option, but I need to embrace the path of least resistance. Hard to avoid getting on the machine when the machine is in your living room, waiting to be used.
I know I haven't been treating myself very well lately. Not enough sleep, not enough mental downtime, not enough anything that encourages rejuvenation and well-being. But I'm on it now. I have to be. Because if I don't take good care of me, I can't count on anyone else to pick up the slack. That means saying no more often. That means not answering the phone, on purpose. And that means not feeling guilty about doing whatever I need to to add ME more into the mix of my Must-Do list. Amid the news stories of shootings and other madness in the streets, I am amazed at how little regard many of us hold our lives. I refuse to willingly add myself to that list because of neglect. Gonna sweat, be sore, and remember that those are signs I'm alive and still kicking. And revel in the beauty of that reality.
Here is last week's playlist:
- American Boy [live] - Afro Blue
- Retrospect - James Blake
- Ain't That Peculiar [Soulpersona rmx] - Marvin Gaye
- Fool For You - Alice Smith
- Apologize [live] - Committed
- Everything Everything - Lianne La Havas
- Children of the World - Elements of Life ft Josh Milan
- Stitched Up - Herbie Hancock ft John Mayer
- Latinoamérica - Calle 13 ft Totó la Momposina, Susana Baca & María Rita
- I Can See - Jazzanova & Ben Westbeech
- Money Jungle - Terri Lyne Carrington
- This Is Us - Elements of Life ft Ursula Rucker
- If I Could Tell You No - ZO! ft Jesse Boykins III
- If It's Magic - Stevie Wonder
- Cherish The Day - Robert Glasper ft Lalah Hathaway
- Sugar Blues - Preservation Hall Jazz Band
- Hold On - Dwele
- Emotional Rollercoaster - Vivian Green
- Mary Go Round - Musiq Soulchild
- One Time - Jill Scott & Eric Roberson
- Picture Perfect - Eric Roberson ft Phonte