A weekend in September I began many of the traditional yard care efforts in preparation for winter and, in all honesty, an attempt to settle my mind which had become more turned up than usual. I pushed myself full steam ahead into a final mowing of the lawn, lots oangela-easy-2f work in the gardens, pulling invasive trees, and pruning out of control hedge It was beautiful weather, at least 75, not a typical Duluth fall day. By the end of it all I was sweaty, full of clippings, and my mind a bit more lucid. I figured I should clean up, and suddenly I realized all I wanted to do was sit in the sun with a book and baby my feet a little bit. I thought, “That’s ridiculous you still have to…” But I had worked so hard, accomplished so much, and part of me asked, “Can’t I take an hour for myself?” I took the leap.

I put a lawn chair in the sun, brought out a bowl of warm water, and gave myself a foot soak and rub with sesame oil and lavender. That quiet time, caring for myself led to more peace of mind than I’d had in weeks, and I felt such content and love for every opportunity I had that evening.

In The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice, Deborah Adele writes,“If you are a taskmaster with yourself, others will feel your whip. If you are critical of yourself, others will feel your high expectations of themselves as well. If you are light hearted and forgiving with yourself, others will feel the ease and joy of being with you. IF you find laughter and delight in yourself, others will be healed in your presence.”

I challenge you to treat yourself to something that you think is ridiculous to give yourself, something that you might treat a friend with on their birthday. Treat yourself. Love yourself. There’s no place better to practice non-violence.