The Art of Selfulness

RainI woke this morning to the sound of rain tapping on my windows. I curled deeper under my duvet and just listened for a while. I love the sound of rain. And this morning I knew I had nowhere to go and nothing pressing I had to do. The rain was a perfect excuse to brew a pot of Earl Grey and curl up by the fireplace with my journal.

It was the last day of my holidays and so, as I often do when I have free time, I wrote about what I’d most like to do with my day. “I want to write. I want to read my book. I’d like to head into Sidney and have a latte. Maybe poke around the bookstores.” There was a time in my life that I would have considered such a day selfish, self indulgent.

A wise woman helped me re-frame my thinking. Now I think of a day like this as self-full, a time to give myself exactly what I want and need, a time to fill my tank.

And so I wrote and read and wandered. I sat in my favourite coffee shop, sipped a latte and people watched.Β  I browsed in three or four of Sidney’s many bookshops. I came home and read some more, wrote some more, and prepared a healthy dinner. (When I’m being truly self-full, there’s sure to be kale on the menu!)Β  And then I headed out for a dance workout. It was a perfectly delicious, fulfilling way to spend my day. Tonight I feel completely blissed out.

I think we all need to practice the art of selfulness from time to time.


How do you practice the art of selfulness?


About Sally

Poet, seeker, author, mom. Celebrating the beauty and mystery that surrounds us and learning to trust in the journey.
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36 Responses to The Art of Selfulness

  1. Sounds delightful!
    How do I practice the art? Hm… Reading definitely. Tea definitely.
    I discovered “latte” when I first went to the US (WA state) whilst still living in the UK. Now I’ve discovered “London Fog”. Perfect – tea with latte!
    Learning something new, or experiencing something new.
    Taking some photographs so I can pretend I’m getting better.
    Smiling at a stranger. (I love the way it weirds them out πŸ™‚ )

    • It’s hard not to smile at strangers after a really good day of taking care of oneself. But I had no idea I might be weirding them out πŸ™‚ “Learning something new, or experiencing something new”. Yes! That can be so good for the soul! I’ve never had a London Fog. I love Earl Grey, but I like it black. Maybe it’s time to expand my horizons!

  2. Mm! My kind of a day… Rain is indeed soothing, poetic, cozy… With a good book obviously and leisure at will. It is nice to just enjoy the moment, living in its true sense

  3. Marianne says:

    What a lovely day, Sally. Yes, itΒ΄s important to treat yourself with things you enjoy – nothing selfish about that πŸ™‚

  4. I was so jealous that you crawled back under your duvet….that is the BEST feeling.

  5. oh! the perfect day! you made me want to curl up with you… well not literally, you know what i mean. πŸ™‚

  6. amb says:

    Your day sounds like it was wonderful! I love the idea of framing things that replenish us as “self-full” instead of “indulgent”, as you said. I’m going to try and put that into practice this weekend!

  7. kingmidget says:

    You pretty much described it … a little reading, a little writing, a little wandering. A dinner just for me. Giving yourself some alone time to do exactly what you want. There shouldn’t be something wrong with that.

    • It’s interesting, though, how hard it can be to give ourselves that. My first day off without the kids involved more house leaning than is good for anyone, just because I felt like I ought to get it done as I had free time. Not that my house is clean or anything…. πŸ™‚

      • kingmidget says:

        It’s actually something I’ve insisted on for myself for years based on the belief that taking care of my self makes me a better parent and person. I still don’t get anywhere near as much as I want. πŸ™‚

      • Good for you for insisting on it. I think you’re right that we have to take care of ourselves first. When my marriage ended, I had no idea that this would be one of the happy outcomes in an unhappy situation. For the first time since my children arrived, I had “me time.”

      • kingmidget says:

        I hate generalizations, but … I believe, generally speaking, that this comes more easily for men than it does for women. Particularly, once there are children involved. I wish I knew why. I know far too many women who have so much guilt about working and not being at home with their kids that all of their free time ends up getting things done and being with their kids. It breaks my heart somewhat.

      • I think you’re right. I know that when I was still married, I rarely took time for myself. My ex travelled all the time, and so when he was home, I felt that we needed to spend time together as a family. It would have been better for everyone if I had taken better care of myself.

  8. words4jp says:

    i like the phrase self-full.

    • I’m not sure if such a word exists. I’m afraid I might have made it up. I like it better than selful – which might also be made up. πŸ™‚ Anyway, I think the concept is a good one and I thank you for taking the time to drop by and comment!

  9. El Guapo says:

    By doing something I enjoy and tuning out everything besides that.

    Sounds like a great day, delicious!

  10. Brigitte says:

    Sally, it sounds as if you had a perfect day! There’s nothing selfish about this — when one takes the time to take care of themselves, only good — for everyone concerned — can result. I used to feel guilty about this (taking time for me) but I don’t at all anymore. It’s a healthy thing to do.

  11. Its a quality of life thing. Sally, at maxadaland I commended your site in a no obligation frame…just to say how much I value it.

  12. kp says:

    Sounds like a perfect day!! And the perfect way to think about a perfect day! And it is pefect timing because I am taking a lieu day tomorrow; my first day off since Christmas…so I am going to follow your example and take a perfectly self-ful day!!! Kim

  13. Well for me it would also be with a pot of earl grey tea, that is for sure. We are a family of tea drinkers, not to be confused with teetotalers!

  14. yes it does sound like a lovely day! I don’t practice that art as often as I’d like to – there always seems to be something I have to do. But it would involve staying home, reading, and eating healthy stuff. That’s about it really. I’ve been thinking that I’d like a whole day to myself without obligations!

    • It’s the “without obligation” part that’s key. I was thinking about my weekend, with a few social events planned, and though I’m looking forward to them, my time no longer stretches out in that luxurious, spacious way.

  15. Yes, and I enjoy them very much. They also include bookstores, maybe antique or second-hand where I slowly browse through table top items. Then walks through mountains or along streams. A pleasant dinner and reading.

    • That sounds wonderful, Rebecca. I am fortunate to live near a small town with lots of bookstores, and I’m with you: bookstore browsing can be a most satisfying component of a self-full day. Thanks so much for dropping by!

  16. I love that word – self-fulness. πŸ™‚ Sounds like the perfect day. I’ve been enjoying a bit of sunday reading with the rain myself… A rare pleasure.

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