Sunday March 14, 2020 By: Dr. Abeer Elgamal
On New Year ’s Eve, I and one of my best friends discussed our resolutions for the year. She laughingly said: “I have a single resolution this year: I will dedicate this year to myself.” This was a bit of a surprise to me; my friend is one of the most caring and giving persons; she is always preoccupied with the well-being of everyone to the point that she sometimes forgets about her own. She is a great mother and wife, university professor and a devoted friend who always puts herself last.
The conversation inspired a new idea in me: what if everyone made 2020 year of the SELF? Self-discipline, self-awareness, self-respect, self-development… And above all, self-love? Will such a resolution to commit to one’s Self lead to a better world? Or to unlimited struggle and conflict? Questions kept rattling in my head for the first week of the year. On the 10th of January, it suddenly dawned on me that making 2020 year of the SELF is an idea worth trying. I started to find ways to care for myself on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels and I committed to integrating them into my daily routine. I decided to make my well-being a priority and to do this, I had to dedicate an hour every morning just for self care before attending to any chores; I called this “me hour”, the hour of power. Now that I have tried this for a couple of months and felt a huge difference, I believe it is just about time to share it with every busy woman out there.
Why should you make yourself a priority?
Because a BETTER YOU is better for everyone around you, especially those you love. A better you is better for this world. It’s all about you. YOUR-SELF. Creating your BEST SELF. How you show up each and every day MATTERS. It matters to you, and how good you feel, but it also matters to everyone and everything connected to you… which is the entire planet. Your energy affects everything.
The overall effect of how you live your life flows throughout this world in ways so powerful you might not believe. The immediate effect of you living your greatest life, and setting the best example has a huge impact and flow on those you love. Visualize yourself every day: you wake up healthy, happy, prosperous, and you love your life. Your cup is full and ready to overflow on those around you. Your family and friends are better when you are better. If you are at your happiest, your most positive, your healthiest, your wealthiest – that example and that energy will be seen by those you love and will lift them up. If you are sad, miserable, angry, negative, in poor health and broke – do you think that will have a positive effect on those around you?
The general effect of who you actually are, what you do and how you feel reaches out like a tree branch and touches so many people. They then, consciously or unconsciously spread that example to others in what is known as the “ripple effect”. A happy mother will make her family happy. A happy teacher will spread joy in her class. A happy manager will get the best work possible from her consequently happy employees. And the list goes on. Don’t underestimate the power you have in tightly connected world. You being at your BEST has more of an impact on this world than you can ever know. To create your best self is the best way to change this world for generations to come and shine the light for others to follow. Show the world how amazing life can be when you master YOUR-SELF.
Show everyone you love what life looks like when you have self-discipline: you are willing to delay gratification on meaningless things that may be pleasurable or easy now, but lead to a lesser quality life later. You show the discipline to sacrifice trivial stuff, for a greater life, a greater WORLD later. An example of this might be something that tastes good in the moment, but poisons your body, dilutes your energy and therefore affects your quality of life in the future.
Show the world how amazing life can be when you have self-awareness, the awareness to follow your intuition and gut feeling, to shoulder responsibility for everything in your life, and consciously choose the best path fearlessly. More importantly, be aware to take moments to yourself, in quiet and to trust your inner guidance to change what needs to be changed in your life. Always remember that whatever you are not changing you are actually choosing to persist in you. So, know what is right for you and act on it no matter how others think about it.
Self-respect keeps you alert to exclude anything that does not suit you, be it an idea, a relationship or whatever. It is never to let anything in your body, mind or spirit that you wouldn’t want for a loved one. Self-respect is accepting things in your body, mind, and spirit that enhance your life, not drain the quality of it. It gives the power to say NO out loud to toxic people, toxic circumstances, toxic words, foods and drinks that will not nourish you and sustain your energy.
Show the world how amazing your life can be when you dedicate yourself to self-development on all levels. Every single day do things to make you a better version of yourself: read a good book or article, learn a new skill, listen to things that uplift you and apply everything you learn. Take small steps every day, knowing that when you keep growing and moving forward… eventually you will look back with pride in amazement at how far you have come. Integrate these good habits into your daily schedule and preferably fit them in your “hour of Power”, your sacred time every morning when you attend to yourself first.
All what is listed above will have no result unless you apply this one principle: self-love. It is at the root of any change you will make. Show the world how magical life can be when you can look in the mirror and genuinely love the person staring back at you. When you can look in the mirror with pride, with zero sense of comparison to anyone else, just love and appreciation. Thus, you will know how far you’ve come and feel blessed to be alive and to have the opportunity to set an example.
A final word
Don’t take your old-self just as it is from last year into this year. Learn the lessons and focus on creating this new self. Set a new standard for your life and commit to making this year your best year yet! Create a daily plan to work on YOUR-SELF. Lock in SELF-time every single morning and make it the most important time of your day. No one can take this time from you, no appointments, no work, no social media. Nothing. This is your time, and it is absolutely more important than anything. It’s time to step into a new YOU. A new SELF and it’s not just for you.
Dr. Abeer Elgamal, Associate Professor of English Literature, Department of Foreign Languages, Mansoura University.
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