You aren’t being Selfish: How to know what’s a boundary and what’s rude.
Welcome back to your New Moon Renewal with The Agenda. Your personal retreat to pause and center in. An average woman’s hormonal cycle is 28 days, just like the average moon cycle. Historically new moons have been linked to a woman’s period. Whether or not your period lands on the new moon, doesn’t matter for these renewals. This is for the new moon each month in your life. Where you need a little light, a slight pause. To bathe in the stillness, and remember who you are. You can do the Renewal below whether or not you are bleeding, and regardless of your beliefs. This month we’ll be digging into selfishness.
First, set the mood:
During this time of rest, what is your intention? Time alone? Time to check in with yourself? Learn something new? Turn your phone on silent or on vibrate. If you can, leave it in another room entirely. Light incense or a favorite candle. Wear clothes that make you feel at home in your body. Set aside 20 minutes to focus on your personal retreat. Find a journal, some markers or crayons, and a favorite pen! Make some tea, or hot chocolate, because why not. Let’s all live our best lives.
Take a couple of minutes to sit in quiet. Quiet spa music can also help set the tone. Check-in with yourself. How does your body feel? Try to breathe from your stomach instead of your chest. Placing your hands on your stomach makes it easier to know when you are breathing deeply, as your hands will move with your breath. Any thoughts that come into your mind acknowledge them, and let them pass, refocusing on your breathing.
When you feel centered in your body, read on:
Questions to mull:
What does selfishness feel like to you? How have you felt selfish, or been told you are selfish? Feel free to journal your answers.
Quote to savor:
This is a post-Liz Gilbert made a few years ago about selfishness and answering the question about being selfish. As you read, I encourage you to ask yourself if you see selfishness as two options (a greedy hoarding or choosing yourself). If you had to relabel your selfishness when choosing yourself, what would you call it instead? https://www.facebook.com/GilbertLiz/posts/dear-ones-i-hope-youll-join-me-today-in-celebrating-a-wonderful-holiday-that-onl/1026142604134521/
What would you do if you had one hour to be selfish?
It might be no electronics, a nap, listening to music without doing anything else, painting, etc.
We are going to make a map of our mind’s thoughts together. Write your selfish hour choice at the top of your paper, and draw a box around it. Then draw an arrow to a new box, and inside of this box, write the lie or truth you believe, which makes you feel as though your choice is selfish. Perhaps you need to be available to everyone always,’ ‘you are lazy if you aren’t doing something productive’ or something else entirely. Draw another arrow from the lie to a new box. In this box, explain why the story you are telling yourself is important. Whether it is a lie or a truth doesn’t matter here. Connect an arrow to the next box, answering the question, how did this story serve you in the past? Keep connecting arrows to each following box/question as you respond in order:
Who did you learn this from? (mom, dad, society, etc.)
What or who did they need me to be? (available, capable, stable, etc.)
Do you still need to be that? (yes, no, maybe, but in a different way)
What is a new story you could tell yourself, or a small inch you can write instead of your original story? Maybe it’s my time alone does not make me a bad mom, or taking time to rest doesn’t mean I’m not connected to my family.
The next time the first story pops up, trapping you in guilt and ‘selfish shame’ take a moment to see if the new story you created can make a new guideline for you to follow and tune into.
How does drawing out the layers behind selfishness make you feel? How can you give yourself grace or a moment to step back and take stock of the ‘selfish’ choice you are about to make, to see if it is indeed ‘selfish-greedy’ or if it is actually ‘selfish-self-prioritizing’?
Things to think about:
Just like Liz Gilbert decided she was no longer answering questions about the word selfish, how can you not immediately take on questions or accusations? Is it possible when these feelings to come up to pause this month and ask yourself instead of ‘selfish’ is this greedy, or is this self-prioritizing?
Each month we’ll release a New Moon Renewal for you to discover something new about yourself and take a moment to pause, breathe, and reflect.
In Joy and Boldness,
Aj Smit is the author of the book Red Thread: Weaving an Embodied Life of Joy, speaker, glitter enthusiast, and professional weaver of Joy. She is a military spouse with a pup, house plants galore, living in S. Korea. Aj has led various Red Tents, retreats, and workshops internationally over the last ten years to help others discover how to weave creativity and curiosity into their lives. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram at @TheJoyWeaver and at TheJoyWeaver.com