Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Indulgence Days

Before I begin my post on Indulgence Days, I'd like to point out a few changes on the blog appearance. With the help of blogging buddy, Sharon Lippincott, I learned how to make the blog be more like a website, with tabs at the top that open to different links. So book reviews, reader comments, biographical info (About me) and articles/essays, now can be found by clicking tabs at the top of the blog. So feel free to explore some things you might not have seen before. The articles/essays feature is new. It's on my website, but prior to this, there was no way to do that here on the blog. What do y'all think?

Indulgence Days

One of the assignments I received from my writing coach/spiritual counselor, Mark David Gerson, was to give myself a day of indulgence once a week. And to sprinkle indulgences into the other days as well. As someone who has always found it hard to be good to myself, this wasn't an easy thing to say yes to. It felt selfish, self-indulgent, and frivolous.

Well, guess what? There's nothing wrong with those things. It is perfectly okay to be good to oneself. In fact, I'll go so far as to say it should be imperative. This doesn't mean every minute of every day. That probably would be selfish. But taking some time to focus in on me and what I'm wanting and needing in a particular moment, rather than doing for everyone else, is taking steps to ensure that I stay centered. So that I can be there for others when it is needed. It's like when you're flying in an airplane and they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first.

On my indulgence day, I don't do anything I don't want to do. That's my only rule. Laundry, grocery shopping, running errands, those have to wait for another day. Last week, a girlfriend and I had lunch and went to a movie. I read fun things. I tried out new songs. I took a long, hot bath.

Do you indulge yourself? How often? What would an indulgence day be like for you?



L. Diane Wolfe said...

Indulgence day is when I go somewhere not book related!

And can you help me with the tabs? I have the tab feature up and it says 'home' but how do I add to it???

Cyndi said...

I love the idea of indulgence day! And once a week?? I must start this practice. Don't get me wrong, I sneak them in whenever I can throughout each day but rarely get a whole day. Wonder what my boss would think....I should probably pick a Saturday or Sunday... :)

Joanne said...

I guess I have varying degrees of indulgences. Walking is one, which I can fit in often, and do! A day in NYC is a beautiful indulgence, but doesn't happen nearly often enough. It feeds the entire person with energy, life, art, humor, visuals, food, the list goes on. Live music does it for me too, a complete journey from routine.

Love the blog tabs too. Definitely gives it that website feel, showcasing your craft.

Mason Canyon said...

I haven't tried an indulgence day, guess I need to. Every time I take some time for myself, I wind up doing something for someone else (it's the guilt). I'll have to work on it. Enjoy your day.

Marvin D Wilson said...

"What would an indulgence day be like for you?"

Mmm, no - can't answer that here on a PG rated blog. (wink) No, kidding of course - but maybe back in the day (you've read my memoir, lol)

Hey good going on the pages setups. It's easy to do on Wordpress, but Blogger has been coming along with more website-like features here lately, too.

The Old Silly

Jody Hedlund said...

Oooh! That sounds like an absolutely heavenly type of day! I need to think about how I can incorporate an indulgence day into my life every once in a while! :-)

Unknown said...

I usually take some time every day for a little indulgence/spiritual time. I need to or I'd go into overload mode in the snap of a finger.

However, this past Saturday was an excellent example of your Indulgence Day; although I hadn't thought of it that way. I had a marvelous time. It was an entire day of "doing for me." It was heaven. Now that I'm aware of this and have a name for it, I'm going to incorporate it into my weekly life, and plan these special days!

Hey, this is going to turn out to be not only physically, mentally and spiritually healthy – but fun! Thanks, Karen!

Karen Walker said...

Diane, I sent you an email regarding the tab feature. Good luck!
Cyndi, yeah, it probably would work best on a weekend - but you could add little indulgences into your work day!
Joanne, You're so lucky you live close enough for a day in NYC. I grew up there and never felt at home, but now I love to visit.
Mason, maybe you could try smaller bits of time at first, till you get used to doing it without guilt. Guilt defeats the whole purpose.
Marvin, thanks - I'm very proud of myself when I can manage a techie thingie.
Jody, with five kids, a hubby, a household to manage and a full-fledged writing career, I sure do hope you can fit in some time for indulgence for you, even if it's just a bubble bath.
Crystal, yippee! Yes, it IS fun, as I'm finding out as well. You're welcome!

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly endorse the concept of indulgence days, but I have no qualms about indulging myself more than one day a week!

Julia Cameron has a term for a similar concept - "artist's dates." It's a date with yourself, indulging yourself in whatever feeds your soul. It could be going to a concert or museum, or anything else you enjoy - skiing or gardening, for me. You do it in solitude to replenish your creative energies. And bring a journal!

Website changes look good - like Marvin, I've been enjoying these features on WordPress for ages, but it's good Blogspot is coming along too.

Julie Lomoe's Musings Mysterioso
Win-A-Book Contest - last chance today!

Arlee Bird said...

I really like the new look and tab features-- I need to revamp my site to take advantage of these new features.

Congrats on 100 followers!!!

I probably have been indulging myself too much since I've been unemployed. But I deserve it somewhat after 20 years of daily grind and being basically on call 24/7. I do set aside special movie nights with my wife on Friday and Saturdays. And having time to focus on my writing now is to me self-indulgent.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

My husband helped me do the tab bit too. I like the way it looks.

I do indulge myself – not on a set schedule and not for the entire day as a chore or errand seems to always work its way in — but I do it often enough to keep me happy.

Ann said...

I call my indulgent days' pajama days'. I do nothing. I don't even get dressed. I take one about every six months.
It is like a recharge day.

Helen Ginger said...

I love the analogy of putting on your face mask first. I'm trying to learn to do that more. I usually have so many projects going on that my own project gets relegated to the back and often doesn't get touched. I'm working on moving it closer to the top.

Straight From Hel

Patricia Stoltey said...

I have an indulgence day once a month when I get a massage. My appointment is tomorrow. Yay! :)