I believe any woman reading this quote recognises the wisdom and truth in it. Yet, if you’re anything like me, there can be a big gap between recognising this wisdom and putting it into action.
How exactly do you become your own best friend?
This was my resounding question when I first stepped on the path of compassionate self-awareness. In the early days of forming this truly life-changing relationship with myself, I found three practices particularly helpful and powerful. I’m hoping you’ll find them equally supportive.
The first is to practice this simple self-care formula known by the acronym HALT. If I’m hungry, angry, lonely or tired I halt and take care of myself. Previously I’d run myself so ragged I never stopped to know if even my basic needs were being met. Physically I first needed to learn how to nourish my body with healthy food and sit down to eat real food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No more café latte and a muffin on the go for lunch, no more microwave popcorn dinners.
I learnt the art of the power nap which sometimes looked like 5 minutes with my eyes shut sitting at my desk, other times dozing for 20 minutes horizontally when I first got home. I had to teach myself to call a friend when I least wanted to, typically in those moments of loneliness or anger.
The second practice is to ask yourself how you would support a friend who is in the same situation as you. What assistance and advice would you give them to help them through whatever it is they’re facing? How would you comfort or take care of them? What words would you use? I’d often journal to these questions and then do these things for myself.
The third practice is being with yourself. Learn how to enjoy your own company. This can be tricky, I know. So many people feel uncomfortable being alone. A simple way to begin I found is to practice meditation. Even 5 minutes of simply being alone with yourself in the morning before your day starts allows you to connect with your body and mind and feelings, moving you toward the space of loving to be with yourself – all of yourself.
May you go gently with some or all of these practices. May you gently, slowly become your own best friend. Life truly does get easier and I wish this for you and me.
With great warmth