With nowhere to go this morning, I got a little dressed up for the leisurely occasion. My days of lounging around in pyjamas all day have faded away. Those ideal lazy weekends have condensed down to a few hours in the morning before getting ready and heading out to Costa Coffee or The Gym. Two places I call my second home. Once the mascara’s swiped on, there’s no wasting the black pigment with lazing on the settee.
Rifling through my wardrobe to add final touches to my outfit, instead of reaching for the usual suspect a beige poncho, I hauled out my “new” black kimono that had been waiting in the lockdown archives to make an appearance in front of the sun. I gave the traditional Japanese dress a western touch by pairing it with a beige ribbed jumper and blue jeans. Looking over my outfit, fixing a few tweaks, I admired how well the mismatched garments merged together like a spark had been lit between them. Though I didn’t plan this effortlessly chic look, with it, I’m celebrating individuality and self-compassion. Breaking the habit of being myself, I probably wouldn’t have worn the kimono, however, teaming it with jeans felt like a luxury I want to approach every day.
I use the sentiment “look good, feel good” wholeheartedly. My inner monologue is composed of self-compassion, warm and kind words, akin to a much needed tight hug. Making me feel safe within my own mind. When my positive self tunes in, I make the most of the occasion by turning the volume up to full blast, temporarily draining out my inner critic, oh how liberating it feels. Though this can’t be done permanently, I can still recognise the direction the soliloquy is coming from. As soon as pockets of negative moments arise I tenderly turn to self-compassion, mindfulness and gratitude. Fostering compassion towards myself emanates on the outside.
Self-criticism isn’t something I was born with. Over the years it has been conditioned by external “keeping up with appearances” judgement. There was a time when getting ready had the constant what society says or thinks attached to it. And, now of course social media has widened the net of evaluating, rating and “liking”. What lies under self-negativity is the fear of not being good enough, feeling unworthy or devalued and being seen as undesirable. Practising compassion eliminates the chiding.
As I stood applauding my outfit this morning, with each genuine credit I countered negativity (before it could make any noise) with compassion. This daily disciple is a work in progress. Like physical fitness, to feel the benefits, I put in the grind and effort.
Tell yourself that looks good on you.