Saturday, 3 September 2016

Image: Josephine Fairley & the 1st requirement

I was reading about Josephine Fairley, British businesswoman, author, public speaker. A very dynamic woman who is very widely read for her beauty books. One of the things that jumped out at me, was where she said that a busy woman knows that she has to take care of herself, in order to do all that she does in her life. Not only was Jo talking about herself, but also other women she knows, particularly in the beauty industry. She said that it wasn't just the outside, you know, the "beauty" aspect, that she was talking about. She also was talking about doing things to be healthy: like exercise, diet.

If you have ever read her Beauty Bible books that she wrote with Sarah Stacey, plus her yoga, perfume, natural cosmetics books......she comes across as a rather lovely person who dishes out tons of advice in her books. And this piece of advice, about looking after your well-being, really hit home. Because we have times when it's so hard to even go to the bathroom when we have wee children, we don't have time to even think when we are a working mum, we take on more & more activities that fill our days...suddenly there is no time for oneself. I'm sure that so many can relate to this.

Then there is the other side of the coin: after years of no time, no space, being too tired to do extra for oneself...we get out of the habit. It becomes a learning curve to find out what suits oneself. For me, it has been an ongoing process, veering between doing too much & too little. Trying to find a middle way. A sustainable way. Sustainable on more than one level: I am against animal cruelty & slave labour, so I am very mindful of that. And I am against littering our lovely planet with plastic junk, so I work with that too, For me, eating expensive special foods & having expensive skin products that are not cruelty - free; these are against my values, & values are, for sure, one big way to take care of oneself.

But also, sustainable according to money, time, preference. Being able to be a bit flexible with our choices, as needed. Food is an area where having an eating system for my home life, is much easier for me. It makes me behave in the food area, & this is one area where we need to take care of ourselves. I love biscuits (cookies), but I don't buy them, as I always finish the packet in 2 days, at most. When I'm out, I don't like cafe biscuits, but home-made ones...I find them impossible to resist. So I am accepting that, as being "just me", I know that I will keep finding ways to walk past the biscuit plate!

And I am quite okay with exercise 5 days a week..but there are 2 days each week where I'm lucky to get much in. With exercise, it doesn't work for me to do lots of exercise at once. I am better off doing smaller blocks of walking, yoga, etc, on a more consistent level, it is more sustainable for me. Meaning: I'm more likely to do it & fit it all in. I have a really busy life, so at home, I sort of have to be a bit more regulated. And having too many beauty products, is overwhelming, so I find it more sustainable for my mental well-being, not to have too much beauty "stuff".

So, sustainable can be a bit different for each of us. I know people who prefer to go to a gym regularly & have a full-on work out, People who dish up beautiful food, & love to plan & cook it. I find that stressful, Some women get facials & expensive haircuts & colour. I am quite prudent with money, so that is not very sustainable for me. Each of us is so unique, really, so we each need to have our own individual systems for well-being.  And, for those of us who are blessed to have a nice life, we have the opportunity to trial things to see what works best for us. If big changes are difficult, do a 5% change in an area. Remember, a 5% change, gives a 20% effect, Do 5x 5% changes in an area, & you're looking at a 100% effect. I know that other people like to do bigger changes, but the important thing is to find out what works for you, in your life, with your time, values, & money.

The thing is, all this is not the biggest thing in one's life. It's not very fulfilling when our biggest concerns are how we look! No. all this is so that we can have a better life, be healthier so that we can do all the things that we want to do. It truly is one of the ways to have a better life, & also feel better about oneself.

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