Thank you, Auntie Maxine, for the mantra that has awakened the nation — #ReclaimingMyTime. Reclaiming my time is all about taking back what has been taken for granted and embracing it. I challenge each of us not only to take back our time but to apply it to our self-care. Self-care is a critical aspect of reclaiming your queendom. We need to protect ourselves by erecting boundaries — not to trap ourselves inside, but to allow ourselves to filter what we allow into our lives. “Pampering” or what I call glow time, is an opportunity to practice loving ourselves to improve our relationship with our bodies and honor our physical and emotional needs as well as fill ourselves up spiritually. Intimacy can be a fulfilling aspect of our lives, and love and sexuality can help fuel our passion for our mission. What follows will be a journey into the specific ways in which we can take care of ourselves.
Create Royal Boundaries
You need to be able to distinguish between what to allow into your realm and what needs to stay outside your palace gates. Create boundaries in the workplace, at home, and in relationships. Women have inherited a legacy of taking on more than we can handle; we must activate the power of the word no. Pleasing others at the expense of ourselves is a habit that you will challenge while doing this work and beyond. It’s your life and it must be full of joy, not just punctuated with fleeting moments of joy. Practice saying no. Start small.
Maybe there is a dinner you would rather not attend but feel obligated to. Politely decline. Don't give an excuse; simply say, “Thank you for the invitation, but I will not be attending.” Stop apologizing for saying no. It’s okay if it makes others uncomfortable; it’s not about preserving their feelings while yours are compromised. Saying no more often actually allows you the freedom to say yes to the things you should be doing more of, the things you love. You don’t have to hold on to a commitment or resentment. Only say yes to what inspires you!
Sometimes we need to create boundaries for ourselves as well to unlearn old habits. Don't sacrifice sleep, manicures or meals. Don't sacrifice your time to someone who saps your energy. Are you someone who stays on the phone and listens to a friend drag on and on about how she got into a huge argument with a lady at the post office? If you hang up the phone and then need a yoga class just to get your mind and spirit right, your friend is probably someone you need to draw some boundaries with. Where do you need to put walls up? Where do you need to reclaim your time? Who might be a good accountability partner, one who helps you stay on track and reminds you to honor your boundaries?
Sometimes our glow time takes the form not just of a routine, but of a ritual. Rituals are powerful symbolic experiences that can be both simple and life-changing. They can incorporate the gifts of Mother Nature—oils, water, plants, and stones—and offer peace, tranquility, and can help us reclaim a sense of inner glow. Ritualistic practices provide inner strength, and there are simple rituals we can adopt that promote well-being and optimal health. Taking a hot bath and lathering on coconut oil or drinking a warm cup of tea to wind down in the evening are ways we might engage in simple rituals.
Creating your own ritual practice is easy. Start with identifying what brings you serenity each day. Treat yourself to a moment of silence; curiosity seeds your consciousness when the mind can be still. Perform a sacred act each day that means something profound to you and use that act to harness your glow power and ground you in peace within. Mundane routines like making your bed each morning can be made to be ritual when we perform them with a certain intention or mindfulness.
How we start and end our day matters and can determine our overall mood. Rituals performed at these times make space for much-needed mindfulness. The slowness allows us to tune in and become reflective. Rise up and go to bed mindfully. The morning is the beginning of a new day, a fresh start, and evenings are a time to reflect on the intention for the next day and hold space for gratitude for the robust day we have co-created.