“When a woman is willing to invest in herself, life begins to invest in her.” ~ Tanya Leigh
Back in March I met Tonya Leigh, a lifestyle blogger and life coach. A few weeks ago she wrote a blog post entitled 8 Investments That Changed Me As A Woman and ever since I read it, I’ve wanted to write a similar post.
As I thought about my list, some of the things that came up weren’t actually services or products to purchase, but rather involved my time, which, to me, is right up there with money. And yeah, some of my investments involve both. So, without further ado, here are eight ways (in no particular order) I invest in myself that have made the biggest, most positive, difference in my life.
#1 Quality sleep (and bedding)
Sleep cures, heals, and maintains health. I generally invest eight to nine hours per night. I sleep on a high-quality mattress and pillow that supports, cushions, and cradles my body. I purchase high-quality cotton or silk sheets, blankets, and bedspreads. I’ve had them for years. As a result, I am healthier, more energetic, and have a routine that suits me (compared to the time in my life when I didn’t invest in sleep).
#2 Quality undergarments (especially bras)
Many years ago when I was freelancing, I wrote an article about the benefits of getting a proper bra fitting. I interviewed the owner of a high-end lingerie boutique that stocks bras from all over the world in sizes from 28AA to 54JJ. Once I knew my proper size (and it wasn’t even close to the size I thought I was) and purchased one (relatively) expensive bra, I was hooked. Well made, properly fitting bras and panties are not only more comfortable, they last longer and I like the way I feel when I am wearing them. And when I feel good, I do good.
#3 Personal development (books, courses, workshops, various types of therapy, coaching)
I was 42 when I “woke up” and started consciously working on my shit. (As I wrote that, I realized that I’ve been at it for 10 YEARS!). As a result, here’s what I’ve accomplished. I:
- realized that I didn’t just hate my body, I hated myself.
- considered what it might be like to love myself.
- practiced that.
- lost weight.
- learned to love my body.
- gained weight.
- started a blog.
- REALLY learned to love my body.
- started helping others.
- lost weight.
- consciously chose to create healthy relationships.
- wrote a book.
- started to understand the true nature of self-esteem and confidence and where it comes from.
- practiced that.
- went back to school.
- healed some more deep-ass shit.
- continued to help others.
- started a business.
- am writing my second book.
- am continually learning lessons.
#4 Personal training, massage, chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapy
Over the years, on and off, I have invested time and money in professionals who are all about the physical body. At first it was about wanting to look a certain way, but over the years it has transformed into helping me truly care for and appreciate my body and what it is capable of. All four modalities work together in a synergistic way.
#5 Slow cooking (and I don’t mean a crock pot) and eating
The vast majority of the time I make breakfast, lunch, and dinner mostly from whole, fresh, unprepared foods. Sometimes we go out and sometimes I bring something prepared in, but mostly I take the time to plan and make meals. Like #4, this helps me truly care for and appreciate my body. It also makes me appreciate my food, where it comes from, and the effort and energy it took to get to me. Eating more slowly is still a work in progress, but it’s worth the investment.
#6 Reading for pleasure
I spend about an hour a day reading for pleasure (novels). I’ve been reading since I learned how. It’s worth my time because it soothes and transports me. Years ago, when I commuted to New York City, I spent my commute time (nearly four hours a day) reading (this was before cell phones and laptops).
I’ve been a professional writer since 1984 (the year I graduated from college). But it wasn’t until 2009, when I started my blog, that I became what I consider to be a “real” writer. Because up until that point, I had never consistently written creatively or for myself. So what happened in 2009? The quick version is that, by the time New Year’s Day rolled around, I had regained 23 of the 55 pounds I had lost in 2005-06, after spending most of my adult life seemingly unable to lose weight.
I was full of panic, shame, frustration, and anger, so I started blogging, investing many hours a week on it.
I am not exaggerating when I say that blogging saved my life.
It also creates awareness, makes me think, helps me find my voice, helps me to be heard, is a big part of my overall health plan, gives me clarity, helps me continually discover my true calling, keeps me grounded, keeps me honest, creates relationships and connection, nurtures friendships, changes my life…
#8 My Marriage
What can I say? Besides myself, my husband is the most important person in the world to me. Investing my time in him and our relationship is a no-brainer. Our marriage is one of the strongest marriages I know and having come from a family where everyone has been married and divorced at least once (including myself), that’s saying something! I wrote a series of blog posts several years ago that tells our story.
What investments have you made in yourself and how have they changed you for the better?