Today is the first day of my annual Self Nurture Challenge, leading up to Mother’s Day! I want to encourage and inspire all mothers to consciously choose to care for themselves with tenderness and attention so that they have more energy and presence to give to their lives and families!

Often we think of Self Nurture in terms of our actions:  taking time for ourselves, getting regular exercise, keeping up with health-related treatments (like massage therapy or acupuncture), eating healthy… But I love to share about the deeper aspects of Self Nurture.

More than our actions, Self Nurture is about our attitudes.

While actions like eating healthy and exercising are great for you, they are not nearly as nurturing when your attitude is one of “I  have to exercise” or “I need to eat salad so I can lose weight.” When your attitude is one of obligation and deprivation, you are not truly nourishing yourself.

Throughout my life, I have struggled with the delicate balance between being healthy and allowing myself to enjoy simple treats and pleasures without guilt.

So, to begin our Self Nurture Challenge, I took myself out for an ice cream cone last night. Standing in line, I noticed a little boy, maybe 5 years old. He was holding a 20 dollar bill in his hand and jumping from foot to foot, eager to order his cone. His freckled face was beaming with delight and  and his entire body was alert with expectation.

He wasn’t worrying about calories or wondering if he should be eating dairy right now. He didn’t care if the milk was organic or if the chocolate might keep him up at night. He was intent on enjoying the ice cream with every fiber of his being.

I decided to do the same.

And you know what? It tasted better!

Now, this does not mean that I will make this a weekly ritual. I know that dairy doesn’t agree with me in large quantities and I do like to be mindful about what I eat. But, enjoying (truly enjoying with presence) a yummy treat occasionally is important for my well being!

Every day this week, I will post a new thought or insight about Self Nurture and share my nurturing activity for the day. I invite you to participate and leave a comment with what you are doing to care for yourself this week!

So, how are you nurturing yourself today?