LOOK AS ATTRACTIVE AS YOU CAN

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Dress expressively. Wear a scarf to enhance a dress that you think is drab. Only wear clothes that suit you. Give away clothes that don’t atter you. Wash your hair. Keep it well cut. Wear shoes that are attractive. Wear lipstick if you like make up. Why? Because you will feel more like yourself, your best self, and people will respond to you as if you have charm.

Show charm in your plumage. A soft sweater. Something that enhances your best qualities. Not overtly sexual but something that keeps you in touch with your own femininity or masculinity.

Smell good. Make your hands pretty, your feet. It is a way of celebrating beauty in general, and saying thank you for beauty. We all have beauty, it is up to us to enhance it. By a bright smile, a skirt that swishes when you walk, beauty that makes you feel free. It should be beauty that is effortless, and a dash of self-expression. Add that to when you get dressed.

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DON’T EAT A LOT

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Eating sparsely will keep you not only slender, but also keep you alert. Food is a drug too and can be a way not to feel.

We stuff something in our mouth rather than feel hunger or a craving for what we really are craving. Better conversation? More free time? More sovereignty over our life? Touch? Whatever is beneath the desire to eat too much, if allowed to come to consciousness, is something we can feel and heal and change so our lives are more full of ease.

We all have to eat, but keep it simple. Vegetables, fruits, fish. Try and eliminate too many sweets and breads since they are not good for your metabolism. Birds eat many small meals and fly all day. Eating heavy meals will just make you fall asleep.

Eat lightly, healthily and enjoy a feeling of wellbeing. When you feel healthy and slim, you will feel more erotic and more available to engaging in life.

GIVE OF YOURSELF, BUT NOT TOO MUCH

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It is good to be connected to life and to respond to others and to share. But it is also good to take care of yourself. So do what you can for others, make connections, be there, but also make sure that you are taking care of yourself economically and health-wise.

Have quiet time. Make sure you have time for what you need to do for yourself. Do not give yourself away so much that you become unhealthy or broke!

On the other hand, if you can make friends and loved ones happy and have the opportunities to do so, then do it. Be there for people as much as you can, but remember that your schedule comes first (except, of course, in emergencies).

If you need time to study or work, do it. Then see friends. You will be more present if you have taken care of yourself first.

TAKE A BATH AND SOAK

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There is something about being in water. It is purifying. Soothing. You will be being good to your body. You will be spending quiet time.

You can read a good book or meditate, or just soak and let your mind roam free. It will make you feel renewed, rested, and nurtured.

There is power in knowing that you can nurture yourself without spending money or having to go out to get something. It will heal your joints, and just be a private, special immersion in warmth and quiet for yourself.

KEEP AN OPEN MIND TO THE NEW

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Having concept is enthusiasm, pleasure, vibrancy. This most likely can only be achieved through being open to the new, to adventures and to learning new things. A new place or vista that you let a friend introduce you to. A new piece of music.

Following up on meeting a potential new friend, someone who reached out to you. Letting someone introduce you to a new show. Spending the day in a museum if you never do. Going to the sea on a whim.

Following a whim if you never do. Saying yes to what life offers you. If someone passes you their business card to get to know you, get in touch. If someone emails you with a new idea, consider it.

Love is in expanding your feeling/intellectual life. Love is in new experiences and opening your life up to unexpected gifts. As Woody Allen said, half of life is showing up. You never know what is in store for you unless you step toward it.

If you can count on yourself to say yes to the new, there will indeed be unexpected help, unexpected love, unexpected discovery of new parts of yourself. All of which can lead to joy.

FREE TIME DOES NOT ALWAYS HAVE TO BE FILLED

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Ever consider booking some time alone for yourself?

Most of us live such demanding lives that it may require putting it on your calendar. And don’t make plans for that time. Instead, try a walk without your phone or, god forbid, an afternoon! Or try taking a walk without a destination and taking random photos with your phone.

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Or try curling up with a book. Or just see what you gravitate to and that will tell you what your highest value is that you are not making enough time for. Open yourself up to free time and see how you naturally will feed yourself with what you need for your inner life to help you grow in areas that perhaps people, places and devices are distracting you from.

This practice will bring tremendous fluidity and creativity to your life. You will also encounter new parts of yourself that will excite you and will make your life more interesting.

 

ELIMINATE WHAT IS WASTING YOUR TIME

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What is wasting your time is bringing you down without your knowing it. e fact is what is wasting your time is keeping you from what enlivens you and brings texture and joy to your life. Women often are “there for everyone” and that can mean they are not there for themselves. Really look at your life and what you can stop doing that is not adding to your life. It might be saying yes to too many people’s demands, it could be trolling the internet mindlessly, it could be television, whatever it is for you. Sit down and look at your schedule for the week. Are there many commitments that are draining you because they are not relevant to your core nature? Could you be using that time to feed yourself with art, or with laughter with true friends, or with nature, or with your loved ones? Swap out what is not wholesome for you for what is. Treat your time as valuable, and as something you want to use to replenish and nurture your inner soul.

LOOK AT THE WORK YOU DO – WHATEVER IT IS – AS JOYFUL SERVICE

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All work has its limitations. You may not make enough money. Or the people you work with might take advantage of you. Or perhaps are not handling their work as you would like them to. But the way to steady your mind about your work is to get into your own right attitude. Which is that you are providing a service and you are meant to provide a service – both to your boss and to your client – and whatever indignities you go through are part of providing a service. If you see your work as giving, you will lighten and let go of sadness and sorrow. You will focus on the opportunity in your work to make others happy which will in turn raise your joy and ebullience. You will bring your lightness and sensitivity to your work. So be thankful for this wonder of being in the world, and sharing what you do well or are learning to do well with others. ere is an expansiveness that will take over and enhance your energy, which is creativity and eros.

SPEND TIME WITH OLD FRIENDS

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Old friends feel like family. They have known you throughout all your life and your many ways of being. There have been times when you have frustrated each other and disappointed each other. But there have been times when you have given to each other whatever you can. Shared homes together. Share english language teachers. Listen to each other complain about work or lovers. Picked each other up from doctors. You know how each other has wrestled with one’s temper and passivity. Whatever it is, you have shared your lives together. So give yourself that feeling of comradeship and trust and bask in how that makes you stronger, more present in the world. Old friends are wealth and joy. They are there for you and you are there for them, and that is a gift too. You get to give as they do, and that is shared eros.

Mental balance

I can understand that a strong man who has a great affection for a thousand other men, and he calls all of them by their name.

But I don’t understand that he regards some of them higher than the others and he preserves his mental balance.

—Moazzam Shaikh