Self Improvement

I love scouring all the different sections of book stores, always on the lookout for my next beloved book with suggestions of improvement.  I find myself talked into little ways I can improve myself, my home, my relationships….how to feng shui your home, how to feng shui your clothes, closet organizing ideas, the best workout plan to slim, the fat-burning foods, how to approach your relationships with an Eastern philosophy, how to market yourself, business negotiating suggestions….the list goes on.

So here I was, on my quiet journey in the narrow aisles of Half Price Books, ready to discover my newest, and still unknown treasures….when a thought occurs to me:

“Am I searching for true improvements to really be a better participant in the dance of the universe, or am I convincing myself that if I improve…I just might love myself fully?”

Whoa…I need a few more gulps of my soy latte to settle this thought and push it back down where it came from.  Of course I just want to be a better person for this world!  I love myself!  I take good care of my body, eat well, do yoga, meditate…the typical list of many of my friends.  If I didn’t love myself, would I really do all those things?!

But that thought doesn’t sink back down into my subconscious as quickly as I hoped.  And I quietly acknowledge that truth has a way of continually surfacing.

Surely wanting to make improvements in your life isn’t a bad thing.  Improvement:  To make better, to excel in quality.  These are all lovely thoughts.  Who doesn’t want to move forward and excel?  The idea of settling, to become stagnant was a living death in my mind.  How can progression ever be wrong?  But my higher self whispers to me:

“It’s not the improvement or progression that is being questioned, but rather, are you withholding love of yourself until you accomplish that ‘thing’ you’re working on?”

The more I pondered it, the more I started to see the bigger picture.  Surely the world is benefiting from our goals of progression, but it’s our sacred self in this moment that is the one with the courage to change.  How can we not love our courageous self?  After all, it is our current selves who put in the work at this moment.  It is our current selves who get on the elliptical machine, who make meals, who offer kind words to friends, who take care of family members.  It is who we are right now that is facing the journey of life.

I run my fingers along the worn spines of the trapped secrets, suggestions and knowledge.  And for today, walk away empty handed….my heart spilling over with self-acceptance.