Wrapping Up Month #2 of Extreme Self-Care

That was one loooooooong month.

Whodda thunk that something that sounds so easy could be so hard?

At least it was for me.


Our mission for the second month of Extreme Self-Care, as laid out by Cheryl Richardson in her beautiful book,

was to do the Mirror Exercise. This consisted of the following steps: a) every time you look into a mirror b) stare deeply into your own eyes and c) say “I love you, (insert your name here).”

Simple, right?


Cheryl says that she felt a positive shift in her attitude toward herself after about a week.

I’m still waiting.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve had moments of ‘gosh darn, I kind of like you, Maxine,’ but there hasn’t been a real shift for me.


I’m not going to abandon myself just because I’m a slow learner, though. I’ll keep my sticky note reminder on my mirror and keep on keeping on because 50 years of deep held beliefs are not going to be erased in a mere month. Kind of like 50 years of eating crap and sitting in front of infomercials is not going to be erased by a few weeks of carrot sticks and leisurely strolls around the block.

As I look at my May calendar, however, I realize that there have been some changes:

You know what’s scary? I know there’s way too many calendars like this hanging in kitchens across the nation, jam-crammed with too much do-ing!

What I noticed, as I reviewed all the goings-on in the Spence family household, was that in the month of May I had loved myself enough to:

* make an appointment with my naturopath to get to bottom of the fatigue that was dragging me down and, thanks to a collaboration between her and my medical doctor, I’m addressing a few hormone issues (and feeling a titch better already)

* try out some Zumba classes (fun!) and step up my formerly nonexistent walking/running program

*actually offer a 6-week class that has been nudging at me for a good, long time (and it’s going beautifully I might add, as we head into Week Three)

* have loads of fun reading Leaf and talking to kids about writing at a local library

* start examining (and doing what I can to improve) my beliefs about money by taking advantage of the opportunity to talk with some experts in this field

*learn how to make superfood shakes and smoothies (thanks to my friends at Health Street)

*celebrate half a century on this planet by taking my family to see the musical, Cats, and then out for a lovely dinner

*recommit to my morning pages and Vimala alphabet (with a focus on the loving gifts of the letter Pp)

*when my half-hearted plan to go to Hawaii for the week of my 50th birthday (because, really, shouldn’t one celebrate a milestone like this in a big way?) didn’t come to be (even though I marked it on the calendar), I took that entire week off anyway, doing only what I wanted (or pretty darn close) all week. It was a very nice week.

So maybe I’ve come further than I thought at first glance.

make that, ‘at first loving stare’

into my own eyes

in the mirror.

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