“For you can render to God and humanity no greater service than to make the most of yourself”
“If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person…” McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, NV, Monday, March, 27th, 2006
The confused look on my face prompted my then soon-to-be-but-now-ex-husband to repeat himself sweetly, “I would save you first.” Was I the “someone who required assistance” in this scenario? Hungover and feeling rebellious, I gave him my signature, left-wing half-smirk, and said, “Every child for themselves, babe.” As I immersed myself back into my “Hunter S. Thompson narrowly escapes Vegas” bit, I heard his chuckle and the word “spoiled” and I smiled. I recognized the joke in the moment and I appreciated the sentiment. Still, it feels counter intuitive, doesn’t it? How can you help me if you can’t help yourself?
But so often, that is exactly what we do. Like many adventures, adulthood happens to us when we least expect it. You blink and suddenly there are responsibilities and bills and priorities. Usually without even meaning to and in the name of our “love”, we slowly start to sacrifice our own nurturing and quality time for the sake of the commitments we have made to the life around us. Grocery shopping, laundry lists, when is her birthday again? The bigger question is: Are you one of your priorities? How much time did you invest in your own happiness today?
I get it, everything needs your time. The family, the spouse, the boss…they are all clamoring for that emotional “good stuff” they know you keep on the top shelf saved for the holidays. Because that is one of the best parts of being an adult: the things you love in your life have true value. Your relationships, your career, your lifestyle has all been chosen and curated by you and to your liking. You want to nurture it and really invest your best into it. And THAT is the point: YOUR best.
To be at your best, you have to make sure to nurture yourself.
Some people give up entire dreams because you think your time is better suited elsewhere. And you are sorta right. YOU are needed elsewhere. YOU- in your glorious entirety- is actually needed everywhere. There is something unique to you that only you can offer the world. I once read a passage in a book that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It essentially said that to deny your life’s calling was in a sense the most selfish thing you could do, because you are denying your life, your loved ones, humanity, and the universe the gifts and power that you are meant to bestow upon the world in this lifetime.
You see, in nurturing yourself, in finding and fulfilling your calling, you satisfy the universe, yourself, AND (as if you need the added bonus) you enable and inspire others to do the same in a manner so vast, it becomes one of the largest domino-effects of your life, making the trickling benefits innumerable. Where is your time and energy going now? Think of how much that area- and every area- in your life will prosper if you approach it with a full, inspired heart. How you and those around you will thrive!
Anyone who might try to make you feel guilty (including yourself) for taking additional time to honor your life’s calling really just does not understand the value behind it. For truly, how can you support another without first supporting yourself? How can you love someone or something so completely without first loving every part of yourself? The same can be said of appreciation, forgiveness, empathy, and trust. All redeeming qualities must first start with the self. It is only once we have cultivated them in and for ourselves that we can give them amply to others.
This may all seem easier said than done, but truly it doesn’t take much to start. Just give a bit of time every day to doing little things that satisfy the inner you. Things you enjoy and light you up. Start with a general list of identifiers (i.e. solo or social, in or outdoors, mental or physical, etc.) that make you genuinely happy, and then find activities that include those things. Something that fulfills your calling will feel organic to you and still give you a sense of inner expansion. Setting time aside on a regular basis to be kind and loving with yourself and to encourage inner growth- what’s not to dig?
You not only owe it to yourself. You also- some might feel “more importantly” applies here- do it for the greater good. Your family, your significant other, your loved ones, your universe, your world, your calling- it all thrives so much better when YOU are at your best. Ah, who are we kidding? Most importantly, do it for YOU! For as the wise proverb reads, “Today You are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” And the universe is counting on it.
Veronica is currently “living with intent” and her sunflowers in Brooklyn, NY and loves wandering the city, writing in the park, and commingling amongst the vibrancy she is so happy to call home. She is a lover of adventure, collects experiences and photographs, and has been known to book international travel within a week of departure, because “Paris is always a good idea”.
Veronica is a consultant and partner to creative entrepreneurs and like-minded agents of imagination, assisting in elevating their brand to match their vision. She is also a champion of the local creative community- supporting and partnering with local galleries, schools, and artists, as well as helping place talent in a variety of projects and homes. Veronica’s passion projects (and she passions hard) includes sponsorship acquisition and fundraising for an international art residency program she is co-creating and curating to debut in March 2017 with a focus in bringing modern art and performance to a rural, traditional Onsa (hot spring resort) currently being restored in Ishikawa, Japan- a town known for its exquisite craftsmanship, zen-filled properties, and majestic, ancient traditions. Through this project- aptly named Fusion- they will be offering art-centric workshops to the local communities and presenting a modern, vibrant, interactive event, while also providing 10 urban artists the experience of a lifetime and showcasing their art in a unique and organic setting- merging our cultures in a truly magical way.
For any collaborative inquiries or further information including talent, content, media, unicorns, etc.- feel free to contact Veronica at veeurrea(at)gmail.com and you can also find her on Instagram @thenewyorkimport.