Two weeks ago I was supposed to be writing about the Treats chapter in The Joy Diet for the book blogging group The Next Chapter. But I hadn't read it yet. So I put it off until I could get to it after the busy-ness of Halloween,etc. I have to say I didn't get much out of this chapter as I have out of the other ones so far. This one is all about rewarding ourselves with treats as we take risks and make progress, at a minimum three times a day.
As I sat down and made my list of things that make me smile to help come up with some new treats, I had a hard time thinking of ones that I don't already use!
Here are some of the ones I already use:
Chocolate covered almonds which I only get to eat when I've been working in my studio,
a special tea that I can have when I've made phone calls I've been putting off
Wearing my favorite perfume even just for running errands
Buying cut flowers at the store just for having the beauty around.
None of these are earth shattering or unusual I would imagine, but I did find that I had to make an effort to remake them so that they would seem new enough to accomplish what The Joy Diet is all about.For example one of my main ones would be the treat of time to read. I already read so much already, it is such a big part of my life that I had to work hard at coming up with a way to make it a recognizably separate "treat". My solution there was to allow myself to read at times of the day when I usually would say it was a no-no, at first it felt kind of naughty curling up with a book at 10am when I'm usually in my most productive work period. But I didn't let myself read all day, and it did seem such an unusual treat to get to have that morning reading time that I did work harder before hand. Interesting how trainable we are isn't it?
I'm going to continue trying to rework the self-treating I already do in this way to keep it fresh and useful and inspiring, and hopefully that will end up training me to keep pursuing the risk taking of making new and unusual artwork, entering it in shows and pursuing other ways of getting my artwork seen.
I really liked author Martha Beck's discussion about smiling that ended with this:
"Smiling is very serious business to our bodies and hearts, and to practice this part of the Joy Diet, you must treat it with respect." No fakey smiling allowed here, only the real deal, that means something.