“Grand Gesture Yourself”
I slowly muttered that to myself as I waited in line at JFK to board my plane to NYC because at that exact moment all the doubts hit in my mind:
Is this even worth it?
holy mess! How much did I just spend on hotels again?
Is this some '20 something crisis?'
Going to New York wont teach me anything that I don't already know!
What if I don't fit in with the other people at the WELL Summit?
“Grand Gesture Yourself, Salem. This is not about anything other than doing a grand gesture for your heart.”
I've often shared how self care is not the easiest for me! I know its not easy to tell when I talk about it so much and appear to do it so well, but lean in and let me tell you a secret – its tough. My heart crumbles into a million pieces when I consider that people will think I'm lazy or wasteful of my resources, but then again its not about what any one else thinks. Thats the core of grand gesturing yourself.
What counts as a grand gesture to yourself?
Something that is completely irrational to every one else looking in, but to you its something large and extravagant that means the world to you.
I guess at this point I'll tell you a little story pre-grand gesture that gives a little context as to why:
In October I realized that so many big changes were about to happen so fast in my life and it honestly scared the confidence out of me. Was I ready? I had just now gotten into a good 'adulting' routine and now I would be adding more responsibility that could upset homeostatis. What would these changes mean for me financially? Lots of uncertainty started seeping in. Lots of things that I had been keeping as options needed some good closure and a decent burial. And I was honestly terrified at the new doors that were opening up.
Btw, these are all good changes, things I am legitimately excited about (and will be sharing soon in a new post) – but to my heart a change always feels like a death of something familiar, and any opportunity to give more of myself requires more strength in opening myself to be scrutinized and to potentially fail. I knew that I needed to take the time to regain confidence and prove to my heart that I could be faithful to caring for myself in a new season of life with lots more responsibility.
I knew that I needed confidence and to be in a place with people who prioritize wellness – but I had no clue with that would look like.
Within a couple of days I heard about the WELL Summit (a curated event thats all about wellness, empowerment, learning, and luxury).
As I sat on my bed listening to one of my favorite podcasters [shout out to Lauren Ash of Black Girl In Om] share about this fabulous event she was speaking at for the weekend in New York City, my heart knew that a weekend to NYC was exactly the kind of grand gesture it needed.
NYC has always been the place I feel most confident. Every time I visit there, the city has always has a gift to give to me and I always leave feeling like I can take on the world. It heals me. It connects me to people who are so similar to me. It fills me in so many rich ways. And honestly after a day spent navigating the subway system and the streets, I feel different and sufficient.
As soon as the thought of NYC got into my head I could not shake it off – no matter how much I wanted to. And after lots of talking about it, analyzing it, asking God for signs, trying not to get too excited so I don't get disappointed, analyzing the pro's and con's, I was sitting standing in line about to board my plane to NYC!
A couple of more “grand gesture yourself” pep talks later and I was actually in the air on my way to my favorite city in North America. And a few hours later as my plane was getting ready to land – I looked out into the city and the tears just started pouring. These were proud tears from my heart because I had actually taken the time to do something big for me.
Let me tell you, true to form my heart knew exactly what I needed because my days in NYC left me feeling full, expectant, and competent for the new challenges ahead. The time to clear my head, to eat halal food, to be close to the water, to be around thousands of other people in Time Square, to worship at Hillsong NYC, to attend the WELL SUMMIT!
WELL SUMMIT was everything I could have hoped for and more:
I met fabulous people!!
Got lots of yummy treats!
Drank so much cactus water that I forgot what real water tasted like...jk, but seriously!
Healed from a lot of things I didn't even realize I needed healing from [thank you Cyndie]
Created a new mantra that encapsulates a new vision of where I see myself headed
Had so many opportunities for gratitude.
As I step back into my new roles and a new season back in Alabama, I hope I will always remember that sometimes I just need to get out of my head a bit and check in with my heart. I know little acts of self care will always be entrenched into my routine, but I hope I practice grand gesturing myself a bit more because when I love myself large I have more capacity in me to serve and love other people without expecting anything from them.