The Ideal Self
“Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.” - Alice Walker
I happened upon this quote and immediately printed it with images that resemble the feminine, romantic, and whimsical world I strive live. A slow paced life, filled with simple and meaningful actions. And it felt like the perfect reminder to live by some words I wrote a few weeks ago and have since adapted as a personal manifesto..
When I see her, she is simple, and lovely—feminine without fuss. She is intentional and practical. Always learning. Always gracious. Always singing, Always dancing. Always making. Always nurturing. Always, always loving.
When I hear her voice, it is gentle and full of laughter. Her words are full of thankfulness. And her songs are full of praise.
When I see her smile, she is wrapped up in the arms of the ones she love. She is collecting treasures from her garden. She is lost inside a favorite novel. She is writing love letters.
When I look at her life, it is full— not of possessions but moments. It is overflowing with love. She finds gladness in the every day routine, even her chores— because every task serves a family who has captivated her whole heart.
When I dream her dreams, they are not for grandeur, they are filled with whimsy and wonder. When I look to her, I find that we are on a journey to becoming more alike. Little by little. Day by day.
These words are my gentle reminder (that I need to read daily) to say no to everything that takes away from this dream, and yes to all the little things that add to it.
It can feel so daunting, and some days, impossible to bring my ideal self to life. Especially when I feel like that ideal self would have best been suited for life in an earlier century. Nonetheless, I’ve made it my goal to choose three acts that “center” me every day—or bring me closer to that ideal self—so even when I miss the mark in some areas, I can always come back to my three [very attainable] daily practices.
Put myself together (doesn’t have to be fancy, just practical, but pretty)-even if i’m not leaving the house. This is to give myself confidence (how you dress is how you feel), act as a reminder that I am approaching the day with purpose and intention, and to be an example of beauty and femininity to my daughters.
Read books with my babies—they love it. I love it. And it’s a practice I want to be in the habit of every day forever and ever. The list of books I want to read with them will take the rest of my life to accomplish, and that idea just delights me.
Dance in the kitchen—or anywhere. Somewhere along the line it kind of became a part of our dinner making routine to have music playing and to twirl and dance together as a family. This little act has brought more smiles and laughter than I could ever tell, and it’s the most wonderful way to cheer up any day. Again, this is something I hope will be a lifelong tradition and a most joyous memory for all of us.
I have a handful of other practices that are important to me as well, but this is just my way of feeling grounded on good days and hard days alike. And it reminds me that it’s the little joys that make up the big picture.
Do you have a personal manifesto, or any daily practices that help you reach that “ideal self”? I’d love to read them in the comments or even an email, or if you really want to be bosom friends, we can exchange letters via snail mail!
**images in the graphic were sourced from Pinterest