Recently I was Christmas shopping for my daughter, Aly. I was in a specialty boutique that sells luxury bath products โ€“ lavender foaming bath salts, spa conditioners and thick gorgeous towels in dozens of yummy colors.

As I dropped a tube of apricot scrub into my basket for my daughter the thought occurred to me, โ€œBoy I wish I could have something special for myself.โ€ Then another idea popped into my head, โ€œOf course I can treat myself.โ€

I switched gears for a moment and shopped for me. I picked up a bar of Elmore Mountain Farm Goat soap and inhaled the rich Scent of bergamot and rosewood.  Then I smelled a geranium lemongrass bar and placed it in my basket along with a coconut milk and mango candle.

That evening I escaped from the Vermont cold (It was in the teens yesterday!) and took a long, hot soak by candlelight. I played Songs for Sagha by Deva Premal and gave myself total permission to luxuriate. I stepped out of the tub feeling amazing โ€“ relaxed, happy and great about myself.

So here’s your assignment. I want you to do something special for yourself this week.

Visit a store that sells beautiful bath products and buy a bar of soap just for you. Take your time, use all your senses and enjoy the process of selecting something special that you love. And if the slightest drop of guilt starts to mar your experience please let it go! You deserve this! Self-care isnโ€™t selfish itโ€™s an act of self-preservation. And at midlife every act of self-care is empowering!

Then go home and draw yourself a bath or take a long, hot shower using the soap you selected. Experience the water enveloping your body and smell the fragrance of the soap. Imagine you are washing away any negativity โ€“ fears, doubts, low self-worth, anger, hate, worryโ€ฆ that you may have.

Be grateful. While spending time in the shower or tub may feel ordinary to you, itโ€™s an experience that millions of women around the world never have.

Everyday I speak to women who want to know: How can I feel better about my self and my life? This simple assignment is a powerful way to start. The ritual of buying a special soap and luxuriating in the tub is life changing. It will transform the way you feel about yourself and may even change the way you approach your life.

Why does it work? Think for a moment about the last time a good friend gave you a gift and spent time with you. How did you feel about yourself and your friend? You probably felt more love for her and yourself. When you treat yourself like a good friend by giving yourself a gift and spending time being present with yourself you generate those same positive feelings.

This is the essence of self-compassion: Treating yourself like you would a good friend. It may feel odd or even uncomfortable at first, but the more you do it the more it will become second nature. As my friend, Christopher Germer says,

A moment ofย self-compassionย can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.

Trust me, just do it, see how it goes and share your experience in the comments box below.

One of my biggest joys in life is helping women feel amazing about themselves and their lives. If you want to talk about how you can make your next chapter your best chapter set up a conversation with me HERE.

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