Day 11: Talk pretty to yourself

If you’ve been following along here, lurking but not actually participating, thinking to yourself, “well this is a fun idea” but not doing any of the seemingly-silly daily work, then today’s an awesome day to jump in with real commitment. (Also true today? Anyone who downloaded the journal but hasn’t been following along with the corresponding daily posts might miss the real point of today’s little exercise, because today’s exercise is different from how it appears on paper.)

But first, a little story.

My mother, like many mothers, all over the world, then and now, had a portfolio of motherly sayings. One of her favorite sayings, that she pulled out whenever we had a mild difference of opinion, was: “And that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla, Jennifer, because not everyone likes the same thing.”

Another favorite saying? “Pretty is as pretty does.”

Though she would of course and as expected (because she was our mother), sometimes make note of our physical appearance, my mother said, to my sister and me, “pretty is as pretty does” about 5,000 times more often than she said anything about the way we looked. Even when I had spiky short hair like Belinda Carlisle’s and wore grungy-looking miniskirts. Actually, especially then.

When my mother used the words “attractive” or “unattractive,” she was unfailingly referring to behavior, not appearance.

So today’s word, “Attractive,” is one I chose purposefully, thinking specifically about my mother’s wisdom.

In today’s “let’s not lose our fucking minds in December” exercise, bring to mind a friend or colleague who makes you feel good about yourself from the inside out. A person who makes you feel like you’re someone they want to spend time with because they enjoy your company, your wisdom, your humor, your quirky self. A person who sees you exactly as you are and also wants to have a cup of tea, go for a walk, swap text messages about a funny (or sad, or newsworthy) story.

Write that person’s name down. And then, without delay:

Go stand in front of a mirror (or window, if there isn’t a mirror close by), look at your reflection, and say aloud, “I am attractive.” And mean it. Because it’s true.

P.S. Surely you’ve realized by now that the download link’s always going to be here at the end of every post, even if you wait until the last day of December to decide that you did, in fact, want to download the entire monthly journal. Today is always day one for someone, and maybe that someone is you. Here’s the link.

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