Giving Myself Permission

by HEAB on January 12, 2012

The other day, I was thinking about my plans and goals for 2012 as everyone does come January.  I was looking at the beautiful pages of Goddess Leonie’s Guidebook and Planner, and then I decided to check my Google Reader and low behold, I stumbled across this blog post. You see, not only does Leonie create beautiful art, but she also writes a pretty amazing blog.  This post spoke to me so much.  I’m such a people pleaser.  I never want to upset anyone, and in trying to keep everyone happy, guess who often ends up unhappy?  Me!  So, instead of creating goals and resolutions, etc., what I really hope to work on this year is taking better care of myself, and below are some of my favorite reminder’s from Leonie’s post:

You have permission to say no to demands on your time that don’t light you up, and don’t give energy back to you.

You have permission to say no whenever you like, however you like, in whatever kind of voice you like, without feeling like only Mean Girls Say No and Nice Girls Say Yes. That’s bull. Yes and No have equal weighting – what’s important is if you use them when they are the best thing for you, not out of fear, obligation or guilt. Such a struggle for me as I’m a huge over-committer!

You have permission to know that Yes is powerful, and so is No. The power comes from you using either from your highest spirit and truest integrity.

You have permission to change. You have permission to not be the person you once were.

You have permission to be exactly how you are.

You have permission to not be more like anyone else in the world, even if you think they are better, wiser or more popular. You have permission to be more like yourself, your gifts and your wisdom.

You have permission to not care what other people think of you.

You have permission to not try to change what other people think of you. You can’t ever argue that you are a good person. They will either know you are, or not. You don’t need to spend time with people who don’t believe in you.

You have permission to do things that your friends and family do not.

You have permission to be wild, expressive, truthful, exciting and outspoken.

You have permission to not accept friendship requests on Facebook, or anywhere else in your life. You have permission to block people whenever you like.

You have permission to share as much or as little as you like. You have permission to blog, or not blog. You have permission to Twitter, or not to Twitter. It doesn’t really matter. As long as it’s making you happy, that’s the best thing.

You have permission to suck at a wide variety of activities. It’s okay. You make up for it with your million other brilliance particles.

You have permission to be whatever body shape you like.

You have permission to be a contradiction.

You have permission to not be interested in the newest fad: harem pants, geek glasses, Polaroid cameras, scrapbooking, macrame. You also have permission to be totally obsessed with them, if it makes your heart light up. Haha, loved this one! I totally do not get the geek glasses thing.

You have permission to cut people from your life. You have permission to surround yourself with people who are good and loving and nurturing to you. Another good one.

You have permission to be a disappointment to some people, as long as you’re not a disappointment to yourself.

You have permission to do nothing whenever you like.

You have permission to think some people are crazy. You have permission to think some people are smigging ice-cream with chocolate and wafers and sprinkles and cherries on top.

You have permission to not have the perfect relationship.

You have permission to take whatever time you need for you.

You have permission to make ridiculous choices for yourself.

You have permission to use and listen to your intuition. To feel when things are off, and to remove yourself from them, even when you don’t quite know why. You will always find out why. Our intuition is here to serve us.

You have permission to be down. You have permission to be up.

You have permission to believe in things that other people think are very very odd and strange. You have permission to not care.

You have permission to believe in things that make your life wholer, richer and deeper. You have permission to make your own world that is the truest painting of you.

You have permission to not be the best of anything – just the best of yourself. And some days, just the best you can do that day.

You have permission to not always give. You have permission to fill your own cup up first.

You have permission to have things around you that delight you.

You have permission to live in a tipi if you want to, or a mansion. Whatever makes your spirit shine is the right thing for you.

You have permission to say no to demands on your time that don’t light you up, and don’t give energy back to you.
So, giving myself permission is going to be my theme for 2012. I give myself permission to say no more often, without always having to back it up with an apology and an excuse.  I give myself permission to spend as much time as possible with my husband and daughter completely focused on them and not worry about my many to-do lists.  I give myself permission to read the Bible more often.  I give myself permission to love my house and be content with what I already have (I spend way too much time coveting things I don’t need on Pinterest!)  I give myself permission to do more artsy and creative things because they make me happy.

Started the above frame project yesterday, and even if I only get to work on it ten minutes a day, that’s still ten minutes of doing something I love.

OK, I could go on and on, but I want to do a little painting before nap time ends.  What are you writing in your Planner, and what are you giving yourself permission to do today/this year?


leah January 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm

As a lifelong people pleaser and anal type A personality, this was good for me to read!

I homeschool, and just in the last few weeks, I have given myself permission to tailor school to meet my childrens’ individual needs and personalties rather than strictly going by the book. As a result, the drudgery is gone and we are having so much fun! And the kiddos are learning more than they ever did before.

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Leah, happy to hear it, and I’m glad that school is going better – sounds like the whole family is happier. 🙂

Heather Smaha January 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

What a great post. I have trouble with a lot of those things, too. Thank you for sharing that.

Lauren January 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Such an inspiring post! Thank you for sharing. I, too, am an overcommitter and find myself feeling guilty for saying “no” and give endless excuses (which I justify as reasons). I’ve only got one life to live, why live by someone else’s standards? I’m the one who has to live with these decisions for the rest of my life! YOU GO GIRL!

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm


caitlin January 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm

This is so great! Thanks for sharing, it was a wonderful read today. I shared it on my blog, hope that’s okay!

Mimi (Gingersnaps) January 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Oh wow, this list spoke so much to me. I’m totally one of those souls who was raised to be giving with my time. Like, I will spout off my opinions like no one’s business, but I over-commit, get dragged into other peoples’ problems, and feel obligated for no particular reason.

I wish you a great year Heather, thanks for posting this!

Oh and yeah, BulletProof coffee is AWESOME. I felt so friggin fortified after drinking it!

carrie @ January 13, 2012 at 9:39 am

I SO needed to hear this Heather and what a wonderful way to start the New Year. I give myself permission too! And I’m bookmarking this post and keeping it to read over and over again! (((hugs))))

Kimberly January 13, 2012 at 7:59 am

Amazing post Heather! I am having to learn to say NO as well and it is SO freeing! Praying that you have a very blessed year loving your family and being kind to yourself. Love you 😉

glidingcalm January 13, 2012 at 7:28 am

I love all of these frame -DIY posts!!! I made the majority of my x-mas/holiday gifts this year, and framed pictures are the BEST GIFT in my opinion! I always want more pictures hanging around my apt.! LOVE.

Hannah January 13, 2012 at 5:01 am

I’m not comfortable with writing publicly about why, but oh Heather, how I needed to hear this this week. Thank you. Thank you. This is like breath. xoxo

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm

You’re so welcome. 🙂

Marty January 13, 2012 at 4:54 am

Love it…if we don’t take care of ourselves, no one else will. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…it all starts at home, and within. Thank you for the post and reminders!

I love, love the frame – you are getting way too creative Heather, I love it the ideas! xo

Em (Wine and Butter) January 13, 2012 at 12:44 am

Awww – I love it!!! Parts of it remind me slightly of some advice I heard when I suffered really badly with anxiety. I read about how not committing to things you probably know you wont be able to do (just through not wanting to say no) is such a great tool in avoiding anxiety. Um. Hello. YES.

I also worry sooo much what people think of me and need to give myself permission to stop worrying. I also realised tha thtat worry is kind of ‘self driven’ and I need to just concern myself with being the best person I can be (both to myself na dother). That part I can control – what people think of me, not so much, and its really just another cause of anxiety…

I Love your goals AND your smartness for realising how important they are! xox ps – try the Starbucks British accent thing!! Its a 100% selfish, ‘you first’ thing to to! 🙂

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli January 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Wow, I really need this girl. Thank you so much for posting it. I have felt so bad about being out of the blogging loop lately and I know I shouldn’t. I know that all my bloggy-friends will still be here, but sometimes I just feel like the “bad friend” when it’s hard for me to get to blogging…much less catch up on other’s posts. I’ve been trying to think of blogging differently this year. Last year, I needed it…like really needed it. It was my outlet…a way to cope with all of my life’s changes. But now, my life has changed again, and blogging just doesn’t fit in in the same way anymore. I still love it and of course I love all of my favorite bloggers (I wouldn’t be the same without them), but I just don’t ever want it to feel like an obligation or a chore that I HAVE to fit into my life. I’m sure you know what I mean. Your life has had so many changes. I really look up to you for keeping everything straight and still finding the time for blogging. I miss you dearly, friend and I hope CD and the little munchkin are doing well! *hugs*

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I’ve dealt with the same struggles when it comes to blogging. For some reason, we start to feel obligated, but I’ve definitely learned blogging is a lot more fun when you write when you feel like it. Have fun with it when you want to, but don’t ever let blogging become a chore. Your blog and your readers will always be there to meet you. 🙂
Miss you too. Must catch up soon!

Olivia January 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Ok, this might sound a little silly, but I have spent so much of my life focused on my academic direction that I haven’t had time for fun frivolous things that actually make me feel good. Girly things like getting my hair done, doing my nails, and taking care of my appearance have fallen by the wayside over the years because I was so focused on academics. It’s silly but those little things make me feel so good that I’m going to try to make time for them, inspite of grad school. It’s time to make some more me time!

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Let’s meet for pedicures. 🙂

Kath (My Funny Little Life) January 12, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I love this, and it reminded me that I tend to be too strict with myself and push myself to much. Just saying no without feeling the need to explain or excuse myself, that’s something I’d love to learn. 🙂

Kath (My Funny Little Life) January 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm

(The tragical truth is that I even say, “I’m sorry!” when a shovel falls over 50 meters away from me.)

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Ha, that is so me! 😉

Laura @ She Eats Well January 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm

This is just one big, lovely post. Thanks for writing it. Always good to take a step back and kind of just, reevaluate things. And life. Thanks for the inspiration.

Errign January 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this, Heather!

Susan January 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I needed to read this today Heather. This is something I actively struggle with, and even more so recently with the new semester starting and new opportunities and situations arising. I’ve been thinking about it and by not giving ourselves permission we are implying that we are not worthy of something (whatever that is), but that is not true at all.

This year (and hopefully forever) I will give myself permission to take care of my body and soul FIRST, because it that way I can better take care of others.

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Yes, if we’re not taking care of ourselves, it’s so hard to help others.

Pure2raw twins January 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Heather this is perfect timing. we needed to read something like this today! we are going through some changes and needed some permission to be ok with them 😉

Lou January 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Amen, sister!

It’s amazing how freeing say “no” is sometimes…. I used to be a people-pleaser too… to my own detriment… actually making myself sick over-committing time and energy to things and people that were not ‘energising’.

No wonder so many of us drag our feet during the day, feeling drained… conserve your amazing energy for people/projects/ideas that FEED your energy, not steal it away 🙂

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Lou, yes, yes, great advice, especially for a mom. Our energy is precious and not to be wasted!

Kerry January 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm

THANKYOU, i really needed this today Heather, long-time reader and love your attitude and your blog, so positive but always real. I identified so much with so many of these, going to print and frame for my wall!! 😉

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Kerry, So happy to hear this post spoke to you and thanks for reading. 🙂

Heather @ Bake, Run, Live January 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Thank you for this post. I needed to read all these wonderful things today.
I had reached a decision regarding my job, and was going to act on that decision today. Due to guilt from my parents, I delayed my plan. And felt miserable the entire day (mentally and physically). I needed this gentle reminder that while other people might not agree with my decisions, it is my life to live. Thank you Heather, and Goddess Leonie.

Goddess Leonie January 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Oh hon. I love this. I love you.

RunEatRepeat January 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm


Tracey January 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Amen to that! Great post! I was just giving myself permission today…specifically to drink a skinny latte and admit I love disposable diapers and buy real sugar to make Evelyn’s birthday cake! And to stop caring about how anal I am about Evelyn’s naps:)
Thanks sweet Heather, I needed that! Xo

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Haha, loved your comment. All of my mochas come in skinny form, and I LOVE disposable diapers. We tried Bum Genius cloth, but they leaked horribly, and I didn’t want to add another liner b/c they were already so bulky. Love our Pampers!

Christin@purplebirdblog January 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I have permission to eat butter on my veggies and in my brownies. 😉

Emily Smallcomb January 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I love this. 🙂

Lacey January 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Awesome post! I’ve been following your blog for a few months now – I have really enjoyed your recipes & holistic approach to healthy living – you are inspiring! Thank you for your great work!

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Thanks for reading Lacey. Hope you have a good weekend! 🙂

Sylvia @ LifeIsGoodWithFood January 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I love this post; it was SO inspirational. This year, I’m giving myself permission to eat what I want and not feel guilty about it, as long as there are somee limits 😉 Also, I’m giving myself permission to find my own happiness and not have to think about everyone else’s, in turn sacrificing my own. That’s not how I want to live and I won’t. 🙂

And on the soap (which are shampoo bars actually, hehe)… I cut them into bars last night and they actually turned out beautifully. My room smells like grapefruit though 😉 In 5 weeks, they’ll be ready and I’ll let you know how they work in the shower 😀

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 7:05 pm

So glad you liked the post, and I hope you’re able to feel less guilt this year.

Very cool you made shampoo bars, and grapefruit essential oil is one of my favorites. Your room could smell much worse. 🙂

Meghan @ Making Love in the Kitchen January 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

“You have permission to be wild, expressive, truthful, exciting and outspoken.”

That one is my favourite 🙂 words to live by!

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) January 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm

This is amazing and I love all of it. The best one for me is “You have permission to cut people from your life. You have permission to surround yourself with people who are good and loving and nurturing to you. Another good one.” That defines me right now. I swear, it’s taken me 37 years to be comfortable with me and I am finally there…it feels amazing. Enjoy painting! I love that you are having so much fun right now!

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Oh Heather, this is an awesome post and we all need reminders on all of these things, over and over. Well, I do at least.

Giving myself permission to do nothing, to cut toxic people from my life, to accept that I can’t accomplish every.single.thing I could when I was 21 and single without a child or real bills to pay and that it may take me a little longer now to do things,…giving myself permission on those things, yeah, need to do that.

Every time I think I have “learned” these life lessons, I realize, I need reminders. Thank you.

Have a wonderful 2012 giving yourself permission with all of this jazz!

polly peach January 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm

i love this post so much. 🙂 love YOU so much! XOXO

Lauren January 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Wish I had the money to purchase the planner. But since I do not, thanks for the post. Something to be aware of in this year.

I give my permission to have failed at a lot and to be completely lost in life. I give myself permission to do nothing. I want to give myself permission to just breathe and live in the moment and not thinking about the past or worrying about the scary future.

kathleen @ the daily crumb January 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm

i absolutely LOVE this post, and definitely needed it this morning. i have similar goals for 2012… mostly about living for ME. i, like you, am a total people pleaser and you’re right, the one who ends up unhappy, stressed, cranky and upset… is me. it is such a delicate balance in life, taking care of others that we love while taking care of ourselves. it is something i never expect to be perfect at, but definitely something i am choosing to work on each and every day.

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Kathleen, you and me both. 🙂

Carolyn January 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Hi Heather, I really enjoy your blog and this post is amazing. I am definitely marking it with a star so I can read it again on challenging days. I just had my 2nd child a few months ago and am starting back to work, so I really need to prioritize better and follow your goal of saying no more often, without feeling the need to back it up with an apology and an excuse. I agree that time with my husband, children and pets is so valuable so I want to be better at focusing on that instead of worrying about keeping the house spotless or completing my to-do lists. I’ve read on your blog and elsewhere about pinterest but had not checked it out until today. There is a waiting list to join unless a member invites you. Would you please invite me? Thank you.

HEAB January 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Pinterest invite is on its way. Please let me know if you don’t receive it, and I hope we’re both able to better prioritize and focus on family more this year. The to-do lists can wait. 🙂

Carolyn January 13, 2012 at 10:26 am

Thanks for the Pinterest invite! I just joined, so I am looking forward to exploring it this weekend. Again, thanks for the great post! Carolyn

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm

You’re welcome! Happy Pinning. 🙂

lindsay January 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

You know, this is the best blog post i have read all year. Probably because i can relate to it so much.

Best line:
“You have permission to not be the best of anything – just the best of yourself. And some days, just the best you can do that day”

Amen to that. And i have permission to change my mind, like maybe 5x a day.


HEAB January 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Lindsay, yes you do! And best post of 2012? I’m honored. 😉

Lindsay @ biking before bed January 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Thanks so much for this post Heather. It made my day just a little brighter.

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Lindsay, you’re welcome. 🙂

Liz January 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Thank you for this, Heather. I really, really needed to read this because of a lot of things going on in my life.

Clare @ Fitting It All In January 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm

needed this, heather! thanks!

the delicate place January 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

heather, i needed this so badly today. things aren’t going so well for me in one aspect of my life and it’s because i set such high standards for myself. thank god nate is such a kindred spirit or else i’d be in trouble. it’s not fair for me to take things out on him when i am the one giving or taking permission from myself to succeed at what i do! i read this yesterday and emailed it around and it resonated so much. i hope it inspires you too!

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Such a great article, and I loved all the advice, especially when it came to parenting. Needed to read this, and yeah, when I’m in a funk, CD usually feels the brunt of it, which is totally not fair when he did nothing wrong. Thank goodness for our understanding and patient guys!

Linday@FuelMyFamiy January 12, 2012 at 11:52 am

I am starting my own blog for some me time! My life is my kids but I need time to myself to be a better mom! Making time for more exercising too!

HEAB January 13, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Lindsay, good for you! 🙂

Sarah @ See Sarah Eat January 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

Heather, that is beautiful! I am going to bookmark this for myself and send it to a friend 🙂 We all need to take better care of ourselves this year!

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