Give Yourself Permission – to be Creative.. to be Authentic.. to be Human

image shows a floral pattern with a colorful note that reads: PERMISSION: to keep on rocking' in the free world to grow to let go of what hurts to celebrate being messy & human

In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness month, I wanted to highlight the importance of giving yourself permission. 

But… Give yourself permission to do what?

Permission to do what’s important to you – and not put it off, friend. 

To work on the thing you love before you finish the dishes and the tidying. To invest in yourself at a level that’s comfortable for you, and to not explain yourself. To live for yourself even as you live among and love others. 

Giving yourself permission to live fully, make mistakes, grow, change, stay the same, be fierce, be kind… It just feels good, y’all. 


Give yourself permission to live even when life may not be your version of perfect…

Life demands that we show up in this way or that, and we get so conditioned to be productive or efficient or to want more that sometimes that faraway focus means we neglect what we really need in the present.

We just veer into a rut of adulting about, working hard, making sure the laundry is laundered, the dishes are clean, lunch is packed, bills are paid, clothes laid out – you know.. And all of you parents and guardians out there taking care of kiddos, meeting their needs and inevitably postponing many of your own needs in the process? I seeeeeeee you.

If you’re really good at being studious and dutiful, giving yourself permission to do something as enjoyable as reading a book for pleasure can feel like a “cheat” when it could feel like a treat. And you deserve a treat. Because… If you don’t give yourself permission to prioritize yourself, who will?

Giving yourself permission to focus on your interests and dreams means reminding yourself of what feels really good to you – what’s important to you?


Where to start on building a practice of giving yourself permission?

Write it out, and then write yourself a permission slip about it. If you’ve done this, you know the strangely subtle power of holding that little slip declaring, “I give myself permission to see three live concerts each year,” or if that’s not enough, well.. You know who you are… 

One of these days I’ll return to this post and update it with a super cool looking permission slip. But for now, Deuteronomy? I give myself permission to keep this simple. But I’ll still give you a link to some awesome permission slips by one of the most fun and clever companies, Knock Knock.

Hopefully this wee wander into the joys of giving yourself more permission will inspire you to.. Give yourself more permission – to be creative, present and at ease.

For the sake of words and wonder, I leave you with this starter kit of a self permission list to start knocking out. 😉 Here goes:

Permission starter kit:

  • I give myself permission to make art/work on my hobby before I clean
  • to enjoy the spring flowers even if my heart is still aching
  • to take a long salty bath instead of a short smart shower
  • to read a good book instead of a required article
  • I give myself permission to wrap up in a blanket with a comforting movie that no one likes but me
  • to register for a class I know I would love
  • to get the pre-made lunch salad and I enjoy it
  • I give myself permission to stop asking for permission from others. 


That last one… Working on it. That’s why this exercise is important for souls like me. It sometimes takes a focused effort to really truly give ourselves permission to enjoy what is before us. It’s a practice I try to cultivate more and more. 

So, give yourself some permission to go check out that book you want.. get under the covers the minute you get home.. Check out the hiking trail you’ve driven past a thousand times. Go to the art supply store and just touch all of those paintbrush bristles…

You get it. Now, go get it!


Other posts you may enjoy:

Mental Health and Wellness Resources for May

Burnout Culture: How Can We Avoid it?