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Don't Save the Best for Last

by Cassendre Xavier

I realized a couple of years ago that I often "save the best for last".

It started with little things - I'd use the crumpled facial tissue or paper towel before grabbing the crisp new one next to it, or I'd save the best bite of food on my plate until I reached the end of my meal. Something told me at the time that it was symbolic of other areas in my life where I was settling for less in hopes of a better thing "later" - always "later".

I made a mental note of it, to remember to use the "good" thing first, but I wasn't committed to the exercise and soon was back to my old ways.
Lately, I've realized that this way of doing things really is symbolic of a behavior I'd like to change.

It all started with perfume.
I had purchased a few perfume oils that I really liked a lot. Two were Indian scents - strong, floral, perfume-y, and rollerball, I just loved them. I started wearing the one I liked the least on a daily basis (why did I do that?), then when that one was finished, I used the one I liked more. I had also purchased two other oils, one which it turned out my Main Squeeze liked a lot, but I didn't like that much, so I only wore it on our outings or other special occasions.

Lastly, there was "Beautiful", a copycat of two of my favorite Estee Lauder scents "Beautiful" and "Knowing". The "Beautiful" fragrance oil was by far my favorite scent, and because it was, I chose to save it for extra special occasions.

But in recent weeks, I decided I didn't always want to be looking forward to some brighter future while suffering in a difficult present, and I connected to my continued "saving the best for last" to my challenge. I decided to use the best first.

I began with, well everything. If I pulled out a bunch of crumpled, yet clean tissues from my purse or backpack, I would still go out of my way to use the clean and folded napkins or tissues inches away. From my collection of scented body lotions and creams, I began using the pricier, more fragrant, "special" stuff.

Maya Angelou says she always eats dinner on her finest china and silverware. Now I know why. When you use the best for yourself, even when you're by yourself, you're saying "I'm worth it."

When you don't save the best for last, when you use the best first, you're creating space for even better to come into your life.

This is what I learned when I started using "Beautiful". I made it my everyday scent, and here's what happened:

First, I felt very special. I felt rich, like Oprah, wise, like Maya Angelou, and glamorous like Miss Piggy and Mae West!
Secondly, I noticed that as I used the oil, I realized I would at some point need to replace it.
And then I had the thought, "I wonder what he (the perfume shop owner) has that's even better than this and in my price range?"
After that, I thought, "Or by then I'll probably have much more money and will be able to choose from many more options in his store!"
And after that, "Or maybe by then I'll be able to afford and actual bottle of Estee Lauder's 'Beautiful'!"
And lastly, I recalled that a friend of mine had recently been window shopping at Macy's and I'd discovered another Estee fragrance I liked a lot, Azuree. My friend teased me because it was so strong and perfumey- like Indian incense, which I liked a lot, but which is totally not her style.

When I was at Macy's smelling Azuree I knew I would sometime soon have it, even though it wasn't in my budget at the time. And as long as I was using my least favorite fragrances, I wasn't really thinking much about Azuree - certainly not enough to WoManifest it into my existence and enjoyment.

By putting "Beautiful" to use - enjoying the best first, space was immediately created to be filled - in this case, space that previously had held the best.

You see, when you use up the best, you automatically make room for a new and better "best" to come into your life.

So now I exercise this new theory often.

Is there a down side? Sure, there is. I feel a sense of loss and sadness using the best first because then I no longer have anything in my immediate future to look forward to.
Whenever I'm eating now, and there's that delicious bite on my plate, and I decide I'm going to eat it first, I'm sad because I no longer have that bite to look forward to anymore. But I do it because it's a good exercise. It's a metaphor for other areas in my life where I no longer want to be longing for improvement or something better.

I invite you to partake of this experiment and experience with me.

If you have "nice" or "good" china or silverware, take it out and use it yourself, use it now. You'll find that sometime in the near future you'll want to replace them with even better china and silverware, and when you have acquired those, use them first, too, and so on. Think of Maya!

When you're eating, enjoy the finest part of the meal first. Don't wait until the end.

If you have three kinds of shampoo, one "every day" kind and one "special occasions" one, use the "special occasions" or fancy one first. See how you feel using fancy shampoo every single day, even just to go grocery shopping.

Why should you only take out the best of anything for "company" (your guests), your job/employer, or a date? Are any of those human beings worth more than you? Absolutely not. And more importantly, they probably won't care or notice that your hair is more fragrant or your skin is softer than on another day. They won't go home and shriek with delight how impressed they were at your glimmering dishware, and if they do, that says something about their personal values and priorities, which likely don't match yours, or you probably wouldn't be reading this article!

Don't let your lover be the only one who sees you in sexy underwear. Wear sexy underwear for yourself, first! Maybe no one else will know what you have on underneath, but you will, and you'll feel better for it - more confident, and more worthy because you took the time and effort to put it on for yourself - not for anyone else.

Think of Oprah Winfrey. She has the finest things, and uses them for herself. And I believe that's why she continues to WoManifest even more things and more money to have more things, because she actually uses them for herself, and not only for others. It's important to use your resources to make the world a better place, but it's no good to put yourself lower, as second class citizen. Spirit didn't make you any less worthy and the world doesn't do any better by anyone's misguided so-called sacrifice. We are All One, and that means you're worth every bit of good you want to do "for" others.

Now, you may ask about recycling and overconsumption of products. Doesn't using the best and then creating more new "bests" just overcrowd landfills and create waste? It doesn't have to, and that's a very valid concern. In fact, this is one story I would tell myself when I was resisting using the best first.

I thought it was good to use the soap til it's a speck o' nothing, while I left the fancy one in the box to be opened and displayed for, and used by, guests only.

Then I realized there were no exceptions to my "Use the Best First" exercise. I had to go through the motions until I learned all there was to know about this issue.
And what I learned is this - we can always adjust. The world will not be harmed by your giving yourself the best.

I still save soap scraps - I just use them to wash my hands on a daily basis, while I use the fancy soap in the shower. And I enjoy this - that's what counts - to do what you enjoy while using the best. You can still have your values. You can still recycle.

Someday, I plan to have a system of putting all my small pieces of used soap in a mitt-like contraption so that lots of bits of soap can be used at once. I can also, if I wish, or when I'm ready, boil it in water with a little bit of borax to make liquid soap. My schedule is too busy these days to do that, but I do think about it. And so can you make similar adjustments as you use the best first!

Enjoy the best now. Know what it feels like to create space for even more and even better in your life. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you discover about yourself while you consider and enjoy being worthy of the best. Why? Because your soul knows you're worth the best, and not later, but now!

Cassendre Xavier is a multi-media healing artist and community organizer. An author and recording artist of music, guided meditations, and affirmations, she is the founder and director of Philadelphia's 7th Annual Black Women's Arts Festival (July 29 - Aug 1, 2010). She is currently giving away
FREE e-books at http://cxbooks.eventbrite.com & FREE complete album downloads of music and guided meditations at http://stores.lulu.com/cassEndrE.

Permission is granted to forward and share part or all of this article. Please include the title, author and website link as printed below: "Don't Save the Best for Last" by Cassendre Xavier. (c) Copyright 2010 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. Visit http://cassEndrExavier.com for more information.

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