What does loving myself really mean?
I am not sure that I remember what it means to truly love myself all of the time. I enjoy pedicures and they are a form of loving myself but it is very superficial. I like shopping. Scratch that. I don’t like shopping but sometimes I like to buy stuff. That, too, is a form of self-love since I am taking care of my life when I buy a new Dyson, mattress, kayak, or circular saw (yes, I bought all of those things in the past three months).
It has been almost a year since I did my first challenge. It was a (me) Fall in Love with me Challenge. I have learned a lot. I have grown a lot. I have said the words of self-love to myself and to others. I have expounded on the benefits of forced physical activity (forcing myself when I didn’t feel like it) for myself as a form of self-love. Physical activity is a form of self-love because it helped me to feel more comfortable and confident in my body. Regardless of the pounds, the size of my pants, or the stretch marks on my body, I could love myself because through movement I found strength in my thighs. Through movement, I learned to love my belly. The stretch marks were hard won through 8 pregnancies. Through strength training with weights, I learned to love my biceps and my shoulders for their strength and longevity during physical challenges.
I also worked on training my mind. I started listening to positive affirmations. I started speaking positive affirmation. I started doing kundalini yoga to move and change the energy in my mind and body. I listened to motivational speakers. I listened to transformational speakers. I listened to self- help coaches. I listened until my brain felt like it was going to explode.
Listening does not mean automatic implementation. I listened to so many wonderful things: advice on behaviors, words of wisdom for being a better leader, speaker, friend, and lover; how to meditate, how to listen, motivational words, inspirational words. I listened during the day and I listened throughout my sleep. I learned to remind myself that “I am enough” and how to do mirror work (look myself in the mirror and saying my name, tell myself 7 reasons why I forgive myself and 7 ways in which I am proud of myself).
Listening is not enough. Listening is the first step. Maybe being willing to listen is the first step in my journey to self-love. Being willing to listen radically without judgment, defense, justification, or preparing an answer was a good place to start. Listening to others teach me but also listen to others as they communicate with me. #radicallistening
Listening is not and will not ever be enough to stimulate change in me if it is not followed by radical action. I needed to put some or all of it into action. I started meditating. I started questioning my own story. I started stopping myself from reacting in fear and hurt. Of course, this is a PRACTICE and I did none of it perfectly. The baby steps of change were happening. I committed to daily meditation and daily physical activity. I practiced daily energy cleansing. I practiced questioning my beliefs and my motives. I practiced questioning if my impact was aligned with my intention and if not, why not. I practiced listening without judgment, defense, or justification. I practiced all of the things I was being taught.
I started loving myself. My body was changing. My mind was changing. My spirit was changing. It was and is a process. I am not perfect but I do love myself now. I love my spirit. I love my body. I love my integrity. I love my wit. I love my intellect. I love my drive. I love my motivation. I love myself. Not only is this something I say to myself. It is something that I feel when I make tough decisions that protect my spirit. It is something I feel when I set boundaries. These are not always comfortable. I practice living by the four agreements.
Now I have the courage to take some more chances. I am preparing myself mentally and emotionally for a big change. I know I can do it because whatever I try will be a win regardless of the outcome because I tried. STay tuned!
#findingthejuicy #lovingmehard #loveme #mefallinlovewithme