New adventures in loving myself

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. 

I PRACTICE. 

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


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