We question ourselves, doubt ourselves, critique our bodies and play small. We except relationships that do not meet what we need. We all want loving. We have been marketed a thousand ways to get it. So let us be aware and reminded that love, loving, acceptance and confidence are internal creations. We find our personal power in taking responsibility for creating that which we desire. We can create patterns, rituals and space to support a level of self loving that transforms our experience. I feel like the process of loving ourselves more is ongoing and fluctuating. We can do it in a myriad of ways but it requires intentional action. I have a few things that are working for me in this realm and I wish to share that perspective and a short sequence for your week…
Stop Weighing Yourself. I know that we are all here thinking that there are important reasons to be weighed and times when we cannot avoid being weighed. You are right. I also know that we are conditioned to think that the numbers on this mechanism are tied to our actual worth, ability or wellness. While they can reflect things, for me, a lot of suffering throughout my life has been tied to reading those numbers and as an act of love, I do my best to relieve my own suffering. In that vein, I do not weigh myself. I eat well, move often, listen to my body and treat it with love and respect. I go places, to the doctor, to my trainer, etc. and I am weighed but I usually forgo information on the number because I know what I will do with that number so I make the number irrelevant to my choices. On another level, what message do we send to those we love, especially our children when we obsess about three numbers that surely fluctuate from day to day, even when we are doing all the “right things”.
Say Thank You. We learn from an early age the social norm of saying thank you for this and that, it’s polite. We do not though, get drilled to make sure we are thanking ourselves, our bodies, our creation. Each of us is miraculous. These bodies that house our spirit are so fragile but hold their own strengths and signals that keep us safe and keep us moving. We each have talents and gifts that make us who we are. There has to be a level of gratitude to self that is centered around recognizing your own divinity, loving yourself immensely and celebrating yourself. Take time each day to thank yourself out loud. Multiple times a day really. Thank yourself for making it through, for eating, for being kind when it was hard, for breathing.
Move. Walk. Dance. Run. Flow. Stretch. Just move. In your own way and at your own pace. Find new ways to move, celebrate what you can do, the sensation of your own blood pumping and the flow of breath in and out of your body. Movement is not about punishing yourself, or inflicting pain. Ground your movement in a celebration of self, of the freedom that begins in your own mind. In that movement, hone in on the fact that you can move. Celebrate that miracle.
Be Touched. Give hugs, let your kids, pets, lovers, friends make contact with you. Make contact with yourself. Rub your own feets and shoulders and hands. Connect to the places where you can feel you heart beat or feel your chest rise and fall. This body was not covered in nerve endings by coincidence. Caress yourself or hold yourself lovingly as you drift off to sleep. Create the union of knowing that safe and loving touch begins with you and that you deserve to be felt, held, tickled and touched.
Find Sacred Rest. Sleep can evade us. I have two small ones with wonky sleep habits. But the rest I do get, I treat it with complete honor. No TV in my room, phone put aside, comfy and beautiful linens. I welcome my breath, with my hands on my chest to feel the rise and fall of my chest. I forgo the gym sometimes, time out with family or friends, all in the mindset of honoring my rest. When my kids nap, I do too. We deserve it. Even if I am not able to sleep, I rest. I find a comfortable place and I have a seat. It not only recharges me, it resets my focus and gives me time to revisit all I am grateful for in my own life.
Use Less Social Media. The internet is one of the greatest inventions of my lifetime. I use it for work, pleasure and Pinterest (lol). I am not saying walk away from it entirely. We must recognize the tool of marketing and comparison at play. It can subtly and not so subtly, play with our love and appreciation for self and our life. Folks are posting the highlight reel of their lives and we are sitting in a dirty house with messy kids and no make up wondering what we are doing wrong. It’s a trap, that will have you feeling like you don’t have your life, diet, body, etc. together. I can tell you a sure fire way to love your self more, log out of IG and be present with yourself, your family and your life.
Tune In To Yourself. You are an intelligent being. You are constantly receiving messages, physical, emotional and energetic about what feels good, authentic and true. When we love someone we make steps to honor what feels good to them, what affirms them. We have to begin doing that for ourselves. When we begin to honor the messages our body, brain and spirit send us we can make choices from a place of self awareness and self love. We treat ourselves lovingly by saying no, by taking our time, by honoring our truth.
It’s an ongoing practice. We just keep swimming. Check out this seated flow to give yourself some love, space and peace!