Learning to care for and nurture oneself is one of the greatest and hardest journey a human being can embark upon. I’m here to tell you, you are worth it. You are worth every single effort you can muster to feed your mind, your body and your soul.
The relationship we have with ourselves is a byproduct of the relationships we have with others. Or, is it the other way around? The relationships we have with others is a byproduct of the relationship we have with ourselves?
I’m stating the obvious here…relationships aren’t something we are born knowing how to do. We learn to interact with people only by interacting with people. We learn expectations through behavior and our environment. And healthy relationships? Oof, that path can take years to navigate and master.
Self Care, Self Love
I’m not talking mani-pedis or simply “girl’s night out”. I’m talking about the deep self discovery that comes from being honest with oneself, getting to know oneself and being comfortable with oneself. Questioning our motives and our desires and setting boundaries around what is and isn’t acceptable for our personal well being may seem selfish. Especially for women.
Because often, speaking as a woman, our identity and our worth is wrapped up in service to others.
I’m shouting it out..IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!!!
Is your glass half full, overflowing or has it tipped over?
Last year I attended a women’s conference in L.A. called Rise. During the weekend, Rachel Hollis, creator of the event and NYT best selling author of Girl, Wash Your Face, told a parable of sorts.
Imagine, as women, we are a tall glass or vase. As we fill ourselves with knowledge and experience and love we begin to look around at those in our circle and we think, “They need what I have.” With a pure heart we tip over to fill the glasses of those around us, but what happens as we tip over? 1) We are no longer in a position to continue being filled. 2) As we begin to run out of the good stuff we tip a bit more and often we lose balance and sometimes tip all the way over.
However, if we can stand in confidence and allow ourselves to constantly be filled, what happens? Our glass not only stays filled but it overflows to those around us and thus, their glasses are filled too.
Ok, Great, But How Do I Do That?
- Be honest with yourself about where you are in your journey. If you are struggling with trauma or intense past hurts then please seek counseling and therapy through a licensed professional.
- Step back and evaluate your current relationships. Motivational speaker John Rohn said that we are the combination of the five people we hang out with most.
(Rachel Hollis mentions this in her new book, Girl, Stop Apologizing, the book drops on March 5, 2019. You can preorder here. https://www.harpercollinsleadership.com/girl-stop-apologizing/.)
Take a look at the five people you hang out with most. Is there
constantdrama? Are they goal setters? Do you each actively support and encourage one another?
If you don’t like the answers you get then get a new top five. Establish relationships that exemplify the qualities you want others to see in yourself.
- Do the “I am” exercise.
There are times when I can easily get sucked into the negative banter inside my head. I have implemented the “I Am” exercise when I catch myself entertaining the negative thoughts, I simply begin to mentally or physically list the things I am, I am enough, I am worthy, I am creative, I am a problem solver, I am a good person.
By consistently rewriting the script in my head my mental loop changes and I automatically default to the positive.
- Date yourself. Yep, you read that right. I believe it is important to be comfortable being alone. I adopted this twenty years ago when I read Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way. Once a week make a date with yourself to do something you enjoy. It can be fifteen minutes in a bookstore or it can be a night of roller skating, but you do it alone and don’t break the appointment with yourself.
There is so much opportunity for
If you do go to dinner or lunch as your outing do not take a book or device with you. Sit in the solitude and enjoy your surroundings and the time you have with yourself. The first few times you may feel
self conscious, but after a few datesyou will begin to experience a freedom that may surprise you.
- Set Goals: Once you discover more about yourself; your style, your desires, your interests, then set some goals. Do I want to start a new hobby? Can I go back to school?
Set incremental goals for six months, a year, five years and then check back in with yourself to see how you are doing. And perhaps share your goals with the five people you hang out with most so they can help you achieve those goals or just so you can be accountable to someone.
As I mentioned before self discovery and self love is a journey. Please be patient with yourself as you travel new paths. Above all remember you are worth it. If you have questions or would like to share a bit about your journey I would love to hear.
Be you – Be beautiful – Be imperfect