Self love

I love myself.
I trust myself.
I will be myself.

I don’t know how many times I’ve repeated those statements to myself. Or how many times I’ve written them in my journal.

At first I didn’t believe it. It felt awkward and strange but still I persisted. So many women, teachers, leaders I admired said that self-love and self-acceptance was critical for peace in life. I trusted their knowledge and their processes and I found ways to maybe-kinda-sorta let statements like that be true for me.

One day it clicked. I didn’t stick to any goal or process or job that I hated. Mentally berating and chastising myself didn’t get me anywhere.

I wanted change to feel good. I wanted the pursuit of goals to be easy and fun and light me up.

I let it. I decided that I was good enough, worthy enough, deserving of love and respect exactly as I was. No changes or progress necessary. I was no longer a mess or a train wreck. I was a loving, kind, sensitive, empathetic person. I decided that changing got to be easy.

Any change I wanted to make that came out of a belief that I was flawed or faulted or not good enough would never result in lasting change or a lifestyle that I would love.

For example, this morning I planned to get up and exercise. I got new resistance bands last night and I really wanted to try them. When I woke up, I had a headache and my stomach was upset. I realized that taking a walk by the water with my dogs was more in line with what my body, mind and soul needed.

That’s what I did. I could beat myself up for not getting a sweat on. That will get me nowhere. Going for that gentle walk was what my body needed and it was showing love and compassion to myself. .

I am intelligent enough to take a program or a plan and make it fit to my life without feeling like I’ve failed or messed up. Ultimately, I will not stick to a plan I hate. That’s crazy. Being able to take that plan and make modifications to meet my needs is how I build a lifestyle. That’s the definition I use for an intermediate yoga student – able to modify or adjust postures to meet the needs of your body that day.

Blindly following a set of rules or a plan or a program someone else set out without consideration and adjustment for your own needs, skills is strengths divorces your mind from your body.

Our body communicated needs to us all the time: I’m hungry, I’m tired, I need to move, I’m feeling feverish. These are important things we shouldn’t ignore. Just exactly like a child would communicate their needs to a parent, our body communicates to us. We show our body love when we take care of it. That feels incredibly good!
When we listen we can get more subtle messages from our body – guidance on decisions in life, what actions steps to take. It takes time to listen to this voice (I’ll go into it more in a future post) but honoring the messiest from our bodies is so important when navigating any change in life.
When you are looking to make a change in your life spend some time asking yourself what would feel good, loving, easy and experiment with ways to incorporate that into the change. I’ll share more examples of what those might look like in a future post.

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