“Self love is accepting yourself, as is. Reach for the stars… but love yourself right where you are.” ~ Unknown
Wow! That quote continues to move me in so many ways, as I am on my own path with loving and accepting who I am, exactly as I am, wherever I am. Not who I was yesterday or who I want to be tomorrow but who I am today – or more so in who I am in every moment. I have to say that loving one’s self can definitely be a challenge at times and I am not afraid to admit it, at least not anymore.
In my book, “Taming Your Wild Child: 7 Proven Principles for Raising Connected and Confident Children” (which will soon be out in March of this year), it discusses in one of the chapters on ways to nurture self-love. The book overall presents a different concept that it is the wild child in us parents that we need to tame. By using the seven proven principles which allow parents and caregivers to become more compassionate towards their children and help create connection and a loving “partnership” with them (rather than a relationship of power over), they will also reflect the same confidence and compassion towards themselves and others, and organically transform their behavior (as well as our own) in the process.
Yet sometimes getting to that place where it organically transforms through compassion and connection can be challenging when you are running on fumes! This is where some of the following steps from my book below can help you in the right direction towards some TLC for YOU because it’s time for you to fill ‘er up!
Here are a few of the steps you can take to start getting your needs met:
STEP 1. CHOOSE. It’s time to make a decision on whether you will continue making excuses for why you are not doing what you love to do and not taking care of your needs or choose to have a new blank canvas to paint the many colors where you can begin to go with the feeling.
So, before you drive yourself crazy and find yourself spiraling down the rabbit hole, stop! And then choose to feel! When you go with your feeling and trust your intuition, without going into the headspace and the “logical, sensible” reasoning, you will be surprised what doors can open for you when you say “Yes!” to yourself!
STEP 2A. BREATHE. Close your eyes if you feel it will help. Take three deep breaths in and out. Allow the brain chatter to dissipate by focusing on the breath. Feel your breath expanding your diaphragm outward and inward.
Step 2B. BE AWARE. Take it a step further and bring your awareness from your head all the way down to your feet. I know, strange request here but if you really think about it, the farthest point from your head (where your thoughts could be eating away at you), focusing your attention on your feet can help to get you out of your thoughts and into feeling, which will also help you get more grounded.
STEP 3. LISTEN. Once you have chosen to start loving yourself and have slowed down the brain chatter through breathing and focusing your energy on your feet, now it’s time to listen; to listen to your heart; actually, let me rephrase, to listen from your heart.
Truly take a moment to sit down and think about what drives your passion. Actually don’t even think, feel! What does it feel like when you grab for that pen and start ferociously scribbling words on a bar napkin? How does it feel to pick up that guitar and allow your fingers to dance with the strings, to create a rhythm? Or it could even be as simple as sitting on grass and feeling the sun against your face. What would it feel like to actually go with your passions and in return have your needs met?
STEP 4. WRITE. After you’ve honed in on that feeling, get a piece of paper and write down those things that really make your heart pitter-patter and gets you smiling. Perhaps it’s only one item on that list or perhaps it’s ten. Perhaps it’s meditating, yoga, dancing, journaling, poetry, or drinking tea with a friend. Either way, write it down so you can visually see what it is that you are passionate about. Sure, we may know what gets us ticking and ignites the passion, but writing it down will be a good reminder for you to start doing more of the items on that list.
STEP 5. BE WHAT YOU LOVE TO DO & JUST DO IT! You know the famous Nike saying, “Just Do It”? It’s a catchy phrase for a reason. Now it’s time to look at that piece of paper and start doing what you love to do. I know earlier I had mentioned that people tend to do in order to get. And I had pondered on the question that what if the journey isn’t about just doing but about being in order to receive? So perhaps it’s not about just doing in order to fill up a void anymore. What is actually possible when we do what we truly love doing that enriches who we are being in the world? What if being what you love to do awakens you to your Truth and fills you up, instead of just filling a void?
Once you are able to come from this space vs. just doing it to do it, you will begin to notice that who you are BEING in the world makes you actually FEEL good about yourself. Thus, you begin to fall in love with the person looking in the mirror, YOU. And simultaneously, you will begin to notice that the world is falling in love with you, too, as opportunities start to present themselves that create abundance in your life. Abundance in happiness, health, financial freedom and your relationships with your loved ones.
So here are just some of the steps that can help to fuel you up with some self-love. And when you are connected to yourself, you are more able to be present with connecting with your child and even with your coParent!
In my 365 Days of Conscious Parenting series that I share on Instagram and Facebook, self-love plays such an important role with consciously coParenting:
“Conscious parenting is talking to yourself as if you are talking to someone that you love. The way we criticize, judge and talk to ourselves can affect how we criticize, judge and talk to our children. So in order for us to find ways to connect on a more conscious level with our children and our coParents, we too need to also find ways to connect with our inner child just the same. When we begin to have moments of negative self-talk, it is within these moments to be gentle, to forgive and to fill up our love cups with what we love doing (i.e. exercise, meditation, journaling, getting out in nature, going for a ride, etc) that can bring us back to our center. Because our first love and last love is… self-love.”