I hope this blog post finds you and your family well. As I was planning my work schedule for the upcoming week, I was reminded that in a few short weeks, half of the year would have flown by! What goals did you set for 2018? How are they coming along? Wherever you are in the process, keep pushing, always being mindful, that not everyone will understand your journey. There is nothing wrong with this, it’s not for them to figure out.
I’m still on an unbelievable high from my recent trip to Africa. I think about the kids daily. I will keep my followers updated of my plans to help them, as it materializes later this year. The entire experience taught me more about myself than I thought possible. As I look back on the life path that took me to the Motherland, and inevitably where I now find myself, I cannot help but think of the road I’ve traveled thus far. I reminisced how, a few short years ago, I rallied publicly, and raged silently, as I was forced to accept circumstances that were not my own doing. Never underestimate the significance of blooming where you are planted!
Today, I am shell of that once vulnerable, naïve girl, who knew the treatment she willingly accepted, wasn’t copacetic , but lacked the strength and fortitude to stand up for herself, and say no more. I often cringe and recoil inside, when I remember the depth and breadth, of the suffering I went through. I didn’t love myself. How could I? I had to go through a process, an awakening, a cleansing of some sort, to come out on the other side.
How did I go from one extreme to another? I remembered who I was, and the game changed. I learned to love me. I came to realize that a relationship, job, or circumstance, would not create the inner peace, and contentment I craved. I discovered this game-changing morsel of truth: the only person, who is unequivocally responsible for my happiness, was me. I relied heavily on the fact, that I am enough, and always will be. I now know that a loving, respectful, kind, and compassionate relationship with myself, was the beginning of the greatest romance, I will ever have; the one I had with myself.
Last year, I blogged here about my collaboration with multiple authors. Well, that was released a few months ago, and it hit bestseller in multiple categories!! One of the goals I set for myself in 2018, was to write at least three books. Currently, an EBook, is in the pipeline; it summarizes the steps I took to bring about the change I desperately sought from within. Today, I will share with you, a few of the practices that worked for me.
First, one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned over the past few years, was to become intimately familiar with my inner voice. The one that provides a running commentary and affects more than we will ever know. The way we talk to ourselves, can either be positive and supportive, or harmful and defeating. I cannot stress enough, how important it is, that you and I are mindful of the ways in which we talk to ourselves. We all engage in self talk, this is normal; it helps us to figure out the world around us. My point is, have you stopped to consider how you do it? What are some of the things you tell yourself every day? Do you understand the relationship between this type of self talk, how it reflects on your daily actions, and your interactions with everyone around you? Everything starts here!
I also started introducing daily affirmations. I found it best to do this in the morning, right out of bed, or at least before the day gets started. I challenge you to look in the mirror and use phrases such as “I love you”. “I wholeheartedly accept myself the way I am” “I believe in, have trust, and confidence in myself” “I’m talented, and can use these talents for the good of those around me” “I commit to learning new things” etc. Whatever applies to your unique situation. Try to make this a daily habit. Soon, you will start to notice that not only do you believe these things, but you also get rid of negative, self-defeating thoughts, that you’ve been carrying around, and focus more on your goals.
Next, create habits of self-love and care; take yourself on a weekly date, get a massage, acupuncture, tune into how you feel on a daily basis, eat well, dress in ways that make you feel good, exercise, keep a journal, take up a hobby or revisit past passions, perform random acts of kindness, take photos of things you love, take a break from social media. Taking time for yourself without feeling guilt, or having to explain, why you are not available. Self care is not an indulgence, it’s a necessity.
Confucius said “The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself” My dear readers, followers, and visitors, only you and I are intimately familiar with our unique challenges. Are you holding onto burdens you should have left behind a long time ago? Well, when you don’t forgive yourself, you are doing just that. Being kind and forgiving to yourself simply means releasing anything, including energy that no longer serves any purpose in your life. Make peace with which you are, and the challenges you face daily.
Finally, begin each day with an attitude of gratitude. A few years ago, I decided to carry out a small experiment. I got an empty jar, each day for an entire year; I would find something to be grateful for, and write it down on a piece of colored paper. Often it was the smallest of incidences (the door being opened for me, a smile from a stranger etc). There is something to be said for waking up on New Year’s Day, emptying the jar and being reminded of just how wonderful the year had been to me! Maybe, for you, everyday is a bit too much to start with, or you don’t need/want to make a list. The idea is to get in the habit of expressing gratitude for the good things in your life.
Friends, it’s imperative for you to know, that the most important relationship you and I will ever have, is the one we have with ourselves. The success of any other relationship, is heavily predicated on this. No one will ever love you more than you love yourself. Consider this game changer; when we don’t love and accept ourselves fully, we create more work for our partners, families and friends, accept poor treatment from others, compare and compete, and cannot get through a day without needing validation.
Isn’t it time you begin to develop and nourish your greatest romance of all time? Infuse your life with action, passion, your own love. If you do not love yourself, you will have a hard time loving others. Embrace your flaws. Don’t just be content with accepting yourself, but be absolutely crazy about it!
Make today, the day you begin your own unique journey of self exploration, acceptance, kindness and compassion, with you! “We all deserve the same type of love, we keep giving everyone else”
Until the next post, take care of yourselves, and your families.