January 2010 Archives
It's day 15 of my 40 day self-love practice of Taking Care of ME first, and I have to laugh. I often call myself a recovering achievement junkie because I am still recovering. Case in point is that not only I am on this 40 day practice, but I added another 28-day practice to it, LOL! I rationalize this by saying that I'm not doing the practices to achieve anything, but to actually make myself happier.... so that means that it's not junkie behavior right??
So to get to the point and the AHA that I am just dying to share with you! So my second practice has been to embody the quality of IMPECCABILITY. Which to me takes the quality of meeting your commitments, doing what you said you would do, basically having integrity at a whole new level. There is just something about the word impeccable that doesn't leave any room for wiggle. If you say it will be there by noon, by noon it is. If you say within 24 hours, within 24 hours. No wiggle.
And while that may sound restricting and like it adds way more pressure than one would want to put on themselves, especially during a 40-day take care of myself practice, I have to tell you it's actually been liberating and really eye opening. So much so that...I think I've found yet another key to why we as women often end up last on the list and find it so hard to take care of ME.
We have the power to take care of ourselves, we're just not using it!
- We like to say YES! And we don't like to say no. You get an invitation to dinner. A girlfriend invites you to a drink. Your mother asks you to go shopping. Your boss asks you to take on a new project. A colleague asks for an hour of your time for brainstorming. Most of the time you say YES, right? Unless you are totally stressed out, and then you decline, but only after you've completely explained how overbooked you are. We are givers and that is a great thing, however, most of us give more than we have to give. We give and give until we have nothing left. We say YES when if we were really taking care of ME, the answer would be, "Thank you but no." Whether we are afraid we won't be liked, we don't want to let the person down, or we feel like we 'should' be able to do it all... our inability to say no costs us a lot on the taking care of ME scale.
- We overpromise and then push ourselves to deliver. I had a male boss once, Joe, a white-haired man 20 years my senior. And Joe had three rules, which he shared with our team via a power point presentation when he became our leader (seriously). I'll save you the entire presentation, but I will share this one rule with you that he lived by ... "Always underpromise and overdeliver." Viola'... because they you will always give them more than they want with less effort from you. And he did it, all the time. Me? When someone asks me when I will get back to them, or when I am giving someone the timeframe in which I can complete something, I fail Joes' advice more often than not. The overpromises fly out of my mouth while my body and intuition are saying, "NO! Make that date later in the week... make that turnaround time 2 days later," my ego mind overrides them and like the achiever it is, picks a date that will make me work harder than anyone but me expects me to.
The interesting thing about these two AHA's is that I've known all of it for many years. But I never ever connected them to my ability, or non ability to put taking care of me first, to make taking care of me easier.
But by doing these two practices together, I really got that I have the power to make taking care of me easier or harder by what I commit to. And much of the pressure I put on myself, is just that, pressure I put on myself. When I am making promises to do a favor or complete a task... or am agreeing to a deadline... or making plans with a friend... they don't have crazy expectations of me in most cases, they just want to know what I can feasibly do. And whatever I tell them, they will react to and assume to be true. If they need something more they will ask.
It's not my job to figure out what they need and the overcompensate and overstretch myself to provide it. It is my job to take care of me, and taking care of me means showing up as the person that I want to be in this world and making sure that she is taken care of.Impeccable and Taking Care of ME, the How to...
I am committed to both, and I invite you to try both too, so that you can feel good about yourself, and feel good inside of yourself.
1. Like being impeccable.
Live by the energy of impeccability and let yourself feel how great it is to be able to do exactly what you say you will do. How good it makes you feel to give to others what they need when they need it... but this time, you are going to do it because you've made a promise to yourself to be impeccable, your actions come from a place of integrity and honoring of yourself. They don't come from the place in you that wants to please someone else, or are afraid of making them mad or having them not like you, or because you think you should be able to accomplish the task. 2. Check in with yourself before you say YES
. If you've made a promise of impeccability you want to set yourself up to be successful and that means taking the time to decide what you really want to commit to -- without fear that what you are asking for is too much. You ask for what you need and let people come back to you. This is about checking in with your intuition before you say Yes to anything. Trying to schedule a meeting or respond to an invitation to a party? Stop. Check in with your intuition. When you force it what is the answer? When you act from the truth which feels easier and more spacious, what is the answer? This is a skill you're going to have to develop over time. The goal is to find the spacious feeling inside your body and act from there. It's funny, but true, that your body always knows, you just need to learn to listen to it. 3. Make your sustainability a priority.
When committing to something really check in to see how this would affect your energy levels. What do YOU need right now and what will you need then? I declined a dinner invitation to a friends birthday party not because I didnt want to see her but because I needed to recharge me that night, and although I wanted to appear like I could do it all, I needed this time for me. So instead, I went to her house for 3 hours in the afternoon for a more intimate gathering, more relaxed and still got to give her love. I made my sustainability a priority, and guess what, she's still my friend! Make this the year you take care of YOU!
so that you can reach your dreams, make a difference, be there for those you love and not exhaust yourself in the process.
There are thousands of women taking this challenge this year, and you can join us!
Come to http://www.madlyinlovewithme.com
It's day 11 of my self-love journey of taking care of me first, and my answer of how to do that today is that I need to write this blog, today for me and for every woman and girl out there in the world who doesn't know or have self love or understand why it truly matters.
Last night I was in a room full of 50 women talking about self love, what self love is, what self love isnt, and why self love really is the answer to getting the relationships and love we want in our lives. And it was great! The women who came up to me after the interview told me of their own journeys to love themselves and what an impact it had on them. They told me of the work they were doing in the world to support other women... coaching women through divorces... supporting women in abusive relationships... filming a documentary on the desire for forever love. Work they could only do after they themselves had learned to love more of themselves. Leaving me even clearer that self love is so NOT selfish... that actually loving ourselves allows us to help, inspire and support other women and girls around the world to find safety, peace, and love.
Now I compare that blissful experience to the one I had this morning at my dining room table in which I was really saddened by these very different responses from women I received in the last two days:
- I had reservations in calling you because of all the self love stuff that is on your website. I think self love is pretty hippy dippy.
- Is Madly in Love with ME Day about masturbation?
- Self love isn't for me.
These answers befuddle me. And they make me sad. What about self love is hippy dippy? Why do we think masturbation when we hear the words self love? And masturbation in this case isn't said in the kind of way that masturbation is good, but in that it is dirty. How can self love not be for you? Would you ever tell your daughter not to love herself? Don't we want our girls to respect and honor themselves so deeply that they take care of themselves... that they only have relationships that respect them... that they love their bodies for exactly what they are... that they love themselves for who they are... AND don't we want that for ourselves, and for every other woman in our lives, and in the world?
I think we do... I think we do want these things for ourselves and our girls. Do you want these things for yourself? for your daughters, nieces, godchildren, and for the world?
Up until recently, self love has been a word reserved for therapy rooms or spiritual circles, not a topic for conversation at the dinner table or among mothers and daughters, or even girlfriends. Most of us don't know what it means, nor do we know how to find it. And if I am honest, if you had told me 8 years ago when I was still neck deep in trying to find my happiness through my career titles, the size of my house, and getting my fiance to love and see me, I would have thought the same kinds of things. Self love would have felt totally irrelevant at best and it would have sounded like a dirty word at the worst.
As I sat at my dining room table today, being with the sadness I felt about the fact that women today still have these responses to self love, as if it is a luxury or nice to have, vs a critical component to true happiness, I remembered, "Oh yes Christine, your life mission, to reclaim the definition of self love for every woman and girl. And today in 2010, that journey has just begun. It's your job to share what you've learned over the last 8 years, and keep learning... going from a woman who thought she loved herself to one who understands that self esteem is not self love... and that without self love, happiness, success, a great relationship, and a career that you love and that loves you back, is not attainable.
If you are not sure whether or not self love is for you... here are 4 reasons why it's critical.
If you have self love...
- You won't have abusive relationships or toxic friendships. Women and girls who love themselves would never stay in a verbally, emotionally or physically abusive relationship. 1 in 3 girls will be in an abusive relationship by the time she is 20, 80% will go back. Women who love themselves know they don't need the love of another to survive, so if they find themselves in these situations, they leave. Women who love themselves don't stay friends with people who drain their energy or that are not supportive. When a woman really loves herself she doesn't attract 'negative' people into her life any longer.
- You won't beat yourself up for everything you're not. Women who love themselves never compare themselves to other women. They don't judge themselves harshly. And they don't focus on what they should have done but didn't do. They are able to accept the person that she is right now and love that person, not for what she gets done it a day, or for what she accomplishes but just because of who she is.
- You'll be able to take care of yourself, as well as everyone else, without exhausting yourself to do it. Women who love themselves believe and trust that if they take care of their bodies, their health and their needs first, that they will be able to do everything that needs to get done in a day to take care of their jobs, families, communities and responsibilities. And they don't feel guilty for doing it. Women who love themselves do not take on the burden of everyone elses life or problems, and they don't try to control everything around them. They are not martyrs or victims to their busy lives. They refuse to be busy. And they refuse to let themselves become exhausted. They are able to create a harmony in their life that make their life run for them, not them run through their lives.
- You'll take care of your body because you realize that it's what allows you to do what you love, not because you need tight buttocks. Women who love themselves understand that their bodies are like temples on loan, structures that need to be adored and taken care of, vs. shifted and shaped for appearances sake. She exercises, eats well and cares about her health not because she needs to lose 10 lbs, have flat abs or keep up with the looks of younger women. She does these things because she loves her body so much she wants to take care of it... the weight loss and the youth are the outcomes, not the drivers. Self Love is the source. It's a big mental shift that women who love themselves understand, and women who drive or abuse themselves and their bodies without compassion don't.
Those are only 4 of many many more reasons why self love isn't a luxury, a dirty word or something that's 'not for you.' If you truly want to help women and girls around the world, love yourself first. If you want to raise daughters who make great choices, love yourself first. If you want to be happy in this lifetime before you die, love yourself. If you want to experience great love, love yourself first. And if you need help doing it, join me and other women who know the power of self love at www.madlyinlovewithme.com
You don't have to do it alone.
It's self love practice day #10 -- and the pratice i chose for these 40 days is the self love practice of taking care of me first. On this day I awoke to find myself feeling the burden of the day... before the alarm even went off in the very comfortable bed I slept in, down-comforted bed in a hotel room in LA. I had of course set my alarm on my iphone 30 minutes prior to my wake up call at 7:30am, and I had also of course scheduled a phone meeting at 8am, a breakfast at 9am, and a video taping a noon - with somewhere in there doing my hair and makeup.
See, I said I was a recovering achievement junkie! So when I woke up this morning, and man did I want to hit snooze for two more hours, I made it to the shower, washing my hair with peppermint shampoo and thinking to myself my daily question for the next 40 days, "What do i need to do to take care of myself?"
Well for the last 9 days the answers have been things like take a walk, do yoga, start work at noon, but on this day, full of things to do, those answers were not an option. So what was the answer?? After toweling off and I walked around my hotel room like a white-toweled-headed yogini, pondering this reality, "Christine, your day is packed, there isn't any space to take a nap, go for a long walk, so you better figure out a way to take care of yourself while being in the doing."
So after said phone call (which was lovely), and 5 minutes before meeting said publicist, I sat down for 3 minutes with my crystals (of which I always travel with and which sometimes make for interesting security check point adventures) and I closed my eyes, tuned into source and asked the question again, "What do I need to do to take care of myself?"
Here is the answer i got, 'Yep. Lots to do. Do it from your heart. Do it from your essence." Then the voice went onto say, "If you do this, you won't spend your fuel, we will fuel you." Okay, so that was sounding good! I get fueled by the universe vs me doing the gassing up. Ok, so it gets better.... and then it said 'Christine, when you get home at 9pm, rent Julia and Julie and love watching it. Noah is gone for the weekend, it's just you, the dog and the Julias."
So that is what I did... I did everything from my heart today... had a great phone call, did my makeup and hair, had lunch with publicist, and the best of all, showed up for my friend Carol Allen top notch vedic astrologer http://www.loveisinthestars.com
and 50 women taping this rad DVD and CD series about attracting the love you want. I LOVE spending time with women and these women rocked!! We wrapped at 6pm, I was on a flight at 8pm, watched the Js and now here with you.
I am full of energy, and its 1:08 am -- (which btw is the most magical number in the universe, google 'the significance of 108' for more info).... because all day I was full of heart and therefore magic happened. I could write you a list of all the great things that happened today because I chose to come at them from WHY they were important to me vs. having to complete a task. And in that, I found space to take care of ME --- success on day #10 of the self love journey.
So on those days of yours when they are jammed packed, how can you still find the space to take care of yourself? One way is to start by coming from your heart and letting yourself be fueled by source vs. using your energy to do it all.
When I used to think of the word liberation, it brought to my mind images of the feminist movement, women wearing and burning bras... or images of other populations of our society who at have been suppressed and oppressed and have risen to fight for and claim their freedom, their liberation. It always seemed like a word that should be applied to a group of people, not a word I would use to describe myself. And when you look at the definition you could assume that to be true...
But LIBERATION is
really a word every woman should be able to say and claim, because from a self-love perspective is means to be FREE to express YOU... a major Madly in Love with ME milestone of self-love. Whether you know it or not, you have your own version of 'bondage' that keeps you from liberation -- not in the kinky sex kind ladies but in what I call the 'robes of repression' kind... robes that we've picked up along the way, robes that tell us to be good girls, stay composed, act like a lady, keep our feelings bottled up, play smaller, not boast, and the list goes on and on. Those robes are heavy and they keep your soul and spirit from being free to express yourself with wild abandon... without the need of a substance to help! My Liberation AHA!
The sad fact is that most people are trapped inside themselves, dying to get out... NOT liberated. I really got this lesson when I went to my first retreat in California. 25 people over 4 days at an ocean front beach retreat center. There was journaling, talking, going deeper, all that great head and soul searching stuff I was totally cool with. But then at night, there came the dancing. Free form dancing with soulful music, pieces of fabric and total permission to just let loose and not a drop of alcohol in site! Oh how I wished for a glass or two of Pinot just to oil the uptightness my bones had been trained to hold.
The dancing was the kind of exercise where one person at a time gets up and joins the circle when they feel the groove, one by one until the whole room is dancing. Of course you don't have to participate, and that night I didnt. Not because I didnt want to, but because I couldnt move. My butt was stuck to my chair, no matter how badly inside I wanted to dance. I remember it so vividly, even though it was six years ago. I sat there watching this beautiful 6-foot tall blond English woman named Joanne -- who reminds me much of my friend Elayne, also from England, a dancer and a performer at my upcoming Madly in Love with ME event
. I sat there watching her move, twist and express her body with total freedom, as if she was one with the music. She was so, so, so LIBERATED! And I sat there memorized by her, wanting to get out of my chair, wanting to express myself that way too, but I couldn't move. It felt as if I was stuck inside myself crying to get out, but so darn repressed and stiff, scared to let myself move that way in a public arena that wasn't a dance club. So I remained an observer.
When I got back to my room, I made a promise to myself that by the end of the weekend I was going to shed my robes of repression if it killed me! If given the chance again, I would at least get up and dance. And by this same time next year I would be FREE enough to dance like the stunning golden dancer of a woman I had observed.Here is a picture of what I looked like at the end of that weekend...
And Here is a picture of what I looked like last year at the Madly in Love with ME Self-Luv-apoolza while Elayne, aka as Kalila was performing her Shakti Dancing....
Clearly, I have been liberated!! That night I noticed that while I was now free of all robes of repression, free to move my body and my shakti in all kinds of directions, there were many more women who stood there watching the liberated bunch dance. And it made me sad. It made me sad that in that moment they were unable to let themselves go, to liberate their spirit to move with this powerful music that was calling all of our souls to move. I know that some of women really didnt want to dance, but I also know that there were women in that room who were laden down just as I had been with the robes of repression that stopped them from being free. In that moment, I decided then that at every Madly in Love with ME event from that day forward, I would do my best to create experiences that gave women permission to throw their robes of repression to the curb and freely and fully express themselves, without the need of our friend Vino.
We will be getting our Shaktis moving on February 13th at the Claremont Resort in Berkeley, CA -- I hope you can join us! http://www.madlyinlovewithme.com/event
And there is no need to wait until then. You know how much I love to take a dare and give them out. SO this week I dare us all to liberate ourselves through the power of dance and moving our bodies to the soul and groove of the energy that flows through us. What does that mean???DARE: Get your groove on.... do the liberation dance.
You, your body and music that moves your soul. 1x a day let yourself go and dance freely to the music. Can even be one song. Just let yourself go, no repression, only liberation. I'll be listening to my self-love song sister, India Arie. Look at that face... her spirit and soul are liberated. Now it's our turn!
Few of us would deny that self-love is a bad idea, right? And I would wager that none of us would tell our daughters, nieces, godchildren or any other woman or girl for that matter, 'Hey you, don't love yourself, that's selfish.' And if asked by another human being, 'Do you love yourself?' most of us would want to say yes, some of us would, and yet my experience tells me that the majority of women - unless we've been actively engaged in falling in love with ourselves - don't really have a clue what being in love with ME means. Heck, it's been 8 years since the night I found myself lying in my friends apartment on a blow up mattress just having moved out of the house my ex-person and I built 'together' while she happily sat in her comfy bed making wedding plans. That was the night that I made the life changing vow to fall in love with myself... and here I am some 2,920 days later, and I am still learning about what it really means to truly, without question love me.
It has become my life mission to understand, embrace and embody self-love, share what I learn along the way, and pave a path for all women and girls to fall madly in love with themselves for the rest of their lives. So while I haven't got it all figured out - I am after all on this 40-day self-love practice right along with all of you - I have come across some of the realities and milestones that indicate that you are in fact, loving you.
I like to think of them as the Madly in Love with ME Factors. When they are present in your life, girl you can shout from the rooftops, I LOVE ME! Or at least dance in your living room in your own private party, knowing that you do have self-love. And while I firmly believe that self-love is a daily practice and something that we will get to do every day for the rest of our lives -- as in it's a great gift to fall in love with yourself -- I know that love breeds love. So if you have any one of these factors present in your life, Celebrate! your love of you... and when you do, more Madly in Love with ME factors will show up in your life.
The Madly in Love with ME factors
- I know who I am and what I want from this life. This is the first factor to loving yourself, because if you don't know who you are, how can you love that person? It seems kind of ridiculous to think of not knowing who oneself is, but the fact is that most people don't. Most of us go through life doing all the things we think we are supposed to do and be, influenced by the society in which we grew up. These experiences and people become what forms our beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions on realities, until the day we realize that how we really feel and think is potentially much different than everyone around us, and that's when we go out and seek... seek deeper understanding of ourselves, who we are, what makes us happy and unique... what motivates us... how is our fear and limited thinking driving our life?? While you will continue to learn about yourself forever, self-love requires that a. You make the choice to continue to learn about you everyday, b. You can answer at least these four basic questions about yourself "What are my dreams? What are my gifts? What are my values? and What are my beliefs?" c. You know who you are not, i.e., you have met your ego, you understand your fear patterns and you see how society and your upbringing has influenced you.
- I can and do take care of me without letting the guilt or burden creep in. Can you actually put yourself first, before your work, family and responsibilities to do what it takes to take care of you? And while your taking care of you, can you do it without feeling guilty or like you should be doing something else? Can you take a walk for an hour without feeling like you are wasting time? Can you meditate for 15 minutes and see it as productive time vs as a time you should be 'doing' something. Can you take a day off for you without having to be prodded by your friends or partner, and then can you accept it and bask in it's glory without saying or thinking anything that stems from guilt? Can you tell your family that you are taking ME time and not feel guilty about doing it? I'm still working on this one myself. I too often feel like I should be working, doing something, even when I can feel in my bones that I need to sit in the sun for 30 minutes and recharge. Hence the 40 day practice.
- I love my cellulite. Look it's there, and no matter what those stupid internet ads say, no matter how much cream you lather on your legs, you're still going to have some. It's part of you, and you can either love it or hate it. And i have to tell you from personal experience that when I was hating mine, it grew and got more noticeable, like everytime I sat down wearing shorts it was screaming at me, "Here I am! Look at me!!" After being tortured by it for years, I decided to do a one-year practice of loving my cellulite. Every day for a year, I would tell it, I love you. I would do meditations where I saw those cellulite pockets being filled up with love. And one year later, I don't know if I have any less of it, but I do know that I very rarely notice it. And when I do notice it, while I may still not like it, and it may motivate me to walk a little more and get more exercise, I no longer hate my body for having it.
Love is a practice.
- My relationships --from friendships to romantic - support me to be my best me and to live the life I want or I don't have them. This one can be one of the hardest for people, because it means putting a big stake in the ground for yourself... but it's one of the biggest milestones of self-love. It requires honoring yourself SO much that you only have relationships in your life - friendships, romantic partners, even relatives - that offer you respect, trust, unconditional love and truth. You love you so much that you only have energy in your life that supports you and nourishes you -- and people are energy (just think of someone in your life that sucks your energy or makes it crazy, an energy vampire, and you know what i mean). You love and honor yourself so deeply that all relationships in your life make your life better, help you reach your dreams and help you be a better you. This doesn't mean that the relationships are perfect as in there are never any difficulties, or that you are absolved of giving that same respect you desire. Conflict can be a great growth catalyst, but only when the two people in the relationship 'lean in' and meet each other in trust, love and truth. Not always easy but always possible. Self love requires that you choose me before we in every relationship... being willing to let go of ones that don't serve you, change ones that have the potential to grow, and open up to let new ones come in. This is a big milestone, one for which I wrote an entire book Choosing ME before WE, Every Woman's Guide to Life and Love. If you need help on this factor, I'm here!
Start by practicing on you!
And wow what a practice it is!!
it's day 3 of this particular 40 day self love practice for me... i'm focused on the taking care of myself without the burden factor.
Which factor will your 40-day practice focus on?
Last February when I was getting ready for a radio interview to talk about my book, Choosing ME before WE, I decided for kicks to look up the definition of self-love, figuring that since my book was all about self-love, it would be good to know what the 'official' definition was. When I got to www.dictionary.com (the dictionary for those of us on the go), I about fell out of my chair!!! Here is what I read, and what www.dictionary.com still defines self love as today:
Okay, did you fall out of your chair too? Are they kidding us? Narcissism. Conceit. Vanity.
So if you haven't figured it out already, reading this definition raises the hair on my neck, it makes me mad. And it makes me really SAD! Sad because the reality is that my heart breaks every time I see a woman in relationship that's killing her soul... or I hear a young girl say something negative about her body or her abilities... or I watch one of my friends, smart, beautiful, powerful women, beat themselves us for everything they are not. My heart breaks because I have been that girl and that woman. My heart breaks because I know what is possible with self love, and I know how beautiful, powerful and magnificent EVERY woman and girl really is...and owning that isn't narcissism, that is self-love
Definitions matter, because words matter. Words are vibration and they determine our reality. Everything we say, think and feel determines the world we live in. So if there is a vibration out there saying that self-love is narcissism, then we cannot as a society feel free to fully embrace self-love. Whether we are aware of it our not, this warped version of self love is in our subconscious, lurking around keeping us from truly loving the most important person in our lives, ME. And that is not selfish. It's self-less, because as any spiritual teacher will tell you, and as I can attest to this from my own experience, it is only when you truly love you that you are free to truly love another.
So back to the definition of self love...Buddha said "You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."
And I say that Buddha is a heck of lot wiser than whoever writes the definitions over at dictionary.com (who's job is that anyway?). So with Buddha standing behind us, cheering us on, I decided that it's time that we reclaim the definition of self love, on our terms!! Who says you can't change a definition -- or reclaim it as I have to believe that the original definition was what it is today. It's a self-love revolution... will you join me??
We are asking women, girls (and guys too!) to tell us what their definition of self love is... to write their own personal definition of self love. Think of if like your own self love manifesta!! We are so excited about this idea, that we are going to take all the definitions people send us and petition dictionary.com to change their definition! And we've made it super easy for you to participate...
1. Write your personal definition of self-love.
We've written a self love manifesta that describes what a world of self love would be like. It's called the Madly in Love with ME Manifesta
and you can view it our website www.madlyinlovewithme.com
2. Post your self-love manifesta to the discussion board on our Facebook Fan page or email it to us.
The Madly in Love with ME Facebook fan page hosts an entire discussion forum where people from all over the world can post their manifestas. Go to the fan page
and post yours too. Or you can simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
with the subject Self Love Manifesta and we will post it for you.
3. Tell your friends to write their self love manifestas!
If you go to our website at http://www.madlyinlovewithme.com/selflovemanifesta/contest/
you will see on the left hand side how you can send a link to your friends and encourage them to participate.
Lastly, once you have written your definition of self-love, put it somewhere you can see it everyday - like tape it to your bathroom mirror, seriously!!! And read it out loud to yourself. Make it part of your self love practice.
Love is a practice. Start by practicing with yourself!
With the 12 days of Christmas over...
and 360 days ahead of us in 2010
How About Joining ME for a 40-Day Self-love Practice...
40 days of falling more madly in love with ourselves!
Why a Self Love Practice?
Over the holiday break, I did a lot of thinking about self love. I know, what? Why would I be thinking about that? Well for many reasons, I teach it, I write it and so I decided to take a pause to examine why I was having such a hard time doing it. While I have reached many self- love milestones... I know who I am, I live a life that is absolutely congruent with that person, I do what I love almost everyday, my relationship with my partner is a true partnership full of unconditional love, and actually every relationship I have is full of love, not a toxic one in sight! But, the milestone of taking care of myself... of being nice, supportive and loving to myself... of feeling like I was truly enough just because I was ME, regardless of what I achieved, well, that milestone has continued to elude me. I've made progress over the years, yes, but the fact is that in 2009 my achievement junkie was still running a big part of my life. And let's face it, any motivation, thought, feeling or emotion that comes from that part of me, or of you, is not loving!
So as I looked to 2010 I had an aha that went something like this... "Most of us get that we 'should' take care of ourselves... that we ought to be nice to ourselves and see what we've accomplished not what we haven't... that it would be a good idea to stop driving ourselves like energizer bunnies gone mad... and that we do need to fill ourselves up before we can give to anyone else. We know these things in our heads, yet when it comes to making the choices that lead to self-love vs. exhaustion, overwhelm and feeling less than perfect, we usually fail. It's like we are trained to take the guilty, sacrificial, give-it-all-to-everyone else path and no matter what we do we can't stop the self-love dumpster patterns and habits."
And that's when it struck me! The 'how to' really, truly accept and love who I am right now and to take really frickin good care of her! I've learned from every teacher I have studied with that having a daily practice can change your life. I've had one for 8 years, and so I know they are telling the truth. So I thought to myself, why not start a self-love practice, do it every day and change my life some more! And then i thought, why not invite all of you to do it with me! After all, there is power in numbers and think about the power of thousands of us doing a self-love practice for the next 40-days!
When I told my friend Debra about the 40 day self-love practice, she asked me, "Why 40 days?" I love Debra, she always asks me great questions! Here are the answers:
- Many yogic traditions believe that if you can do something for 40 days you can change your life, shift major pattern and create new ones. Yogis are smart.
- Many metaphysical traditions say the number 40 means "enough". 40 days in the desert kind of thing. These people, also smart.
- People who study the brain say that if you can do something for 40 days you can create new habits. Ok, they are brain scientists, they have to be smart!
All good reasons, tried and true, and then add one more, the big kahuna in my mind...
WE ARE 40 DAYS AWAY FROM THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SELF-LOVE!
FEBRUARY 13TH, 2010
is the official day of self-love, so what better day to celebrate our 40-day victory than with a big self-love celebration. I'm throwing a big one in San Francisco
, there's another one in Chicago
and Orlando, and really anyone can throw one (i've put all the details in the Madly in Love with ME Kit
which you can download for free).What do you have to do to get started?
Here are your first two steps:
- Say YES! to making self-love a practice for the next 40 days. Go ahead, say it out loud, "Self love is my practice for the next 40 days!"
- Action #1: Starting tomorrow morning, as soon as you wake up or at least within the first hour, ask yourself "What do I need to do today to take care of ME?" Out loud. Listen. Really listen. Whatever the answer is, say that out loud. And make it happen, It's not optional it's a priority, because you are a priority.
Today, when I asked the question, the answer I got was "Spend time with candles lit dreaming up your next year." So I felt into the day, and it felt like night would be good. And so I took the time this evening to do that, before I finished this blog to you! Result? I've been taken care of!More love...
Over the next 40 days, I will be blogging every day about my adventure and giving you tips and tools for your own 40-day self love adventure. I'll be facebooking and tweeting and sharing inspiration, including the Video Dare contest and Self-Love Manifesta contest we are running on http://madlyinlovewithme.com
. Check it out! We are radiating self love all over the place for the next 40 days .... make sure to come on in and soak some up!