I had a revelation today on Lent that has nothing to do with religion, but has everything to do with using the power of the universe, or as I am referring to it this year... SOURCE. Remembering that this is the year I use the energy of the season vs. trying to be my own generator system, I saw a great synchronicity between three things - Madly in Love with ME Day, Lent and self love.
First Lent -- Growing up Catholic, I was taught that Lent -- the 40 days of time before Easter -- was all about giving up something you loved for 40-days, a personal symbol of sacrifice. Now I am not sure if I translated that correctly or not, but when I look back at the things I usually gave up - sugar, alcohol, smoking, lying -- what I see now is that what I always gave up was something that wasn't good for me anyway. And although at the time (because I had these not so good habits) it really did feel like some kind of sacrifice. But, what is SO apparent now is that what I was giving up wasn't a sacrifice, I was releasing a bad habit, and that was really good for my soul! The truth was that these substances or behaviors I lived with the other 320+ days of the year, kept me separate from the universe, source, god, whatever you want to call it, and without them I was better off.
Second Madly in Love with ME Day -- What I didn't know growing up - but that I know and use now in my self-love teachings - is that the number 40 is SUPER powerful and it has nothing to do with religious background. The yogis, metaphysicians and brain scientists all agree that if you can do anything for 40 days, you can change patterns, break habits and free yourself. On February 13th - the international day of self-love - I asked every woman in the room with me at the Claremont Resort and Spa to take the challenge of doing a 40-day self-love practice called "Taking Care of ME" which is a practice that makes it easier for us women to take care of ME as well as make a difference and take care of what and who we love -- without exhausting ourselves or feeling guilty.
The practice is this: Every morning before you get out of bed, ask yourself the question... "What do I need to do to take care of ME today?" And whatever it says... you have to do it! No matter what. Especially if feels like 'no way I don't have time. It's the only way to break the crazy patterns in your head.
I myself finished this Taking Care of ME 40-day self-love practice on February 13th (I'd never ask you to do anything I hadn't tried first) and it has changed my life!! Doing this practice broke some pretty deeply ingrained patterns in me. Of course I knew I wanted to take care of myself - we all know that. But my brain couldn't seem to find the 'time.' The problem I learned was not 'time' ... the problem was deep conditioning in me that stemmed from a basic lack of trust that if I wasn't 'DOING' it, it wasn't happening. After 40 days of challenging myself to do life differently, my brain now understands that when I take care of me, stop doing, create space and relax, I get more done because the universe chimes in and helps (along with lots of other people!).
Self-Love, Lent & 40 Days -- So now back to this energy that is SO available for each of us right now - no matter what your beliefs or background are.,I say, lets use Lent as a 40-day period that can be about letting go of patterns that are not self-loving. Let's make it about letting more love into our lives vs. all that hard work, toil and sacrifice business. Many spiritual leaders say that LOVE is the most powerful thing in the universe... not misery or suffering. That LOVE has the potential to change the world, and therefore each one of our lives.
So when you look forward at the next 40-days, what pattern do you want to let go of ... or what energy do you want to invite in to your life... that will bring MORE SELF LOVE to you?
How about the Take Care of ME self-love practice??
I'm doing a 40-day practice of RECEIVING, where I am repatterning myself to be a better receiver, by using the lens of "Am I receiving?" for every request, offer or situation I find myself in.
A 40-day practice of the Comparison Diet, where you give up comparing yourself to everyone else, including yourself. No judgments or comparisons, just self-love.
Whichever practice you choose, I invite you do so from the energy of self love vs. sacrifice. The energy in which you do anything has the biggest impact on the outcome... just think about it... how much happier and successful are you when you do something out of love vs. when you have to give something up?
Give yourself the gift of the self-love, starting today... and we'll all check in with each other along the way, celebrating in 40-days with the rebirth of a greater SELF than when we started.