Okay, maybe I AM addicted to 40-day self love practices, but hey, there are way worse things to be addicted to! This addiction actually brings me more LOVE vs. less, so I say, let's keep the 40-day self-love practices going all year long.
I am just coming off of a 40-day self-love practice of Receiving, and the one that preceded that was the 40-day Taking Care of ME practice that many of you have been doing the last 40 days. We started on Feb 13th and finished yesterday, March 25th by everyday waking up and asking ourselves, 'What do I need to do to take care of ME today?"
So what is next? When I asked this question I got inspired by two things... 1. Last year, one of five 2009 themes was "My body is my moving temple." I spent a whole year trying to bring that into reality and ended the year with a B-. I want more! And 2. At the Madly in Love with ME Celebration on February 13th, I asked two transformational artists to perform something that embodied the energy of My Body Is My Temple, so that women could literally FEEL what that would be like. My friend Kalila danced an amazing temple dance, and Lone Morch created this amazing movie, My Body As Temple which you should so check out on our you tube channel.
This all leads me and you! to
the "My Body is My Temple" 40-day Self Love Practice
which is the perfect practice to do now! We just celebrated Spring Equinox last weekend which is all about renewing and replenishing. Spring is a time to start shedding all that extra energy we were holding on to to keep us warm and cozy during the Winter months. In the Ayurvedic tradition it's one of the main times to do a full body cleanse. And lets face it, Spring is the time right before bathing suit season, so many of us may have our bodies on our minds.
My relationship with my body has never been my strongest relationship. For me it's not that I hate her, it's that I forget about her. Like I can go months without looking at my toes, feeling my calf or noticing that I have this appendage called an arm. I take my body for granted, as if she is always going to be there to be the workhorse I have always expected her to be. As an achiever I have driven her past the brink of exhaustion on many occasions to 'get the job done' and the truth is that I have treated her more like a piece of machinery at my beck and call than as the temple that she deserves to be treated as.
The other truth is that without her, I would be nothing. I don't exist on this planet without her. My spirit needs this form to be on this earth. None of the passions, missions, dreams I have can be accomplished without her. And although I like to think that I am in charge of her, the truth is that very quickly, if I don't adore her the way a temple deserves to be adored, she will be in charge of me, and I won't be able to do a darn thing about it.
Just think about any time you didn't feel good physically -- from a canker sore to a cold to a much more serious condition - you were at the mercy of your body, and the only way to change the situation was to treat her well.
Well, what if we treated her well before she revolted and got sick?
What if we treated her well, despite our judgments on what she 'should' be?
What would it be like if we treated our bodies like temples, and everyday that was the lens through which we made choices?
I am not sure what the answer is to that last question, but I want to know, and that is why today, I say YES! to this new self-love challenge...
The 40-day "My body is My temple" Self-Love Practice will you join me??
Every morning, before you get out of bed, close your eyes and talk to your body. Yes, have a conversation with her. Ask her "Body, oh temple of mine, what do you need today?" Okay, I know it may sound a bit hokey, but trust me, this kind of stuff works. Fake it til you make it. In other words, be willing to try it, feel uncomfortable and have a breakthrough. Got nothing to lose.
Live with "My Body is My Temple" as a mantra and a lens to make decisions from. During each day and throughout the 40-day time period, think about the choices you make from the standpoint of, "Is this treating my body as a temple?" Notice I didn't say 'jail cell' where you get all controlling and start putting crazy diet rules on yourself. I said temple. Think about food, movement, sleep, affection, clothing, bathing, anything that affects you physically. Make ALL choices based on what does support your body as a temple.
Adore and Adorn Her. Temples are beautiful places that are cherished and beautified. This means nothing other than loving your body for 40-days. No harsh words or judgments, just love. You start to judge? Stop and love instead. This also means bringing out her beauty. No sloppy sweats with stains or a shirt with a hole in the armpit. Think Aphrodite, what would she put on her temple? You don't need a new wardrobe, just put on your body what a temple deserves, clean, pretty and loved items.
Try New. Whether its your food, your clothing, your body movement and exercise, whatever... introduce new practices into your daily life. Eat raw for a day. Wear a pink scarf to work, with rhinestones! Do smoothies for breakfast. Have fun by trying new stuff.
Whatever you do, this self-love practice, MUST be about self-love. This means no rule setting, deprivation, starvation, crazy diets or anything that makes you get stressed out, feel bad or be hungry or in pain. The challenge is to treat your body like a temple, while loving her and you every step of the way.
SO excited to have you on this journey! And if you decide to join us, please let us know you are on board, by posting a message on our Facebook site.
The year I left my corporate job in 2007, I named "The
year of receiving"... I always pick a mantra for the year based on the
quality that I really want to bring into my life and my self. While I had
always been great at making it happen, a skill very valued in the man-powered
corporate world, I knew that to thrive as a an entrepreneur and a visionary
leader I had to learn how to let things happen, I needed to activate my
feminine super power of Receiving.
Three years later, even after a full
year of learning it, I still find the Feminine Super Power of Receiving one of
the hardest to explain, which seems weird to me on one hand because it should
be as simple as saying, it's just like accepting a present from someone. They
give you a gift, you say thank you. But that doesn't seem to quite cut it. It's
like my achiever brain doesn't register something when I think about receiving
in the biggest context of that is how I live my life. "What do you mean
receive? Do I just sit here on my throne like Queen of Sheba letting my
subjects bring me gifts?" Not exactly. And then you couple that with my
social conditioning that it is better to give than to receive and then all
those frayed guilt synapses I've spent years rewiring start to sparkle just a bit.
So in the absence of being able to
appropriately explain the Feminine Super Power of Receiving to you, I did what any good
achiever does, I decided to do something about it. But unlike my former
achievement junkie self, I waited until I was 'invited' to do something about it.
After finishing my 40 day taking
care of ME practice on February 13th, that little but mighty voice inside my
head, who I have come to know and love as my intuition said to me... let's try
Receiving again. At first my ego was a little bruised, "What do you mean?
I spent an entire year learning how to receive? Do you mean I have more to
learn?" An undeniable YES! was her answer, and now I sit here roughly 20
days since I began, and here is what I have learned...
You'll spend less energy and you'll receive more if you
wait for an "invitation" vs. pushing to make it happen.
Several months ago one of my dear
friends Catherine told me that she had proclaimed a new life rule (she does
this on occasion)... and this time her new life lens was 'I wait to do anything
until I am invited.' And I thought to myself, "Well that is nice, good for
you! And that is a non-apply to me." It was like one of those moments when
you kind of get what someone is saying and on the other hand kind of don't but
in either case, know you don't really want to know more. Of course what I
realize now is that what she shared with me was just sheer brilliance, I was
just not ready to see it
Fast forward to two weekends ago,
early into my 40-day Receiving when I attended the Sister Giant conference in
Los Angeles put on by Marianne Williamson... an event mind you that I was
'invited' to come to another friend. I guess I should have seen the writing on
This other friend is a master at the
although I didn't know it at the time because we've only know each other a few
months. When I say she is a master at the invitation what I mean is that she
let's things come to her. Opportunities arise, she notices them, she says, Yes
or No, and then she moves into them. She's lived her whole life this way she
tells me. And this time my achiever brain goes, "Huh, I think there is
something to this invitation thing!" Both she and Catherine expend
tremendously less energy than I do. No toil to 'make it happen' or 'get it all
done' or 'be in the right place at the right time' or 'have the right plan'...
and yet they are both successful, they are both happy and the truth is that
they are more free to enjoy their lives than I am.
It's not that they aimlessly float
around their lives waiting for someone to invite them to a party or tell them
what they want to do. They have a knowing and a focus on what they want. They
are women of action. And they accomplish great things - from raising daughters,
to writing best sellers, to choregraphing beautiful dances and changing
people's consciousness - no small feats! But they do it with a grace and ease
that until now I know I have lacked, and that I believe that I have officially
not believed worked as well as my tactic of push, push, make it happen.
living by invitation only
I LOVE IT!!!!!
far less work and you get to receive many more of the benefits when you wait.
takes a BIG dose of your intuition to listen to the timing of when to move,
when to stay.
you trust, when you listen to your intuition, and when your energy field is
clear, you will just end up at the right place at the right time. The
invitation will show up, and you will say YES or NO. If it feels good and
right, you always say YES, even if you don't know why... because that is where the magic and the miracles happen.
I lived by invitation for the entire weekend at Sister Giant and the magic that happened for me was profound - I had experiences and met women that I never would have if I had been up to my old achiever ways... and it all unfolded for me.
I am currently still living by invitation which has continued to bring more magic... and questions... but I will save those for another blog. For now, consider yourself the 40-day receiving practice and living by invitation only.
In honor of Women's History Month, I have to out myself. As an educated mba from one of the best educations in the country, I have been ignorant to the truth of our history as women. Sure, I know the facts... but that is not the same as knowing, or feeling, the reality. What I learned in history class didn't come close to telling me the truth of what women have endured just in the last century, let alone the last three hundred, or two thousand years. I got the same scrubbed down version of history that you did -- unless you were a feminine studies major -- straight from the lips of a patriarchal society. Oh, women couldn't vote, so there was this suffrage movement and now they can. Oh, there was this thing called Roe vs Wade that made abortion legal. Oh, women were burned at the stake during this thing called the Inquisition. And yes, there was this other thing called the Feminist Movement that created equal rights. None of those were more than a few pages in any of my history books, how about yours?
And my female relatives growing up didn't make me any wiser about the reality either. They came from the school of "that's just how things were," not the "you need to know these historical realities as a woman because we never want to forget where we come from, and what has been given by the women before us." They didn't make it part of their job as women to pass down the stories of women from generation to generation... and that is a big loss. One that I know after this weekend, I will not repeat.
This weekend -- at the age of 39 -- I finally got WISE! Sitting with 500 women in a hotel ballroom in Los Angeles at the Sister Giant conference, I tapped into and felt in my cells our lineage as women and I felt my heart ache, my eyes well up with tears, and my courage lift as I watched three movies that put me in awe at the bravery and hardships of what generations of women before me have faced.
I say 'tapped into' because as I sat there in that room, it wasn't just
the 500 women that were there, it was also the 500 generations of women that
have lived before invisibly sitting in the seats. While I couldn't see them with my eyes,
I felt them with every fiber of my being. I say 'felt in my cells'
because I experienced the facts that used to sit in my head about women's rights,
witch burnings, transform themselves from ideas to human realities.
When you see a woman being forced fed with the use of a tube up her
nose and a metal device being shoved in her mouth to part her lips and make her eat, suddenly the facts become about a person, they become very human, and your heart receives a message it's not likely to forget -- nor should it.
I let myself be affected this weekend by these films -- something that I am not sure we always do. Our hearts are so closed off in our society, going about our busy busy lives. But to be affected is truly an act of love, both for the self, and for others.
If you are a woman, see these films, and if you know young women watch these with her, tell her this same history. We are visual beings... and I Imagine the world would be much different if we sat and watched movies like this together vs. chatted mindlessly about the problems of the Housewives of Orange County.
Iron Jawed Angels You can vote, you know that. But did you know that women were arrested, beaten, forced fed with tubes up their noses and tortured with the use of iron jaws to open their mouths and force them to eat when they called a hunger strike? Hilary Swank and Angelica Houston rock in this movie that made me cry, cringe and shout with joy.
The Burning Times It's estimated between 1million and 9 million people were burned, tortured and killed during the Inquisition -- 85% of them women -- in an effort to stamp out the goddess and pagan traditions and replace them with the controlling patriarchal structures. You can watch this 20 minute movie on You Tube.
You might have heard the prophecy that it will be women that change the
world. You've most likely heard that the fierceness of a mother
protecting her child is like no other. These women of Liberia prove
them both. They stopped a war torn country from fighting because they
said "ENOUGH! No more war. We want peace." If women with 'no money' can
stop a country from killing each other, what the heck are we capable
I am on board for educating myself as much as I can. If you have other movies or books or DVDs that you think every woman should see, please post it on our Madly in love with ME facebook page. Understanding our history as women is part of accepting and loving who we are. I know I gained great perspective from these films... it's a lot easier for me to love myself and be compassionate when I consider I've never had a feeding tube forcibly stuck up my nose while being detained in a jail against bogus charges.