And I’m continuing my commitment to being open and vulnerable.
As a health and wellness coach, I strive to ‘walk my talk’ and practice daily self care (although I am by no means perfect). And taking good care of myself includes being emotionally and spiritually well – ’cause ya know, we can eat all of the broccoli on the planet but if we don’t like ourselves or we’re constantly ‘feeding’ ourselves criticism and negative self talk, we will not be well.
So full disclosure and some of you already know this but many do not – this past year has been quite the roller coaster ride for me. During the past year I separated from and ultimately divorced my husband. As you might expect, it was heartbreaking. Of course no one gets married – commits to being someone’s partner for life – with an expectation of the whole thing ending.
I spent much of the last 9 months soul searching, going within and allowing myself to feel ALL of the emotions that I experienced. I cried a lot of tears.
I am definitely not writing this for sympathy. I know all of us experience pain. It is a natural part of this journey we call, life.
I’m sharing this with all of you because these last 9 months have been the most profound life altering time for me – a shedding of who I’ve known MYSELF to be.
Ultimately I have begun paving a new path for how I actually experience my own life.
But how? How did this happen.
I started to really look at ‘what does it mean to love someone?’ and “what does it mean to love myself?”. I began to see that the 2nd question was actually more important. Loving oneself, fully and unconditionally, has a profound impact on the depth of love available to give to someone else.
I recently asked a new client what unconditional love was for him and how might that look in his life. He said he had no idea but immediately thought of his child.
I don’t have children but I know from the many people in my life who do, that a parent has immediate and unconditional love for their child. They will do ANYTHING for them.
So I ask you to consider, what are the ways in which you love your self unconditionally?
And what might alter in your life if you did?
The new approaches and behaviors in my life have happened slowly, gently, and you could even say it’s been a honeymoon period. Yes, it may sound unusual but I’ve been having a ‘love affair’ with myself. (I hope you are smiling…writing this actually made me laugh). 🙂
Obviously you don’t need to end your relationship or your marriage in order to give this to yourself.
This new lease on life, a new relationship with and for myself has emerged for me from slowing down and tuning into my physical, emotional and spiritual needs. I’ve slowly integrated new habits of loving myself, that I now practice on a daily basis.
So I want to share with you some of the practices I now have.
daily gratitude – each day I write down 5 things I’m grateful for in my life, for that day (ie this can include people, experiences, or ‘things’). You would be amazed at the powerful impact this has on how you feel about yourself and your life.
appreciate and acknowledge myself – each day I write down 5 things I want to acknowledge myself for (this can be something I did or didn’t do…like not eating sugar or being patient with someone or not honking at a crazy driver…you get the idea).
be kind – each day I find something to tell myself that is kind or loving. Could even be as simple as “I love you” (And yes this will seem strange too, at first, but that’s only because we often don’t do it).
One of the most important habits I now have is a regular reminder that I do not need to look outside myself for self worth, value and love.
Knowing who I am and the love that I bring to the world around me is now being sourced from within. I now put myself at the top of the list. It doesn’t mean that others are not as important; it just means I’m now just as important.
I truly believe it is only through giving to yourself that you can give of yourself, fully, to others.
Nurture yourself. Take care of yourself. Love yourself.
You are worth it.