Like many others, describing my life as full and busy is an understatement. We are programmed to work, work, work, achieve, achieve, achieve, and then do more of it. I know for myself, I work in order to live my dream and follow my passions. But in the meantime, I often forget about myself. And what I have found is when I forget about myself, my life becomes stuck. I push and struggle to get things done and I hit a wall over and over again. When I take time for myself: to practice yoga, meditate, juice, draw, and write my creativity flows and so does my life. And it does so almost effortlessly. Weird, huh? No, not really.
By taking care of our bodies and minds, we allow ourselves to relax, step into the silence, and hear our gut and intuition. It is there and what it says is right, we just have to take time to listen.
Last January to July, I traveled to Peru to volunteer empowering women in an impoverished community. My top goal: give to myself so I can give to others. Well, at first I didn’t do this very well. I neglected myself and as I did this, my life no longer flowed. The women I was working with were not showing up to meetings, didn’t respect me, and couldn’t see my vision for our group. Then I thought, “I am not showing up for myself, I am not respecting who I am and my boundaries, and I am unclear in my vision. Why would they do any of these things for me?” I decided to take a step back and recommit to my original goal.
I began to get up each morning to meditate and do yoga on the beach. I started nourishing my body with natural and fresh foods. I realized I was running too much and what my body needed was rest. And, I began to listen to how I was talking to myself. I changed the negative talk to positive and supportive words. Soon, the attendance to my women’s group doubled, sometimes tripled, they gained respect for me, and began to share THEIR vision of our group. Once I showed myself love, the universe showed me love right back.
You can feel as though you’ve hit a slump in other ways, too. Are you receiving as much love as you give out in your relationships? Perhaps you haven’t found your happy place in your love life despite being your wonderful, caring self and doing all the right things. Being stuck can also manifest itself physically: being uncomfortable in your skin, or feeling exhausted and drained. If you’re feeling stuck, try these tips for self love:
1. Give yourself a break. Acknowledge yourself for all you have done and accomplished. We are taught to always do more, but we can unlearn those habits and be happy where we are . Monitor the pressure you put on yourself and ask yourself, “Where is this stemming from? Why am I putting this pressure on myself? What’s the worst that can happen?”
2. Show yourself some lovin’. Notice how you talk to yourself, is it kind? Do you show yourself some patience? Every time you say something negative to yourself, stop, rewind, and reword it so it is positive and supportive. You are all you have! So, be kind to yourself….
3. What you put in, is what you get out. Nourishing your body with nutrient-rich foods is one of the most important acts of self-love you can perform. Are you up to some big things? Then put some good food into that body to support your performance. Eat as many organic, fresh fruits and vegetables as you can stand. And drink as much pure, fresh water you can fit in that beautiful belly….
4. Shake your groove thang. Get out there and get your body moving! It might just be for 20-30 minutes, but go walk, run, dance, do yoga, or do interval training. Exercise releases endorphins and it also boosts your immune system. Not only do you feel better physically, emotionally you feel more optimistic and better about life….
5. Take some “me” time. What do you love to do? What is something that makes you relax, smile, breathe? Do that. By getting away from the stress of work, family, friends, and life, you give yourself a chance to reboot and look within. Everything you need is within you, you just need to take time and it will come to the surface….
It is so easy to get caught up in the excuses of “I don’t have time” or “other people need me.” But, what is comes down to is this: this is your life to live. You have a choice to live and love and care for yourself along the way, or deplete your body, mind, and spirit. When we give to ourselves, we have more to give to others and more to give to life. Namaste…
Have you ever also overcome “feeling stuck” by practicing self-love? Please share!
Photo: martinak15 via Flickr