Self Love Day 15 – The Joy Of The Dark

When we numb the darkness

The sun is shining in the United Kingdom at the moment and it is wonderful. As you look around everybody feels much more relaxed and happier, it’s amazing what the weather can do.

So what happens when it’s not sunny, what about when we feel like we are having a bad day? Do you give yourself a hard time about it? Which by the way isn’t helpful as you are sending yourself the message that you have done something wrong.

What if we looked at it differently, what if we celebrated it, changed our perspective on what is actually happening on a “bad day”?

It is easy to feel happy when the sun is out, everybody is in a good mood and it takes no effort whatsoever and it feels nice. What we forget is that it takes much more effort to make it through a more challenging day, it takes more mind and emotional power,

……..so actually you are working harder, fighting whatever it is that is going on,

……..so actually you are doing more work on a bad day, but yet we beat ourselves up for feeling bad.

I am working with people who have been “battling” with negative thoughts, emotions and feelings and I congratulate them and I encourage them to do the same. Nobody knows how much of a battle you are fighting, nobody knows how much energy and effort it is taking for you to smile and make it through the day without punching somebody.

When you are having a “battle” and the skies feel grey here are a few strategies that are tried and tested.

  • See the darkness as a person, as a part of you, welcome it in, tell it that you are here for it, to look after it, it is a part of you and that you are not going to reject it. Most people are afraid of this strategy as they are concerned that they will feel worse. there is an expression that what we resist persists and this is true with our challenge.
  • Go curl up on the couch with your tea, biscuits and duvet and cuddle something and imagine this something is your “battle”, be with it, hold it, nurture it.
  • Imagine the darkness as a small frightened child, ask it what it wants, what it needs.
  • You are not your feeling, this too will pass, you are not a bad person because you are having a bad day.

Most of the strategies that I use are about embracing your challenge and realising that it is a part of you. In most of the cases that I have worked with, somewhere you are growing, overcoming something. I have found that most of the time it is an old emotion wanting to surface from the past.

When we have painful experiences our psyche as a coping strategy will sometimes bury some of it. We do this to protect ourselves, it is a safety mechanism, somewhere we don’t feel strong enough to deal with it.

So on what feels like our darkest days can be that somewhere our psyche feels strong enough to deal with something from the past. What do we do, we beat ourselves up because we feel that we are not coping and because we are having a bad day when the exact opposite is true. We are strong enough to care for ourselves and our emotional needs and our rejection of it can make it feel more challenging.

Be kind, be gentle to yourself and remember that on your darkest days is probably when you are at your strongest and even though you don’t feel it you are probably shining your brightest, you just can’t see it because you are looking at your dark.

Go light up your world and everyone around you.

For daily inspiration see my Facebook page

You Are Loved

Advertisements

Self Love Day 14 – Be a model


I once asked a group of teenagers to draw a picture of what they thought a typical mathematician looked like. Guess what they drew? A female with blonde hair! I was a female maths teacher with blonde hair! So just by being me and doing my job I was influencing people.

We influence the people around us without realising it.

Some aspect of ourself is taking in everything around us and it can unknowingly influence us. We can unknowingly be observing people’s behaviours and can influence the things that we give ourselves epmission for.All the time we are taking in people’s behaviours and when we are self loving towards our self we model and give other people permission to do the same.

A while ago I met up with someone and afterwards messaged them to let them know how nice it had been to catch up and connect. I didn’t hear from this person for a couple of months. When they did message me they apologised for not replying sooner and explained that they had been overwhelmed and needed to look after themselves first.

I was quite bowled over by how much I was affected by this. I felt compassion and respect for this person for being clear, straight and honest.

I found that so refreshing and permission giving on so many levels. After reading this I started to think about all the times that I would respond to some form of communication so as not to offend. I realised how stressful it is to be constantly replying and constantly worrying about not upsetting the other person.

I am grateful to that friend for modeling to me how it’s done and giving me permission to do the same. When I heard from her I was pleased and hoped that she was OK and I relaxed knowing that the people worth having in my life would feel the same with my lack of communication.

So if you are still not convinced that thinking about yourself and your needs first is worth doing, just remember that you are setting an example and giving other people around you permission to do the same.

Go change your world and everyone around you, little by little, step by step.

Journaling For Self Love 

Self Love Day 13 – Isn’t it selfish?

pexels-photo-266011.jpeg

If I discuss what my coaching passion is (in case you haven’t guessed, it’s self love) a response I sometimes get is

“but isn’t it selfish to put myself first?”

This would depend on what your definition of self love is.

Some people think it is about being greedy and uncaring,

some think it is about spending all their money on themselves and not thinking about anybody else.

We are inherently wired to look after each other and care for each others needs, its a tribal primordial programme hardwired in our brain. We all have hearts (in the wider sense not the physical sense) and when they are functioning properly you feel so much love for your fellow man that you cannot help but be happy. The problem is that so many people have closed hearts because of pain they have experienced over the years and have lost touch with a sense of who they are.

We are all here with a purpose and so many of us feel bogged down and have lost our way that we literally cannot see the wood for the trees. This can be a sign of a closed heart and a disconnection from who you really are as a person.

Why do people literally go gaga over babies?

Is it because they are just pure love, they are so happy, so content in their bodies and just radiate a feeling that nothing else seems to touch. This is an example of a human being in touch with themselves and having a lovely open heart.

So when we are talking about self love, we are talking about getting back to that sense of peace we can feel as a baby. Can you imagine feeling the love, peace and contentment that radiates out of a newborn? Now imagine a world with everyone feeling like that?

How happy are people when they have visited a baby? Just imagine being in touch with that level of love for yourself and how everybody around you would feel, which is why it isn’t selfish to cultivate self love.

When you have that level of self love other people feel it and it makes them feel better about themselves, which is a much more empowering way to light up the world.

“Lighthouses don’t go around saving people, they just shine their light.”

Fill yourself up and shine.

For daily inspiration see my Facebook page

You Are Loved

Self Love Day 12 – Compassion, start with yourself. 

We live in challenging times, we are bombarded with what is going wrong in the world and if you are an empath it can be challenging to not take it all on board. It looks like we are going to hell in a handbasket and can feel overwhelming as to know how to sort out this mess. 

People who love themselves remember to have compassion and kindness to themselves first and this makes it much easier to have compassion and kindness to others. Our world problems are only going to be solved by having compassion and kindness for one another. 

What do you do if you don’t know how to be compassionate towards yourself? 

1. You can try Journaling, write yourself a letter saying exactly how you feel about everything that is on your mind right now, hand it over to the good old fashioned pen and paper. Then read your letter (the next day if you want to) and write yourself a compassionate reply. Mail the letter to yourself and see how you may surprise yourself with what you have written. 

2. Imagine if someone was telling you all their problems and they were exactly like yours, what would you advise them? How compassionate would you be towards them? Treat yourself with the same compassion you would a friend. 

We are all doing our best at being human, some days it looks like we are making a terrible mess, but compassion will see us through. 

Start with yourself. 

Self Care Day 11 – compassion for your body

What are your thoughts and feelings when you are ill? I can bet they are generally negative, seeing being ill as an inconvenience or a problem.

Our bodies are always trying to balance themselves and most of the time our symptoms are not signs of things failing but a sign that things are working. The symptoms aren’t generally from the illness they are a byproduct of your body fighting the illness.

A majority of skin problems are actually gut problems, the fact that you have issues with your skin is your body letting you know you may be eating things that you can’t digest properly and the rashes and irritations on your skin are the toxins and byproducts of that process.

When you have a cold or flu, your whole body is doing everything it can to fight the virus, the symptoms that you are experiencing are from your antibodies going into battle with the virus.

If you have sickness or diarrhoea, your body can be trying to expel something.

So the first most loving thing you can do is listen to your body and listen to what it needs. It has its own innate intelligence and your intuition or your gut feeling are your communication centres with it.

Use it, listen to it, what does it need? Is it water, is it rest, is it a certain type of food?

As Baz Luhrmann would say in Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

“Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own”

Wear Sunscreen

Self Care Day 10 – Size matters

One of my journaling strategies for improving self love is something that I call Self Love Actions. I am completing a course with Tiffany Crosara (I highly recommend her work http://www.tiffanycrosara.co.uk) and on it we were introduced to what Tiffany calls “Tada’s” which is any action that after you have completed it you would say “tadaaaaa”.

I have been working with these and recently felt inspired to call mine Self Love Actions. You write in your beautiful journal all the actions that you have taken that day that are of a self loving nature. I have been doing this for quite a few months now and have found that it really makes a difference to how you feel about yourself, but I feel that size is important.

Traditionally we only recognise big achievements and anything less than that was not worth mentioning. When building your self love muscle it is important to recognise every little aspect of what you do. In doing so you start to become your own best cheerleader. You are training your brain to look for the positive all the time. It works so well that when you are having a bad day all you need to do is take an SLA pill and it all starts to feel better. A Self Love Action Pill is just you mentally listing all your SLA’s for the last 24 hours and as that starts to flood through your system, the medication starts to work and you instantly start to feel better.

Try it, start to list all the small things you have achieved in a day and over time you will have your very own little medicine cabinet full of SLA’s.

Self Care Day 9 – Go easy on yourself 

Go easy on yourself, you are doing better than you think. Whose standards and expectations are you measuring yourself up against? Who said it all had to be done in a certain way, time, place and within a certain budget.

Loving yourself means taking the time to stop what you are doing and give yourself a break, you really are doing much better than you think you are.

What would be the purpose of you setting yourself up to some standard that you never even bothered to read the smallprint on. Stop now and take a moment, just look and see what is stressing you out. Could it be an impossible standard that you have unconsciously adopted.

If ever I have a bath other than a night time I feel like I am doing something very wrong. Baths are meant to be before bedtime. So yes I have this programme running in my head which isn’t a biggie, it’s just about a bath and I am sure I can make the habit of having a bath at any time a relaxing experience instead of wondering when the water patrol are going to arrive. The issue is if you have lots of expectations that are no longer serving you, when are you going to stop and take some time to read the smallprint and throw out some old outdated routines.

You Are Loved

Self Care Day 8 – Nothing Compares To You


People who love themselves don’t compare themselves to others, if there is any comparing to be done it is only ever with yourself when reminding yourself of how much you have overcome.

Look at your life 12 months ago, how did you deal with things then, what things have improved? There will always always be something, no matter how small and speaking of size the smaller the better. A mountain is not climbed in one big leap, it is taken at a pace step by step, moment by moment. If you want to climb this mountain of life take it moment by moment, the slower you are the more time you have to appreciate the beauty around you. How can you notice the delicate flowers when you are running?

Our life is not measured by our breaths but by the moments that take our breath away.

Stop, slow down really really pay attention to yourself and acknowledge the beauty that you are. Whatever it is that you are doing there will always be someone better or worse than you.

Love you, appreciate you and watch other people fall in love with who you really are.

You Are Loved

Self Love Day 7 – Love yourself enough to stop. 

Paying attention is a self loving habit, if something isn’t working or something feels off, just stop.

Stop and ask yourself what you need in that moment to make yourself feel better. Sometimes we don’t ask ourselves because we are frightened that we won’t be able to fulfil our own needs. It usually is something very simple and just requires us to be flexible.

Today after my teaching session I wasn’t feeling great but had a heap of marking to do and generally like to do it in school. I took 5 minutes to think about what I needed and it was that I should go home, have a rest, enjoy some sunshine and do the marking later.

I can have quite a fixed mindset and I most definitely dislike taking work home especially marking,  but in this instance it was much more self loving to take a break.

Make it a habit to just stop for 5 minutes, get off the hamster wheel and just ask yourself what it is you need and is there a more self loving way of doing this.

You Are Loved

Self Love Day 6

Attention, it’s all about attention. Self loving people pay attention to themselves and their needs. Yesterday I talked about breath and water and it is really interesting how our mind can convince us of something, it’s only when we really pay attention that we know what is going on.

I drink herbal tea 99% of the time so I was convinced that I was drinking enough fluids, it was only when I decided to pay attention and put my focus on it that I realised the truth, I should have had the auditors in sooner.

I decided to use the app Water Drink Monitor which records how much you drink a day against what you should drink (calculated from you inputting your weight). I was shocked to discover that I was only drinking 800ml of water a day, short of the recommended general of 2 litres a day and whey off my 4 litres calculated from the app!

In case you aren’t aware your body is roughly 75% water and your brain 90% water, so if you aren’t properly hydrated you aren’t giving yourself a chance. I won’t go into what type of water you drink, that is a new post.

You Are Loved