Happy February! We made it! New month, new energy!
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You may still be navigating homeschooling or distance learning or lockdown or quarantine or some version of whatever this crazy life is at the moment, but with February being the month of love, I wanted to talk about a different kind of love on the podcast.
No, not marriage or relationships, or motherhood and kids…
No, Mama, the love I am talking about is something that's actually a little trendy at the moment. You see it all around through the 1,000,001 influencers on social media, all the ad campaigns by retailers and your fave boutique shops… that’s right, I am talking about self-love. I want to talk about the nitty-gritty pieces of self-love and what it actually means… and yes, it doesn’t always mean bubble baths, clay masks, and whatever else you see online.
I know, roll your eyes, I get it. We've all heard it; I preach about self-care and self-love all the time.
While it's become such a buzzword over the years, especially this past year, many of us get locked in this idea that it's impossible to create the time and space for self-love/self-care. Or if we are doing so, we feel like we're doing it wrong, and that there's some magic pill that will help us love ourselves if only… I take another course…. Another mastermind… work with another coach… lose all the weight… accomplish ____ (insert your goal here).
And the truth is, self-love isn't all of those things that we think it is. We don't have to lose the weight in order to love ourselves. Self-love isn’t only body-love. It's not simply looking in the mirror saying, “I love you, I love that I'm so beautiful and so fit and so wonderful.”
Radical self-love is about deep trust and surrender. Deep faith in yourself. Feeling and embracing all the emotions that surface when you view a certain part of your body. Honoring your body for the beautiful temple and vessel that she is. It’s not about ego or conceit. It’s the ability to deeply feel your emotions. And I emphasize feeling, because I think we forget about this part. Often, it’s the feeling of being aligned, within ourselves.
So I like to call is M.B.S or mind, body, and soul (or spirit), depending on what resonates for you. I know, roll your eyes some more… but let’s break this down…
Think of a puppy (everyone loves puppies, they’re cute!) … When you have a puppy, you would never just leave them stranded without food, water, companionship, or care. You would love and care for that little pup and nurture them every single moment. And in order to care for that puppy, you need to nurture it body, mind, and spirit or body, mind, and spirit.
So, how does one love their mind, nurture their soul, and take care of their body?
There's so many ways. And it often starts and ends with us. As moms, as parents, we are often the default parent and caregiver, and the first thing to fall off our plate or be sent to the shelf is our self-care/ self-love.
We are the first thing to go. Our self-care is not a priority. For instance, writing a book sounds nice on a dream list but never makes it to your reality because, let’s face it… you don’t have time… there’s too much on your plate… This is something that comes up a lot within my community (stay tuned for something exciting launching in a few days, and I’ll share it at the end of this episode).
Here's the thing, and this may sound a bit harsh, but this is a fact: We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Those 24 hours may look different for each of us… meaning, we each prioritize different things. Having the same 24 hours in the day does not mean we have the same priority. So what I see so often in my clients and my friends, and my peers is that their priorities have shifted. They're not making themselves a priority.
This is the root of what self-love is. It means making yourself a priority—making yourself non-negotiable.
How can we nourish our minds when there is so much chaos around us? Find something that fuels it, boosts your creative flow, and gets you excited.
Whatever way you choose to nurture and nourish your mind, it needs to be non-negotiable. Having it come off your plate is out of the question. Now, of course, there will be moments in time where you’re sick or somebody else is sick… or emergencies come up, or something has happened in your life, which has made you push your writing practice, or exercise routine, or daily outdoor walk etc. to the back burner. It’s okay to set it aside for a moment in time. But let that be a moment and not days and months at a time.
Find other ways to nurture your mind, especially when you are engulfed in chaos all around….
By spending time in solitude, even just 15 minutes a day.
By reading 10 pages of a book you love.
By listening to a podcast, you enjoy.
By writing just 300 words of a social media post… as part of your book-writing process.
It gets to be that simple.
Now that we’ve identified how to nurture our mind…
How can we nourish our bodies? This is the big one I hear all the time…. “You know I don't love my body. Since having kids, I've gained weight. I don't like how I look in the mirror, and I don’t like how I feel sluggish. I have no energy; I'm always tired.”
I get it. No, really, I do. I’ve put on tons of weight since having children. It's not about gaining weight. It's not about the way you look; it's about how you feel in your body. It's about your body becoming a sacred space. The temple that it is, the womb that housed your children, a vessel that fed other humans. And if that's not your situation, your body is incredible whether or not you physically birthed children from it. Look at what it does… look at all the amazing things it helps you do. It keeps you going, one foot in front of the other. It houses that beautiful brain of yours, that beautiful mind, a beautiful soul. It is a vessel, and it is dying to be loved; it is dying to be worshipped and adored by you.
So when you think of it as, “Oh, I don't love myself, because I don't love the way I look,” it really becomes about how can I nurture this body and treat her with the respect and love that she deserves, for all that she does for me.
So for me, my non-negotiable when it comes to my body is exercise and movement, and it doesn't have to be, you know, a 45-minute HIIT workout. Sure, I do that sometimes, but really, it's just about moving your body. Do you love to dance? When's the last time you had a dance party with yourself or your kiddos?
Do you love yoga and stretching?
What is it for you? Identify what you love to do physically, what gets your energy flowing because this is about loving yourself. And in order to really truly embody this self-love concept, we need to feel it. It needs to bring us joy. It needs to bring us back a part of ourselves that has been dormant within us for so long. It needs to ignite that spark within us.
Lastly, how can we nurture our soul? How can we be soul-fulfilled?
This is something that is often tossed aside because it's not tangible; it's not something we receive results from, at least not immediately. You nurture your soul the same way you would nurture your mind… find something you enjoy doing to quiet your soul and listen to your intuition. Some people find it in meditation… others in nature… some others while connecting with a loved one or friend.
For me, meditation has been a really powerful way to silence my mind and go within my heart. It’s powerful.
You know, stillness, silence, “quiet time” sounds crazy, especially in this busy world that we live in. But, giving yourself moments of silence to just breathe, to simply be with yourself, is incredibly nourishing.
Even if you don’t get outdoors much during the winter season, go out into your back yard or front porch… or your condo balcony… just for 5-10 minutes.
Just to love yourself. Take a look at this life, breathe it in,
And breathe out all the things that no longer serve you.
That's nourishing your soul.
For me, my non-negotiable is nature. Even while it’s snow storming (currently), I find joy in that storm. Mind you, 10 years ago, the sight of a snowstorm would have me cringing, crying, and planning my next tropical vacation.
But here I am… in the midst of a stormy winter. What a beautiful thing, I just went out for a walk with my dog and stuck my tongue out and caught snowflakes in my mouth like a child, while the dog ran about and enjoyed some snow as well!
That is soul nourishment.
That brings me joy. I feel connected to who I am. It brings me so much peace, sanity, and love in a world that might be missing some of those components.
And that's just it.
That's what self-love really, truly is. It's the ability to nourish your mind, your body and your spirit. It doesn't have to be challenging. It does not have to be overwhelming. It just has to be non-negotiable.
Don't allow other people or yourself to take that away from you.
True self-love is the embodiment of nourishing oneself.
I hope this gave you some inspiration to find small ways to love yourself each day.
It’s all about the little habits, little changes that we can incorporate into our daily life, to really start practicing self-love, to really start practicing the ability to put ourselves before others and nourish what we were given, what we were put here to create.
So even if today you feel like you don't love yourself, know that I love you.
And I'm sending you all the good vibes through your earbuds right now, and I cannot wait to hear from you. Share on social media all of the ways that you're learning to love yourself and tag at @ygtmama. We will re-share and cheer you on! It truly makes me so happy when I see your posts and shares!
Welcome to February, Mama! Let’s love ourselves so we can love one another better.
PS, if the thing about the book and writing journey I shared in today’s episode resonated for you, I wanted to let you know that on February 11, I am hosting a free, that’s right, FREE masterclass called Brain to Book so you can unblock your brain and write your book, this year. It’s 100% free to register and attend! I’d be honored to have you. If writing a book is what nourishes your mind and soul, then I invite you to join that free masterclass because there will be tons of tangible tips and tools for getting it done and really making it a non-negotiable priority. Sign up here.
I hope you enjoyed listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed recording it!
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See you next week!